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Magnum164
11-28-2010, 01:52 PM
I bought a new hor band saw for cutting material down to a smaller size. However, I can't use the saw to cut small pieces as it needs a bottom support as well as extended jaws to hole the material.

Anyone have any ideas or fixtures they have made to hold small parts? For instance I have a 2" x 5" .25 plate that I need to cut 1/2" off along the 5" length. The 2" is not near enough to be held by the jaws.


I could cut it vertical, but the vertical plate is a bit flimsy and there is no real good adjustment. Eventually I may machine a new plate for that, but for now need something quicker.

Here is the saw: band Saw (http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hp-7-inch-x-12-inch-hydraulic-feed-metal-cutting-bandsaw-97009.html)

danlb
11-28-2010, 02:18 PM
I've done that by sandwiching the part between two bars of longer material, with a spacer on the far end to keep everything parallel.

In this specific case, there would be a 2x1x6 scap of aluminum on it's narrow side next to one jaw, then the 2x5 plate on end ( on it's .25 side) with a .25 scrap at the far end of the jaws, then another 2x1x6 scrap on the moving jaw side.

This allows the piece to be held right up to the edge of the blade. Watch out for interference with the blade support rollers.

Dan

datsun280zxt
11-28-2010, 02:18 PM
Some where floating around I've seen a thread or link that shows a bunch of modifications that can be made to the saws to make them more useful, and one was as simple as mounting a small vise inside your vice to hold the smaller objects close to the blade. You might try doing some searches and see if you can find it. It had a lot of useful information.

Here's one link I found. Its not the one I was thinking of, but useful none the less
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=28742&highlight=bandsaw+modifications

Alright, one more edit. This is the link I was thinking of. Its for the smaller saws, but still plenty of useful info.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=39372&highlight=bandsaw+modifications

Magnum164
11-28-2010, 02:25 PM
@Dan,

I have been doing that, I get frustrated always trying to find the right length material for the back. I am looking for a more permanent and easier setup.

@datsun280zxt

I did find that link had a few suggestions, but still open to any others people may have. I have thought about the vise method and may start drawing something up. I would want to utilize the cutoff feature as well instead of having to catch the saw before it cuts into the vise, would require a stop I suppose if I used it.

TriHonu
11-28-2010, 02:26 PM
Somewhere I saw a tip on mounting a second vise on a piece of 2x8" board. Clamp the board in the saw vise and your part in the vise bolted to the board.

Basically you are making a fixture plate for your saw.

danlb
11-28-2010, 02:27 PM
Another other trick (pulled from forums on the miller welding site) is to tack weld the piece to a larger scrap that fits the bandsaw vice. That assumes that you can quickly throw a weld on it and that you can grind it off when done without damage.

Magnum164
11-28-2010, 02:35 PM
@TriHonu

I might look at some small vises, I think I can see how that might work for what I need....

@Dan

I don't have a welder, plus I should have mentioned I work most with AL, 6061 or 7075. Thanks for the links, I digg through them for ideas as well.

67chevelle
11-28-2010, 03:16 PM
There's a solution for holding shorter stock in this thread from PM ( 3rd post ), I haven't tried it yet though..

Mark

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/bandsaw-cutting-without-coolant-214780/

Ries
11-28-2010, 03:27 PM
I just swing the saw up to vertical, sit down on it, and freehand em.
If the part is really itty bitty, like, say cutting 1/4" of length off of a 8-32 machine screw, I hold it in a pair of vise grips.

I have worn out 2 of the little 4x6 saws, and currently run 2 more- making me the proud owner of 4 of em over the years, and the first thing I do is toss out the flimsy little auxiliary table, which I find worthless.

I have been freehand cutting on the 2" square plate that comes stock with them for about 30 years now, and at least a dozen of my employees have gotten good at it over the years as well- it just takes a bit of practice, and you can cut anything that will fit in the throat that way.

I have cut 1" plate, 2" pipe for angles and birdsmouth, and literally tens of thousands of angle cuts on 3/8" round, 1/2" square, and flat bar, usually in stainless.

the biggest factor I have found is use a decent blade- I like Lennox Diemaster II bimetal blades, in a variable pitch.

fishfrnzy
11-28-2010, 03:35 PM
How about a few sizes of screwjacks, or just coupler nut and a bolt? Takes care of the variable length.

