Thread: Saw Blades
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:27 PM
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Philphoto Philphoto is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Nehalem, Oregon
Posts: 614

Big Woody;29711
Thanks, Phil.

If I a interpreting your info correctly, then I think the basic problem is that Rick simply expressed himself wrong when he wrote "PT is overkill for saws than can be used on the EZ tracks." I tend to take things literally, so naturally that needed clarification. - As in, what saws CANNOT be used on the EZ tracks?

No -- The minute you handle an Industrial blade you will know the difference immediately. The carbide that is 3 to 4 times larger than the mass market blade is the first thing that you notice. The notations of bevel and face angle -- sharpening information engraved on the blade. the thickness of the blank and more. All add up to a power house of a blade THAT is why it seemed like over kill. If you are cutting 2 X 4's for framing or building a nice deck it is over kill. You can do with the 40 tooth Diablo and get a nice enough cut to satisfy the customer. If you are building a set of kitchen cabinets or a nice dining table -- a Tenryu or Popular Tools (high quality blade) is the blade to use. The work I see Rick doing is good quality remodeling and some nice cabinet work. That is why Rick has a variety of blades. Sometimes he needs "overkill" and sometimes not. BTW: Rick seems to find a way to use EZ no matter what the project.

Maybe he meant "PT is overkill for the average tracksaw user."

No. I am of the opinion -- and it is just my opinion -- that because we are doing work that is normally performed on the table saw with a high quality blade, I believe track saw users benefit from a better blade. The very minimum that the track saw user gets from a high quality blade is the blade is removed from the mix when you have a problem. Sometimes problem solving is knowing what to avoid or remove.

Regardless, I am still interested in what would be the absolute best c-saw blade, for any given task. I am hoping to sell my tablesaw, and even though I use shooting boards, I'm still interested in getting the smoothest and most accurate cuts possible from my EZ rig.

If I am interpreting your information correctly, the main advantage of the PT blades is that they have extra & possibly better quality (C-4 & C-11) carbide, which keeps the heat down. Correct? A side-benefit might be that they stay sharp longer, but that would be less of a concern to me. So if this is the case, the ultimate question becomes, at a cutting depth of 3" and at the typical "feed" rate used with tracksaws, and assuming one is cutting the most burn or chatter-prone material typically encountered with this type of work, would the extra heat-dissipation of the expensive blade be significant?

Wow! What I huge bite you have taken!
Heat -- Yes heat dulls the blade but it can change the quality of cut, and the reliability of the cut line. Staying sharp longer is an issue whether you think so or not. Every blade change can change the cut line and the overall performance of your cut and the joint. Yes it matters. Heat is also a problem of material you are cutting. MDF, particle board, Melamine or other phenolic plywood will heat up faster and affect the quality of cut which is the direct relationship of the joint you wish to make. The manufactured building materials are higher in abrasion, and chemicals, and those will build heat. They will also affect the joint and inhibit the penetration of glues. If you have to sand a joint after the cut that adds more potential for bad fit and joint failure. Also moisture content. Moisture can drop a cut zone temperature by as much as 70 deg. but the drop is not a good thing by itself. Moisture in wood will eventually leave and then you can have joint failure and various board dimension changes.
So again the heat dissipation is not the "big " issue and not the little issue. Everything adds up together.

Do not get too side tracked on heat. The bevel of the blade is more important to the quality of cut and you need different bevels for different types of material. Cutting Melamine for cabinet work the bevel of choice is a HATB (High Alternating Tooth Bevel) with about a 30deg. bevel on the top it will give a cleaner cut on Melamine. If you are cutting Melamine, MDF, Particle Board, Phenolic Ply AND plywood you would be best served with a Triple Chip Bevel. If you are cutting only ply and dimension lumber an ATB (Alternating Tooth Bevel) is the better choice. I hope you can see that the different types of materials have a big effect on the type of blade you need or use. Then after ALL of that you have to decide how important all of that much perfection is to you. Some will see the powers of diminishing returns and buy cheap and others will demand perfection at any cost, then all points in between. Ultimately your budget will balance with your goals and you will make your choice.

Rick mentioned that the blade thickness is also different. Given that even a top c-saw has a less accurate / robust arbor than a good TS, would a thicker blade affect (positively or negatively) the accuracy of the 90 degree cut?

I am of the opinion that thicker is better. Even in a table saw I have used a blade stabilizer. The larger the diameter of the blade the more stability needed. A thicker blade is more stable, I use a 7.25", 40 or 60 tooth Industrial and they are .079 plate and .110 kerf. Where as the Irwin Marathon is .051 plate and .087 kerf. BTW: I have as of yet to find an Irwin Marathon that was not as much as .012 out of round and the rakers are supposed to be .010 to .012 below the tooth, but you can have as much as .012 between the height of all the teeth. Which means some teeth are doing all the work and going dull faster while the rakers are not clearing the chips. If you are framing or cutting wet lumber you will not notice a big difference. Woodworking or cabinet work -- you will notice.

I assume a thicker blade would generate more heat, which would fall into the "negative" category, yes?

No. Thicker will run cooler. Heat is an energy constantly moving, the more conduction material you have for the heat the longer it will take to get "hot", and we are not talking sustained heat.The distance between the exit of the board and the entrance of the board is the place where the blade will cool some. Again more surface more cooling.

I hope this answers your questions-- I also hope this is not an exercise to just waste time or test my knowledge.

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Last edited by Philphoto; 04-01-2013 at 01:01 PM. Reason: typo
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