Mini Review: Forrest WoodWorker II Blade Lacerates Arm to Bone

Well, not really - bet I made you look, though. Sensationalism sells, just ask the TV newscasters. ;-)
But on a more serious note, I just mounted and tried out my first WoodWorker II 40 tooth, 1/8" kerf tablesaw blade. This is one sharp sucker. I don't think I have ever seen anything other than a scary sharped and stropped chisel that was THIS sharply honed.
Runout on the installed blade is .0008". The carbide is cut exactly to a 1/8" width. The saw plate is heavy and does not resonate coming up to speed like the cheaper blades I own. I inspected each tip weld, and although there was a bit of flux remaining, each weld was very precise with no pitting or slag. Each tooth is side ground behind the carbide, and the teeth are extremely thick. F#%k this thing is sharp. Every tooth was well formed and evenly polished to a razor edge.
This is a blade you *could* cut your finger off with, and never notice till the blood spilled forth. If you use your table saw as an assembly table, you had better be certain you lower the blade each and every time. I'm telling you this is one scary sharp blade. If you drag a knuckle across one of these teeth, you're going to bleed profusely.
Test cuts in poplar, pine, oak and cherry were all impressive. Before testing, I double checked the setup on the saw - everything was spot-on. The first couple of cuts were in poplar and left no tearout that could not be removed with the brush of a fingertip. The face of the cuts were like glass. Next test was a SPF 2x4. Slightly more tearout, but nothing objectionable. Face of cut was like 2000 grit sandpaper and completely flat. Several other blades I own have always left a slight wave to the cut in 2x stock. For the longest time, I though it was slight imperfections in the saw top causing this, so the top was ground flat and the saw was adjusted umpteen times trying to eliminate it before I discovered that it was the fault of the blades. The Oak test was performed on some harvested pin oak I collected last year. No tearout and face like glass. The feed was effortless. The cherry cut was similar, with even less effort than the oak.
I don't know yet how long this kind of performance will hold up, but in this brief session of testing, I'm impressed. I never quite believed all the hoopla over this $100 blade, but I'm fairly convinced now.
The thick carbide means that properly cared for, this blade could last many years - possibly a lifetime for a hobbyist. Every other blade I own, Freud, Delta, and Dewalt have ALL resonated against the zero clearance insert when coming up to speed. This thing just whizzes up to speed without a sound - and the cuts are noticeably quieter as well. All this, and a product that is the result of American labor!
Did I mention how razor sharp this thing is? Definitely Recommended!
Greg G.
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

I like them so much that I have 2 of them. I swap out when one goes back to Forrest for resharpening.
BTY I have what I thought was a good saw sharpening service that I used for years. All computer controlled. I let them try to sharpen a Forrest blade. While it did come back sharp, it did not cut as smoothly. I used it for about 2 weeks and sent it back to Forrest for resharpening and truing. When it came back this time it cut like new. IMHO it is worth the extra few dollars to pay to bring it back to factory specs long with resharpening.
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Leon said:

Yes, that is the general consensus from most here. Believe me, Forrest is where it is going if I ever wear it down. I'm reserving it for the nicer work - while relegating the older blades to ripping 2x4s full of staples. ;-) This blade scares me, it's so fricken sharp!
I'm still anxious to try it out on some sheet goods, and a real project. I was in the shop at 4:00am mounting this thing up, measuring stuff, and lapping a jig base flat. Curiosity got the best of me, and I fired up the saw for the cutting tests. SWMBO is going to kill me - all that racket right under the bedroom makes for some real domestic hostility. ;-)
I've got a 12" CMS that experiences some severe tearout, and am now wondering if one of the Forrest blades would resolve most of it. Even with a backer board and a $65 blade, it still chews up the wood. $150 is a lot of money for a CMS blade, however. I don't use it much for furniture stuff, but I am building an ornate arbor and I would like to minimize the crappy looking cuts if possible. I can't conveniently fit an 8' 2x6 mitered at 18 degrees on the 10" tablesaw, nor a 4x4 post. I'm going to have a difficult enough time wrestling the 4 1/2 foot wide, 3" thick buildup of 2x6s into the bandsaw in order to cut the rounded arbor tops.
Have any experience with their ChopMaster Blades?
Thanks,
Greg G.
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

I am a recent buyer of a forrest 12" chop master blade. Incredible difference. You still get tear out (I don't use a backer board) but it is very minimal. I suspect if I did use a backer board (too much of a pain and I'm lazy), there would probably be no tear out. SH
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Slowhand said:

