Been reading some stuff posted to this group about UHMW
Using a band saw, should I use a wood cutting blade instead of metal
cutting blade? Use inserts to make sure the cut doesn't close behind
the blade? Any other cautions?
It looks very useful for my purposes, but of course I don't want it
damaging my tools or injuring me.
I've found that a bandsaw makes a lousy cut - I use a table saw when
ever I can (but for small pieces, the bandsaw is safer, of course.
If you're cutting anything thicker than 2", a small wedge at the back
is a good precaution in case the material does close up after the
cut. I've seen a bansaw balde stopped instantly when the plastic
grabbed it suddenly. Left a kink in the blade that was impossible to
straighten. Black UHMW seems especially bad for that, although I have
seen it on white as well.
The stuff is relatively stable so a splitter isn't really necessary and most
any blade will cut it safely, although a good sharp fine tooth blade will
produce a cleaner cut. It's softer than most wood, so treating it like metal
isn't necessary, but you need to realize that it will melt if your blade is
real dull and excess friction heats it up. If you plan on making small
pieces, the usual saw safety precautions, a zero clearance plate, and push
On mine I have to turn _off_ the dust collector. A raked blade
generates a lot of "polyethylene wool" and it clogs any sort of hose -
especially if you've a saw with a finger-stopper grating on the
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