You don’t have to email me, I try to keep an eye on the Orchid list, so I happened to catch your question tonight.
From what you said, I think there are two problems.
A) Shredding of 4/0 blades, and
B) Sawing cockeyed to the frame.
Is this correct?
The reason this matters, is that it’s probably two more-or-less unrelated issues.
Breaking the blades is easier. The first thing to remember is that all of our frames are much stiffer than traditional designs. They can easily tear blades apart, especially smaller ones like 4/0s. I think what’s going on there is just a case of having the tension knob set too tight. 4/0’s are thinner than 3/0’s, so a tension that will almost break a 3/0 will break a 4/0. You need to adjust the tension knob when you change sizes of blade.
Probably the easiest way to do it is to really loosen the tension knob, (2-3 turns) and then put a blade in. Flip the lever to tight, and tighten the knob until you get a ‘plonk’ that’s starting to sound like it might want to be a ‘ping’. Flip the lever open, and add on another half turn of tension, and flip the lever closed again. Listen to the tone. It’ll probably be too ‘plonk-ish’. So flip the lever open, add on another 1/4-1/2 turn, and try again. Keep adjusting until you’re happy with the tone. The trick here is to sneak up on it without overshooting, because overshooting will break the blade.
Once you get used to the saw, you don’t need to fuss with it like this, but you do need to adjust the tension when changing blade size.
As far as sawing off at a 30 degree angle, I have no idea what’s causing that except maybe your blade is waay too loose. Let’s get the tension issue dealt with, and see that doesn’t cure it. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to get out my Sherlock Holmes hat and take another crack at deduction.
You can also email me directly at email@example.com. That way you can send pictures and things. Worst comes-to-worst, I’ve discovered facetime video conferences are sometimes very useful for solving issues quickly, especially when it relates to the right ‘ping’ for a sawblade.
Don’t worry, we always stand behind our gear. One way or another, we’ll get you taken care of.