That is good to know, I figured as much. It's hard NOT to splinter the rear of the wood when it has NO support - even when you cut *very* slowly. Since most CMS work is for general construction work, it not generally an issue. I'm just hesitant to pony up 150 bucks for a premium blade for a glorified framing saw... ;-)
Thanks,
Greg G.
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

Heh heh. I bought mine off ebay for $75. Happy to pay it. SH
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Slowhand said:

I am somewhat hesitant to buy a precision tool off of eBay - unless the cost of the tool and a sharpening and straightening weighed out far less than the new product. There are a lot of hucksters hawking crap on eBay...
Perhaps I should take a look, however - a CMS blade would receive much less use than the TS blade in my little part of the woodworking world.
Greg G.
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

That was kind of my rational. I quizzed the seller and decided he was on the up and up. He had just got it sharpened (once) at Forrest so I knew that it was done right. The blade showed up in perfect condition. Although, I did purchase my two 10" WW2's directly from Forrest during their sales for around $90 if I remember right. Why two? I bought one and sent it in for sharpening and had tool seperation anxiety. Never again! SH
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

I have also have a 12"CMS and also considered putting the 12" Forrest blade on it.
What changed my mind however is that I bought the left and right Dubby cut off sleds. I find that I seldom use the CMS any more now that I can easily and accurately make almost any compound angle cut on the TS that I could with the CMS. I reserve the CMS for rough carpentry work now.
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Leon said:

I have a homemade Dubby clone, but I still can't shove an 8' 4x4 post through the table saw... It only cuts 3" deep. ;-)
For long or oversize stock, a CMS can hardly be beat.
Greg G.
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On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 12:47:36 GMT, "Leon"
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
BUM! So 80% of people are wasting their time buying Forrest after the intial Zing......

***************************************************** I know I am wrong about just about everything. So I am not going to listen when I am told I am wrong about the things I know I am right about.
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vaguely proposed a theory

Huh?
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Yes, they do hold up very well. I've got a WWII on the TS, a WWI on the RAS, and a 7-1/4 WWI on the panel saw. Years ago (maybe 5), I did a comparison of the WWII against a top-of-the-line Freud for crosscutting. Both were new and did a nice job. Visually, they were identical. By touch, no difference. Only by putting samples under a microscope could I clearly see that the WWII did a cleaner cut. Over the years, it's also held up better, and has less runout.
It also seemed to do a better job ripping than a fair-quality rip blade. For general ripping I switch blades, but for short pieces it's easier to leave the WWII in place.
GerryG
On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 08:36:08 -0400, Greg G. wrote:

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Arrrgh, this makes me feel old - my WW II is so old it is called a Mr. Sawdust - I bought it at a woodworking show about 20 years ago when they were called that - same blade as far as I can tell. It has served me well, and it is what got me into combo R + ATB blades that seem very useful. I have some others that also work about the same - A WalkerSaw (no longer in business), and a SystiMatic Budki - all of these are U.S. made blades of the same design. For my CMS I am using a 12" 100 tooth ATB made by FS in Canada. This is a truly fine blade, but is about $200 USD. I had one that was stolen last year so was really happy to find a new one on E**** for $16. I have found that it is not a bad place to watch for blades - I have gotten some nice Freud and Delta 60 tooth ATB crosscut blades for not much $$ - often about what a decent sharpening would cost. Nice to have a selection of blades so you can save the good ones for fine work.
Stephen
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Wooooo you must be really old... I remember going to a WW show in the late 70's and I think I recall it being called a WoodWorker.
But on a lighter note, I suspect it still serves you well.
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Spoefish said:

I remember seeing the ads for Mr. Sawdust blades in Popular Mechanics or some similar publication in my high school library. Ahhh, makes me wax nostalgic...
That is the one shortcoming of the WoodWorker II blade that I have - it doesn't have a raker tooth. It would have been a much more useful blade for tenoning/trim work if they threw a couple raker teeth on it. So now I've got to get a good ATB+R blade...
US Saw used to make a fairly nice, inexpensive blade, but I can't find them anymore - and I honestly don't know how they would compare to the modern Forrest or Freud blades.
I have a few Delta blades, and for the money, they have performed well. They get dull far quicker than I would prefer, but they do seem fairly balanced and the plates run true.
I have a Freud 8" Dado set, and it works pretty well for the $80 paid. Splinters a bit more than a fine blade, but I've gotten a lot of reliable use from it. I've recently wondered what a good sharpening at Forrest would do for it's performance.
The absolute worst blade I have ever used was a Dewault. They may have improved, but the two I received as gifts two or three years ago are *really* bad - even compared to the cheapest Delta blades. I use them to saw through nails... ;-)
Maybe I'll trot over to eBay and see what's available.
Greg G.
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