Bandsaw mill blade speed

Solving a problem of quickly dulled band saw blades and insufficient horsepower. January 16, 2001

Question
Iíve just begun running a small homemade band saw mill driven by an 8 hp motor. I have only cut white cedar (18 clean logs) and although I am satisfied with the result, it took four blades to do this. Does the fact that the blade is sometimes running under speed affect its performance (straight cut, number of cuts before sharpening, etc.)?

Also, I cut some 4x4Ē beams, but two of them were not square and I donít know what caused this.

Forum Responses
Your blade running under speed definitely impacts the quality of the cut. The stress on the blade would probably shorten blade life. I donít know if it would actually dull the blade, but the slow speed may cause the blade to act dull when it isn't. The fellows at Suffolk who produce the Timberwolf blade have done a lot of work on blade speed and a conversation with them would probably be well worth your while.



If the log is dry, that may be your problem. I mill port orford and it is hard on blades when it's dry, like cutting sandpaper.

You do want your blade to stay at the maximum rpm throughout the cut. Is your governor working? Is the engine running at recommended RPM?



8 HP is probably not enough. I have a 16 HP and wish I had more. As for the 4x4's not square, check that the blade is square to the bed of the mill.


The log stops could be out of square. You can tell by measuring all 4 sides of the 4x4's--if they are all 4", but the angles are not 90 degrees (say the 1st and 3rd 92 degrees, the second and 4th 88 degrees, assuming you turn 1/4 each time), this is probably the problem. Also, the log might not be held tightly against the stops after turning, sometimes because of bark on the bunks. Lumber cut with an out-of-square blade usually has three angles and sides the same with the first side cut being a little less than the 4".