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hoffman
10-04-2005, 08:54 PM
I've been fooling with this gate project and my little HF bandsaw is just tooo slow. It's a great saw otherwise but a little lacking for this light production I've gotten myself into.

I've never fooled with a chopsaw before so I was wondering how well it'll do on this 1x2 rectangular tube. Mostly 45 deg cuts.

Thanks.

Fasttrack
10-04-2005, 09:00 PM
If you stack up your tube the long way, where its two inches high and one across it out to cut through pretty decent. Be prepared for alot of heat and noise though! Most 14" chop saws won't be a whole lot faster than the bandsaw would be my guess. I've got a cheap HF 14" chop saw and i've had lots of oppurtunity to use an old wilton bandsaw that could cut more accurately and alot faster than the bandsaw, but that was a thousand dollar piece of equipment! The chop saw isnt all bad, just pretty loud, not that fast and not super accurate either...mostly good for rough cuts only
hope this helps

hoffman
10-04-2005, 09:14 PM
My bandsaw takes about 5 minutes to cut through one http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif It's like watching paint dry...

I really need to get some more good blades but a buddy bought me 3 HF replacements for letting him use the saw and they are holding up. Good guy. I had a Starrett bi-metal that zipped through stuff but I dropped the blade...

I also have all the stuff to add coolant but haven't done it yet so I'm using up the HF blades.

Michael Az
10-04-2005, 09:31 PM
Hoffman, I feel if you are going to do much welding you will need both. The chop saw is much faster but not as accurate as has been mentioned already. The accuracy doesn't bother me for welding projects in square and angle iron because when you clamp down your project on the table, the welder fills in any gaps. I would advise to get a good one though, I think mine is a Mikita. They do have to have enough power to cut well, the blade has to keep feeding in the material so it has to have the power to do so. They are noisy and dirty but get one, you need it!
Michael

zl1byz
10-04-2005, 09:37 PM
Hi Hoffman,

Personally I would get some more bi metal blades and keep going with the band saw.
JMHO

John.

zl1byz
10-04-2005, 09:53 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Michael Az:
Hoffman, I feel if you are going to do much welding you will need both. The chop saw is much faster but not as accurate as has been mentioned already. The accuracy doesn't bother me for welding projects in square and angle iron because when you clamp down your project on the table, the welder fills in any gaps. I would advise to get a good one though, I think mine is a Mikita. They do have to have enough power to cut well, the blade has to keep feeding in the material so it has to have the power to do so. They are noisy and dirty but get one, you need it!
Michael</font>

Op's Michael, we posted about the same time and I didn't see yours before I posted my comment.

I will go along with most of what you said.

I would contend that accuracy does matter, yes you can fill gaps with the welder but that is a inefficent use of time and materials in it self. Give me a proper fitup any day.

I have unfortunatly worked in shops doing the sort of stuff Hoffman is doing and the only time we resorted to abrasive cutoffs was when on site and then it was thier portability that made them the choice.

They do have thier place but I have been in the welding game for 30 years and I still don't have one in my workshop.

John.

[This message has been edited by zl1byz (edited 10-04-2005).]

CCWKen
10-04-2005, 11:16 PM
Bull Snot! Accuracy will be as accurate as you make it. I use an abrasive saw exclusively and have no problem with repeated cuts. I get within a few thousands. That's plenty accurate enough for welding. All it takes is a little setup and a pecking cut instead of constant pressure. This keeps the blade from drifting at an angle.

I burned up my cheap HF and replaced it with a Northern saw ($99). In the past two years, it's had a VERY hard life and still cuts on. I've gone through about eight packs(x5) of blades with it in those two years. I also like the HF blades over the Norton blades. The Nortons flex too much.

The trick to abrasive cutting is to not let the blade try to cut perpendicular to a stock's flat. I've done it with 1/2x6 flats but it just takes longer. I try to angle the flats or stand them up, if there's room.

3x5x3/8" channel will cut in about a minute. 1" drill rod in about 30 seconds. 2x3x3/16" tube will cut in about 30 seconds too. The only thing you have to contend with is the last 1/10" (or less) of flash on some cuts. A file or grinder cleans that up in a snap.

