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When to Change a Bandsaw Blade!

If in doubt, get the blade out!!

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Olly Parry-Jones19/04/2010 20:34:11
2776 forum posts
636 photos
Hi guys,
I was making a couple of 'quick' cuts in some oak this morning on my bandsaw when this happened:

Over the weekend, I was resawing a load of oak which I think pretty much knackered the blade I was using. It was running perfectly when I started but, by this morning, it was jumping back and forth; banging against my thrust bearing!
The only reason it was able to do this (I'm glad I'm not 7ft tall!!) is because there's a large slot up there which allows the top wheel to stick out the top when you're tensioning a wide blade (the wheel moves up).

Disastrously, that blade wasn't the only thing to come flying out of my saw...

It stripped the tyre off, cleanly, which also broke about 12in away from the scarf joint!! I'm going to have to find a replacement tyre.
You can also see, below, that the blade didn't snap on the weld, as I usually would have expected. The break was nearly 3in away from the weld but, regardless; when I first noticed the erratic performance of the blade, I should've replaced it as I knew full well what could happen next.

 I was really pushing my luck, only needing to make "one last cut" and all that... :-P At worst, I was expecting to have to buy a new blade (plus a spare). Now, I'm looking at buying a new tyre, which could cost as much as £50, depending on the adhesive I need to buy.
On a more light-hearted note...
On top of my machine, I keep a magnetic halogen light (sadly, no longer stocked by Axminster). When the blade went bang, I noticed something jump off from the top of the saw from the corner of my eye. But, I was then distracted by the lethal blade hanging over my head and forgot about it until this evening - can you spot it below? :-D

One giant-leap for light-kind....
(It's on top of the green MDF - that's quite some distance!)
 From now on, I think it will be better off clamped directly on to the post behind the blade guard, as below:

So, if ever you're noticing the tell-tale signs of an imminent blade break, do not hesitate to switch off, isolate, and get that blade away from your machine! I took a chance today and, although no harm was done to my health, my saw is now out of action for several days and I'll have to fork out some cash.
Thanks for reading,
My blog:
Ron Davis19/04/2010 22:38:40
1619 forum posts
201 photos
Sparky19/04/2010 23:23:44
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Crikey Olly you were lucky...........could of been a trip to the hairdresser to get the other side of your head trimmed up!
Good luck and thanks for sharing.
Ralph Harvey20/04/2010 00:03:34
3274 forum posts
315 photos
2 articles
Sorry to hear of your problem Olly
Looks like you were lucky not to be off to the hospital with that one ?
like Ron says Ouch !
Ron Davis20/04/2010 20:25:13
1619 forum posts
201 photos
I have been thinking about this and I think that the blade did not break first, I reckon that the jumping and banging you had was the tyre going and that broke the blade, so it looks as if you would be forking ot for a tyre any way.
The moral of this is of course, as you say,  if any machine sounds or behaves in an unusual way, stop the blighter and find out why
Doug20/04/2010 20:50:47
3415 forum posts
35 photos
I told you them bandsaws were trouble Olly 
Get yourself a nice old cast iron table saw mate   Wadkin are a good make.
joking aside, thankfully you`re still in one piece & that`s all that really matters.
Ps, Ron`s just said exactly what i was thinking when i read your post. 
Derek Lane23/04/2010 15:33:16
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
Glad you are OK OPJ These things sure can bite luckily not this time. Like what has been said if in doubt chuck it out. Hope you are up and running soon
Ron Davis23/04/2010 20:31:07
1619 forum posts
201 photos
I have just discovered one of life immutable laws.
If you change your bandsaw blade because it is blunt, and hang it on the wall for six months, when you put it back on, it is still blunt!
Change 'em and chuck 'em
Olly Parry-Jones24/04/2010 10:03:36
2776 forum posts
636 photos
Thanks for all your replies, everyone.
Ron, you could be right... I bought this saw second-hand a few months ago and the seller made me aware that there was some damage to the front edge of the tyre (it happened when a wide blade snapped while tracked with the teeth just overhanging the front edge). To me, the tyre still felt secure but, with those existing gouges and the heat build-up from the worn blade, it may have been enough to loosen the bond (although, Startrite are adamant that these tyres should last between twenty to thirty years).
I'm certain I would've avoided this by swapping the blade earlier, though and, as I have a saw that will happily take a 30mm wide blade, using a better blade than a 1/2" for deep-ripping!
On Tuesday, I ordered a 2m length of rubber-cork tyre from Scott & Sergeant which arrived at 8am the next day. Including the pot of glue, delivery and VAT, it did come to more than £50... Startrite also got back to me and said they could offer a brand new wheel from a scrapped machine but, that still would've cost double what I've payed (£100 ~ about half the normal price, plus shipping etc.!) and I'd have to scrap the old wheel.
After a bit of trial and error, I did manage to fit the new tyre on Wednesday and left it in a ratchet strap for the rest of the day. I spent Thursday evening truing it up with a block of 60g abrasive paper, adding the camber and it's looking very good!
I've been told that one advantage of these cork tyres is that, unlike standard rubber, they won't dull the teeth on one side of the blade (and also, you can easily shape them yourself, as I mentioned earlier).
In the next couple of days, I aim to give it a proper runout (with a brand new blade!!) just to see that it still works alright. But, so far, I'm very happy.
Ron Davis24/04/2010 14:30:13
1619 forum posts
201 photos
Well done, Olly surprising what they want for bits, I wouldnt want to build a new machine from parts!

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