Desert Ironwood

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Ray-CA

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Nov 14, 2020
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I received a piece of desert ironwood along with a number of other hardwoods as a gift and have a question about cutting it. I’m aware of the need for a respirator etc but should I use a masonry blade to cut it? Or will carbide tipped blades be fine?

Thanks,

Ray
 
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leehljp

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I only use carbide blades for wood anyway, and have used carbide blades on ironwood. I don't force it, just a steady cut.
 

Dehn0045

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IMHO a masonry blade would be ineffective. My understanding is that masonry blades work primarily with an abrasive action, something you want to avoid when cutting wood. It would be like using a wrench as a hammer. Although DIW is hard relative to other woods, it's still wood and should be treated as such. It will be less forgiving than other woods, watch alignment of your blade to avoid heat. If you're cutting a lot then carbide or bimetal would probably be the best choice, for a handful of pen blanks HSS is fine.
 

Ray-CA

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IMHO a masonry blade would be ineffective. My understanding is that masonry blades work primarily with an abrasive action, something you want to avoid when cutting wood. It would be like using a wrench as a hammer. Although DIW is hard relative to other woods, it's still wood and should be treated as such. It will be less forgiving than other woods, watch alignment of your blade to avoid heat. If you're cutting a lot then carbide or bimetal would probably be the best choice, for a handful of pen blanks HSS is fine.
Thanks. I just wanted to be sure before I a) ruined a great piece of wood or b) ruined a saw blade.

Ray
 

leehljp

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For my response, I was specifically referring to blades but I did leave something out. I lived in Japan for 26 years and brought back (when I retired from that work) a dozen or so 6 in (150mm) carbide blades that were either 1mm or .9mm kerf blades. I have a small home made table saw that I cut blanks and segments with. Works fine and the carbide does well on ironwood.
 
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