Behind the Scenes, How-To

How to Fold a Saw Blade

These are the blades that we use on our Timberking 1600, a pretty great sawmill that we are still learning all the tricks to:


We got in some more Long Leaf pine posts that we re-milled into veneers to make our hollow reclaimed wood ceiling beams. Last Saturday, we had some bad luck with blades that we thought were still sharp, but were just gunked up with sawdust and pitch from the pine we are cutting. So last week I soaked one blade in mineral spirits each night, and cleaned it off in the morning. But we just couldn’t get a straight cut with these blades, so we sent them out for resharpening, which requires you to fold the blade up and secure it with a zip tie or wire for shipping. If you, like me, have never really messed with replaceable sawmill blades, then this will help you when you find yourself folding a 14 foot saw blade.


Today I learned that folding a blade, if you don’t know the right technique, can be pretty tricky. I tried to hold the blade down on the ground with my foot, and then sort of wrestle it into the tri-folded shape. This worked some of the time, but more often I ended up with a blade pretzel that would whip me across the arms. After snapping myself on the arm a couple of times, I watched the video on folding blades on the DVD that came with our Timberking sawmill. Like everything in a woodshop, blade folding is almost impossible if you don’t know the right technique. If you guess, you will probably guess wrong.
Trying to wrestle the blade into shape.

Here is how you fold a 14 foot sawmill blade (wear gloves!)

  1. Hold blade out horizontally, with your palms facing outwards: Blog_Feb2014_3
  2.  Turn your wrists in: Blog_Feb2014_4
  3. And catch the end of the blade folding towards you and finish the fold: Blog_Feb2014_5 Blog_Feb2014_6
  4. Then secure the blades with a zip tie: Blog_Feb2014_7
  5. And you are ready to store or ship your blades!