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View Full Version : I want to buy a small bandsaw---



brian Rupnow
07-20-2008, 07:02 AM
I have a huge old steel saw, a reciprocating hacksaw that I built about 30 years ago, that will cut up to a 5" square steel bar. Now with this new found steam engine hobby, I am looking for a small vertical bandsaw, capable of cutting a maximum of 4" x 1" aluminum barstock. I have seen stories of people making wood cutting bandsaws into metal cutting bandsaws by adding a gear reduction systems to the drives. I don't have a whole lot of real estate available in my lathe /mill room, so I don't want a big saw, and as in all things, I don't want to spend a lot of money.---Any suggestions???

ammcoman2
07-20-2008, 07:13 AM
I did just that with the Sears 14" bandsaw I originally got for woodworking. I put a second motor (4 pole), 1/3hp) connected to a Princess Auto 30:1 worm gear reduction box and put them on a pivoting platform underneath. Set it up with a two speed pulley to get 80 and 200 ft/minute blade speed. Other than changing blades it is a breeze to set it up for wood cutting.

There are lots of references on the Web on the "how to" and many ways to go about it. I used one that suited my talents at the time. Only caveat: try to use as large a pulley set as you can afford to help minimize belt slippage. A cogged belt may be the way to go.

Let me know if you need more details and I could PM you with photos.

Geoff

Mcgyver
07-20-2008, 07:33 AM
General and Delta both made (make?) a combo wood/metal 14" bandsaw that had a gearbox giving it workable speed ranges for both. They rarely seem to appear used to i guess that deep sixes the cheap part....but do you really want a vertical bandsaw for cut-off work? Tedious to cut off stock on one vs horizontal where gravity does all the work

brian Rupnow
07-20-2008, 07:35 AM
I did just that with the Sears 14" bandsaw I originally got for woodworking. I put a second motor (4 pole), 1/3hp) connected to a Princess Auto 30:1 worm gear reduction box and put them on a pivoting platform underneath. Set it up with a two speed pulley to get 80 and 200 ft/minute blade speed. Other than changing blades it is a breeze to set it up for wood cutting.

There are lots of references on the Web on the "how to" and many ways to go about it. I used one that suited my talents at the time. Only caveat: try to use as large a pulley set as you can afford to help minimize belt slippage. A cogged belt may be the way to go.

Let me know if you need more details and I could PM you with photos.

Geoff
Yes, thats basically what I had in mind. Mine will never be called on to cut wood, so I wouldn't need the dual motor option.---Now if I can just find an old bandsaw cheap-----

brian Rupnow
07-20-2008, 07:41 AM
General and Delta both made (make?) a combo wood/metal 14" bandsaw that had a gearbox giving it workable speed ranges for both. They rarely seem to appear used to i guess that deep sixes the cheap part....but do you really want a vertical bandsaw for cut-off work? Tedious to cut off stock on one vs horizontal where gravity does all the work

McGyver--If I want to cut stuff in "gravity mode" I can use the old power reciprocating hacksaw out in the main garage. I am more interested in the bandsaw for light stock trimming, and for profiling 3/16" and 1/4" plates from square before setting them up in a lathe to create round shapes like pulleys, etcetera---and you can't use the automatic feed function for that anyways.

oldtiffie
07-20-2008, 07:41 AM
Brian,
I have one of the common 4" x 6" Chinese band-saws that you will see just about everywhere on this forum. It is a good machine for cutting metals in the normal horizontal position as well as a good vertical metal band-saw as well. It has 3 speeds which are very good for metals. The saws are on 2 wheels, so you can move it around the shop. I soon learned to put 4 - 3/16" (4.5mm) masonary anchors into the slab to fasten it to as it is not as stable in the vertical position as I'd like. It is now though!! Blades are quite cheap, but you will need a range of "teeth per inch/pitch" blades. There are some that are "multi-pitch" that seem to be very effective. All are readily available.

Many people on this forum have these band-saws and seem to do well and be quite pleased with them. They are hard to beat for cost and value-per-dollar.

