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How to Know When to Change Your Horizontal Bandsaw Blade

From - Artist Kevin Caron shares how he uses a horizontal bandsaw and when and how he knew it was time to change the blade ....

Kevin is working with the Ellis horizontal bandsaw he got recently. For the sculpture currently on his bench, he's been cutting some 8" x 8" x 1/4"-wall steel square tubing in the saw.

He's already cut two of these pieces of steel tubing, which are about 4-1/2 feet long. He noticed at one point, though, that the saw was getting louder. He checked the time it was taking to cut, too, and realized that the blade was finally getting worn enough that he wasn't getting the huge amount of steel chips coming out the back that he had been getting.

As he was cutting, he slowed down the feed to quiet the noise. Clearly, it was louder and taking longer to cut.

Kevin put a new blade on the bandsaw, and all those problems went away. It got quieter again and cut faster. Everybody's happy.

A new blade at this width, this style, this tooth count, for this Ellis horizontal bandsaw, for mild steel, is about $35 from Ellis.

This blade - the original one he got - has lasted a good long time. Before he needed to replace the blade, he'd cut two of these 4-1/2' sections of 1/4"-wall steel 2" wide - you can see the pile of them on the workbench - and cut the bottom off of four heavy wall gas cylinders.

Kevin has also cut some aluminum, which doesn't really count because it's pretty soft, as well as some random cuts. He cuts a lot of heavy metal where it sometimes takes 10, 15 or 20 minutes to chew its way through the metal. "I think I've gotten my money's worth out of it," he says.

Now Kevin fires the bandsaw up, so he'll let it chew away and he'll go back to his bench and keep an eye on it.

Before you go, you might want to stick around briefly to see Kevin "work" ....

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