If you are having trouble getting your bandsaw blades back into that neat little coil, read on. It really is simple, but only after you see it happen a couple times!
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Coiling Bandsaw Blades
It's all in the wrist, a twist and foot
Text, Photos & Video by Tom Hintz
Updated - 2-20-2011
Caution: Bandsaw blades are capable of inflicting cuts and scratches if not controlled properly. Whenever coiling or uncoiling bandsaw blades, wear heavy gloves, (long sleeve) shirt, long trousers and full shoes. Keep the blade away from your face at all times, even when restrained.
If the NewWoodworker.com email is any indicator, one of the more frustrating mysteries in woodworking is how to get a bandsaw blade back into the neat little coil it came in. The answer is a surprisingly simple: after seeing it done a time or two.
In the photos and video that follow, we show you how it's done.
While this procedure is simple, practicing it a few times with an old, worn out blade is a good idea. It is possible to kink blades if the coiling is done very wrong, usually caused by frustration.
Coiling the Blade
Put the lower end of the blade loop on a piece of scrap wood to protect the teeth and step down on the blade just hard enough to retain it.
Grasp the blade at the top of the loop, your palm facing away from you.
Twist the blade 1 full turn while lowering your hand towards your foot.
The blade should be in three loose coils now. Slip the new coils under your foot to secure them while changing your grip to the sides of the coils before removing it from under your foot.
Until you grow accustomed to coiling the blades, the coils may be unevenly sized. You can work the coiled blade with your still-gloved hands to even the coils out somewhat but there is nothing wrong with securing them even if they are not equally sized.
Secure the coils with three evenly spaced wire twist ties.
It is important to be sure the coiled blade remains restrained. I use wire ties that have no visible damage or pieces of plain wire wrapped around the coils at least twice before being twisting to lock it in place. Whatever I use, the coil is secured in three places.
Some use several wraps of tape in three places rather than wire twist ties. This is a reasonable substitute providing the tape is heavy and enough wraps are applied around the coils to be sure the blade remains secured.
Uncoiling the Blade
I have tried several different ways of uncoiling a bandsaw blade without being scratched or cut when it springs into its single loop shape. The only one that works consistently is as follows.
Grasp the coiled blade in a gloved hand and carefully remove the ties securing it.
Go outside, toss the still-coiled blade onto the lawn and let it return to its single coil state out there, by itself. (Tossing it on the driveway pavement can damage the teeth) Be sure there are no people or pets nearby as the blade can hop, jump or roll when springing open and will head for the nearest innocent bystander with an eerie regularity.
Go pick it up with your unscratched hands and arms.
Along with the obvious need for gloves, long sleeves, long pants and full shoes, respecting the tempor arily restrained power of a coiled bandsaw blade is important. Carelessness when handling a coiled blade can result in it springing open unexpectedly with the potential to inflict serious scratches as a reminder to be more careful next time.
Take your time, wear good protection and pay attention! Coiling bandsaw blades will never be a problem for you again.
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