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  1. #1
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    Default Sharpening bandsaw blades with chainsaw sharpener

    .

    I have one of these styles of chainsaw sharpeners...


    chainsaw sharpener.jpg
    https://www.swartstools.com.au/assets/full/SWB1705.jpg?20200703030159

    ...and decided to have a go at sharpening a large (1Ē tpi) bandsaw blade with it.


    As described by Derek Cohen in his thread on Sharpening bandsaw blades, I just lightly touched up the back of the tips.

    The advantage of using the chain sharpener is that it has a pawl that holds each tooth precisely in place and a depth setting for the grinding wheel, which controls precisely how much is ground off every tooth. This gives an even depth for all of the re-sharpened teeth.


    Engage pawl, clamp then grind.jpg
    Engage pawl, clamp, then grind

    I set the depth so that it only took off enough to create a new sharp tip. The amount of metal removed to achieve that was very small. The abrasive wheel only had to kiss the back of the tip to achieve that.

    Pre-sharpening.jpg
    [Before grind]

    Post sharpening.jpg
    [After grind]

    It wasnít particularly quick, but probably as quick as any of the other methods I have used to touch up bandsaw blades. However, it is more precise than any other means I have used.

    I donít touch up enough bandsaw blades to warrant expending that amount on a sharpener just for those, but as I had this one already for my chainsaws it came at no additional cost to me and I expect there are others that have similar chainsaw sharpeners that they could also put to this additional use.

    More expensive bandsaw blade sharpeners will also reset the teeth, but they are in another price category altogether! Just reset the teeth by hand if you think the blade needs it.

    Having to remove the blade from the bandsaw to touch it up is one of the downsides of using the chainsaw sharpener, but you get used to having to do it that way with chains for this type of chainsaw sharpener.


    Note: These chainsaw sharpeners are configured to fit the standard range of chainsaw chain drive link widths and those all have thicker gauges than any bandsaw blade that is going to fit (height wise) into the sharpener. I found a shim fitted behind the blade helped hold the bandsaw blade firmly in the clamping slot while grinding.

    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



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  3. #2
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    Default

    I had good luck with this on what some people consider low-level blades now (timberwolf) due to their relatively short life - when touched up, the overall life was long, teeth outlasting the bands in a couple of cases for me in an 18" saw. I rolled the burr down over the tooth and then tucked it in to freshen the gullet, but in rhythm, like 2 seconds per tooth total. rhythm is important to not lose focus and to also keep the cut amount even.

    For finer-tooth saws, you can use a flat diamond wheel on a dremel (I do that with 10 tpi portaband blades), same thing - building a rhythm is needed (the little teeth take a very long long time even in a portaband blade - something like 8 minutes to resharpen a whole blade. only difference being the small teeth are flat topped so you become a human dremel indexer dropping the wheel on the blade in rhythm and then tucking it into the front of the prior tooth).

    Bottom line, this kind of stuff is worth doing - I really like portaband blades in a frame saw to cut metal by hand, and really liked the timberwolf blades after the chainsaw burr (haven't had a bandsaw for years) - they run like new and feed easy, but $45 a blade and short life was less tasteful before touching up.

  4. #3
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    Neil, I use the same machine as you, but I do the front of the tooth. I made up a wood frame to hold the machine in my woodworking vice and I incorporated a lever with an adjustable stop to advance the blade to the next tooth. I have down pat now and only remove about .003" each grind. Don't ask me what that is in metric.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Croc View Post
    I made up a wood frame to hold the machine in my woodworking vice and I incorporated a lever with an adjustable stop to advance the blade to the next tooth.
    Would love to see some details on your advancing mechanism, Crocy.
    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilS View Post
    Would love to see some details on your advancing mechanism, Crocy.
    I will get it out and set it up for some photos, But, it will be a few days. I am flat out putting up a plastic roof trying to beat the oncoming rain.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilS View Post
    .


    More expensive bandsaw blade sharpeners will also reset the teeth, but they are in another price category altogether! Just reset the teeth by hand if you think the blade needs it.


    Neil

    My experience is that by the time band teeth need to be reset, the blade is worn out and past it's use by date.

    That looks to be a good solution to a perennial problem with bandsaw blades. The dedicated band sharpening machines take material from the the face of the tooth and down into the gullet. I don't really see an issue with sharpening off the back of the tooth with two provisos.

