The findings I report here are based on totally empirical, non-scientific “tests”. I am sure others would have conducted better tests to arrive at the same conclusions; I just could not afford to spend too much time troubleshooting the burning I saw on my cuts.
I have had the Woodworker II on the table saw for most of the last 4-1/2 years. Although the blade still cuts smoothly, recently it started burning the wood a little. This was especially evident when cutting 3-inch glued-up quarter-sawn white oak (QSWO) table legs:
I cleaned the blade regularly; but this time I had a hunch it needed to go beyond another cleaning. I checked alignment on the table saw, without finding anything out of the ordinary. The blade was parallel to the miter slot; and the blade was also parallel to the fence.
To keep from wasting too much time, I decided to install a brand-new blade. As luck would have it, I had received the Cabinetmaker blade from Sommerfeld Tools 24 hours earlier. I installed it, and proceeded to make some test cuts. The first thing I noticed was noticeably less effort in pushing the 3-inch leg stock through the blade. Second, the cut was perfectly smooth, with no burning anywhere:
To my amazement, it took much less effort to make the cut with the new blade. An Aha! moment.
I immediately realized that the Woodworker II needed its first sharpening. As a result, the Cabinetmaker will stay on the table saw, until it needs cleaning and/or sharpening. And, instead of wasting time on another cleaning, I resumed work immediately. Only about 15 minutes wasted, instead of an hour or two.
If, like me, you:
- Have a clean blade, plus
- Your blade has been in use on the saw for some time, and also
- Everything is properly aligned on the table saw, but
- Are experiencing either a little burning on your cuts, or
- It “feels” as if you are having to push through the cut a little harder,
Then you probably need to have your blade sharpened. My Forrest Woodworker II is (finally!) being sharpened this weekend.