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Longtime reader and commenter Rick writes: “Since the bandsaw post earlier this week seems to be pretty popular, I thought this blade welder sort of goes along with it but I may deserve its own post as well.  Basically, this is a cheap Chicago Electric bandsaw blade welder from Harbor Freight.  It requires 220V power. But the hot item IMHO, is this 12v car battery powered model [photo after the jump].  Basically it does the same job in a smaller package.  Granted, it retails for $50 more than the 220V one, but for those — like many of us — who don’t have 220V in our garages or workshops, this could be a godsend.”

“Breaking and rewelding a blade is sometimes necessary if you’ve got to make an internal cut into something that requires you to thread the blade through, make the cut, and then brake the blade and thread it out.  In that sense, I think the smaller battery powered welder might be better as it’s easier to hold by hand, etc. without dragging everything over to the welder like the Harbor Freight model.

“Blade welders overall, though, are a useful tool if you want an easier way of welding a blade (assuming you have a regular welder), or just a way of getting it done, period, if you don’t.”

As promised:

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This definitely falls into the range of tools that I hadn’t thought about owning.  I have a portable band saw for the situations where I’ve gotta come in at a funny angle or work in the field, and in the past I’ve used a metal-cutting blade in a recip saw for situations where I couldn’t get the blade around the cut.  And I’ve seen one of these in action where I buy my blades.  But I hadn’t thought about buying one for myself.

I’d imagine that this falls into that category of tool that might not be bad to purchase from HF — the kind you don’t use regularly enough to put in hard conditions.

And we do have 220V in the TM shop.

280 Amp Bandsaw Blade Welder [Harbor Freight]
12V Blade Welder [Advance Car Mover Co.]

 

12 Responses to Reader Finds: Bandsaw Blade Welders

  1. Gene D says:

    My wife’s grandfather is a retired cabinet maker who told me that in the shop where he used to work, they didn’t buy bandsaw blades. They used to have spools of blade “stock” from which they would always make their own bandsaw blades. I wonder how much cheaper it would be to buy the blade “stock” (I don’t know what else to call it!) and weld your own if you go through a lot of blades.

  2. nrChris says:

    Another cool tool that I didn’t know I needed. Pretty creative to know that I could break a bandsaw blade to insert into a hole–this is somewhere where I have classically switched to a saber saw.

  3. Paul says:

    I braze my blades. My braze joints are so strong that if the blade breaks again it will break somewhere other than my braze. I will have to write an instructable someday as to how I braze bandsaw blades together. It is a bit of a trick, but not too hard really. I’ve tried welding bandsaw blades with various processes but invariably ended up burning the blade a bit. Brazing is the way to go.

    OK I’ll give a description of what I do to braze a blade together here. Make the loop you need, overlap the blade so you can cut the blade across at a 30 degree angle. Cut the overlapped part of the loop you have wrapped with shears. Now with a grinder chamfer the facing angled cuts. Then I have a clamp jig that holds the blades together. Here is a picture of my clamp jig:

    http://home.comcast.net/~pcf1/BladeClamp.png

    You can buy these too, but I made mine out of a piece of 3 inch channel. Now just lay in a braze bead with your torch. Grind the joint smooth to width, and you’re ready to run. The braze I use has a tensile strength of 70,000 PSI, which is typical for the material. In use it is more than strong enough for my needs.

    When I first did this I didn’t have a whole lot of faith in the method, but having done it I don’t even think about my braze failing anymore. They don’t, I’ve snapped blades again in other places. It took me longer to type this up I think than it does to actually do. And, although I’ve never done it, my method would work on enclosed hole cutting too. Cut the blade, pass it through a hole, then braze it back together.

    Everyone that has a bandsaw should be able to put blades together. It isn’t that hard, and it works better than I ever expected it to.

  4. Brian says:

    Brazing bandsaw blades. I agree that brazing is the way to go , but there
    are some variables in how successful the end result will be. I have been
    doing some testing , as it were , and thought I would share my experiences
    here , after searching for some secondary information on your claim and
    article.

    Yes , the blades will hold firmly together when brazed , but if you don’t
    spend most of the time in setting up the weld , you will end up with a
    temporary blade only. I first tried the butt end method , while concerned
    about not getting too much bronze on the blade itself. Once done and
    satisfied that the weld was smooth enough to go through the guides , I
    started my bandsaw / dropsaw. I cut a few pieces of wood , then increased
    the cutting piece thickness , only to have the blade break again , as you said
    in a different spot. This is because the strength of the blade changes at the
    points on either side of the actual welded area.

    So , I tried another way. I set the blade into a vise , extending the blade
    end about 3/8″ . I ground a square slot into each end of the blade , leaving
    a rectangular square when the pieces are brough together. Then I made a
    very small block , from scrap metal , measuring about , 3/8″ long x 1/4″
    wide. This allowed me to change the angle of the stiffness of the weld.

