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Thread: Recycling bandsaw blades?

  1. #1
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    Default Recycling bandsaw blades?

    When I was given my eighty-year old, fourteen inch Boyce Crain bandsaw, it came with a half dozen useless blades. Old, dull, and designed for another kind of cutting than what I use the saw for. I bought new blades as I needed them, and have been using the saw pretty much daily for at least fifteen years, and now have half a dozen blades in various sizes, configurations. And all but two are awaiting new welds. Years ago when I first got started with it, as the need arose, I built a jig with which to trim and braze a broken blade. I spent some time getting good enough at it, but it's tedious, and it's been a while, and I don't want to spend the time revisiting all that business, so I'm going to request a budget item for three new bandsaw blades, and I intend to recycle all the broken and antique ones.

    My question is what do I need to do, to responsibly get rid of these old blades that are still sharp enough to present a risk to humans who might be involved in the recycling?
    Last edited by Jim Mahan; 02-19-2021 at 11:21 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Oh, think of all the wee bow and compass type saws you could make...

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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Oh, think of all the wee bow and compass type saws you could make...
    Because that would be so much less tedious and rabbit-holey than feeding the recycler.

    I forgot to add the pic for the OP.
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    If you know anybody interested in knife making, or can find any locally, then presumably those saw blades are good steel that could be reforged to make nice knives. How about these two guys from your area?

    https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article244891797.html
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    Because that would be so much less tedious and rabbit-holey than feeding the recycler.

    I forgot to add the pic for the OP.
    Apologies.

    Think of all the useful tools someone could make with that valuable material that shouldn’t be scrapped.

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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Apologies.
    I shoulda put a smiley.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    They're probably pretty brittle so if you fold them every 12" and hammer the fold flat they should break into 12" pieces. Once they go into the metal bin no human will touch them again though so maybe longer will be OK.

    I like that idea of reforging them. They'd make interesting Damascus type patterns.

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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mahan View Post
    I shoulda put a smiley.
    Me too? We should both know we’re both half joking all the time by now.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    You can also use bits of bandsaw blade to shape for scratch stock with a Stanley 66 beading tool.



    Otherwise if you have a big rip saw blade thats sharp but broken to make one decent frame saw. See Paul Sellers for how to...


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    On a scale of how scary and dangerous scrap metal can be, those blades are pretty tame. You could just throw them, as is, into the roll-off box or onto the pile and not give it a second thought.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    I just send mine for recycling after coiling them up fairly tightly and wrapping them with a couple of turns of tape to prevent them springing open when tipped.

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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Any Blacksmith or aspiring Blacksmith nearby will be happy to take them off your hands, would even buy them. They are great steel for reforging, particularly into Damascus billets for making knives or anything else that might look good in a Damascus pattern.
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    It's a mistake to think that band saw blade is either hard or uniform - there are many different types - some made of two different types of metal and some with carbide tipped teeth.

    Some will make good scrapers - others not so much.


    I know a man in Cardiff who will buy them but he'll not pay very much.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    It's a mistake to think that band saw blade is either hard or uniform - there are many different types - some made of two different types of metal and some with carbide tipped teeth.

    Some will make good scrapers - others not so much.
    ^This^
    For the little saws in my shop I have blades ranging in width from 1/4" to 3/4". In every case, I can cut through the body of the blade easily with tin snips, but hitting a tooth with the same pair of tin snips will result in damage to the tin snips. I believe they are "bi-metal" blades: High speed steel teeth (or some other very hard tool steel) welded to a soft band. I don't know what the band is made of or if it can be hardened, but I don't think it's the same stuff as the teeth are made of. This is in sharp contrast to the blades used in an old reciprocating power hack saw I had years ago. Those blades were hard throughout and made wonderful spotting straps, scrapers, and flat scribers.

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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Bartlett View Post
    Those blades were hard throughout and made wonderful spotting straps, scrapers, and flat scribers.
    Gordon, what's a spotting strap?

