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Thread: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

  1. #1
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    Default Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I have a Festool TS 55 track saw. This is a recent purchase for me. Kind of expensive but I have liked the precision of the cuts with this saw. I use it mostly on hardwood stock.

    Looks like the blade is getting a bit dull. I was wondering if anyone has taken the trouble to sharpen a blade like this (48 tooth) or is it best just to bite the bullet and by a new one?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I'd take it to a pro. Much cheaper than new and fine if there is one around.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    It's a great saw. I take mine to the local sharpening place. East peasy. There are companies that make blades that are compatible. Look on Amazon. I also found the Makita track guide, the plastic guide you saw through to line up your pencil line, on Amazon for a lot less and it works better.

    Quote Originally Posted by timber_cruiser View Post
    I have a Festool TS 55 track saw. This is a recent purchase for me. Kind of expensive but I have liked the precision of the cuts with this saw. I use it mostly on hardwood stock.

    Looks like the blade is getting a bit dull. I was wondering if anyone has taken the trouble to sharpen a blade like this (48 tooth) or is it best just to bite the bullet and by a new one?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    The nice thing about the Festool blade is the amount of carbide on the teeth. I've sent mine out for sharpening a bunch of times and there's still plenty left for future grindings. I keep one on the saw and one on the rack so I always have a sharp blade at hand.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Does anyone have a good reference for a shop that accepts mail-in blades. There are no local shops that I can locate so sending them away is my best option. The local builders supply is a drop-off point for a sharpening service but I don't know who that is. I suspect that I'm a lot more discerning in the quality of the service than the average contractor.

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I've used east side saw in Bellevue for sharpening large paper knives before. I'm pretty sure they're the local go to for sharpening of saw blades etc as well.

    http://eastsidesaw.com/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Our local sharpener went out of biz - I found an outfit over in FL that was pretty reasonable (I think it was 10 bucks a blade and extra to replace teeth) They pay the postage on 5 or more I think - I sent them a bunch of blades - they came back quickly and SHARP AS CAN BE!!!! Way better than new! Here's a link - https://familyhardware.com/mail-in-blade-sharpening/
    Since they pay the postage I'll probably use them again unless somebody pops up in Central Coast CA that will do as well!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by PasoRoblesSailor View Post
    Our local sharpener went out of biz - I found an outfit over in FL that was pretty reasonable (I think it was 10 bucks a blade and extra to replace teeth) They pay the postage on 5 or more I think - I sent them a bunch of blades - they came back quickly and SHARP AS CAN BE!!!! Way better than new! Here's a link - https://familyhardware.com/mail-in-blade-sharpening/
    Since they pay the postage I'll probably use them again unless somebody pops up in Central Coast CA that will do as well!

    You might try these cats. They’re closer, anyway.

    http://idealsaw.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Have you priced sharpening versus replacement?I have to admit that my reaction would be to do both unless the cost is astronomical.That way you have a spare blade on the shelf while the other is away being sharpened.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I have three of the Festool blades that need sharpening. Online prices seem to run about $15 each to sharpen. A new one is about $60. Done correctly, a sharpened blade is just as good as a new one. Maybe even better because I've already taught it all of the adult words I too frequently mutter in my shop. One can only hope that the sharpening tech isn't overly religious and has purged my blade of it all. But life has risks...

    Thanks for the links.

    Jeff

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I use Bob’s Super Sharp in Bellingham for all my blades, as well as bandsaw and resaw blades. Good people. They will ship your stuff.

    360/733-4610

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Does anyone have a good reference for a shop that accepts mail-in blades. There are no local shops that I can locate so sending them away is my best option. The local builders supply is a drop-off point for a sharpening service but I don't know who that is. I suspect that I'm a lot more discerning in the quality of the service than the average contractor.

    Jeff
    The saw is going to be filed by machine, most likely a Foley. Its pretty much fool proof and a sharp blade is a sharp blade. Give them a blade and see how they do. No reason it shouldnt be fine.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I take my carbide blades to Rockler of all places and they ship them out and I get them back in three or four days. Rockler is not doing the sharpening, they are just a convenient drop off point.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Great advice to have the blade sharpened. I found a local place that will sharpen it for $15. It will take a few days. In the meantime I also bought a replacement blade. Could not find a Festool blade, but got a Oshlun 48 tooth for a third the cost. I used it today cutting some Black Walnut boards for a table top.

    IMG_3515 (2).jpg

    Getting a track saw was probably my best tool investment. I used to push boards like these across a table saw. The track saw provides accurate cuts ready to glue and clamp.
    A new sharp blade also seemed to help!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    The stock Festool blade is likely optimised for sheet goods like veneered plywood.
    For ripping solid hardwood ,I'm sure you could lfind a better blade.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    The Festool TS55 is somewhat under powered for ripping anything thicker than 3/4". Fitting it with a real ripping blade does wonders for both the ease of the cut and the quality of the cut surface.

