Cutting Glass fins on bandsaw

Anybody cutting the profile on a bandsaw? If so what kind of blades do you prefer?

1/2 inch remgrit, medium grit, gulleted.

Leave it to the “Pros”.  Cleanline for asking.  Da “Rat” for the inside dope. Good info Thanks.  Lowel

Make sure you cut them in one long cut. Once i made a small cut, a bit of glass fell down into the machine and got caught inside the drive-belt. It snapped and i had to get a new one. Just thought id let you know where i went wrong. :slight_smile:

I use a general purpose 1/4" 6 TPI blade. The fiberglass really dulls the blades quick; go slow otherwise you’ll knock the blade off the wheel or snap it. 

I have foggy memories of cutting out a few thousand fins on a band saw. I used whatever blade JKP could come up with from his vast collection of slightly used blades. The 1/2'' ones cut fair lines better, but you'd have to do the tips in a couple of stages. Getting a fair line on trailing edge saves a bunch of work later.

We even used the band saw (with a fence) to split these sandwich sheets we did for foam/glass fins. I would lay up matching color sides on a piece of 3/4'' Clark sheet foam, then we would cut the template. Then split that templated piece to yield matching pairs of twin fins, foam on the foil side.

24tpi, they last a long time, cut a bit slower that fewer teeth, but don’t kill the teeth. Gotta keep the thrust bearing against the back edge of the blade, top and bottom, can’t slip off the rear of the wheel if done like this.

Guide lowered as close as possible to work piece, shortens the pressure area, reduces the snappage and don’t do like Steve Clark and push glass with your thumb directly in line with the blade, no need to explain further

If you want the best just seek out what I already mentioned, because that is the “skil 100” of band saw blades, not cheap, but properly treated will last for 20 years, everything else pretty much sucks- did I say it clear enough?  

…any of you can imagine one of these NEW “international marketing” shapers doing this thing? among others?

I love bandsaws but my router rocks in this department.

Carbide grit



I use a remgrit also, but it’s an investment.  I got a rockwell 14 bandsaw and installed carter bearings and keep the clearance adjusted as close to the work as possible.  A good saw and proper adjusment so no broken blades anymore.  Before when I was using a cheaper bandsaw I broke a few, not good.

Scroll Saw would be the way to go.  Diamond ecrusted tile blade with a water drip going to cool the blade and keep the dust down. 

Hi mako, do you have a picture of your set-up?  I’m having a hard time visualizing it.  Do you collect the water or is it above a tub with a little pump like a tile saw?

there you go ...........someone with brains!

good one mako !

bandsaws work ,but too much to focus on and costs are not eco .

scroll saws were made for fin cutting.

it faster,cleaner with less down time/..............and here's the kicker.................more money in your pocket !


bandsaws.......................ya right..................try cutting out a 5', 14ply, rock table, maple skin,formica top and bottom racing deck with that



I’ve tried a scroll saw for fin blanks and didn’t think it worked very well.  The small size of the blade makes the cut wander too much.  IMHO.  Your mileage may vary.


18’’ bandsaw    for fins  1/4’'x 12 blade evently will get blunt but many sets before that and as jim says  back guide important

if you are breaking blades  running out of whack’’   speed to fast   and saw not much chop


** blade in pics not for fins  **


**cheers huie

thanks for the photo , huie !






.....does anyone else here use a jigsaw to cut out their fins ? if not , why [not] , I wonder ?

Nice looking saw, I really would like to add an 18 or 20 inch bandsaw to my tools, I snapped a 24 tooth a week ago while tensioning the blade, it had plenty of miles on it already, now I have a 3/8" X 32 tooth on it, feels like no teeth at all, cuts slower, but it too has a few years of sawing time on it without snapping.

Some blades when they snap give off an almost shotgun bang, can scare the crap out of you if not prepared, at my old Florida factory I was sawing fins and jumped out of my skin by the loud explosion I heard, followed by laughter.  One of the cork soakers that would visit had thrown a salute under my loading dock door and it blew up at my feet. I kicked the door open and it’s 1" clearance from the floor traveled over the forkwads toes and wedged his foot to the loading dock, he wore the scars from that for a while. He eventually OD’d on heroin, pranks and power tools don’t mix

I have seen some good deals  for 18" and 20"s on Ebay.  Problem is usually shipping.  If you are in So. Cal. they come up from time to time..  Buyer beware.  Jet makes a good entry level saw and ships from the Northwest.  Of course the "creme de creme" is made in So. Cal..  That being Laguna IMHO.  Surfding's got one.  I would think that a scroll saw or a tile saw would be a better alternative.  If you are a reasonably busy shaper making your own fins is a waste of valuable time.  A diversion for a guy with time on his hands. Which could be anybody who posts on this site.