    BTW: I completely agree about the blade hardness. And my own 2¢ worth... I throw my old tired bandsaw bladed into the metal recycle can. I never thought otherwise. I read somewhere that if a blade brakes other than at the weld, there's no point in welding it to repair. Because it will soon brake again someplace due to metal fatigue. This makes sense to me.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Gordon, what's a spotting strap?
    Jeff
    Jeff,
    This being a wooden boat forum, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that one. It has nothing to do with boat building, but is part of old-school die making. I guess the easiest way to describe it here is to compare its use to something boat builders are familiar with: longboarding. When fairing a hull, an abrasive sheet is attached to the longboard and bent around the curved hull and stroked or rubbed along, knocking off the high spots until there are no more high spots. A spotting strap is used similarly, except that the abrasive is not applied to the strap. Instead, the strap is "painted" with spotting blue, a sort of non-drying blue paint that transfers easily and brightly onto any high spots on the curved surface being spotted. A die grinder is then used to knock down the high spots and feather them into the surrounding surface. The theory is that when the surface is fair, it will become uniformly blue when rubbed with the strap. When the surface is deemed adequately fair, the workpiece is finished with an abrasive stone until its surface finish is acceptable.

    I'm not sure how clear that was. It's sometimes not easy to describe a process by text only, and in this case I doubt even a lot of today's die makers are familiar with the process. Things are done differently nowadays, die making today is nothing like it was when I learned the trade. Back then it was all manual machining and hand finishing. Tons and tons of handwork. Now everything is done digitally with CAD and CNC machinery.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Bartlett View Post
    Jeff,
    This being a wooden boat forum, I probably shouldn't have mentioned that one. It has nothing to do with boat building, but is part of old-school die making. I guess the easiest way to describe it here is to compare its use to something boat builders are familiar with: longboarding. When fairing a hull, an abrasive sheet is attached to the longboard and bent around the curved hull and stroked or rubbed along, knocking off the high spots until there are no more high spots. A spotting strap is used similarly, except that the abrasive is not applied to the strap. Instead, the strap is "painted" with spotting blue, a sort of non-drying blue paint that transfers easily and brightly onto any high spots on the curved surface being spotted. A die grinder is then used to knock down the high spots and feather them into the surrounding surface. The theory is that when the surface is fair, it will become uniformly blue when rubbed with the strap. When the surface is deemed adequately fair, the workpiece is finished with an abrasive stone until its surface finish is acceptable.

    I'm not sure how clear that was. It's sometimes not easy to describe a process by text only, and in this case I doubt even a lot of today's die makers are familiar with the process. Things are done differently nowadays, die making today is nothing like it was when I learned the trade. Back then it was all manual machining and hand finishing. Tons and tons of handwork. Now everything is done digitally with CAD and CNC machinery.
    Several very similar methods are used for fairing wood/boats, too.

    That was an EXCELLENT description, by the by. Thanks. Some of us are dumb enough to still like working in the old ways, and learning tricks like this make work fun.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Very clear, Gordon. Thanks.

    I’m not sure I've ever thrown out a bandsaw blade. The old ones are just hanging on the wall on a few nails behind the newer ones.

    I use the Swedish Timberwolf blades from Suffolk Machinery.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Recycling bandsaw blades?

    Thanks, Gordon. Your explanation is good for me. Actually, Jim Ledger here on the forum has described his method for getting close fit-up by using lipstick is a similar fashion to your use of the spotting strap. Madness and methods transcend many fields.

    Steven... I must admit that I too have many old bandsaw blades tucked away on a nail. Those things, like many others in my shop, are often about to be tossed out when I stop myself and say (yet again) "You might just need this for something and if you throw it out, you won't have it." So I save stuff. And every now and then, but often enough, I find a use for it. Thus, my hoarding instinct is rewarded and reinforced.

    Now then... does anyone else save the heavy duty plastic strapping that is used on stacks of lumber? I got some if you need it!

    Jeff

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