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Bandsaw blades for really hard wood?

Hi Stephen,
On my vertical band saw I run the file by hand. Lightly touch the end of the tooth but file the gullet deeper.
I do everything by hand and use the horizontal table as a reference. No special jigs involved. No oil except I clean the file often.
With some water the slurry build up helps for a smoother surface but for a blade I don't care.

This part was in Fine Woodworking:
Using a flat diamond stone, round the backside of the blade a little. Then from the back of the blade to the front, run the flat stone
so just the tips of some teeth get shaved down. Do this on the other side of the blade. Better cut? Maybe.
I remember last time I did this I turned the saw off and waited for the speed to come down before touching the stone to the blade.
The amount of sparks tell me when to stop.
 
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We have resawn literally tends of thousands of linear feet of veneer using a dedicated horizontal resaw. I’ve used a lot of different bands over the years, but the carbide tipped Laguna Resaw King’s are hands down the best. The ones I use are 1” wide and .035 thick.

Typically we only have to sand .015 or so per side in order to remove the kerf marks. Veneer leaf accuracy across the sheet is typically within .003

Yes, they are pricy (over $350 each for my saw), but they are worth it, IMO. Laguna offers sharpening services for these bands too.

My second choice is the Lennox Tri-masters, but they are a distant second due to the wider kerf as well as rougher finish that requires more sanding.

When you’re resawing extremely valuable wood, being able to net an additional leaf or two from the blank can quickly add up to pay the difference in band costs. A smoother finish means that you can resaw thinner leaves too, which also increases yield. Typically we’re sawing .125 thick leaves and netting around .100 after sanding both sides. Adding in kerf each slice takes up .170 of the board.

The hardest wood that we’ve resawn is teak. Lots of red and white oak, hickory, pecan, etc.
 
Stephen, for sure the carbide blade is going to last much longer than anything else, so long as you don't damage it in some way. I use bi-metallics to get the absolute minimum kerf, and maximize yield from some very rare and valuable boards from my collection that I'm sawing for acoustic guitar material. I have a pile of old, 3"-4" wide Brazilian rosewood boards I'm sawing into fingerboards, squeezing the kerf gave me one additional blank, a significant result! And I have a lot of one of a kind highly figured stuff, 7/8" to 2" thick, that I'm sawing into sides and backs, up to 12" wide. This stuff isn't hard on the teeth, but again I need to minimize the kerf and get a great cut.

I posted here a few years ago inquiring about the possibility of reducing the kerf of carbide blades, and concluded it just wasn't reasonable for me to do:


Maybe you could come up with a way to do this Stephen. You could corner the market, which might only be me...

I'll get you a few Diemaster blades as soon as I get dug out at the new shop, which given the speed I'm moving these days could be anywhere from a few weeks to never.
 
dscipio - that looks promising!

Rons - i have a small file (ha, ha) drawer of diamond files. You must have found them effective on the teeth. Any tips on using them? Dry? with oil?

When i sharpen a band, i take it off the saw, put a dressed thin wheel on an open wheel pedestal grinder, and just walk the band around, one tooth at a time.
You can see by the residue, and by the tip sharpness condition how much to take off each. I'm usually pretty consistent with height, but the spacing becomes more, ahem "variable tooth style" over a few sharpenings.

Considering Dscipio's suggested blade, it will be necessary to build an automated sharpener, i suppose.
some people adopt chainsaw sharpeners to sharpen bandsaw blades
 
Stephen, for sure the carbide blade is going to last much longer than anything else, so long as you don't damage it in some way. I use bi-metallics to get the absolute minimum kerf, and maximize yield from some very rare and valuable boards from my collection that I'm sawing for acoustic guitar material. I have a pile of old, 3"-4" wide Brazilian rosewood boards I'm sawing into fingerboards, squeezing the kerf gave me one additional blank, a significant result! And I have a lot of one of a kind highly figured stuff, 7/8" to 2" thick, that I'm sawing into sides and backs, up to 12" wide. This stuff isn't hard on the teeth, but again I need to minimize the kerf and get a great cut.

I posted here a few years ago inquiring about the possibility of reducing the kerf of carbide blades, and concluded it just wasn't reasonable for me to do:


Maybe you could come up with a way to do this Stephen. You could corner the market, which might only be me...

