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Zamboni Planer Blades

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  • Zamboni Planer Blades

    Dropped some end mills off to be sharpened yesterday, and asked if they ever had any throw-away blades as "useful stock." The reply was " I have a couple of Zamboni blades for the garbage." For those who dont know, these are the blades that plane the arena ice as it is flushed with water to resurface it. It turns out that these are sharpened weekly, and when they are down to some dimension limit, they are tossed. These are 7' long, about 4 1/2" or 5" wide, and 5/8" thick. The shop owner did not know exactly what the steel was, other than it was capable of holding a "dangerous edge." He compared it to paper cutter knives. The question is:- is this stuff good for anything? I am sure that when new they dont give these knives away, but you could spend a while chopping it into useable pieces with an angle grinder. Duffy
    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

  • #2
    The packrat in me would say it's a no-brainer - grab several!

    Sounds like one would be ideal as a replacement cutting edge for the bucket on my excavator. Or, shortened, blades for a pto-driven wood chipper.

    As they're always getting wet, are they stainless of some sort?

    All of the gear, no idea...


    • #3
      Could even be HSS, but whatever, handle with EXTREME care. If one is heading for the floor get out of the way or bits of YOU might end up down there with it.

      Regards Ian
      You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.


      • #4
        Hahah iv seen a guy replaceing those. chated him up. Amazeing how they have to bother puting 'do not sit' stickers on all the locations with the GIANT EXPOSED ROTATING AUGER AND 7' LONG RAZORBLADE.
        Id hardly want to sit in the drivers seat let alone any of those 'wrong' locations. those blades looked deadly.
        5/8? I coulda sworn the one I saw being replaced was more like 1"+, but maybe thats just my memory acting up.

        Infact maybe those are small zambonies? I coulda sworn the blade I saw was more like 9' by 1' by 1"

        I allmost think I recall seeing rust on it too. but I could be wrong.. and I don't think it was much more then a couple stains.

        While they do get 'wet', lots of tool steels are rather rust resistant afaik.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


        • #5
          I'd put my money on it being S5 tool steel. I use it to make engraving chisels.

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          • #6
            I'd be all over it.


            • #7
              Take a close look and you may well find that they aren't worth taking. Most of the blades are a plain steel backing for a thin tool steel edge. By the time the tool steel edge is nearly gone all you have is some mystery metal contaminated on one edge with a thin line of tool steel.
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              • #8
                An acid etch would quickly prove the above.
                " you not think you have enough machines?"


                • #9
                  It may be good toolsteel, and thus valuable...


                  • #10
                    So will a file and it's a lot easier.
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                    • #11
                      Hehe, as much id love to hope otherwise, Evan is likey right. Would'nt a blade like that be thousands of dollars if pure tool steel? A small tip would also be a likey reason for them throwing them out after they reach a min size.

                      Still, Theres lots you can do with a giant bar of reasonabley sturdy metal. assumeing its not excessively tapered, you could take your 8" circular saw, clamp a fence down, put in an abrasive blade and cut the entire contaminated 'tool steel tip' off to make it into a nice rectangular stock. Or feed the thing through a bandsaw, your typicaly metal cutting bandsaw will cut a few inchs off an inf long peice if you can find ways to support the dang thing while passing it through! Maybe a portaband saw + some sorta guide.
                      Or just cut it into smaller lengths as needed and mill/cut off any edges/tapers you don't want then.

                      If it is tapered.. Well, you just have a lot more milling to get that rectangular stock. :P

                      At the very least I bet it would make an awsome brake die! haha.
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                      • #12
                        There is NOTHING like a bit of scroung to peak people's interest. I will be back there next Friday and I will try and find out more.Unless I can get a blade on its wooden carrier, then I will give it a miss. I drive a Matrix, and it will be a snug fit, although I suppose that I could take a split length of hose and some duct tape as edge protector. Evan, your comment on laminated blades is very true. Even the itty-bitty blades on my 12" planer were laminated. Economy was my first thought, then it occurred to me that a board with a screw could almost make a HSS blade explode. Incidentally, the blades on my wood chipper appear to be two short lengths of some carbon steel-at least they are file-soft. Duffy
                        Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec


                        • #13
                          We use blades like those on our material grinders at work and yes they are quite expensive and made from solid HSS or tool steel depending on what you get them for. None of ours are backed and our grinders use 9 blades 16" long and 4" wide 5/8" thick. When they get to 3.750 they are disposed of since there is no more adjustment left in them. We keep 4 sets in stoc kal lthe time. Unless you can use them as they are or anneal and start from scratch they are pretty much useless. Short of diamond or carbide or an EDM machine your not gonna put a hole in them and the only way to cut them is with a cut off wheel or diamond saw.


                          • #14
                            The Zamboni blades here are described as inlaid tool steel.