Choosing the right blades for Balsa wood.


I will be using my band saw for balsa and very thin Birch plywood (1/16" and possibly thinner). Can anyone recommend a blade for this type of work that will leave a smooth finish and will not leave the ply with chipped edges?
Thanks in advance,
Gene
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Why band versus scroll? With scrollsaws you have blades with opposing teeth to make splinter-resisting cuts. Only reason to go band would be material thicker than scroll will handle.
Best bet with a bandsaw would be to make as close to a zero clearance insert as possible. Then try to find a suitable width blade with skip tooth rather than set tooth design.
Oh yes, don't curse your dust collector when you put in the zero clearance insert. It doesn't get much of a chance at the dust.
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Hog Head wrote:

Back when I was building big model airplanes, I used a 1/8" 14-16 TPI blade on those materials. You'll still need to sand a bit. If you're cutting straighter stuff, you can look for a wider blade than 1/8". The airplane parts were mostly curved.
To prevent chipout, make sure the table insert around the blade is as close to the blade as possible. Make new ones from thin plywood, if necessary.
These guys have excellent prices on 1/8" x 14T Olson blades: <http://www.ballewtools.com/
Have fun, Barry
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Hog Head wrote: > I will be using my band saw for balsa and very thin Birch plywood > (1/16" and possibly thinner). Can anyone recommend a blade for this > type of work that will leave a smooth finish and will not leave the > ply with chipped edges? > Back when I was building big model airplanes, I used a 1/8" 14-16 TPI
blade on those materials. You'll still need to sand a bit. If you're
cutting straighter stuff, you can look for a wider blade than 1/8". The airplane parts were mostly curved.
To prevent chipout, make sure the table insert around the blade is as
close to the blade as possible. Make new ones from thin plywood, if necessary.
These guys have excellent prices on 1/8" x 14T Olson blades: <http://www.ballewtools.com/
Have fun, Barry[/quote:28c9fb8307]
Barry
I have seen 18, 24 & 32 pitch blades. Are these for wood or metal?
Thanks, Gene

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Hog Head wrote:

Probably metal.
Also meaningful with tooth count is the set and shape of the teeth. Metal cutting blades usually have much less set, so they cut a thinner kerf.
Too thin a kerf along with too many teeth will burn wood, and balsa burns really easy.
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I use an 18 TPI metalcutting blade for balsa & plywood. Works fine, with no tearout but some sanding req'd. I usually saw a little proud of the line, then disk-sand to the line. I usually cut balsa less than 3/16" thick and plywood less than 1/16" with Xacto knife rather than bandsaw. -Dave
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wrote in message > > I will be using my band saw for balsa and very thin Birch plywood > (1/16" and possibly thinner). Can anyone recommend a blade for this > type of work that will leave a smooth finish and will not leave the > ply with chipped edges? > > Why band versus scroll? With scrollsaws you have blades with opposing teeth to make splinter-resisting cuts. Only reason to go band would be material thicker than scroll will handle.
Best bet with a bandsaw would be to make as close to a zero clearance insert as possible. Then try to find a suitable width blade with skip tooth rather than set tooth design.
Oh yes, don't curse your dust collector when you put in the zero clearance insert. It doesn't get much of a chance at the dust.[/quote:9a9ad90f6f]
The scroll saw would work great for internal lightening of ribs, formers and other aircraft parts. For cutting large pieces for the aircraft it would just be too slow and I believe the band saw would not only be quicker but also easier to use for larger parts.
Thanks, Gene

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Hog Head wrote:

Not to mention thick, curved items, like cowl and cone blanks and stacks of wing ribs.
Barry
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