Bandsaws are the primary tool in many woodworkers’ shops.
Whether professional woodworkers or just a hobbyist, there is bound to come a time when a bandsaw blade shows signs of wear or even damage.
The choice you have to make then is, do you try to repair it or fork out the money on a new one?
In this article, we will show you how and when you can repair a bandsaw blade.
Can you safely repair a bandsaw blade? The possibility of whether you can repair a bandsaw blade is going to be determined by the overall quality of the blade. Inferior blades made of low-quality materials will wear more quickly and be more prone to damage. These may not be worth the effort to repair. Higher quality blades that have been damaged can often be repaired and, in some cases, be even more durable when done correctly.
Keep reading for all the insider secrets on extending the life of your damaged bandsaw blade.
To Repair or Not To Repair a Bandsaw Blade
Long before you break out your other tools and set to repairing your blade or sending it off to be repaired, you have to determine if a repair is not only possible but worth it.
After all, safety is the number one priority whenever we work with our prized power tools, from the lowly sander to the professional lathe, all woodworking tools need to be safe to use.
We have all heard the saying, “where there is a will, there is away.” That does not mean it is right.
With enough ingenuity, anything can be repaired to some degree.
When it comes to a bandsaw blade, you have to determine if the damage can be repaired in a way that the blade can work in the same manner.
If there is significant damage, a repair may not be worth the trouble.
On the other hand, if there is relatively little damage to the structure or integrity of the blade as a whole, a simple repair may be called for.
All blades are not made the same. Blades can be found in all densities and thicknesses.
Blades can also be produced by a wide variety of metals, both composite and pure.
When it comes to a good quality bandsaw blade, you are going to have to pay for it, in most cases.
It may be a complete waste of time to repair, or have a blade repaired, that can be easily replaced.
Especially if you plan to use the same type of blade, and the blade was damaged from normal use. Although we would suggest upgrading your blade if possible.
Alternatively, if you have shelled out some big bucks for a high-quality blade, taking the time and maybe the money to have it repaired may be quite worth it.
You may want to check to see if your bandsaw blade is covered under warranty against damage with proper use.
Cost of Repairs
We would all love to ignore the cost of things that we need to be done.
Unfortunately, money is what makes the world move. Particularly in cases where you are not prepared or equipped to repair your blade yourself, that proper repair can be costly.
Though not likely as costly as a new blade, you will have to weigh the cost against the life the repair may provide.
If you have a big project due and cannot wait long for the blade to be repaired, purchasing a new one may be worth the cost.
In this way, the cost may be much more than actual dollars and cents.
**Wondering how long a blade should last? See our detailed guide about bandsaw blade longevity here!!!**
How to Get Your Bandsaw Blade Repaired
You have determined that not only is your blade repairable, but it is worth it to repair it.
The first question is going to be, is this something you can do on your own? Or, where can you get a bandsaw blade repaired?
Do It Yourself Repairs
If you have the tools and skills, repairing bandsaw blades may be easily done in your own workshop.
All you need is:
- A couple of clamps
- Propane torch
- A sander.
- A small hand grinder, such a Dremel (optional)
Step 1: If you have a hand grinder, you will want to put a bevel on each end to be matched up. Do not worry about making it exact; just get them close.
Step 2: Thoroughly clean the ends and surrounding area to remove any dust and oil before beginning your repair.
Step 3: Place the two pieces in the clamps with the bevels lined up and apply flux to the entire join.
Step 4: Insert a small amount of solder into the join and heat with the propane torch until both blade pieces are heated through. Be careful not touch or move the piece until completely cool.
Step 5: Using the sander, file the surface of the blade until smooth.
Below is a short video about bandsaw blade home-repair:
Commercial Bandsaw Blade Repairs
Professional woodworkers or avid hobbyists may find that they have neither the time, patience, nor perhaps proper equipment to repair their own blade.
Business owners can also use repairs as a business expense to help offset any costs incurred.
Check your local area for metalworkers that specialize in dealing with woodworking tools and blades.
You have to be assured that your blade is properly cared for to avoid the blade causing unexpected issues when being used after repair.
Ask what type of solder they use for repairs. In most cases, you want to repair your blade with a solder made of metals as strong or stronger than the composition of the blade for a secure and strong repair.
One of our favorites is silver-solder. When heated properly, silver solder can get into the smallest spaces for a thorough and strong bond.
If by chance, you do not have anyone in your area that specializes in blade repair, there are a few resources available online. However, these often require costly shipping fees for many areas.
Mechanics and Machinists
Another option is to reach out to mechanics and machinists. Many mechanics have all of the tools necessary to fix your blade, even if they have never done that exact repair.
We would suggest discussing the process with them thoroughly and make sure they are willing to stand by the work, should something fail.
Small Engine Repair Shop
Last, but certainly not least, is to check out your local small engine repair shop.
These are the people that deal with lawnmowers, boats, and other small engines.
They will very likely have the tools necessary to make the repair since they often have to deal with several manufacturers and older equipment that need things retrofitted.
These providers are also usually fairly used to dealing with at least lawn mower blades, so they have a better understanding as to the strength and durability needed in a good, strong join.
In some cases, the businesses may even be able to order replacement blades if you find yourself needing a new blade for your bandsaw or any other of your woodworking tools.
Related Article: Why Bandsaw Blades Keep Coming Off, it’s highly dangerous if it does!
Time to Decide Whether to Repair Your Blade
The truth is only you can really make the decision whether or not to get your blade repaired.
While we would always suggest erroring on the side of caution, the reality is often that we all try to squeak as much life out of our tools as absolutely possible.
Just remember to keep safety as the main priority in whatever decision you make.
Woodworkers live and breathe by their woodworking tools and when one goes down, it can feel like a part of you is missing or hurt.
Whether you are new to woodworking or have been around the sawdust for a while now, you are going to have this very decision to make at some point.
Consider it a bonus if you have the tools and knowledge to repair the blade safely on your own.
If not, reach out to your fellow woodworkers, we depend on each other to find the ins and outs in our local areas to get the tools and services we need.
All the best to you and yours. We wish you tons of saw-dusty fun in your future.