There may be some who "knock" these saws because they are Chinese - as is their right - but I can say that mine, which seems identical to most here, does a fine job. It is ideal for me as I neither want, nor need an "Industrial" machine.

I'd hope that this thread will get lots of replies ans advice for you.

winchman
07-20-2008, 08:18 AM
If you only want to cut aluminum, you can do it with a regular wood-cutting bandsaw like a 12" Craftsman. I've been using my early-'80s Craftsman saw like that for years with no problems. I get my blades from McMaster-Carr. I've been using: 4125A728 Hard-Back Premium Carbon Steel Band Saw Blade 6'8" L, 1/4" W, .025" Thk, 14 Tpi, Reg/Raker $11.48 Each

I can make straight cuts through 3" round aluminum bar and curved cuts through 1" plate. As the balde wears, it's increasingly difficult to make curved cuts, but I get reasonable blade life.

I made a multi-pulley speed reducer for the saw years ago to cut steel, but I've used it very little. I don't need it for aluminum. Sometimes I'll put in an old blade that won't cut curves well in aluminum anymore to cut some thin steel.

Roger

Evan
07-20-2008, 08:30 AM
Yep. No need to reduce speed for aluminum. I use my cheap 9" vertical bandsaw to cut aluminum all the time. It helps to use some beeswax or a wax stick and of course a metal cutting blade.

oldtiffie
07-20-2008, 08:38 AM
I am still for the Chinese 6" x 4" band-saw.

Other alternatives if you have a wood-working shop is to use an aluminium cutting blade with TC teeth in a saw bench or a mitre saw or a docking saw. It cuts aluminium like cheese - but as Evan says, either use a proper aluminium-cutting wax stick (reasonably cheap, works very well and should last for years). Use high speeds and high feed-rates - and keep using that wax - frequently!!.

Duffy
07-20-2008, 09:06 AM
Brian: I vote with both Evan AND Tiffie, I have both a 14" wood cutting bandsaw and a 4"x6". I bought the latter for just about the same reason as you-my home-built hacksaw cut a bit crooked and the bandsaw was a "great deal." I use my 14" Busy Bee for aluminum and brass with an ordinary Viking low tension wood-cutting blade. I checked with the company and they assured me that these metals had no significant effect on the life or sharpness of the blade. If all you cut is aluminum and a bit of brass, use a wood saw, and for straight cuts use your table saw or chop saw. It works for me, Duffy

doctor demo
07-20-2008, 12:51 PM
Brian,I have cut aluminum on every saw I own. Black & Decker miter chop sae9'' carbide tooth blade, Skilsaw 7 1/4 '', old Craftsman table saw, Craftsman jig/scrollsaw and My old Jet horiz/vert bandsaw. A little automotive antifreeze brushed on the blades work very well for coolant-lube.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is EAR and EYE PROTECTION those little aluminum chips can be like a steady stream of hot schrapnel, well not so bad off the band saw but the table saw does make a good weapon.

brian Rupnow
07-20-2008, 06:51 PM
The thought was as good as the deed!!! I checked out the area "buy and sell" newspaper this morning, and ended up driving to Beeton about 40 miles from here and buying a 14" wood/metal bandsaw. It has an auxiliary shaft and set of multiple step pulleys between the 3/4 HP motor and the main lower drive pulley to act as a "transmission" of sorts, and has wood/steel stamped on the saw. It is a "Jet" made in-----Taiwan---where else, and is in excellent condition. A farmer had bought it to do some fancy woodwork, then had a change of plans and never used it!!! I picked it up for the grand sum of $225 with a set of extra blades.

airsmith282
07-21-2008, 12:46 AM
i have a 16 inch wood band saw which means nothing,, if you know of a shop that makes band saw blades in your area then they can custom make you the blade you need iam getting on done up for mine to cut everythig upto stailess steel with ,,27 bucks is all i gota pay for a custom blade,, i have a blade for it already from the factory thats 1/2 inch wide cant remember the tpi rght now but it will cut aluim no hassel...