Paul Alciatore
11-28-2010, 03:39 PM
You don't mention what kind of horizontal saw, but the good old 4X6 can be used vertically as well as horizontally. I has a shoe on the lower guide that surfices for many small cuts. I often just put a small part on that shoe and cut. A pair of vise grips can help keep your fingers out of harm's way when doing this.

As for using it or another model in the horizontal mode, you can use an insert vise (screwless vise) or just some odd scrap pieces with a spacer as suggested above. I have also drilled and tapped holes in the base of my saw for standard clamps as you would use on the milling table. Two or three holes will allow studs to be inserted in a variety of ways for cutting small stock. You can even drill and clamp on the cut-off side of the blade if needed. If you don't have a clamp set, you can get one for as little as $30 or less when they are on sale. Plus shipping of course. I have purchased four of the imported clamp sets and have found all of them to be very servicable.

Toolguy
11-28-2010, 03:40 PM
I just take a couple of step blocks from the mill setup rack and use them lying flat on the bottom of the saw vise to balance the vise jaws when cutting short pieces. The movable jaw doesn't have to be exactly parallel to the the fixed jaw for that, as long as it's close. I usually have it tipped in a little on the part if not parallel.

randyc
11-28-2010, 04:24 PM
I just take a couple of step blocks from the mill setup rack and use them lying flat on the bottom of the saw vise to balance the vise jaws when cutting short pieces. The movable jaw doesn't have to be exactly parallel to the the fixed jaw for that, as long as it's close. I usually have it tipped in a little on the part if not parallel.

That is about the cleverest and simplest solution I've ever heard ! Why do I never think of those things ?

My little saw was modified a long time ago, probably from reading about a similar modification on the internet. Here's a photo:

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l219/randy9944/P1010968.jpg

A longer jaw was attached to the moveable rear jaw. At the end opposite the saw blade, a tapped hole allows a length of threaded rod (with a knurled knob welded to the end) to adjust the unsupported end of the jaw to any practical width.

I didn't like the way this cheap bandsaw vise tilted when tightening so I also added the "tee-handle" so that I can tighten the jaw against the bed after it has first been snugged down with the regular clamp handwheel. The tee-handle is placed so that it clears the blade and the frame.

I hope that I interpreted the problem of the OP correctly -

Cheers,
Randy C

metalmagpie
11-28-2010, 05:07 PM
Catch a cheap drill press vise with ends machined square in the blade side of the saw's vise, with an appropriate jacking screw on the other side of the moving jaw. Mount it so the small vise sticks out right next to the blade. Then hold your small part in the small vise and saw. Gently.

See http://www.tinyisland.com/4x6bsFAQ.html for more about the little saws.

darryl
11-28-2010, 06:02 PM
Well. So far you have all the solutions that you would need to get the job done. I will only add that I made up a custom table to replace the vertical mode table that came with my 4x6. My table is shaped so it can be as large as possible and still clear the base, etc, when the saw is used in horizontal mode. I don't have to remove the table for horizontal cutting, and that let's me leave it in place permanently. I played quite a bit till I got it perfectly squared to the blade- shimming at first, then eventually machining the mounting points to allow a solid mounting in perfect alignment. My original table was sheet metal- noisy, too flexible, etc. The new one is 1/4 inch plate, much smaller, but solid. I made it from wood panelling to start with, then contoured it to fit with the saw all the way down in horizontal mode, then transferred the pattern to steel plate to make the final piece.

gwilson
11-28-2010, 06:24 PM
I have a little 4"X6" saw that I just tapped several holes into between the vise jaws,on the flat bottom casting of the saw. I screw milling machine studs in them and just use milling machine clamps with step blocks on their other ends to clamp small items,like cubes that I want to saw the corners off of. Works just fine,and no need for elaborate jigs.

I don't use photoshop,so can't do pics here.

