22 May 2009

Axblades

Perhaps the most useful of all the machinery in anyone's 'shop is a bandsaw...I certainly use mine on almost any occasion that requires a little bit of sawing, maybe just to snip an oddment off a waste piece to accurately sawing the cheeks on tenons. So it'll come as no surprise that the blade to fit the saw needs to be chosen with a degree of care.
My machine is only a small capacity Euro 260 (the same one that Krenov uses by the way) but it's very accurate and the one machine that's not going to be replaced in a couple of years (but I will get hold of a bigger one as well) I've always used the Axminster 14thou thin blades that have to be ordered as a 'special' and these particular blades have, without fail, worked very well on my saw, mainly I suppose 'cos of the very thin section steel which can be easily tensioned.
I was surprised though, to hear from Ian Styles at Axminster a few weeks ago offering to let me have a few of their new blades, a couple of which were 20thou 'meat & fish' 4tpi and the other being a 20thou M42 variable pitch. The 'meat & fish' blades have a smaller set on the teeth which in theory ought to give a smoother cut...and I can state absolutely that the finish on some 75mm beech was so good it seemed like it had been planed!
The welds on my previous blades were good, but not outstanding...they always felt a tiny bit 'lumpy' at the join but in chatting over t'interweb with Ian, it transpires that Axminster are trialing a new and rather up-market piece of kit for welding the blades. The very first thing I did was to have a look at the welding on the new blades and to me they seemed perfect, which was confirmed when I fired up the bandaw for the first time as it ran dead true...not the slightest hint of any chatter as the blade went through the guides.
The demise of Dragon Saws in these harsh economic times is to be regretted, but it seems that Axminster may be well on course to produce bandsaw blades which are their equal...time will tell.

1 comment:

The Village Carpenter said...

I couldn't agree more about the bandsaw's importance. I use mine almost every time I'm in the shop. I have an 18" bandsaw with a 1/2" blade and a 9" bandsaw with a 3/16" blade for little projects and tight scroll work. The two complement each other perfectly.