Posted on

Sharpening the Stellite Teeth on the 3″ Hitachi Blade

Sharpening the Stellite Teeth on the 3" Hitachi Blade

by Bruce Creps

previously published in American Lutherie #91, 2007

See also,
“Resawing Lutherie Wood” by Bruce Creps
“Grading and Curing Lumber” by Bruce Creps

With a shop-made jig you can sharpen your blade in place in less time than it takes to remove and reinstall it. You save money, conserve steel, and don’t need to fuss with fine-tuning a newly installed blade.

I sharpen blades ten times, making my “cost per blade” under $13. I discard the blade after that because I have found cracks on a few blades after 12–15 sharpenings, and because the Stellite teeth taper in width so you lose set when you sharpen the teeth down to nubs. With insufficient set a band can rub the stock and heat up or wander. The blade will generally stay sharp for eight hours of production sawing of dry hardwood. I don’t go much beyond eight hours because a less-than-sharp blade may heat up and work harden the Stellite tips.

The all-Stellite blade has a cutting (rake) angle of 22°, a sharpness angle of 50°, and a back (clearance) angle of 18°. For my purposes this blade is just right. I once used an alternate-tooth Stellite blade and got better performance when I increased its cutting angle from 16° to 22°. Otherwise I have not experimented with tooth geometry.

Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article

This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page.

If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.