Rich Carlstedt
11-28-2010, 07:15 PM
To handle small stuff you need to do two things
Move the stock stop on the saw outwards, (photo 2)
You can see the new location, so that more support is given as close to the blade as possible.
Then use a small vise.
Rich

PS this picture was for explanation only. If I was cutting a nut, I would use a vise grip and the smaller teeth in my bandsaw.
The mini vise is home made for such small work, mostly drill press stuff


http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20tales/PB280001A.jpg
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20tales/PB280005.jpg

GadgetBuilder
11-28-2010, 09:21 PM
A visitor to my site, Larry Rudd, made extension jaws that allow gripping items right up to the blade, similar to the above ideas. He added locating pins to ensure the extension jaws align the same each time. The pin in the movable jaw is located such that the movable jaw is as far as possible from the blade so it doesn't interfere with the outboard guide (posed picture doesn't show it in correct position).

http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/SpeedyVise.jpg

The brass nut on the movable jaw activates the quick release on the jaw spacer, similar to the cam activated version on my site:
http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/BandSaw.html#Jaw_Spacer

John

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 12:45 AM
I just swing the saw up to vertical, sit down on it, and freehand em.
If the part is really itty bitty, like, say cutting 1/4" of length off of a 8-32 machine screw, I hold it in a pair of vise grips.

I have worn out 2 of the little 4x6 saws, and currently run 2 more- making me the proud owner of 4 of em over the years, and the first thing I do is toss out the flimsy little auxiliary table, which I find worthless.

I have been freehand cutting on the 2" square plate that comes stock with them for about 30 years now, and at least a dozen of my employees have gotten good at it over the years as well- it just takes a bit of practice, and you can cut anything that will fit in the throat that way.

I have cut 1" plate, 2" pipe for angles and birdsmouth, and literally tens of thousands of angle cuts on 3/8" round, 1/2" square, and flat bar, usually in stainless.

the biggest factor I have found is use a decent blade- I like Lennox Diemaster II bimetal blades, in a variable pitch.

I tried freehanding, I have arthur in the neck so it's hard to hold things for cutting freehand anymore. In my younger years it would not be a problem, I used to scroll saw a lot. But I agree that flimsy plate is worthless. I wonder if that plate mount would hold a custom made plate? Vertical cutting would be easier for these smaller parts.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 12:47 AM
How about a few sizes of screwjacks, or just coupler nut and a bolt? Takes care of the variable length.


Wow.. Lots of replies on this.. I was busy cutting the parts and did not notice them all:)

I think I saw some posts in the link above on variable length screwjacks... Would make cutting multiple parts easier.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 12:51 AM
You don't mention what kind of horizontal saw, but the good old 4X6 can be used vertically as well as horizontally. I has a shoe on the lower guide that surfices for many small cuts. I often just put a small part on that shoe and cut. A pair of vise grips can help keep your fingers out of harm's way when doing this.

As for using it or another model in the horizontal mode, you can use an insert vise (screwless vise) or just some odd scrap pieces with a spacer as suggested above. I have also drilled and tapped holes in the base of my saw for standard clamps as you would use on the milling table. Two or three holes will allow studs to be inserted in a variety of ways for cutting small stock. You can even drill and clamp on the cut-off side of the blade if needed. If you don't have a clamp set, you can get one for as little as $30 or less when they are on sale. Plus shipping of course. I have purchased four of the imported clamp sets and have found all of them to be very servicable.


I posted a link in the word band saw to the picture, it is a HF model. I bought the smaller and the legs collapsed and did some major damage before I even got to use it. So HF gave me a great deal on this one HF Saw (http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hp-7-inch-x-12-inch-hydraulic-feed-metal-cutting-bandsaw-97009.html)

tmc_31
11-29-2010, 12:54 AM
Reading through this post, and having faced this issue with my bandsaw more than once, I am wondering if a set of step blocks from a mill clamp set would serve as a suitable variable width block for the rear of the vise extension plates?

Tim

EDIT Sorry toolguy, I guess I should have read all the posts on this thread.

Tim

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 12:58 AM
Reading through this post, and having faced this issue with my bandsaw more than once, I am wondering if a set of step blocks from a mill clamp set would serve as a suitable variable width block for the rear of the vise extension plates?

Tim

EDIT Sorry toolguy, I guess I should have read all the posts on this thread.

