Are you new to bandsaws or been working with bandsaws for years and need a refresher on what to do/what you should be checking when changing/mounting a new bandsaw blade?
Here at ADS we have compiled a checklist of key checks that we believe are essential for getting the most out of your bandsaw and bandsaw blade.
Check wear & alignment of blade guides
Biggest cause of bandsaw blade breakage is the side guides.
Ensure there are no cracks or uneven wear.
You can tell its your guides when there is a pattern/markings on your blade.
Check the bandsaw blade tension
A bandsaw blade needs the correct tension to get a straight cut.
Tension is too high: Bandsaw blades can break or damage the bandsaw
Tension is too low: The blade will slip on the band wheel which can cause crooked sawing and vibration
Best solution – use a Bahco tensionmeter
Check the band wheels
The function of the band wheel is to drive the bandsaw blade.
It is important that the back of the bandsaw blade is positioned correctly, it should be free from the flange. If you do not do this, the back edge will get damaged and cracks can apprear on the blade causing premature blade breakage.
You can come across issues when the band wheels are not aligned or there is play in the bearings (check there isn’t much rocking in the wheels side to side)
How to check the bandsaw blade is positioned correctly on the band wheels?
Place a piece of paper folded over the bandsaw blade between the blade and the when. Turn the wheel, if the paper is cut, the blade touches the flange. Also listening helps – you will hear a singing sound at regular intervals if the bandsaw blade touches the flange.
Check operation of the swarf brush
The swarf brush removes the swarf from the gullet. Swarf at the side of the blade indicates that the brush isn’t working properly.
Check the coolant concentration
Coolant lubricates, cools and carries the swarf from the cut.
Key benefits of coolant is improved tool life, productivity, surface roughness and working conditions.
It is very important that you have the correct coolant concentration when using your bandsaw. The normal concentration is 7 % for bi-metal and 10% for carbide bandsaw blades. Best solution – use a Bahco refractometer
Check the correct band speed & feed rate
As a general rule of thumb on bi-metal, please see below band speeds for your bandsaw:-
High Alloys 30mtrs/minute
Low Alloys 60mtrs/minute
Non Ferrous 120mtrs/minute
Best solution – use a Bahco tachometer
This is a computerised tachometer that instantly presents the actual speed in m.min on an LED Display
Changing the band speed:
Increase band speed = decreased depth of cut
Decrease band speed = increased depth of cut
Changing the band feed rate:
Measure how far the head drops in 1minute.
Increase band feed rate = increased depth of cut
Decrease band feed rate = decreased depth of cut
Keep the tooth protector plastic strop on the bandsaw blade until it is mounted on the bandsaw to avoid premature chipping of the tooth tips and for safety measures.
And Finally, run the blade
To obtain maximum blade life
Reduce vibration (chipping) and noise
Use the recommended band speed but lower the feed rate 1/3 to ½ during the first 10 minutes of cutting and then in the next 10 minutes increase the feed rate in stages until you meet the recommended feed rate (Bi-metal only)
Please contact ADS for the bandsaw blade running in procedure for carbide blades.
We recommend using Bahco BANDCALC™. This is a software programme that quickly determines the best bandsaw blade for a specific application based on your material to be cut, size etc. It is also cut at determining your speeds and feeds.