I have seen cool blocks recommended here many time.
A book I got from the library said that steel blocks are badly unrated.
Heat is not a problem; the only reason not to use them is that they will not
support a really small blade properly without risking damage to the teeth.
Then he recommends maple blocks; they wear out faster than cool blocks, but
Also, I have seen a composite block on ebay that claims it is better than
cool blocks. Anyone tried it?
I'm ceramic now. Slicker than snot, don't wear at all, and with most of my
bandsaw work either resaw or green wood, they're great. I keep a set of
phenolics around for 1/4" and smaller blades.
Used end-grain red oak at school to protect from the kids. Cheap and
I use cool blocks or wood when I'm using a small blade that I want to
bury in the guide blocks.
For larger blades, steel or even high speed steel tool bits. The HSS
bits take longer to grind to shape, but wear forever. Just don't hit
one with the teeth.
I switched to the cool blocks a year ago on a saw that sees almost daily use.. I
flip or reverse them every blade change and like them a lot..
The blade runs quieter, should last longer from running cooler and the $15
didn't bankrupt me.. *g*
I'll eventually go to ceramic but not for a while..
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