A band saw is a tool that is necessary for your artillery, whether you are a professional carpenter or just an amateur. This will help you in cutting a wide range of wood varieties. It can cut through many materials like wood, soft plastic, etc.
Causes of blade dullness
There could be several reasons for the band saw blade dullness. It can be due to destructive wood-feeding or materials used for cutting. The materials hurting its teeth are nails or steel screws, etc.
Another reason for the blades losing their potential is the blade is fixed in loose tension. So before getting into a repeated sharpening job, make sure you are following the operating manual properly.
Indications of a dull blade
The indications for a dull blade can be that your blade takes longer than expected, and the edges cut are rough and chipped off. Also, Pieces of sawdust is more extensive than average. The gullet is filled up quicker than average.
This dullness will also result in a deviated wood path. Remember, a dull blade follows the path of the least resistance. Hence you will experience a deflection in its path while operating with blunt blades.
Prerequisites for blade sharpening
Before you finally start sharpening your bandsaw blade. It would help if you gathered some supplies. They are as follows:
◊ Safety gear: This includes wearing safety gloves to avoid painful cuts and a smoother and firmer grip of tools and machines. You should always wear protective glasses to save your eyes from any flying chip pieces.
◊ A good light source and a comfortable chair: Good light will help you focus on the edges more easily. A comfortable chair will make your tedious work pass in a better posture.
◊ An indicator for marking the site of starting: They could be blue masking tape. If it’s not available, you can use a sharpie marker.
◊ Depending upon your requirements and machines, you need to have a sharpening tool: This could be a diamond plate, Water stones, or an oil stone. A Dremel tool is a good choice.
How to Sharpen a Bandsaw Blade – Step-by-step instructions
It is totally upon your discretion to decide whether you want to sharpen the blade while still on the saw or remove it off from it. If you are doing it on the saw, then please make sure that it is unplugged before you start.
After this, mark the starting point with a marking tape or a sharpie marker. This will help you know which tooth you started from. Thus, you are not traveling in a roundabout!
If you are planning to do it manually, you will need a filer. However, if doing it mechanically, you require a Dremel tool. Fix the blade in it. Now you can follow the steps mentioned below.
Step one — Working on the back of the tip:
You start sharpening the back of the blade with a Dremel tool. The direction of the sharpening tooltip is fundamental. While working on the back, please keep it in a slight downward and backward direction starting from the tooth’s top as you approach the tooth’s tip to move it in an outward and upward direction.
In this way, you will remove any carbide layering or stuck wooden or metallic pieces smoothly. This approach will also protect the tooth tip from any damage.
Step two — Work on the underside of the tip:
This is a very delicate step. Suppose you are attempting it with a filer manually. It would be best if you took around filer. However, in case you are working with a Dremel, you can use a small-sized mounted point.
Remember, instead of exposing the tip’s underside for too long to the sharpening filer, give a couple or three delicate touches. They will be enough to serve your purpose.
Step three — Working on the cutting area behind the tip:
This area extends from the middle of the tooth, a thicker part, to the gullet inside. It is a thinner part. It together forms a cutting edge. It is this edge that follows the tooth tip to help in piercing the piece. You file them with a round filer or with simple few touches by the Dremel.
Step four — Working on the gullet area:
This is the area where the sawdust goes while cutting. You can easily clear this area by using the Dremel with a small wire brush. It will clear and clean any impacted grease or any other material chipped in there. You can treat this with some solvent too.
Step five — Alignment of the blade teeth
You may be treating your band saw blade with a Dremel tool or filing it for so long. At times, all this goes into vain if your blade teeth are not correctly aligned. As if some teeth are in front and rest are not in alignment with them.
Resulting in a sharp bite of the front teeth, and the back teeth will do the incomplete or deflected cutting. So what’s the solution. It’s really simple. Just hold your diamond plate or Water stones or oil stone perpendicular to your blade teeth. When your teeth are rubbing against them, those that are not aligned will start getting in line. Finally, all will get aligned.
This sharpening of the blade with alignment will add a new life to your blade.
How many attempts of sharpening before you get a new one?
You can attempt to sharpen your band’s blades saw about 3-4 times before you finally replace it with a new bandsaw blade. But you may have to do it a bit earlier if you cannot manage the sharpening properly.
It is a tedious and a little skillful job. It would be best if you had ample patience, time, and working stamina to go smoothly through each tooth of the blade.
However, this hard work pays you back when your blunt blades rip away anything that comes its way. You can do it manually or mechanically by treating each part of the tooth blade vigilantly. Base requires few delicate touches and no prolonged exposure.