    So , instead of having just a straight line weld across the blade , no matter
    what the blade’s width , you would have more angles. You would have a
    straight angle across the blade , 2 angles along the blade , reinforced by 2
    end welds , across the blade.

    This worked and cut alot of pieces before it too , gave to the same principals
    as the straight across method. So . I decided to try a different type of metal
    and found a small piece of bimetalic metal. The type of metal that has what
    you call memory. This worked best. To get a good blade out of the deal ,
    you have to weld the blade when it is in it’s memory position , or you are
    welding the blade in an unnatural positon , causing stress on the weld during
    it’s bending operation. Mocking this position is the answer.

    The main problem with welding any bandsaw blade is you have to take into
    consideration that the blade is bent throughout the operation at the machine.
    The blade is always bending. It even twists it’s way off the drive wheels and
    through the guides. Which don’t allow much tolerance to imperfection in the
    weld area.

    My next theory is to consider welding blades in a jig setup that takes the
    blade’s actual position on the wheels into consideration. After all , who would
    expect a blade that is bending during operation , to be welded straight and
    flat. So , I think if you set up a mock blade setup at your weld jig , you
    might be able to weld the blade in position more characteristic to it’s actual
    intended position , as I am sure manufacturers do.

    What I mean is , you need to stretch the blade completely out and have the
    blade resting in it’s natural operating position , before you weld the joint.
    That way , there is no force pulling on the weld from any angle. Thus , it
    has no choice but to just follow repeatedly. How did I figure this , you ask.

    Well , we know most blades are bimetalic , springy like. But the problem is
    we are trying to weld that very position , which you can’t achieve unless you
    put the blade into it’s natural position before you join the metal at that point.
    At what point , is the answer to the problem. We are welding at the wrong
    point throughout the metal’s structure , and we all know that if you bend a
    piece of metal back and forth , what happens ? It breaks.

    I hope you can understand what I mean. Placing the blade in a setup that
    mocks the operation position , putting tension on the blade itself , then being
    able to weld it , right there , makes the blade follow properly , structurally.
    Thus , it just goes , round and round , without any stress on the weld or the
    blade itself.

    In other words , an adjustable , mock , jig is necessary. Where there is no
    change in the position of the welded area during operation. Just hanging the
    remainder of the blade , doesn’t position the blade properly for welding or
    joining. I guess you could say , welding the blade right on the machine
    could be an idea , as I have seen this done once when there were no new
    blades available in a shop I worked at , after the supervisor got tired of
    trying to keep the blade on the machine , he welded several other used ones
    only to go directly to the machine because the blades kept breaking.

    Sure , he clamped a prepared blade at the joint , while it was on the machine
    under tension even. It worked , if I remember correctly , but he was mad
    by that time , so I stayed away from him , especially while he was holding
    a hot torch , I’m not dumb you know , (lol).

    There is also much to be said about the actual molecular structure of the
    steel , it requires consideration , as metal sheeting will break if bend over
    repeatedly.

    Hope this helps

    Brian

  5. amanda says:

    my dad is looking for a spool of bandsaw blades and we have looked every where can some one help me to find some for me dad

  6. keith paterson says:

    I like to know the price of a bandsaw blade weilder

  7. Dave Pearce says:

    Hi! after deciding to purchase the 12 Volt car battery blade welder, I sent the order off $263 including freight, and sure enough I received my 12volt blade welder via a courier service, Great! So, connecting it up to a 500amp cold cranking auto battery as per instructions, I then placed my broken band blade in the welding clamps, pressed the button, nothing! pressed again, nothing! scratched head, that did not help! so I sent an e-mail off to Dave Courtney of Advance carmovers in the U.S. and he promtly informed me that the unit I had received had a defective solenoid. However they would gladly replace it free of charge and pay the extra postage. However, I elected to just have the solenoid sent over and I would get it fixed over here. At the present time the solenoid has arrived (To day) safely as promissed, I am waiting on this unit to be fixed and will keep you up to date on the outcome. Dave Pearce.

  8. HapnJac says:

    Just saw this web page today. If any one is still interested in a 100 ft. reel of band saw blades, I just bought one from http://www.pts-tools.com. It cost $82.50 delivered.

  9. rksingh says:

    iinteresting in this mc pl sent details

  10. DanDean says:

    I bought a used one about 30 yrs ago. Only does to 3/8, but I have done 1/2 on it. I live 30 miles from town and was a pain to go get a blade in the middle of a project. I just bought a 250′ of 1/4 inch on ebay for $125. My blades always cost me 5-6.00 each. I love it. I got it for $125.00 used from the highschool shop.

  11. Leonid Stephens ( says:

    How can I get one of these 12v welding machine to buy please,

  12. joseph baltage says:

    how do I get it in kenya?

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