[This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 10-04-2005).]

MickeyD
10-04-2005, 11:45 PM
I have one of those little bandsaws that I have been trying to kill for years (think that it came from Tractor Supply, it is a little more refined than the HF one). I use the $10 blades from Home Depot (only local company with decent blades) and they last forever. I did try one from HF and I think that it might have made two cuts before it died. These little saws with a sharp blade will cut almost as fast as an abrasive saw.

torker
10-05-2005, 12:41 AM
I've used a Delta chopsaw for years. Been a good tool and like Ken said, if you peck with it, it will cut very accurately.
I also try to stand flats up when I can. It's far easier on the blades. Seems as soon as the metal turns red it melts the "glue" that holds the abrasives and the blade wears quickly. I find if you keep the blades cool they last much longer.
Since I got my H/V saw I seldom use my chopsaw anymore.
The saw is far cheaper to cut with and the biggest reason...it is FAR cleaner.
In my small shop, in the winter with everything closed up, the abrasive saw was horrible.
The day I got machine tools I quit using the chop saw inside.
I just got a couple of new blades for my H/V saw. Simmons as usual.
However, this time the supplier screwed up and brought me in 14 tooth bimetal instead of the usual 10/14. What a difference! I swear the saw cuts twice as slow now. I took the unused ones back and got him to bring me in 10-14's.
Russ

Joel
10-05-2005, 02:32 AM
If it is taking that long to make a cut, you definitely need to get a decent bi-metal blade, try increasing the feed, check your speed, and/or use a coarser blade.

I only use my abrasive saw when I have to make a lot of cuts on fairly thin-wall stock. Like the others, I sure don’t like the mess it makes. My bandsaw sees way more use. I try to use the best blades I can get for both.

Your Old Dog
10-05-2005, 06:49 AM
I got a $99.00 wonder at TSC. I like it accept I think a better one might not have so much side-flex in it which makes it feel cheap to me. I do like the quality of cuts for welding better than the the bandsaw. The bandsaw seems to be overkill for me on welding projects. I've heard it said that the weakness in some of the cheaper saws (mine included) is that they put really cheap blades on them and I believe that.

It's the lightest tool I own that I can slip out of the way when I ain't using it. A big plus for me. Only really hard time I ever had was cutting bedframe rails and I understand it has a magical quality http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

wschoenbeck
10-05-2005, 09:32 AM
I don't have a chop saw either but I've run the abrasive blades in my circular saw (Skill worm drive). Don't like them much either as others have posted they throw grit and sparks all over the place. Now I use a Morse Metal Devil blade for steel. Tube, solid bar etc. This thing is great! It still throws hot chips at you so use the appropriate eye and skin protection but it make a bueatiful cut which is not hot to touch unlike the abrasives. See http://www.metaldevil.com/ They probably make one to fit a chop saw arbor as well as circular saws. They talk about a "special" slow speed saw they sell but the blade runs just fine in my Skill. Mine cost $50 locally. Just another suggestion.

Bill

snowman
10-05-2005, 12:14 PM
you want a coldsaw, not a chopsaw

and if you find a 12 or 14" one for under 5 hundy, call me, i'll pay freight!

-jacob

JCHannum
10-05-2005, 12:56 PM
I would suggest getting a decent blade and setting your bandsaw up properly. My little Craftsman 4X6 horizontal band saw can cut 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" X 1/8" square tubing in under 30 seconds, 24 to be exact.

I am using a plain Simmonds carbon steel blade, 10TPI.

paulgrandy
10-05-2005, 01:42 PM
Too dirty. Used them for years and finally switched to the band saw.

snowman
10-05-2005, 02:14 PM
hoffman,

in all seriousness...i do quite a bit of production cutting with my 4x6. A cold saw is next, but I use decent bimetal blades that last a good long time.

I probably dont run it fast enough either.

I know for 45 deg cuts, it's not as easy to cut a stack of them...but when I'm doing 90 degree cuts, I cut as many pieces at a time that I can. Just pile em in the vise. Sometimes I will weld them together at the back of the stick just to make sure they are all "one piece".

-Jacob