Table Saw Blade Question

At a recent woodworking show in Detroit I watched a Oldham rep demonstrating their top of the line table saw blade. He was cutting some very thin slices, about 1/16", from a variety of wood samples, melamine and even Corian. The finish of the cut surfaces was extremely smooth with a slight burnished effect which may have been brought about by the slow feed rate. The rep also gave credit to their blade stabilizer for the fine performance. The blade stabilizer was a single piece, about 4 inches in diameter, having an o-ring located in it. The o-ring was about 1/8" thick and about 3 inches in diameter. Only one blade stabilizer is used against the blade and a regular washer is on the other side of the blade. I'm guessing this may tend to "cup" the blade slightly to the regular washer.
One of the more impressive cuts made was a rip through a 10 inch length of cherry. Half-way through the cut the rep stops pushing the cherry into the blade and launches into a short monologue about how hard cherry is to cut without burning. His hands are waving in the air but I'm watching the piece of cherry with the blade spinning inside it—and it's not moving. The cut is finished and there is no burning on the cherry and only a slight more burnishing where the cut was interrupted. This was no fancy cabinet saw he was using either (probably wouldn't want to drag one around the country) but appeared to be a smaller contractor-grade saw on a wooded platform.
Being slightly skeptical, I gotta wonder what else is going on here that I don't know about—or is this blade/stabilizer combo this good. What say you?
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dustin pockets wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Haven't used one in years, but Oldham's Signature blades were good quality and cut smoothly. I went to buy one last month and found that the local stores have replaced the line with <gulp> Irwin & Dewalt. In fact, Grizzly is the only place I know of anymore.
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Don't know about the specific Oldham blade demonstrated, the saw it was demonstrated on, or the ethics of the rep demonstrating it, but back when I used to do alot of trade shows, I got to know a rep doing a similar demo. I asked about the bench top saw he was using, and how well it was cutting. He said there was nothing "stock" about the saw. They had basically taken every component from an ordinary saw and reworked it - upgraded bearings, balanced, redesigned, etc. He said they did that so that customers would think that the blades would make their saws cut as well. (surprise, surprise). Of course for many folks, the high priced blades were a big improvement, but the results demonstrated at the show were largely unobtainable for most folks.
Jim Ray, President McFeely's Square Drive Screws www.mcfeelys.com
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While I am partial to Forrest, I have seen that Oldham demo also and agree that it is a pretty good blade. But, like a vacuum cleaner salesman he is there to sell a product and will set the stage to show off the products advantages and hide the saws disadvantages.
A good cut is dependent on a fence being STRAIGHT and the stock being STRAIGHT.
First off, when I watched the demo he did not do this with a board that was longer than the rip fence of the saw. The trick he was showing was using a relative short piece of stock. Short pieces of stock tent to be straighter than say a 4' or longer piece of stock that is more commonly used in normal use. Also a less than perfectly straight fence will yield better results with shorter pieces of stock like the 10" piece that you were looking at, than with longer boards.
If you use straight short pieces of wood all the time, IMHO most any good blade will yield similar results. I seriously doubt that any demonstration would yield the wow effect you and I have witnessed with the common TS and the common longer board.
The key to getting those results are to have your saw set up properly and to use "perfectly" straight stock along with using a good blade.

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I don't have that Oldham blade, but I have not trouble making 1/16" by 1/16" pieces, generally from holly and ebony for inlay.
With almost any really good blade, Forrest, Freud, Amana, whatever, and a well tuned saw (whcih really does not take all that long, if you knwo what to do), you should be able to rip perfectly. Ripping is what a table saw DOES.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (DarylRos) writes:

With my fathers Metabo saw and a Gudo blade that's also no problem!
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Make that "Guhdo"... They also sell table saw blades with polycrystalline diamond tips, for furniture factories where the time to change blades for sharpening really consts seroius money...
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
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Those blade demonstration saws are like finely crafted and tuned Swiss watches ... I doubt seriously that you could buy one, but would have to build it from the ground up instead.
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Swingman wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Well, there is THAT too... I meant to comment on the 'lack of vibration' part, but dimissed it in lieu of the brief blade commentary...
Greg
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About 4 years ago I was in the market for a new blade and was thinking about buying a Forrest when the woodworkers show came to town. Well, I saw the same demo you did, probably the same saw and same guy, and decided to buy the Oldham instead. At that time the top of the line Oldham was called the "Wizard Elite" It came with the stabilizer also, but it did not have any O ring, just a machined steel disk that installed on the threaded side of the arbor. The blade worked for me every bit as good as the demo indicated it would. At some point I removed the stabilizer because I needed the additional depth of cut, and couldn't really see any difference, so I never reinstalled it.
About a year ago, I thought it was time to have the blade sharpened, plus I wanted a full 1/8" regular kerf blade, so I did finally purchase a Forrest WWII. IMO the Oldham, when new, cut just as well as the Forrest. (I did have the Oldham sharpened, but it will probably just sit in the drawer until I need to have the Forrest sharpened)
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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A well tuned saw can make a good blade excellent. Surprisingly enough, the Delta combo blade I got with my Unisaw a couple of years back will also give the WWII a run for its money. It's what I went back to when I sent in the Forrest for sharpening recently.
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Swingman wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Funny you should mention that. I bought a Dewalt blade last year, thinking that it would be better than the 'crappy' Delta OEM blade. Had trouble with cuts being skewed kinda funny. Aligned the saw till I was blue in the face. Out of desperation, I reinstalled the Delta blade and - voila - no more strange cuts. Thing actually cuts pretty well, and has held an edge well. I ripped 280 feet of sappy SYP in one session - and it still cuts well.
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SYP?? You still cutting on that stuff ... don't they have any _real_ wood over there in GA?
;>)
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Swingman thus spake:

Man, this post just showed up!
Yea, still cutting it occasionally. It was for a 72 x 32 x 2 1/4" workbench top a while back. Finished with Tung Oil, it actually looks quite good. Not like the crappy looking SPF stuff. Even though I have overhauled a Ford 4R70W transmission on it, and innumerable woodworking projects, I STILL marvel at how nice it looks when freshly oiled. I posted a picture of it last year in abpw.
I use poplar more often these days. The carpet bagging developers haven't left much wood to work with. Since we're so shy of it here, why not send me some native Texas wood? How about some nice native mesquite for accents? ;-)
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Swingman wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Funny you should mention that. I bought a Dewalt blade last year, thinking that it would be better than the 'crappy' Delta OEM blade. Had trouble with cuts being skewed kinda funny. Aligned the saw till I was blue in the face. Out of desperation, I reinstalled the Delta blade and - voila - no more strange cuts. Thing actually cuts pretty well, and has held an edge well. I ripped 280 feet of sappy SYP in one session - and it still cuts well.
Greg G.
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (dustin pockets) writes:

I'd have asked him to perform the same demo WITHOUT the stabilizer and a "standard" blade to show the difference!
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News to me about the saws used in the demo being fined-tuned machines - but it makes sense. (Wondering a little how "tuned" they'd stay given the rigors of moving from show to show to show.)
The Oldham Signature blade series comes in a couple of flavors. One for about $80 available from thewoodworkerschoice.com scored very well in a FWW blade test. Only bested by the WWII.
Lowes used to carry a $40 version of that Oldham Signature blade. Outward appearances we such that they seemed identical. Only the product number was the give away that the Lowes flavor wasn't the same one tested by FWW. That said - the Lowes flavor cut pretty well in my saw. I bought two and find them comparable to a Freud I have.
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