I'll get you a few Diemaster blades as soon as I get dug out at the new shop, which given the speed I'm moving these days could be anywhere from a few weeks to never.
Resaw King claims:
Variable Kerf: .041" - 1.0mm. (I'm not sure why it is variable. That looks pretty exact to me :). )
Backing: .024" - .6mm
Given the pretty thick backing, it is hard to imagine that you could make them as thin a kerf as some bi-metal blades. Also, even a 1.0mm thick carbide is fragile as heck. You may have to put up with slower speed and more blade changes and sharpening. But if kerf size is no issue, carbide bandsaw blades are a godsend on small bandsaws and eat lumber like nothing on larger ones. I used one on a 14" delta with a riser. It felt like a different saw was well worth the 140 or so back when I bought it.
 
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Any experiences with removing tension on a unused blade to extend life (the blade)?
Doing that will require a sign that reminds one to pull the tension up before use.
 
dscipio -I think i will probably end up with the carbide resaw band that you and scsmith mention. Width decison pending.
However, when time permits, i will probably use Richard's bi-metallics to resaw some QS redwood and cedar to test the market. :)
There is ("relatively") a fair amount of that here and it is not particularly tough on blades. Like Richard, or maybe from Richards example, i've come to understand that some of the "weird" material, much in QS, that i saved over the years is more valuable for musical instrument tonewoods, than as flooring. :)

In the meantime, hoping that mention will not jinx the schedule, word was received a couple days ago that a crew i used to work with in DC is coming up in about a week, with flooring & supplies, to install in the DR and billiard rooms here. Fortunately i just finished the border materials. Wenge, holly, bloodwood in the simple border that will go in the DR, and surround a more complex border in the billiard room. Mitered wenge corner and splice blocks have satinwood centers. This one ended up a little bit hokey, but it needed to be fast to install, and use up scrap wood from the loft. The holly is mostly QS but has drying stain.

DSC_0474.JPGDSC_0477.JPGDSC_0489.JPG

The basket weave design is one i replicated in Al Gores former office at the White House when the original was inadvertantly destroyed during upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems. That original utilized mahogany blocks. I used Tasmanian myrtle for our floor because i never figured out what else to do with it, & it's a lot more durable than mahogany. (Though possibly less stable) The original also had more complex borders around it, as well. I want to keep it simple, and have not completely resolved the arrangement or color of the long dividing strips. Beech, apple (Thanks, Richard!) ebony, and Tas. myrtle.
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Any experiences with removing tension on a unused blade to extend life (the blade)?
Doing that will require a sign that reminds one to pull the tension up before use.

I always like the later model heavy frame J A Fay & Egan saws for that - just lift the strain weight & prop the lever arm. (No springs) Almost a perfect system, and well balanced. I have the American Saw Mill Machinery saws & a 36"/7.5 belt drive Tannewitz project mouldering on the back lot, but never scored an F & E.
 
dscipio -I think i will probably end up with the carbide resaw band that you and scsmith mention. Width decison pending.
However, when time permits, i will probably use Richard's bi-metallics to resaw some QS redwood and cedar to test the market. :)
There is ("relatively") a fair amount of that here and it is not particularly tough on blades. Like Richard, or maybe from Richards example, i've come to understand that some of the "weird" material, much in QS, that i saved over the years is more valuable for musical instrument tonewoods, than as flooring. :)

In the meantime, hoping that mention will not jinx the schedule, word was received a couple days ago that a crew i used to work with in DC is coming up in about a week, with flooring & supplies, to install in the DR and billiard rooms here. Fortunately i just finished the border materials. Wenge, holly, bloodwood in the simple border that will go in the DR, and surround a more complex border in the billiard room. Mitered wenge corner and splice blocks have satinwood centers. This one ended up a little bit hokey, but it needed to be fast to install, and use up scrap wood from the loft. The holly is mostly QS but has drying stain.

View attachment 417962View attachment 417963View attachment 417964

The basket weave design is one i replicated in Al Gores former office at the White House when the original was inadvertantly destroyed during upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems. That original utilized mahogany blocks. I used Tasmanian myrtle, it's a lot more durable. (Though possibly less stable) The original also had more complex borders around it, as well. I want to keep it simple, and have not completely resolved the arrangement or color of the long dividing strips. Beech, apple (Thanks, Richard!) ebony, and Tas. myrtle.
View attachment 417965View attachment 417966View attachment 417967
You know, I never removed the blade tension on my measly 14" and saw no ill effects. (punny ay?] saw...got it, oh forget it) It still cut the same. It is not a glowing endorsement of anything, but I felt it made no difference, and tweaking it every time seemed like a pain.
 
