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  • High dollar blades and set up tips.

    I've been reading some threads on tearout and chipping and cheap blades vs. expensive blades and setup tecniques and decided to do some testing with 2 different blades and hard and soft wood.
    My "expensive" blade is a Freud $100 melamine/laminate blade and my cheapo is a $29, 40 tooth general purpose blade that I use mainly for ripping and crosscutting hardwoods.

    As far is blade height, I usually take a quick guess at somewhere between 1/2" and 3/4" above the board. Any lower and the board will sometimes want to "ride up" on top of the blade unless i'm really holding it down. Any higher and I get more chipping and tearout on the bottom of the board.

    The woods below are 13/16" Oak and a piece of pine crown. ALL photos are the UNDERSIDE of the board and NOT using a zero clearance insert.


    These pictures show the UNDERSIDE cut from the cheapo blade on oak and pine.



    Next is my $100 Freud blade, same boards.





    This is, atleast for me, the ultimate test. The underside cut on Melamine. It chips with the best blade and sometimes just because it feels like it. The top cuts are perfect, but here are the bottom side pictures.





    And lastly, as far as chipping on the back edge with the miter without a backup board, here is oak with the cheap blade.





    Here is how I check my miter for being right on and my blade for verticle.

    For the miter, I grab a piece of scrap and make sure the long edge is straight and clean, then cut off the end using my miter. I then clean off the saw table good and stand the board on that cut edge and then using a framing square, check for any "tilt" one way or the other. It's amazing that sometimes I will do a cut then toss a smaller square on the end and say "pretty close", but then stand it up and do a test on a 24" board and see the lean. It may be minimal but it's worth re-setting the miter one more time for a near perfect cut.



    I then just turn the board and do the same with the framing square on the flat side of the board, to check the blade for veritcle. Just let the board "free stand" then slowly slide the square up to it and take a look for any gaps, top or bottom. Believe me, ANY lean will show up big time if the blade is off even a tad! Again, if it leans one way or the other, a minute adjustment on the blade will bring it to near perfect.



    My bottom line is, the Freud blade works very well for laminates, melamine and plywood.
    My cheap blade works great for ripping and crosscutting all my hard woods. When this blade begins to dull even a little, the melamine will begin to chip on the underside. For the ripping, these blades will go and go and go with great cuts. I use this blade for ripping pieces for raised panel doors. It cuts so good that I buried my 6" jointer years ago under a pile of moving blankets! LOL

    As far as the zero clearence inserts, I just don't see any need for them and I personally like having my dust collector drawing cool air from around the blade for good cooling.

    Anyways, that's all my 2 cents worth in the whole thing!

    Mark
    Last edited by The Wood Meister; 03-27-2007, 12:26 AM.
    Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

  • #2
    Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

    Nice pictorial!

    There are some pretty good $29 blades out there...I don't necessarily consider them all a "cheapie" . If you're careful and/or lucky, you can get good performance in that price range...my Freud LU88 was on sale in that range and is a world beater IMO. Other good deals are the Tenryu RS25540, Freud Diablo and TK/Avanti lines, Dewalt series 40, Ridgid Titanium, Porter Cable Razor, Leitz, Freud Industrial on sale. There are also some pretty bad blades too in that price range, many lousy $9-$19 blades, and scores that cut ok for a very short time (the ones I've had an unsatisfactory experience with are Skil, Vermont America, Oldham Industrial, B&D, Delta sidekick, Marathon, no names, etc.) What I find with my "good" $29 blades is that they cut "nearly" as well as my more expensive blades, but they tend to leave more visible saws marks on the edge (not necessarily tearout), have smaller teether that don't hold up to as many sharpenings, and they tend to dull faster. The cheaper blades aren't always balanced as well either...I think you stand a better chance of having a true running blade with the better blades than the cheap ones, but certainly some of the cheaper blades run well.

    Good post!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

      Try adjusting the feed rates. For crosscutting hard woods try a rather slow and smooth feed. Give the saw time to cut, but don't feed it so slow as to get burning. Play around and soon you'll be getting some very nice smooth cuts. I see far too many people forcing miter saws to cut way too fast. Give the poor machine a little time. By the way I'm not saying anyone here is not doing it right, just try things and see what happens.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

        The most impressive thing about your whole writeup is...seeing the framing square balanced on the table top!

        That's a good writeup, Mark. Thanks for sharing. Guess I'll keep my cheapo blades. And maybe even do a little research myself...Data...I need data... I always tell my wife, if you got a problem, get some data and draw a graph. The slope is the answer.

        - djb
        sigpic

        A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

        Restore the Republic.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

          Originally posted by djb View Post
          The most impressive thing about your whole writeup is...seeing the framing square balanced on the table top!

