Mi In. x 14 TPI V« in. x 6 TPI STANDARD TOOTH HOOK TOOTH Blades with Blades with hook more teeth teeth cut faster, cut smoother.

in. x 4 TPI SKIP TOOTH Blades with skip teeth run cooler in thick stock.

"raker" to clear the kerf and keep the blade running straight). "Standard" blades provide the most stable cuts in thinner materials. The "skip" profile is a standard with half as many teeth. This increases gullet size and reduces clogging. The "hook" profile has a slight positive hook angle. It cuts more aggressively and requires less feed pressure.

As with any saw blade, the number of teeth in the cut will affect how smoothly and quickly you can cut. The blades shown in the drawing reflect the general rule that you want a blade with more teeth if you're cutting harder or thinner materials, and one with larger gullets for softer or thicker materials. If you want a blade that will cut faster than the ones shown and be less likely to clog, choose a blade with fewer teeth, aiming, as in the old carpenter's adage, to keep at least three teeth in the cut for stability.

Blade Width and Thickness

Cutting curves is one of the handsaw's specialties, and cutting radius depends primarily on the blade width. (It's the back comer of the blade rubbing against the outside of the kerf that limits the curve.) As a general rule, a Vfe-in. blade will cut a curved inside corner smaller than a dime.

a Va-in. blade will cut to the size of a quarter, while a 3/b-in. blade will follow the outline of an old silver dollar.

Blade thickness and the diameter of the wheels on your saw contribute to the likelihood a blade will break from metal fatigue instead of just dulling to the point where it's no longer useful. Most blades break from metal fatigue— constant bending makes the steel brittle—and the smaller the wheels on your saw and the thicker the metal in the blade, the faster a blade will break. Blade thickness for 14-in., small shop saws shouldn't exceed 0.025 in. Small, three-wheel bandsaws work better with more flexible 0.014-in.-thick blades, while larger bandsaws can handle blades up to 0.035 in. thick.

Resawing (cutting thick, wide stock into thinner boards) is another bandsaw specialty. For straight, smooth resawing. wide blades resist cutting pressure and deflect less in the cut. If your blade screeches and produces dust rather than chips, try using a blade with fewer teeth, and slow the saw down. Then restart the cut from the other end of the work: Running a new blade down an old kerf quickly dulls it by overheating the sharp outside corners of the teeth.

Blade Recommendations

If you're wondering which blades you should buy, the three shown are a good starting point, but the suppliers listed below carry a wide variety of blade types if you want to experiment. Anybody's "favorite" blade depends on exactly what you're cutting and what you want to pay. AW used Olson's standard carbon-steel blades in the bandsaw test (see main article) and found they were good, low-cost, all-purpose blades. In his own woodworking business. Executive Editor Ellis Walentine has used the AS and PC Series blades from Suffolk Machinery and says they produce "unbelievably smooth cuts." For an all-around blade, I'm partial to the V4-in., 6-tooth bimetal blade from Lennox, which has a hook tooth and a thickness of 0.025 in. This blade costs twice as much as the other brands mentioned, but it has alloy teeth that resist wear from the pieces of particleboard, plywood, plastic and bark-covered logs that go through my saw.

JIM CUMMINS Is a contributing editor of AW.

Bandsaw blades are available from the following mail-order sources:

American Saw Mfg. Co.

301 Chestnut St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028 (413) 525-3961 Circle #664 Carries Lennox blades.

The Olson Saw Co.

16 Stony Hill Rd.. Rte. 6, Bethel, CT 06801 (800) 634-4047 Circle #665

Suffolk Machinery Corp.

12 Waverly Ave., Suite 125, Patchogue. NY 11772 (800) 234-7297 Circle #666

Trifid Lowboy
This graceful Queen Anne lowboy combines cabinetmaking and carving skills.

yf\ ne of the most enjoyable aspects if, of building 18th-century furniture V is studying the remarkable diversity of design during this period. In each of the major localities, craftsmen produced furniture that was distinctive in line, proportion and form, reflecting differences in the tastes and ethnic backgrounds of both builder and patron.

This lowboy, or dressing table, while not an exact reproduction, is typical of Queen Anne furniture built by Philadelphia craftsmen during the early- to mid-1700s. I based the design on Philadelphia examples because I liked the

Authentic Details and Construction Grace This 18th-Century Classic rising line of the front apron combined with the shallow center drawer. And the space outlined by the cabriole legs, knee blocks, and apron forms a very graceful, i m almost dancing line that is the essence of good Queen Anne furniture. The carved "trifid" (three-lobed) feet, the crotch-vcnccrcd drawer fronts and the general proportions arc also representative of many Philadelphia pieces I have studied.

If the piccc appears somewhat ambitious to you with its carved feet, you can substitute turned pad feet for the carvcd ones without destroying the authentic fla-

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