That basketweave border is awesome!!

Thank you!
I started to post actual construction photos of restoring the original and got cold feet. Don't want men in dark suits to take my toaster yet.

If you can navigate this, https://artsandculture.google.com/s...building-the-white-house/6QVh0RWsaoFSJg?hl=en
It is barely/faintly seen in the RH upper corner in front of a door in the Secretary of War suite first photo. (The room with the portrait of Geo Washington over the fireplace mantel supported by caryatids).
In the photo, it has a much more visible Maple/Oak/Cherry dentil pattern surrounding the dark basket weave. I do not have time or want to dedicate the materials to add the dentil feature here though it is striking.
I made probably 20% of that floor, both field parquets and borders; & installed a lot of it after the original was destroyed by the demolition team in a construction mis-interpretation. I made & installed the entire floor in room 230B after it was inadvertently taken to the landfill during the same construction mishap by the demo team mentioned above. After the infamous fire, i participated in taking up, cataloguing, and relaying the entire Ceremonial Office of the Vice President of the USA floor & made replacement parts. Much of that floor was actually replaced/replicated during the Reagan years, but there is still a lot of original 1870's DNA here and there, especially at one end that did not get a lot of wear.

These original and replica floors were all T & G. Some were M & T + T & G.

What this has to do with the bandsaw blades is i have resawn most of the lumber for my floors above from 6/4 & 8/4 lumber, and the Tas. myrtle killed 3 bandsaw blades in short order. The bloodwood was little kinder. Mentioning this venture to others was where i also learned peripherally, that a lot of the lumber could be used by luthiers. If it is resawn wide and thin.

smt
 
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Thank you!
I started to post actual construction photos of restoring the original and got cold feet. Don't want men in dark suits to take my toaster yet.

If you can navigate this, https://artsandculture.google.com/s...building-the-white-house/6QVh0RWsaoFSJg?hl=en
It is barely/faintly seen in the RH upper corner in front of a door in the Secretary of War suite first photo. (The room with the portrait of Geo Washington over the fireplace mantel supported by caryatids).
In the photo, it has a much more visible Maple/Oak/Cherry dentil pattern surrounding the dark basket weave. I do not have time or want to dedicate the materials to add the dentil feature here though it is striking.
I made probably 20% of that floor, both field parquets and borders; & installed a lot of it after the original was destroyed by the demolition team in a construction mis-interpretation. I made & installed the entire floor in room 230B after it was inadvertently taken to the landfill during the same construction mishap by the demo team mentioned above. After the infamous fire, i participated in taking up, cataloguing, and relaying the entire Ceremonial Office of the Vice President of the USA floor & made replacement parts. Much of that floor was actually replaced/replicated during the Reagan years, but there is still a lot of original 1870's DNA here and there, especially at one end that did not get a lot of wear.

These original and replica floors were all T & G. Some were M & T + T & G.

What this has to do with the bandsaw blades is i have resawn most of the lumber for my floors above from 6/4 & 8/4 lumber, and the Tas. myrtle killed 3 bandsaw blades in short order. The bloodwood was little kinder. Mentioning this venture to others was where i also learned peripherally, that a lot of the lumber could be used by luthiers. If it is resawn wide and thin.

smt
I'm not sure I can comprehend how it must be for you to go through Washington, look at things, and say, yeah, I did that, too. Very few can comprehend. BTW, it is cool that a sawdust maker of your caliber has plywood floors :). Priorities...
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BTW, it is cool that a sawdust maker of your caliber has plywood floors :). Priorities...

