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I just got a new band saw for my shop and need some advice on blade selection. In your EXPERIENCE what blade do you recommend. I will be cutting some plastic, 1/8 inch (give or take) plywood,, and maybe resizing to make my own now and then. Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

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In my experience, an 1/8" fine toothed blade would cut the plastic and thin plywood nicely and can cut small curves. For resizing wood, the wider the better as they make straighter cuts. Small blade tend to wander easily. A skip tooth blade cuts faster but a fine tooth blade makes smoother cuts. I tend to try to keep one blade in the saw for most work which is a fine tooth 3/16 blade. I use the 1/8 fine tooth (tight curves) and 1/4" skip tooth (resawing)only when I have a lot of cutting that requires that sort of blade. It can be a pain to keep switching blades all the time. Have fun with the new tool!!! Dave Cozzens
 

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Posted By NavyTech on 12/09/2008 3:27 PM
Those of you that are buying Band Saws to cut plastic may want to consider a good quality scroll saw instead. Unless you finishing rough stock lumber you may find a Band saw big and clumsy and therefore dangerous.

Just a thought.






Also, with a scroll saw you can cut interior holes (like cab windows) more easily. This is not possible with a bandsaw unless you have a blade welder. The radii are also much tighter. Downside? No resawing of big stuff. I'd give a serious look at a variable speed scroll saw. There are many different kinds of blades for a scroll saw, too, from hair fine to coarse.

IMNSHO, a bandsaw will get used more often, though. FWIW, I have two of each. Saves changing blades. Howsumever, the Asian bandsaw is accumulating its quota of curses and may not be with me a lot longer. The other one is a Craftsman likely as old as I am. Reliable as the day is long.

Les.
 

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I bought a band saw last year and like most tools they are not the do everything tool. The 1/8" blades mentioned will do you well. Of course buying a good blade and setting up your saw properly will give you lots of pleasure. bandsaws are finicky and quirky. They must be properly aligned and tensioned which sometimes is more easily said than done. enjoy.
 

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I had a bandsaw for several years and got tired of constantly changing blades and adjusting it. It also took up a lot of floor space for the amount of use I got out of it. I found out I could use a small jig saw and hand held scroll saw and rotozip cutter to do everything I needed. Sold the band saw. Any heavy sawing work I do on the table saw. Of course I can't saw wood over 4" thick but I never need to for making models.

Big John
 

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John,

Maybe a terminology error: I'm calling a scroll saw a table-mounted piece of equipment, a jig saw is the hand-held one. I never have much luck with a jig saw. I think the terms are used interchangeably. If the hand-held units would run slower, to me it'd be better.

The Asian one I have is a real dog to keep in adjustment, and with a narrow blade it wanders bad. Pretty much okay with a wider blade. The old Craftsman only needs tweaked when the blade is changed.

Les
 
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