It's the kind you _don't_ see. The fine edges that make the blade sharp are
the ones being pitted and eroded. If it gets so bad you see it on the sides
of the blade, you're sadly neglecting your cleaning. You can control some
of the corrosion by cleaning the teeth with WD40 between uses. Even if you
don't get all the acid-concealing cake off the teeth and gullets, you get a
bit of benefit in the WD -water displacement - category. Plus a smidgen of
lube for the next time you fire up.
You should be able to find washing soda at any decent size grocery store.
Probably won't find it at
Walmart, but your local Kroger et.al. should have it. It also doubles as an
electrolyte if you want
to remove rust by electrolysis.
I agree with Doug on cleaning the blade.
If you're cutting "green" walnut, after cleaning the blade, try spraying
the it with "Pam" (or other brand substitute) cooking spray. It helps
in keeping the build-up off the blade.
One of the worst ways to get drift is to saw close to the actual grain
direction, but not quite. Least resistance.
Might cause sticking or slipping, but hardly drift.
WD40 here. On a cloth, power off, rotating blade in reverse. Walnut is
corrosive, like cherry and oaks, so you want to clean up after each session
and the lube it retains doesn't hurt in sliding through the wood. That
corrosion is a likely cause of blade dulling, along with cutting bark, which
is usually loaded with grit. Commercial operations debark for that reason.
If you've neglected the blade to the point where cloth and solvent won't
work, you can try the brass BBQ brush for caked. Soaking in TSP, washing
soda or any of the other "green" surfactants will probably work, too, but it
involves a lot of extra time and effort.
I buy pretty good quality blades, made up at a local saw shop.. If I'm cutting
dry wood for pen blanks or kiln dried and FLAT wood for bowl blanks, they seem
to last forever...
OTOH, cutting green wood usually beats them up pretty fast... my guess is
because not only does the green wood drag more, which heats the blade, but you
get more twists and binds because the surface resting on the table is not going
to be real flat and square..
I think that if I cut 160 feet of 5" stock with the same blade, I'd feel pretty
good about it... YMWV
Usually the first sign that my blade is not sharp anymore is wander... much like
a drill bit that is clogged or dull will wander on a deep hole...
I think that instead of cutting what you put in front of it, it tends to follow
grain or stress patterns or something, what ever the "point of least resistance"
is.. (just a WAG)
You can try tension, guides, etc. but I bet the blade is dull.
Everybody raves about Timberwolf blades, but I am totally unimpressed.
I switched to a Lenox bimetal blade (1/2", 4 tpi) and it lasts MUCH
longer (10x?) . You can buy it from Iturra Designs or carbide.com.
Another consideration is that heat totally destroys the carbon steel
blades. (As I understand it, "silicon steel" is essentially the same
as carbon steel.) If you pushed too fast and got burning, etc. that
can wipe out the blade instantly. Also, if the tracking was off and
the blade ever came off and hit the guards, that can destroy it.
Make sure you're minimizing cutting through bark; better yet, remove the
bark entirely. Watch out about tensioning with the TimberWolf blade, it
is a low tension blade, read their instructions carefully.
I can usually tell by just feeling the teeth and looking at the blade.
I think the belt could be dull especially if the wood was not that
Are you using a straight fence, doing free hand or using a resaw type
I found that when I used delta blades or even olson, 160' would have
used at least one or maybe more blades.
It's possible that there is something amiss with your setup (blade tension,
drift angle, technique, etc.) that was being masked by the sharp blade. But,
once the newness of the edge wore off and the blade became only semi-sharp,
these problems became apparent. Just a guess on my part here.
I just wanted to add that,according to Mark Duginske, while carbide-toothed
blades are 10 times more expensive, they last 50 times longer. Most people
think carbide bandsaw blades are more expensive, but they're actually much
cheaper in the long run. For the price of a new timberwolf blade, I can get
my carbide blade re-sharpened and then it lasts a long time...again.
I have a Laguna wood slicer (think that's what it's called) and it's fine.
Lenox makes a good blade too if your interested. Both are in the $200 range
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