Which Blades for My Bandsaw?
If I start with only one blade for my bandsaw, what should it be? Down the road, what other blades should I buy?
Dean Larson, St. Louis, MO
The best multipurpose blade for the making solid-wood furniture is a 1/2-in.-wide, 3-teeth-per-inch (tpi), skip-tooth blade made of carbon steel. As the name implies, every other tooth is skipped, or missing. This leaves a large gullet between the teeth, which allows for very efficient sawdust removal when cutting thick stock.
The same blade also can be used to saw thin stock. Just use a piece of scrapwood as an auxiliary table over the throat plate and cut a little slower.
You also can use this blade to cut a radius as small as 2-1/2 in., and even smaller if the back corners of the blade are rounded slightly with an old oilstone. This type of blade only costs about $8 and can be resharpened for about $3.50. I use BC Saw and Tool, where each order is custom made and the welds are uniformly excellent (www.bcsaw.com). A poor weld will compromise the performance of even the most expensive blade.
This first blade will cover 95% of your needs.
However, for tight curves, I’d favor a 3/16-in.-wide, 4-tpi skip-tooth blade because it will cut a radius as small as 3/8 in.
A second blade for tight curves.
A narrower blade will cut tighter curves, but large gullets are still essential for thick stock.
From Fine Woodworking #201