Type of table saw blade.

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
I tend to make smaller knives. I have blocks of wood for scales. My scales tend to be thin. Right now I have a what I think is a higher tooth saw for more finish work. I thought that would give be a better flat surface, but it cuts slow and my pieces tend to move more. Am I better with a more aggressive faster blade. I need to buy one.
 

SS369

Well-Known Member
You probably should get a thin kerf carbide tipped ripping blade. Freud brand (red coated) is what I use and get pretty good results.
I set the blade height to just above half, cut, then flip end for end and finish with a push stick.
Make sure your table insert covers the slot as close to the blade as possible and is level with the table.
 

Merle

Well-Known Member
I used to be really into wood working and furniture / cabinet making, etc.. My favorite table saw blade was the 10" / 40 Tooth CMT General in 3/32" (thin kerf). I used it on an older (Emerson made) Craftsman cast iron contractor style table saw for both ripping and cross cutting. The thin kerf blades were great on the modestly powered saws (like mine was). But a bigger cabinet style saw running on 220V should pull a 1/8" (standard kerf) blade no problem.

andy
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
My advice is to find a "saw shop" in your area that makes blades to order. I have an older craftsman bandsaw, that takes a 70 1/2" blade..... and commercially Sears was the only option.....and the blade were pure do-do. And I would go through literally dozens a year.

Out of frustration, I found a "saw shop" and started having them make me "custom" bi-metal blades in 6TPI, and even some 4TPI...... Personally I liked the 6TPI best, and at only $18 each, custom made out of quality blade material. Here's the best part..... the quality level is such that I buy ONLY 3 blades a year! And honestly, I usually only go through two of those in a years time.

If you're cutting thin scales, and want to keep them straight, it's as much technique as it is the blade. A rip fence, and TAKE YOUR TIME CUTTING. As soon as you start forcing it. the blade bows (usually away from the rip fence), and then it will dive back and forth....how much it does, depends on the amount of pressure you are applying. Take it slow and easy, letting the saw do it's job, at the speed its comfortable doing that job..... and you will find that thing come out much nicer. ;)
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
My advice is to find a "saw shop" in your area that makes blades to order. I have an older craftsman bandsaw, that takes a 70 1/2" blade..... and commercially Sears was the only option.....and the blade were pure do-do. And I would go through literally dozens a year.

Out of frustration, I found a "saw shop" and started having them make me "custom" bi-metal blades in 6TPI, and even some 4TPI...... Personally I liked the 6TPI best, and at only $18 each, custom made out of quality blade material. Here's the best part..... the quality level is such that I buy ONLY 3 blades a year! And honestly, I usually only go through two of those in a years time.

If you're cutting thin scales, and want to keep them straight, it's as much technique as it is the blade. A rip fence, and TAKE YOUR TIME CUTTING. As soon as you start forcing it. the blade bows (usually away from the rip fence), and then it will dive back and forth....how much it does, depends on the amount of pressure you are applying. Take it slow and easy, letting the saw do it's job, at the speed its comfortable doing that job..... and you will find that thing come out much nicer. ;)
I didn’t even know there were places that made custom blades. I agree with the technique. That actually may be the issue. My blade is getting dull and I may be forcing it a bit.
 

SS369

Well-Known Member
Not sure why you would need a custom Table Saw blade, when the store bought, thin kerf, carbide tip ripping blade will work. Crosscut, high count tooth blades overheat the wood and blade really easy because the tiny chips don't clear the gullets fast enough and build friction.
Dangerous enough with having to control the cuts with a good blade.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I need to apologize!! I totally was in my own box!! I was referring to bandsaw throughout my reply!! Sorry!

Although I have seen custom made table saw blades, they are PRICEY!! That being said, I have a table saw, and have tried cutting scales with it.....and found a bandsaw with a rip fence and a "good" blade from the saw shop to be a much better avenue. Again....provided you don't try to horse it!
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
Man, cutting scales with a table saw seem SO dangerous to me...just an accident waiting to happen. I'll stick to and recommend hand saw technology. A Japanese dozuko saw works just fine. Probably not the best way for production, but a really good way for me!
 

SS369

Well-Known Member
Hey Bruce.
If you set the saw blade a tad above half way up and cut, then flip end for end and cut again, using push sticks and a feather board it is very quick and safe enough. Make sure to push all the way through.
I made a sliding push stick that straddles and rides on the table saw fence, can't go anywhere but along the fence.
As long as the fence and saw blade are parallel and you keep the material against the fence, you should get fairly flat, sized scales.

