Saw Blade: value of flat?

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In a previous thread on saw sharpening the discussion turned to using circular blades and some comments about not sharpening them as it wasn't cost effective. And this leads to my question.
I'm a hobbyist WW with a contractor saw. Awhile back I bought a 40 tooth Oldham blade for it. It worked well for me so I got another for $40 as a backup assuming I would be sending the original out for sharpening. Well I put the new one on the saw and the first cut trimmed off my wooden miter fence. Runout one the new blade was 0.020 inches (about ten times what the old one is).. So that one went back. I then got a WWII. On my saw runout is virtually the same with the WWII and the old Oldham. To recondition the Olham (one new tooth, postage, etc) at Forrest will cost $40. At this point I have only made a few cuts with the WWII. The Oldham is twice as loud but I was happy the smoothness of cuts. Is it worth sending the Oldham out? On one hand why would I spend $40 to recondition a $40 blade? On the other hand can I get a blade as flat as my WWII for $40?
So is there value of a flat blade?
TIA, Bob
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Buying $40 blades is a bit of a crap shoot, as you can see. Good sharpening services will equal or better the quality of the blade you send them. These guys are less than the price you mentioned. http://www.ridgecarbidetool.com/sharpening.php?osCsid#c4f4b0ef38e7c7ea623b8bf9fe4ae8
I was going to replace the factory blade from my DeWalt miter saw but when it came back from Ridge, it was better than new.
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Ed, are you saying your DeWalt blade came back better than new? If so, was it a good one to begin with or the one that came on the saw?
Would you mind some details? What size blade, how many teeth, and what tooth set? And of course, what it cost from Ridge? I have seen their name brought up here many times, but never have used them.
We have some great sharpening services here for planer blades and really large saw blades of all types, but nothing for smaller (12" and under) circular blades.
Robert
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It was the original that came on my 12" DeWalt. I'm not sure of the set, whatever the stock blade is and 60T. It was OK when new so I figured when it needed sharpening I'd replace it. I lent the saw to a friend so he could cut some laminate flooring, not worried that the blade would be dull when returned. He insisted on paying to have it sharpened so I sent it to Ridge Carbide. It was dull too, burning a 2 x 4 I tried to cut with it. It came back so much better than when new, I have no intention of replacing it. http://www.ridgecarbidetool.com/sharpening.php?osCsid#c4f4b0ef38e7c7ea623b8bf9fe4ae8
It was $17 plus shipping. Far better than the $100+ I planned to spend on a new blade. I send two Freud blades also and they came back as good as new. IIRC, it was about a week from door to door.
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Wow! Thanks, Ed. I appreciate the post. At those prices it would indeed make sense to sharpen even some of my mediocre blades.
For a "pretty good" blade these days you will be in the $75 range, so sharpening a good one makes sense at those prices.
Thanks for the link, too.
Robert
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"Ed Pawlowski" wrote:

SFWIW, here in SoCal, had 3 blades (24T, 50T, 80T) sharpened by a service using a computer controlled Swiss made, sharpen machine, during 2008.
Less than $15/blade.
Replacement carbide tips, if req'd, would be additional.
Lew
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Last year I had a local service sharpen the Ridgid 12" 90-tooth side-polishing blade from my miter saw. My cow-orker had used it to cut a nail, and it was smoking when I cut pine crown molding.
I paid $20.80 to sharpen the $80.00 blade. Next time I'll just buy a new blade. They didn't do a good job on the side-polishing teeth, even though I pointed out the feature, and now I get circles on the ends of boards. The ends were previously glass-smooth.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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Lew, Where do you get the blades sharpened?
Thanks, Steve
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"Hammer Hands" wrote:

Anderson Saw Sharpening 12715 Daphne Hawthorne <V>323-779-9911
Lew
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Many Thanks!!
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keep the good oldham as a backup when you send out the WWII for sharpening. I think that over time, you will like the WWII more and more - especially if you use it for edge jointing for gluing panels.
shelly
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Good advise and also use the Oldham when cutting questionable material.
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I too have a contractors saw, an oldham, and a WWII. Is your WWII a thin kerf? I have the thick kerf WWII and hardly ever use it because of excessive burning and very slow cutting speed. I also have a thin kerf Freud and it cuts fast and smooth with zero burning. The oldham is almost thin lerk (3.5/32"). I had ordered the thin WWII, but amazon sent me the thick, and I decided to keep it. Perhaps I can sell it...
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I too have a contractors saw, an oldham, and a WWII. Is your WWII a thin kerf? I have the thick kerf WWII and hardly ever use it because of excessive burning and very slow cutting speed. I also have a thin kerf Freud and it cuts fast and smooth with zero burning.
************************************************
Sounds like you got a lemon. I'd send it to Forrest for adjustments.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I second that.
I had a full kerf WWII on my old Jet CS and it cut well.
Forrest is outstanding with service. They reflattened a Chopmaster for free for me. I fessed up that _I_ had gotten it stuck in maple and requested a quote for reflattening costs.
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wrote in message

Every time I send my Forrest back to Forrest it goes with instructions to bring it back to factory specs. Please contact me if repairs will exceed $50. The bill has not ever been over $28 including return shipping.
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I too have a contractors saw, an oldham, and a WWII. Is your WWII a thin kerf? I have the thick kerf WWII and hardly ever use it because of excessive burning and very slow cutting speed. I also have a thin kerf Freud and it cuts fast and smooth with zero burning. The oldham is almost thin lerk (3.5/32"). I had ordered the thin WWII, but amazon sent me the thick, and I decided to keep it. Perhaps I can sell it...
It really sounds like your saw may need to be better set up. I use nothing but thick kerf even when I was using a 1 hp Craftsman. Burning was never an issue. A premium quality and sharp blade should not burn.
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I have a cheap (200$) Hitachi contractors from lowes (you can stop laughing). It's a pain, but it does the job. I have a 30 tooth, thin kerf WWII, with a forrest stabiliser. I was able to edge-joint 1" oak for making steps. If I did the cuts well, the pieces fit together perfectly.
A thin kerf should help, but there must be some other issue with the full kerf WWII.
shelly
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I too have a contractors saw, an oldham, and a WWII. Is your WWII a thin kerf? I have the thick kerf WWII and hardly ever use it because of excessive burning and very slow cutting speed. I also have a thin kerf Freud and it cuts fast and smooth with zero burning. The oldham is almost thin lerk (3.5/32"). I had ordered the thin WWII, but amazon sent me the thick, and I decided to keep it. Perhaps I can sell it...
=====Have you checked that the fence is parallel with the blade? I just squared out and trued up everything on the saw tonight, the first time in maybe 6 years. I'm more than a little amazed at how far the miter gauge slots can migrate in cast iron. It was pinching about .015" in 8" on the left slot. If you've had a kickback or two since the last time you checked, it's probably time. The trunion bolts on contractor saws don't hold at all well against shock loads.
I use a thin kerf WWII for everything. It doesn't burn at all when the saw is setup right. I would expect the 1/8" blade to cut even better, if anything.
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Is there value of a flat blade? What exactly are you asking there? Is there value in having a flat blade? ABSOLUTELY. Is there value in flattening a cheap blade? Some.. Typically a good blade is flat and will stay flat. A cheap blade is more likely to warp from heat build up. Is it worth $40 to tune up and sharpen a $40 blade? Maybe if you damaged the blade and it was fine up until that point. A cheap blade will typically have much smaller chunks of carbide and lesser quality carbide. They will dull more quickly and cannot be resharpened as many times as a more expensive higher quality blade. The important question is, will the blade stay flat under normal use or will you be having to reflatten it often? If the blade has to be reflattened 2 times more often that a premium quality blade, IMHO, NO it not worth the repair bill. If the brand new blade was not flat to begin with, I would think about seeking a better quality blade. You were probably lucky with the first one. A blade that simply cuts good and fast is not necessarily good for better wood working, it needs to cut true and flat also. Consider also, checking run out on your arbor. No blade will typically cut well on an arbor with excessive run out. Also try repositioning a suspect blade 180 degrees on the arbor and see if the situation improves or gets worse. If either happens you probably have a combination of run out problems.
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