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View Full Version : Need recommendations on cold cut saw (new member)



soap
05-27-2010, 01:24 PM
Hi all, thanks for letting me play in your nifty forum. :-)

Right now I'm using a Horror Freight 4x6" band saw to cut lengths of monel, titanium and 316L tubing, up to 3" diameter, up to .25" wall thickness. I'd like to upgrade for several reasons, not the least of which is that I can't get it to cut very true, and I lose a lot of (expensive) material to square up the ends.

I've been reading that a cold-cut saw it a better solution because they cut more square and don't leave much of a burr. It SEEMS like this would be a good solution for me.

I've seen "cold" and "cold-cut" saws. The cold variety price in at $1,000 and up. "Cold-cut" saws price in around $400 to $550. So for home-shop budgetary reasons I'm looking more closely at the $400 to $550 range saws.

Milwaukee (http://www.grizzly.com/products/14-Metal-Cut-off-Saw/H8723) and Rage Evolution (http://www.evolutiononlineshop.com/store/shop.cfm/ses_/details.cfm,list,x,7,3700,STEELSAW2,x,x,x/Evolution%20Steel%20Saw%202%20-%2014-in%20Steel%20Cutting%20Chop%20Saw/Steel%20Saw%202/Steel%20Saw%202/) make saws in my price range. I can't seem to find solid info on a DeWalt. Rage has some convincing videos posted on YouTube. My impulse is to stick with what I know (Milwaukee). Any anecdotes or suggestions?

Thanks!!

Ries
05-27-2010, 01:35 PM
I am a bit dubious that the high speed, air cooled, cheapo cold cut saws you are looking at will cut titanium, monel, and stainless.
I think your blade life with those materials will be measurable in minutes.
I dont think any of them recommend cutting stainless, much less things like monel.

I have a "real" cold saw, which, new, lists for about $3500.
And I dont use it for stainless- the HSS blades get dull very quickly on stainless, although, at least, mine are resharpenable.
There are specific cold saws for stainless- they are ultra slow, usually 25 rpm or so, and use special, expensive blades.

The materials you discuss are usually cut with a bandsaw. The bandsaw you have currently is the absolute bottom of the barrel. Even other brands of the same size machine are better- but none are made to cut 3" round material with any accuracy, and most dont like hard metals like you describe.
A real bandsaw will be much heavier, stiffer, and more powerfull, will cut square, and will have coolant for metals like these.

If I was you, I would be shopping for a used, american made, 7x12 or bigger bandsaw, with coolant, and the ability to run quite slowly. Then, I would buy Lennox Diemaster II bimetal blades for it.
You want a machine that weighs 500lbs to 1000lbs, and is something like 2hp, to cut 3" monel.

There is no easy cheap way around basic physical laws- and when you want to go from cutting 1" material to 2" material, you need 4 times the saw, in horsepower, mass, and rigidity.

In industry, they use $20,000 Amada bandsaws that weigh in at 2000 to 5000lbs to cut materials like this. They dont do it because they are trying to impress the neighbors- they do it because it takes machines like that to get quality results in production quantities.

wierdscience
05-27-2010, 01:49 PM
The Cold Cut saws like Milwaukee and etc work fine in carbon steel and even stainless,but Ti is another animal all together.

Like Ries said a low speed cold saw with flood coolant or a serious industrial duty band saw is in order.


btw Welcome to the forum!

Farbmeister
05-27-2010, 02:10 PM
You want a $200 band saw to cut metal that probably costs several times more than the saw?

For carbon steel the HF saw is great. For exotic metals you need specific gear and blades.

RancherBill
05-27-2010, 03:21 PM
I can't comment on the suitablility for the job.

I agree with Ries about his comment about Lennox blade for a band saw. IMHO you pick the blades then get something for them to run on.

Do your research on the best blade/s for your intended use. Then pick the machine. The Milwaukee and Dewalt are 1500rpm and the Rage is 1300rpm.

The Milwaukee and Dewalt are roughly the same price and the rage is cheap.

Milwaukee original - the grizzly special number machine (http://www.google.com/products?q=milwaukee+MLW+6190-20&spell=1&oi=spell)
Evolution Rage 2 (http://www.google.com/products?q=evolution+Steel+Saw+2&aq=f)
Dewalt (http://www.google.com/products?q=dewalt+DW872&aq=f)

If the blade search doesn't show an advantage based on rpm I'd get the Milwaukee (Grizzly).

MuellerNick
05-27-2010, 04:59 PM
Guys, all the saws you linked to were DRY cut saws. Not cold cut saws.
1500RPM, "little to no sparcs" has absolutely nothing to do with cold cut. Cold cut is clearly below 100 RPM for a 350 mm blade.
You won't get a cold cut saw for $300, not even a used one.