    Jeff

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Unless you have some good diamond or equivalent abrasive sharpening tools go with what has been said above.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Thanks, I agree with the need to use a proper ripping blade for the kind of work I am doing. I just ordered another 28 tooth ripping blade.

    Although I was pleased with cuts so far with the 48 tooth blade. The saw ran fine but labored slightly in areas with grain swirl or other irregularities.

    This is a typical cut on my 5/4 Black Walnut. Nice sharp cuts with smooth finish.

    IMG_3520.jpg


    Bottom line is that a variety of sharp blades is a good thing. I have to remember this as I explain credit card charges to my wife!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    In the eighties, when I got hired by the oak furniture company to run their giant, then state-of-the-art CNC router, because I had a certificate in computer programming—I would box up half a dozen of the half inch shaft router bits or shaper cutters, and drop the box at the Greyhound bus station, to go to the sharpening business in the next town down the freeway, on my way home from work, and pick up a box with freshly sharpened carbide tips on the way back into work one morning later in the week.

    Sometimes, the cutters, spinning at eighteen thousand rpm would hit a bit of grit or some hard part of a knot, and chip a tip, or blow a carbide tip completely off. Usually, the used carbide tips would just be too thin to grind again and a set of new ones would be welded on. We had enough volume of work, the CNC router was churning out various parts by the pallet, two shifts per weekday and Saturdays, and we'd been sending the cutters out about once a week. So the manager owners bought a Foley Belsaw sharpening station specifically for the carbide tips of the router and blades from the various saws in the factory, and hired a new guy with the right skill set to run it full time.

    The point is that, with enough motivation and time and whatever, a woodworker going through enough carbide tipped saw blades to matter, could conceivably build a robust jig to grind the carbide. It needs to be able to rotate the blade step-wise to position the next tooth under the grinder face, apply just the right pressure for just the right amount of grind, and make each of the twenty or forty or sixty tips the same thickness when sharp, so all the teeth are the same size and height above each gullet. The grinding face, of course, has to be just the right 'grit' to work the extremely hard carbide smoothly to leave a perfect edge. An old saw, like a miter or chop saw, could be set up that way.

    It would be worth doing with enough volume of work. Enough volume would mean an operating revenue sufficient to afford a Foley Belsaw sharpening station.

    Then you could quit woodworking to run a carbide sharpening business out of the shed.
    Speak softly and carry a mouthful of marbles.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
    Unless you have some good diamond or equivalent abrasive sharpening tools go with what has been said above.
    And some means by which the carbide dust you'd be generating could be safely collected for disposal.

    Carbide dust is not something you want to be breathing.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Finished the joinery for the book case frame. The best part of any wood project is getting to apply the first coat of oil. I enjoy seeing the grain come out for the first time.

    IMG_3546.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Is it practical to sharpen (non-carbide) bandsaw blades? Mine are about 400 teeth each.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    We don't, except for the Woodmizer.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    Is it practical to sharpen (non-carbide) bandsaw blades? Mine are about 400 teeth each.
    I know it was commonplace to do that when I was in grade school back in the early '60's but these days I doubt it's worth it unless they're really wide resaw blades, or a peculiar length that you pay to have made up.

    https://www.kmstools.com/blog/sharpe...andsaw-blades/

    I've been buying blades from these folks for about thirty years. Their products perform, last far longer than similarly-sized blades I'd sourced from other providers, and they ship quick.
    Last edited by sp_clark; 11-25-2020 at 08:45 PM. Reason: added link for more info

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    Is it practical to sharpen (non-carbide) bandsaw blades? Mine are about 400 teeth each.

    When I was working full time I never did. I figured it just wasn't worth the time. But now that I'm retired, I do sharpen them. I use a Dremel fitted with a small diameter stone. The type usually sold to sharpen chain saws. It takes about an hour and I can make a poor cutting blade cut well again. Not as good as a fresh factory blade, but good enough for utility work. I also have new blades at the ready.

    Jeff

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    I've seen a bandsaw sharpening machine that was made to keep a boatyard's blades in good order.Basically two wooden discs with an overlapping bottom flange to keep the blade from falling off.The file was moved in a manner similar to a power hacksaw and with each revolution of the drive wheel a cam on the side of the wheel operated a rocker that moved the blade along.All that happened was that the blade was dropped into place and a chalk mark left to show where the first tooth had been and umpteen minutes later the operator returned and at the correct tooth,switched the power off and the next blade put on the machine.If the machine couldn't have been left unattended,it probably wouldn't have been worth doing.would I sharpen a bandsaw by hand?Only if desperate.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Sharpen a carbide tipped saw blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    would I sharpen a bandsaw by hand?Only if desperate.
    That’s what I used to think. Then I tried it. Really not so onerous a task.

    Jeff

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