Touch-Up Bandmill Blade Sharpening Techniques

Blade hit a nail? Here are some tips for emergency sharpenings that can keep you sawing at least for a little while. November 27, 2006

I put on a new resharp yesterday and on the first cut, I milled two big nails. Well, my blade went south immediately. I stood there considering the mangled teeth and out of desperation, got my little angle grinder. I ground the front of each tooth just enough to come to a sharp point and gave it a try. Man, she cut like a new one. Ran for an hour 'til it got dark. Approximately how many times could one do this before the blade would need to have the teeth set?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
Most of the time, you will find little curls of metal on the "hook" of the teeth, and these cause most of the problem. I often knock them off with a chainsaw file and touch up the teeth. A dremel with a hard stone works really good. I have a cordless one now. This is best for just touching up a blade that is probably going to hit metal again. The set is often knocked out and each bit you grind makes it narrower. Also, there is no depth control on your grinding/filing, so the blade will change width unevenly. It will get you out of a fix and keep you cutting.

From contributor S:
Since I don't have a setter yet, I simply sharpen on a homemade sharpener. I get anywhere from 3 to 8 sharpenings without setting, then the blades break. I know, I need to get a setter - I am working on that. But getting at least three sharpenings is better than throwing the dull blade away (like the local saw shop recommended!).

From the original questioner:
What do you sharpen yours with?

From contributor S:
Homemade sharpener based on a cheap bench grinder built to drawings supplied by Timberwolf. The pics were on here - someone else made one. I bought the stone from them and profiled it to my blades. It's slow but cheap. Once I get a setter, the blades should last much longer.

From contributor J:
I've sharpened many shop bandsaw blades with a Dremel tool by touching the point from the outside. Eventually it will reduce the set, but you can easily sharpen several times. I saw a 12v DC electric sharpener similar to a Dremel on a chainsaw website. This might work well for touching up a blade on the saw if 110v power is not available. Also, the Ripsaw people sell an inexpensive hand-held sharpener with a diamond stone. I haven't seen it, but perhaps it would be good for both sharpening and deepening or removing stress cracks from the gullets.