Keeping track of blade sharpenings
Comparing notes on noting the service history of sawmill blades. July 4, 2000
I have over 100 bandmill blades in various stages of sharpening: sharp ones, to-be-sharpened, in the mail, at the sharpening sevice, etc.
I tried at first to keep track of how many times a band had been sharpened but as things went on it became too confusing, and new blades got mixed up with old ones. Anyone out there got a clever way of keeping track of such things?
My solution: Purchase tags with string on them at any office supply store. When new blades come out of the box, place a tag on the wire which comes with the band. On the tag, record (1) date of purchase, pitch and angle. When it needs sharpening or setting, record this as item (2).
Basically all you are doing is manually recording what has been done to the blade.
Use Re-Sharp from Woodmizer and they will replace a blade when it is junk and send you a new one. That way, you never have to worry about any blades, and can spend your time cutting. It's the cheapest way to go, when you factor in your time.
My sharpening service stamps my bands with my initials and a dot for
every sharpening, next to the weld. This way I can tell how many uses each band gets.
I tend to use older bands for smaller logs (less stress) and newer bands on those wider cuts. It's a bear to remove a broken band from a 20-inch cut, but to ease removal, I use an old broken piece of blade with the set hammered flat, remove the sawdust from the kerf, and then I back the broken band out.
To keep track of board feet cut, stamp a code number and keep a log book.
From the original questioner:
I was wondering if etching the blade would work. Would it wear off too soon? Etching pens are available through commercial supply houses like McMaster Carr.
When they stamp a blade, what type of stamp are they using? The tags would work, but having a blade numbered seems foolproof.
I number my blades with a stamp or engraver near the weld. I use 3x5 cards on a binder ring to keep my records, one card for each blade. I make columns for the date of use and the running time. I keep track of the hook angles, the set, and sharpening times for each blade. I store my blades under the bench my sharpener is mounted on. Each blade has its own shelf or bin. This seems to work out well for me.
I have a cheap old engraver I simply mark my blades with. Then I use different color tie wraps, black and clear, to separate out whether they are for use with hardwood or softwood.
I use an engraver. I put a mark on the blade after each sharpening. I set and sharpen after every four sharpenings. I use Woodmizer blades. I've tried all other kinds: Lennox is so-so; Sandvik made a good blade but you can't get them anymore; Timberwolf is an excellent blade, but expensive; Simonds broke a lot. I think Woodmizer is about the best for the price.
The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).
Comment from contributor A:
The man that sharpens my blades uses a prick punch mark next to the weld on the outside of the blade each time he sharpens it. When I see six or seven dots on the blade I will try to saw only the smaller logs with it. You can make one for yourself from a chainsaw file. Simply grind a point on the hard end and cut the tang off and grind it, leaving a domed top to strike with a small hammer.