          That's a good writeup, Mark. Thanks for sharing. Guess I'll keep my cheapo blades. And maybe even do a little research myself...Data...I need data... I always tell my wife, if you got a problem, get some data and draw a graph. The slope is the answer.

          - djb
          As Heywood said, there are some good cheap blades and some that really suck!! LOL

          I ran across a stack of Black and Decker's at HD that were on sale and bought the whole stack! Been using them for years and after 2 or 3 go dull, I have them sharpened.

          It pays to do your own tests with the blades you have. You may find some are real good and some not so good. Each person and saw and blades will yeild a little different outcome. Grab some scrap and do some testing!

          As far as the square goes, I do have it up against the board, just enough so it didn't fall over. Hard to hold it and take the picture. Now days, I need both hands to hold the darn camera steady!
          When I slid the square up against the flat side the first time, there was a very tiny gap at the bottom. May need to re-set my 90 degree stop or could have been some sawdust under the board too.
          Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

            I agree, great post. My saw is too crappy to deserve this consideration sadly.
            A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

              My local Woodcraft is selling the Freud Laminate / Melamine 10" blades (LU97M010 ) for... $29.99! I've held off on buying one since I never really use either of those materials. Strangely, they have four cases of these for sale at that price... Is it discontinued?

              However, if the blade is proving to be a good finish cut blade (e.g. a glue line type of finish blade) then I'll hop on over and pick one up!

              Can anyone attest to the level of finish on red oak, maple, cherry, etc using a Freud Lam/Mel blade?

              My understanding is that these suck as for length ripping. Anyone with some experience on this blade and cutting, say, a 48" length of 3" thick solid oak? What about 3/4" thick? (I'm concerned about burns).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

                Originally posted by Wood_Junkie View Post
                My local Woodcraft is selling the Freud Laminate / Melamine 10" blades (LU97M010 ) for... $29.99! I've held off on buying one since I never really use either of those materials. Strangely, they have four cases of these for sale at that price... Is it discontinued?

                However, if the blade is proving to be a good finish cut blade (e.g. a glue line type of finish blade) then I'll hop on over and pick one up!

                Can anyone attest to the level of finish on red oak, maple, cherry, etc using a Freud Lam/Mel blade?

                My understanding is that these suck as for length ripping. Anyone with some experience on this blade and cutting, say, a 48" length of 3" thick solid oak? What about 3/4" thick? (I'm concerned about burns).
                The LU97 is from their upper Industrial series, all of which are very good blades, and are often excellent values. That's typically an $80 blade...$30 is a great price, but it is a task specific blade. The hook angle and tooth grind are optimized for laminates and sheet goods, but it should also be fine for crosscutting hardwoods. It'll be fine on a RAS, CMS, or SCMS as well as a TS. You're concern about it's ripping ability is merited, I wouldn't even attempt it in hardwoods over 3/4", as it'll likely bog and burn. At $30 I don't see how you can go wrong, but stick closer to it's intended use with it.

                (heck, you might even be able to Ebay a few! ...or ship them to your Ridgid buddies for ~ $40 deliverd )

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

                  I am building a workbench and the top is 8/4 kiln dried white oak. I used a Freud Avanti 60 t to rip them and had a glue line surface. Feed was slow and steady and I had no burns. Its about a $55 blade but once in a while you can catch them on sale at Lowes for about $45. It gives great cuts on hardwood and has held up very well. I did get a little bit of burn resawing the whiteoak at a 3 3/8" thickness, but I believe that was operator more than blade (pieces were 60" long). Downside is that the small teeth probably won't have a lot of sharpenings in them, but I have pushed about 200 bf of white oak, and more than that of pine thru it and it still is cutting good. Loads up with the pine, tho, especially resawing 3+" boards, so i have to clean it after a bit when cutting that. Excellent crosscut blade also, and gives a nice cut on birch ply (23/32"). I also have a 50t Freud full kerf combo blade (84LUR011) that I paid $64 - 10% coupon. It cuts good, but definitely not a glueline cut. The feed rate on my 3650 is about the same with both blades in the 2" thick white oak.

                  Go
                  Practicing at practical wood working

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

                    As stated earlier, the Freud mel/lam blade is NOT good for ripping hard wood. I've tried it in a pinch and it was slow smokey going! LOL For crosscutting, it's still slow but yeilds a mirror smooth cut!
                    Personally, I use 2 blades. Thin rim general purpose for ripping hardwoods and my Freud for laminates and plywood and particle board.

                    Mark
                    Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

                      Thanks for the replies!

                      I think I will pick one up for plywood purposes. Really can't beat a $30 freud blade. Can barely buy a low-end general purpose blade for that much.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: High dollar blades and set up tips.

                        It looks like there may be a couple smokin deals on eBay on Freud blades in the next few days.

                        This auction here has no bids so far.

                        This is going cheap too!

                        Mark
                        Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

                        Comment

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