best material for custom bandsaw blade guides
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    Default best material for custom bandsaw blade guides

    I've got a tiny little bandsaw, the pot metal guide holders crumbled and are no longer available, so I made up some that will accept 1/4" round stock held in place with setscrews. What material should I use? the rubbing blocks will be 3/4" to 1" long and 1/4" dia
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    O-1, Just buy some drill rod and be done with it. That's what I used for my Powermatic.
    JR

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    The Carter System uses ball bearings for the sides of the blade, as well as one bearing for the backside of the blade. Super fine.

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    I'd probably saw off some end mill shanks, carbide or HSS.

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    Carbide is my preferred, but as a kid dads wood saw we allays ran tuffnol yeah they would wear but they did just fine with wood cutting blade speed, we used lots bigger than 1/4" though.

    Lots of people rate ball bearings, but me personally i find the pad contact you get with pads not bearings really seams to reduce blade wander a fair bit, just at the expense of needing a tweak and clean once in a while. properly adjusted pads and a bandsaw can be near surgical, bearings just seam to always let it move more - need way more tension to get the same amount of guidance.

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    You can buy a carbon based material for this purpose that is self lubricating:

    Cool Blocks Bandsaw Blade Guide Block Size 1/2" x 1/2" - Band Saw Accessories - Amazon.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomjelly View Post
    I've got a tiny little bandsaw, the pot metal guide holders crumbled and are no longer available, so I made up some that will accept 1/4" round stock held in place with setscrews. What material should I use? the rubbing blocks will be 3/4" to 1" long and 1/4" dia
    Because your round stock is 3/8" in diameter , cool blocks may not be available. The best, and cheapest way is to use hardwood dowels. Your bandsaw takes relatively narrow blades so any steel rods may touch the teeth and dull the teeth . Hardwood dowels can run right snug against the blade, even on the teeth . I have used cherry dowel stock myself many times with narrow blades.
    My saw is a heavy (860 lbs) 16" saw and works fine with dowels. Any hardwood will work, I use cherry only because I made them from scrap stock have a lot on hand.


    mike

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    I use lignum vitae on mine. Works very good.

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    Pretty sure the "Cool Blocks" are a graphite and fabric impregnated phenolic. Buy a rod of wear resistant Garolite for about $10 and you'd have a lifetime supply of wear blocks. The main advantage of Cool Blocks is that you can bury a narrow blade in it without damaging the teeth - useful for tight curves.

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    this thing is tiny, almost a toy, but actually a pretty nice saw except for the OEM guides. I'm stuck with 1/4" dia, I'll just use 1/4" drill rod or worn out carbide end mill shanks. looked up some ceramic in Mcmaster catalog but I wouldn't know what type to use and its too expensive anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    I use lignum vitae on mine. Works very good.
    I used rose wood just because I have some sticks of it. Guides don't need much. Soaked in oil of course ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomjelly View Post
    What material should I use? the rubbing blocks will be 3/4" to 1" long and 1/4" dia
    1. Stock blade guides for those little saws use 1/2" steel blocks. Your 1/4" diameter restriction leaves mush less surface area for blade contact.

    2. Then there are Cool Blocks. I have used them. The setup for those blocks uses a dollar bill wrapped around the blade before tightening the block lock screws. It is not correct to have the blocks contacting the back of the blade.

    3. Very hard wood which has a natural oil is going to work but I prefer not to make adjustments due to wear. If you going to use wood and use oil then that oil/sawdust mixture will eventually end up on the band saw wheels.

    4. Carter guides are good for blades 3/8" or wider. For narrow blades under 3/8" ??.


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