How to Break in a New Bandsaw Blade Correctly
To prolong the life of your bandsaw it’s important to break it in correctly. That way you’ll also get safer and faster cuts.
Certainly, fail to break in your saw and you can say goodbye to those nice sharp razor edge teeth on your blade. Compare it to sharpening a pencil – you have a beautifully sharp point but the minute you press down on the paper to write the point snaps off.
Smooth down the teeth gradually
Then, when you go to write, the end of the pencil is uneven. It has to be smoothed before you can produce anything like decent writing. The same applies to your new bandsaw. By that we mean you have to slowly increase the pressure on the blades. That way you’ll be able to smooth down the teeth without the ends of them breaking off. Once broken in you’ll be able to cut wood, metal and other material neatly and efficiently. When you feel it’s necessary, you can sharpen the teeth of your bandsaw again.
The actual break-in process depends on the type of bandsaw blade you’re using and the material you intend to cut. When you start to run it at the typical SFPM for what you need. If you're using soft metal, for example, then half the speed for up to the first 100 sq inches. For hard metals you only need to reduce the speed to 75% of the usual rate for up to the first 75 sq. metres.
What happens if you don’t break-in your bandsaw?
It can be tempting, if you are in a hurry to get cutting because of a deadline, to just skip the break-in process altogether. But, really, you’ll lose out on time in the long-run if you do that. You’ll also have to replace the blades on your bandsaw more often than if you spend a little time breaking in the blades.
Of course, another way to ensure the longevity of your bandsaw blades is to look after them properly. That means giving them the maintenance they need in terms of giving them a daily tension test, checking the tracking and making sure if you’re cutting metal that the blade is properly lubricated.
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