Nick

Arthur.Marks
05-27-2010, 05:53 PM
Yup. Nick is right. I once owned the Milwaukee "Dry-Cut Saw" and now own a Wilton "Cold Saw". The only way to get a square, mill finish directly from the saw is a full-sized cold saw (i.e. Baleigh, Doringer, Scotchman, etc.). My itsy bitsy Wilton does a beautiful job on tubing, but for solid stock it still leaves some to be desired. Other than tubing (its main task), I still true my drops on the mill.
The dry cut saws are good for being portable, but they are more limiting than even your HF bandsaw. They bounce all over unless you bolt them down, they shower chips EVERYWHERE, their blades are $100/150+ per and are easily chipped (carbide teeth), they are specifically NOT meant to be used on Stainless, hardened stock, or especially Ti. The instructions that came with mine made that all specifically clear. They weren't lying. I believe their optimal use is in a welding shop and not a machine shop. They cut quick for mild steel and don't have the health issues of an abrasive saw (spraying minuscule abrasive particles into the air which are then breathed in by the operator) or the fire hazard of an 8ft. spark arcing through the shop during a cut.
If your budget is limiting, it sounds like you may be looking at a higher quality bandsaw. Otherwise, I would expect a true cold-saw to be what would serve your purpose.

The Artful Bodger
05-27-2010, 06:24 PM
Guys, all the saws you linked to were DRY cut saws. Not cold cut saws.
1500RPM, "little to no sparcs" has absolutely nothing to do with cold cut. Cold cut is clearly below 100 RPM for a 350 mm blade.
You won't get a cold cut saw for $300, not even a used one.


Nick


Thats about what I paid for mine but it does lack somewhat in the beauty department.:)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3470/3794854864_a36368143a_o.gif

Yes, it does have a guard over the blade but I take it off when cutting aluminium and use a wire brush to scrub the teeth of chips as it rotates.

The Artful Bodger
05-27-2010, 06:30 PM
If your main problem with the little bandsaw is not cutting straight then you can probably improve that.

The blade guides on my bandsaw of the same family are pretty crude and need a bit of messing around to get them into place then they move again while being tightened down!

I think the guides need to be as close to the work as you can get them, which is not very close for small stock!:(

Too heavy a feed makes mine wander too.

John

DougA
05-27-2010, 07:12 PM
Take it from someone who sells blades and saws. You need a heavy duty saw to get any kind of speed or quality. Anything under $5000 used probably isn't going to do very well.

The Artful Bodger
05-27-2010, 08:03 PM
Take it from someone who sells blades and saws. You need a heavy duty saw to get any kind of speed or quality. Anything under $5000 used probably isn't going to do very well.


Depends what you mean by speed or quality I suppose, my old girl gets there eventually and does a nice square cut, within the limitations of a HSS blade of course.

Is HSS good enough for the materials the OP is cuting?

metalmagpie
05-27-2010, 08:04 PM
Hi all, thanks for letting me play in your nifty forum. :-)

Right now I'm using a Horror Freight 4x6" band saw to cut lengths of monel, titanium and 316L tubing, up to 3" diameter, up to .25" wall thickness. I'd like to upgrade for several reasons, not the least of which is that I can't get it to cut very true, and I lose a lot of (expensive) material to square up the ends.

I've been reading that a cold-cut saw it a better solution because they cut more square and don't leave much of a burr. It SEEMS like this would be a good solution for me.

I've seen "cold" and "cold-cut" saws. The cold variety price in at $1,000 and up. "Cold-cut" saws price in around $400 to $550. So for home-shop budgetary reasons I'm looking more closely at the $400 to $550 range saws.

Milwaukee (http://www.grizzly.com/products/14-Metal-Cut-off-Saw/H8723) and Rage Evolution (http://www.evolutiononlineshop.com/store/shop.cfm/ses_/details.cfm,list,x,7,3700,STEELSAW2,x,x,x/Evolution%20Steel%20Saw%202%20-%2014-in%20Steel%20Cutting%20Chop%20Saw/Steel%20Saw%202/Steel%20Saw%202/) make saws in my price range. I can't seem to find solid info on a DeWalt. Rage has some convincing videos posted on YouTube. My impulse is to stick with what I know (Milwaukee). Any anecdotes or suggestions?

Thanks!!

depending on where you are, you might be interested in this one:
http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/tls/1757919868.html

Dr Stan
05-27-2010, 08:17 PM
You may want to consider buying a used horizontal mill and setting it up to cut off your material.

The Artful Bodger
05-27-2010, 08:25 PM
Considering that a home shop budget was mentioned in the opening post perhaps someone with the relevant experience can tell us home shop machinists the secrets of using a lathe to cut long lengths, if at all possible?

The Artful Bodger
05-27-2010, 08:31 PM
... deleted by me, double post...

oldtiffie
05-27-2010, 08:43 PM
Why not "farm it out" by getting your (or another) supplier to cut it to length for you on an "as required" basis where you order it, he cuts it to length and you pick it up and get on with your job.

I suggest that before you consider buying a saw any further that you get a good accountant to run the figures for you on all options.

I buy my stuff on an "as required" basis - usually only ordinary steel, aluminium, brass, bronze and SS - and have it cut to suit. It costs very little - or nothing - less from the off-cut bin - and I get it at "Trade" (aka "Mates") rates. I only need to use my ordinary 6 x 4 band-saw for the small amount I need to cut at home.

I don't bring home anything that won't fit into the back of the car - not long lengths.

Having an expensive saw is a high capital cost item with high recurrent costs as well. It doesn't make sense for me to buy a lot of material and have all that capital idle.

Irrespective of some may say, a good Accountant and a good Lawyer can very soon be valuable "new best friends" - really.