Tim

Not allways.. It really depends on the length of the part you are cutting, and sometimes it is an odd dimension.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 12:59 AM
Well. So far you have all the solutions that you would need to get the job done. I will only add that I made up a custom table to replace the vertical mode table that came with my 4x6. My table is shaped so it can be as large as possible and still clear the base, etc, when the saw is used in horizontal mode. I don't have to remove the table for horizontal cutting, and that let's me leave it in place permanently. I played quite a bit till I got it perfectly squared to the blade- shimming at first, then eventually machining the mounting points to allow a solid mounting in perfect alignment. My original table was sheet metal- noisy, too flexible, etc. The new one is 1/4 inch plate, much smaller, but solid. I made it from wood panelling to start with, then contoured it to fit with the saw all the way down in horizontal mode, then transferred the pattern to steel plate to make the final piece.


Feel free to post a pic or send me PM with a link. Might gives some ideas for me a vertical plate as well.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 01:06 AM
To handle small stuff you need to do two things
Move the stock stop on the saw outwards, (photo 2)
You can see the new location, so that more support is given as close to the blade as possible.
Then use a small vise.
Rich

PS this picture was for explanation only. If I was cutting a nut, I would use a vise grip and the smaller teeth in my bandsaw.
The mini vise is home made for such small work, mostly drill press stuff




Oh please don't tell me it is that simple. I just went and looked and there is another mounting hole on the backplate I missed. So I might be able to move it closer. I don't see how the front can move closer, but I like the looks of your small vise. I could easily make an adjustment for the backside as well since my front plate will try and swivel on me.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 01:08 AM
A visitor to my site, Larry Rudd, made extension jaws that allow gripping items right up to the blade, similar to the above ideas. He added locating pins to ensure the extension jaws align the same each time. The pin in the movable jaw is located such that the movable jaw is as far as possible from the blade so it doesn't interfere with the outboard guide (posed picture doesn't show it in correct position).

http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/SpeedyVise.jpg

The brass nut on the movable jaw activates the quick release on the jaw spacer, similar to the cam activated version on my site:
http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/BandSaw.html#Jaw_Spacer

John

Thanks for posting John.. I might need to do something similar on the back.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 01:10 AM
Thanks for all the help/info to everyone. I'll post back on what I end up doing, if I can adjust my stops.

Magnum164
11-29-2010, 07:50 PM
Oh please don't tell me it is that simple. I just went and looked and there is another mounting hole on the backplate I missed. So I might be able to move it closer. I don't see how the front can move closer, but I like the looks of your small vise. I could easily make an adjustment for the backside as well since my front plate will try and swivel on me.


And that appears to have resolved my delima at the moment. just need to purchase a small vise like you are showing and hopefully I will be set to cut the parts I think I will be needed in the future.

GNO
11-29-2010, 08:05 PM
set the saw vertical,then run a piece of scrap plywood in maybe 2"or more depending on the job, into the blade, on top of the table, now you are able to happily cut away.

ADGO_Racing
11-29-2010, 08:25 PM
What I did was disassemble the machine, I machined the area in front of the blade. I fabricated a bracket and plate. The plate sticks out from the blade area. It is drilled and tapped with a series of holes for 1/2-13 (Plate is 3/4 thick x wide as the cutting width, and sticks out about 12 inches from the blade). I have a cheap set of milling machine clamps I keep by the saw to hold work.

We do a lot of angle cutting of tube, plate, etc... I can trim 1/16" off of a piece of tube. I, also made some angle blocks in the popular angles we use (10, 15, 22.5, 30, 45, and a couple special ones). Drill and ream a few holes in the plate, and dowel pins in the angle plates. It is a major time saver, and extremely accurate. If I remember, I will take a few pictures to post.

Magnum164
12-01-2010, 01:21 PM
What I did was disassemble the machine, I machined the area in front of the blade. I fabricated a bracket and plate. The plate sticks out from the blade area. It is drilled and tapped with a series of holes for 1/2-13 (Plate is 3/4 thick x wide as the cutting width, and sticks out about 12 inches from the blade). I have a cheap set of milling machine clamps I keep by the saw to hold work.

We do a lot of angle cutting of tube, plate, etc... I can trim 1/16" off of a piece of tube. I, also made some angle blocks in the popular angles we use (10, 15, 22.5, 30, 45, and a couple special ones). Drill and ream a few holes in the plate, and dowel pins in the angle plates. It is a major time saver, and extremely accurate. If I remember, I will take a few pictures to post.

I don't think I could machine my base, to large and heavy if you haven't seen the picture. But any pics would be helpful. Wish I had bought one that could cut 12" wide plate in one swat, then I would not have to worry about using the vertical portion at all.