:)

The original floors in this ca 1900 4-square farmhouse are T & G red pine directly on to the joists. (no subfloor).
Sanded thin by PO's, there are cracks & separations everywhere that allow views to the cellar when the lights are on down there, and cold drafts back up during the winter. The 3/4" plywood was added this fall, as insulation, and as prep for the new hardwood floor.

smt
 
Put up a warning sign before entering the wood floor room.
"All ladies with high heels who enter this room are endangering their lives with eminent threat. Remove your heels"
 
...I want to keep it simple, and have not completely resolved the arrangement or color of the long dividing strips. Beech, apple (Thanks, Richard!) ebony, and Tas. myrtle.
View attachment 417965

Stephen,
Only you would describe a basketweave border assembled from four different woods, two of which I would consider exotics as keeping it simple.
Or do you mean simple compared to the inlays and detail work on the pool table and cues?
Andrew
 
Andrew -
simple compared to the one in DC that inspired it. :)

This floor will be something of a mash-up.
The primary floor pattern that is being delivered and installed by my old work buddies (if talking about it has not jinxed things) is Fontainebleu in rift red oak. I'd rather QS white oak, & used to picture a simpler, but tromp l'oeil geometric. Like one of the ones that looks like you are going to fall in a hole, or need to step up on a step. . OTOH, the provenance and the bonhomie of this one are unbeatable. The central section will be laid on a rectangular grid. Outside the borders that fill in to the walls, the same pattern will be used, but sawn to place on the diagonal. Unless i change my mind and just fill in with strip.

Fingers crossed for next weekend.

smt
 
Friday a week ago, my buddies from Maryland came up and stayed over night.
Saturday we had a big breakfast and were hard at work by the ungodly early hour of 8:30 or so. :)
In the past we spent years on jobs getting up at 4 or 4:30 am, driving to meet one or the other of us depending on the specific job location, and then meeting in a building somewhere in DC ready to go through security and start before 6 AM. So in my dotage, this was a nice reprieve.

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By 6:30 PM we had all had enough of working & my wife's cooking was causing us all to lose focus.
Field was installed in both rooms, and most of the borders. In the dining room, even most of the diagonal perimeter parquets were in place.
See notes further down about closing the basket weave left out in this picture.
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I spent this week tidying up, filling in the basket weave, and catching loose details.

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For instance, the basket weave is only loosely predictable. So i prep it in sections that will start in true corners and work toward the middle of each run. To close, the cheap way is to make a "feature" and run the basket weave up to that separate installation, sized so the standard basketweave components work without trimming. The other way which i prefer, is to leave a "useful" run of missing pieces, calculate what the actual size should be to close, and then either trim existing, or make an additional small batch of over size blocks. If the sizes will be close to nominal, then it is easiest to make them all the same. The runners will be N length + an increment by the standard width. The crossways blocks will be standard length, by N width + the increment. (or shorter by the same ratio.) If the difference is going to be "large" you can do a refinement, and adjust the blocks incrementally (fade-in or fade-out). Either way, *if* anyone can actually tell that there is a difference, it looks intriguing. When it is within about +/- 3/16" or so, very few can tell what you are on about even when you try to show it..

The "shiny" stuff is clear packing tape. This has been industry standard for custom parquets for a few decades already. It will shred off when sanding commences. I have a lot of other work to do in the room including mouldings, and it is a good idea to let a floor acclimate, though on paying jobs there is never time. This floor will probably not get sanded and finished until spring.

The parquets are traditional Fontainebleau pattern. Originally used when floor patterns had to be structural, it was designed for use in Versailles, and hence became popular worldwide because it offered strength in the physical fabrication, and metaphysical reference to imperial luxe. As noted in a previous post, neither red oak nor the pattern were high on my list. I had planned simple white oak1 ft squares laid in a checkerboard as i've made acres of for government buildings. But these were left over from the floor restoration/replacement at USNA Memorial Hall a few years ago. Since the company owner made them available to me and everyone offered to deliver and install them, it was a no brainer. The adventure alone was impossible to beat for me. The Memorial Hall installation included additional mitered pickets between each parquet. I chose not to use the dividing pickets because the size was already large for these rooms, I wanted to use full parquets in the field to simplify installation. The extra width with pickets would have screwed up the border placement.

Moving outward from the red oak field parquets, the woods are apple (thank you Richard Newman!), beech on both sides of the basket weave, beech dentils in the basket weave which includes Tasmanian myrtle blocks & ebony squares. Then the outer border is wenge & sap stained holly with bloodwood diamonds. The small mitered feature & corner blocks used to avoid mitering during installation include satinwood squares. Red oak parquets on the diagonal complete the perimeter to the walls.

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Stephen, that looks great! Thanks for the photos! So glad you found a use for the apple, didn't know what to do with it.

Gotta wonder what people will think decades from now when they discover this amazing floor in an otherwise ordinary house in western NY.
 








 
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