Scott
 

Owl

KNIFE MAKER
Scott is right. Don't cut small pieces like scales on a table saw without push sticks and a feather board.
Serious accidents happen that way.
As someone who has worked a lot of time in the ER I have to say I cringed a little watching Mark cut those scales in his video.
Table saws are the #1 cause of home shop injuries.
While we are discussing it, my next shop purchase will be a SawStop table saw. I wish that technology would be adopted by other manufacturers.
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
Regarding safety, yes I am afraid of the blade. It bites and doesn’t let go. I was a butcher for many years and had to fling chicken legs through the band saw separating the drum stick from the thigh by the hundreds. Not sure how I still have all 10 digits left. Anyway I do fine with the big blocks and running the scales. I glue the skinny pieces to another block and that seems to work well as I get to end of the block.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
I'm not trying to talk anyone out of their way of doing things. All I'm saying is that it's not for me. I've spent enough hours bent over a table saw to understand the rewards/risks involved. Plus, I can't abide the noise and dust.
 

Mark Barone

Well-Known Member
I'm not trying to talk anyone out of their way of doing things. All I'm saying is that it's not for me. I've spent enough hours bent over a table saw to understand the rewards/risks involved. Plus, I can't abide the noise and dust.
Hey Bruce, do you use a “fence” or guide to get a straight scale when using the Japanese saw?
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
nothing. It guides itself. It cuts on the pull stroke, so guiding it is relatively easy.
which way do you cut them?
say you had a 1" x 1" x 5" block -do you cut them from the top(spine) down or from the front (near bolsters) back? I looked yours up and it looks like it has a reinforced spine so the only way would be "top down."

I bought a backsaw awhile back for cutting mortise and tenons if I need to build my own sled. But I use it most for splitting scales. It works well and is super sharp and gives good control. I split a 1/4" piece of rosewood pretty evenly with it. I got a gyokucho I think it cost me 50.00. But I kind of think the blade is kind of too thin. Mine is kind of bent now. I think they're more for shallow cuts not deep 4-5" cuts like cutting scales "front to back" What about you? Maybe it depends on the type of saw.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
which way do you cut them?
say you had a 1" x 1" x 5" block -do you cut them from the top(spine) down or from the front (near bolsters) back? I looked yours up and it looks like it has a reinforced spine so the only way would be "top down."

I bought a backsaw awhile back for cutting mortise and tenons if I need to build my own sled. But I use it most for splitting scales. It works well and is super sharp and gives good control. I split a 1/4" piece of rosewood pretty evenly with it. I got a gyokucho I think it cost me 50.00. But I kind of think the blade is kind of too thin. Mine is kind of bent now. I think they're more for shallow cuts not deep 4-5" cuts like cutting scales "front to back" What about you? Maybe it depends on the type of saw.
I cut my scales front (bolster side) to back. My saw does not have a reinforced spine, because it is toothed on both edges. As soon as I finish my morning chores, I'll take some pics if you like . There is a learning curve on these saws as you have to cut on the pull, and let the saw do the work.
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
My saw does not have a reinforced spine, because it is toothed on both edges. As soon as I finish my morning chores, I'll take some pics if you like . There is a learning curve on these saws as you have to cut on the pull, and let the saw do the work.
I wondered if there's some element of technique to using them. and that's why I bent mine. I'd probably make a japanese woodworker close one eye while he watched me. lol. I don't think I need any pictures. I think I have the same thing you got. Thanks bruce.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
I just thought that a picture is worth a bunch of my words. so here are some:DSC01502.JPGThis a one of the saws that I useDSC01503.JPGI just cut this walnut to use as an insert on my current knife.DSC01497.JPGDSC01500.JPGDSC01501.JPGHope these help...if not.... hit DELETE!
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
That helps Bruce. I like this saw, and haven't seen anyone talk about them much. And to reinforce what you showed, that you don't need a fence to cut a straight line, here's a shot of the rosewood I split. My mistake, the original piece is 7/16" not 1/4" like I said above. The cut removed 1/16" of material. My scales are about 5/32" now. I'd be the man if I split them again for liners.
017.jpg
Here's my blade now, after some time:
001.jpg003.jpg
Thanks, Mark, for letting me and Bruce have this little chat. Mine is bent and I've hit metal a couple times. So there's might also be dull teeth on one side. Both of those reasons might be why it won't cut straight anymore - not the thinness of the blade. I'm more sure I need a new blade for mine, now. In the meantime, I've used a stiff box saw and I can get a good straight line with that, too, when I start it with the backsaw or hacksaw.
-Luke
 
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