Home-Made Band-Mill Blade Sharpeners

Thoughts on blade sharpening rigs and jigs and sharpening technique. May 13, 2009

I have been looking at blade sharpeners and was wondering if anyone has built one? Do the converted chainsaw sharpeners work? Has anyone built one out of a bench grinder? I would like to see detailed pictures or blueprints.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor Y:
Here is a picture of a homemade sharpener.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Set in blade.

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From the original questioner:
Do you use a special blade on sharpener or the one that comes with it?

From contributor A:
Points of interest, you cannot grind just the face of the tooth. The blade will only last two to four sharpenings until it breaks. The reason for this is that microscopic cracks develop in the gullet of the blade when cutting. If you do not remove these cracks, the blade breaks. This is very simple! Read some of the articles that Tim Cook has wrote on this subject. It is explained very well by him. I do have a WM sharpener. It is the only model out there that I know that is water cooled. I can sharpen a blade 15 to 20 times and it never breaks, then I throw it away. I know this is true. But, if you want to waste your money on being cheap for not buying a good sharpener and a setter, that has dial indicators, then buy all the blades you can afford. I tried to go the cheap way in the beginning and all I did was break blades. It is the old saying "pay me now or, pay me later.

From contributor Y:

The link below may help explain things.

Shop-Built Bandmill Blade Sharpeners

From contributor T:
Ive been using the grinder in the picture above on Timberwolf blades for over five years now and have never broke a blade yet. I have one blade that I am keeping track of how many times sharpened just so I know. It is up to 19 and just examined it and no cracks can be seen. Is it possibly due to other factors?

From the original questioner:
Boy I guess I opened up a can of worms! Cook's re-sharpened my last blades and did a great job. I ruined four hitting metal in logs that came from a yard at the lake house. Two broke after a few minutes of use. The blades were given to me and are about five years old. I can't complain. I bought a good setter but I'm guilty of sharpening the last four blades by hand with a dremel tool with about four small disc stacked on arbor. The blades were pretty sharp but knocked out of set by the metal wire I hit in a log. I haven't tried one on the mill yet to see if I did any good or not. The setter takes forever to do a blade! I figured out to mark all the teeth to be set with a paint marker before starting to make sure I'm on the right tooth.

From contributor G:
It's a noble idea to build ones own sharpener. I tried to build one similar to the Norwood that uses a dremel, but no dice, only heartaches. I use Coleman Sawmill Supply in Indiana $7/blade return shipping paid ten blades and over. While I was experimenting someone suggested going to the university and having an engineering student build a sharpener for me.