Spring steel for my saw blades comes to me in coils. After unrolling the coil, some of the curvature remains. Shearing the steel into smaller blanks and punching the teeth adds further distortion. Clever planning can sometimes be used to counteract one stress with another, but the results are unpredictable and unreliable.
For several years, I dealt with these distortions by manually straightening the blades after they were installed in the spine. This can be a tedious and frustrating process, and is one that many beginners struggle with.
Over the years, I investigated several options to make flattening the blades easier and faster. Till now, those leads all proved to be dead ends or too expensive for the small quantities I deal in. Finally, last month I came across a solution, and was able to purchase equipment that allows me to efficiently straighten my blades.
With just a few minutes of work, the vast majority of the distortion is removed from the blade. Some of what is left comes out when the blade is installed in the spine; the remainder is easily dealt with by using the techniques outlined in the link above. Going forward, every backsaw blade will be leveled (flattened) before leaving my shop.
To cover the time needed to straighten the blade blanks, backsaw blade and kit prices have been increased by $4 – $6. I believe these improved blades and kits remain the best value around, and that the convenience and time savings are well worth the added cost.