    Gradually you will be reducing the hook angle which will make the blade less "aggressive." I think that you would have to sharpen the blade five or more times ( providing you are only removing a gnats whisker each time) before that would become noticeable and maybe only if you compared it to a brand new blade.

    Secondly you are reducing the tooth height but not deepening the gullet correspondingly. Again this will not be noticeable immediately, but possibly after several sharpenings it may become an issue. The gullets are where minute stress fractures occur, which can lead to band breakage. However I think there is a simple remedy there with your large tooth blade. Take a Dremel style tool with a small cylindrical stone and run it gently round each gullet. That would have the advantage of cleaning up any tendency for stress fractures to develop and maintain gullet depth.

    If anybody is keen on doing something similar on fine tooth blades they may be able to use chainsaw files or small round files to achieve the same outcome. Irregular depth of gullet is not an issue. Irregular tooth height is an issue of course.

    Regards
    Paul
    Last edited by Bushmiller; 26th October 2021 at 10:49 AM. Reason: deleted part of post accidentally
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    The gullets are where minute stress fractures occur, which can lead to band breakage. However I think there is a simple remedy there with your large tooth blade. Take a Dremel style tool with a small cylindrical stone and run it gently round each gullet. That would have the advantage of cleaning up any tendency for stress fractures to develop and maintain gullet depth.

    ...

    Irregular depth of gullet is not an issue. Irregular tooth height is an issue of course.
    Thanks for that helpful advice, Paul.

    I have a range of diamond bits in various diameters that I can use for that gullet work when I need to do that next.
    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Croc View Post
    I will get it out and set it up for some photos, But, it will be a few days. I am flat out putting up a plastic roof trying to beat the oncoming rain.
    Yep, that would be a priority for me too if I was up your way!
    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    Neil
    My experience is that by the time band teeth need to be reset, the blade is worn out and past it's use by date.
    I reapply set on the Bandsaw mill blades after every touch up mainly because the setting machine makes it quick and easy to do. It's not an auto setting machine - you have to crank the handle to move the teeth along but its possible to reset a 5.5m blade in <5 minutes. Usually I'm sharpening one blade (automatically) while setting the other.

    Cutting hard wood like spotted gum often seems to knock 2-3"' off the set on the blades I'm using but then they don't seem to change much after that. I could over-set the teeth by the same amount but that initially leaves a slightly rougher cut.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilS View Post
    Yep, that would be a priority for me too if I was up your way!
    Neil, I have not forgotten about you, been up at the Malanda Turnout and on the way home I was lucky to source approx 400kg of figured Maple. I have to cut, debark, dip, label and stick it all out to dry. This stuff is Gold.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Croc View Post
    Neil, I have not forgotten about you, been up at the Malanda Turnout and on the way home I was lucky to source approx 400kg of figured Maple. I have to cut, debark, dip, label and stick it all out to dry. This stuff is Gold.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.
    That would also be a priority for me too, if I was to be so lucky, Crocy.
    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



  13. #12
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    Ok, Neil back on track,
    1st photo is how I mounted the sharpener to a block of wood that's held in the woodworking vice on my bench. This view shows my lever to move the blade along one tooth at a time.
    2nd photo shows the lever moving the blade until it hits the adjustable stop then its clamped and sharpened. The white mark you can see on the blade is the join and I always start sharpening with the 1st tooth after the join.
    3rd photo shows that when you are 4 teeth from the join, the moving lever is now in a gullet that has been sharpened, so I use a bit of .005 inch brass shim wrapped around the lever to compensate for the removed material. The final tooth at the join has to be adjusted by feel to compensate for a variable length due to the welding.
    Hope this helps,
    rgds,
    Crocy
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #13
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    Thanks Crocy.

    Nice elegant design!

    If you don't mind, I'll copy that.
    Stay sharp and stay safe!

    Neil



  15. #14
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    Good little fix, I like it.
    my main concern is that the whole unit looks like itís screwed to a block of Aussie red cedar, but I guess it was just the right size, or something like that.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverbuilder View Post
    Good little fix, I like it.
    my main concern is that the whole unit looks like itís screwed to a block of Aussie red cedar, but I guess it was just the right size, or something like that.
    Good observation, yes it is, I have heaps of it, just another timber I logged all those years ago.
    Rgds,
    Crocy.

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