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outlawspeeder
10-15-2018, 08:09 AM
I am looking at getting a bandsaw and I found one that says it is for wood working. If I slow it down and change the blade, what stops me from using it for cutting metal? The frame and the table are cast.

garyhlucas
10-15-2018, 08:30 AM
You have to slow it down with belts or gearing because for metal you need a lot more torque. I have owned one where this done and it was more disappointing than useful. I now have a Millwaukee variable speed Portaband and a Swag Offroad table and while the throat is small it is a real metal cutting saw.

strokersix
10-15-2018, 08:52 AM
I've done this twice. Once with a old little cast iron Wards Powercraft and also a 14 inch Boice Crane. It works just don't set your expectations too high.

Both cases I upgraded the lower drive spindle shaft size and bearings. Boice Crane I mounted a gearbox directly for no belts. Both worked but neither measures up to a real metal cutter like a Doall. I think limitations are largely a matter of mass, rigidity, and power.

Boice Crane had rubber tires which split. I purchased urethane tires but have not yet installed. I don't know if tires are appropriate for a metal cutter or not so any comments on this are welcome.

I wold like to try more massive wheels and a bigger motor on the Boice Crane to see if that helps.

outlawspeeder
10-15-2018, 09:22 AM
I just found the manual for the saw. 50 to 4500 FPS. That will do light metal. The book says up to 1/2". The pic for the saw didn't show the side with the speed control and the listing says wood band saw.

One of the problems with actions and people selling stuff they know nothing about.

The bonus is it located about 30 miles from my house.

Link to the manual: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/808/2539.pdf

Thanks for the replys.

Planeman41
10-15-2018, 10:13 AM
If it is a good, solid bandsaw, I see no real problem. I did this to an old WW-2 vintage cast iron Walker-Turner 16" bandsaw and did a lot of metal sawing with, mostly steel up to 1/8" thick. But if you plan to cut really thick steel you need something built for the job. The reason for the slow speed is heat buildup in the blade ruining the blade temper, not a problem with wood. The gearing down should provide ample power to cut steel.

Ironwoodsmith
10-15-2018, 11:11 AM
I just found the manual for the saw. 50 to 4500 FPS. That will do light metal. The book says up to 1/2". The pic for the saw didn't show the side with the speed control and the listing says wood band saw.

One of the problems with actions and people selling stuff they know nothing about.

The bonus is it located about 30 miles from my house.

Link to the manual: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/808/2539.pdf

Thanks for the replys.

I have that same Walker-Turner. It is currently running but could use a rebuild. It might be a real opportunity for you. It is one very stout 16" saw with a great heritage behind it. They rarely come available. Run, don't walk!

Tungsten dipper
10-15-2018, 01:55 PM
I made my woodworking Jet 14" bandsaw into a metal/wood cutting band saw. Using a treadmill mill motor, a K&C controller, then putting an 1 1/2" pulley on the motor then a 14" pulley on the saw. It works very well.

Here's a great website that helps you with pulley sizes and speeds: https://www.blocklayer.com/pulley-belteng.aspx

jmm03
10-15-2018, 03:20 PM
I put a 1 hp DC motor and motor controller on my Delta 14", I cut everything without a problem. The old W&T's are great saws, parts can be a challenge, but not alot goes bad. You could also put a 3 phase motor and a VFD on it but you will lose some torque at the lower speeds. Jim

Darren M
10-15-2018, 03:46 PM
Do a search on YouTube/Google for treadmill motor conversions and then keep an eye on local Craigslist for an old, but working, treadmill. Doable with light to moderate duty expectations.
Just my 2>

Paul Alciatore
10-15-2018, 04:13 PM
If you also want a wood band saw, I say there is no harm in trying it out on metal as well. You may be happy and you may not.

But if you want it mostly for metal work, then I would suggest that making a lot of mods on a wood saw so it can cut metal would not be all that financially sound. You can get a 4X6 from a number of sources for a few hundred dollars and, with all it's well known weaknesses, it IS made for cutting metal. Of course, there are better and more capable models available at higher prices, of course.

I have a Grizzly 4X6 that I purchased around 10 years ago and it has cut a lot of metal. One thing that I really like is that it will function as either a horizontal or a vertical saw. There are limitations both ways, but it does work in each of these ways. A saw that was designed to cut wood will probably not work as a horizontal saw. I do most of my metal cutting in the horizontal position. For one thing, the automatic cutoff is a great feature as I can start a cut and do something else while it proceeds. I often use that time to file the burrs off the edges of the previously cut piece so I am right there in case something needs attention, but normally I don't have to do anything with the saw until the cut is finished. Another advantage is the built-in length stop. Set it and you can cut multiple parts to the same size. And the built-in vise for holding stock.

To use it vertically you can just have it in the vertical position and start sawing. Mounting and using the (admittedly poor) table is entirely optional and I often make a few cuts in sheet metal without it.

It also works well on plastics because the slow speed and long blade keep heat to a minimum. I have even cut wood when I didn't mind getting the oil and/or cutting fluid on it.

velocette
10-15-2018, 07:12 PM
I am looking at getting a bandsaw and I found one that says it is for wood working. If I slow it down and change the blade, what stops me from using it for cutting metal? The frame and the table are cast.
Hi
Yes it will need to be slowed down To between 25 to 50 RPM on a 14 inch wheel approximately 80 to 150 Feet Per Minute for cutting steel is a starting point.
Use a Bi Metal Blade not carbon steel well worth the extra expense. Poly Vee belts and pulleys are far superior to vee belts for slower speeds. Pulleys fabricated from Aluminium or Cast Iron are straight forward enough to make. I have a 14 inch Wood Cutting Band Saw geared down for cutting metal in use for the last ten years with no great problems.
Go for it and keep us posted with progress
P.S. Reading your second posting some of this is not needed any more
Eric

garyhlucas
10-15-2018, 07:16 PM
That Walker Turner is a very nice saw for metal and wood. I had almost the same one, step pulley not vari-drive. It is a still running at the shop where I had my last job. I'd take that one over the Rockwell Delta wood/metal saw I have at this job. Piece of crap compared to the Walker Turner.

Mr Fixit
10-15-2018, 07:43 PM
Hi Group,

I have a 14"Grizzly converted to a metal saw, I did it with the DC treadmill motor and it works fine. I suggest you consider the metal you are wanting to cut. I rarely use the bandsaw since it has a limited throat clearance, you can't cut long stock with this saw, mine sits in the corner since I have a dewalt hand held porta-band that cuts most of the long steel or other metals I work with. The only real need of the metal band saw is for flat stock that does not fit in the throat of the hand held, but will work in the bandsaw.

Just my two cents worth but you need to figure out what and when you need to cut metal vs wood. I use the bandsaw for wood more then metal which the DC motor lets you do.


TX
Mr fixit for the family
Chris :)

Gary Paine
10-15-2018, 10:57 PM
I converted an old saw by using a 7:1 gearbox. I use a 3/8 inch blade with about 18 teeth/inch. Beware of wide blades because they require more blade tension than a lot of saws can handle. The tire will probably become imbedded with metal chips, but mine continues to work fine. My horizontal/vertical metal cutting band saw has no tires. Sears used to sell a speed reducer for their bandsaw that consisted of a jackshaft and pulley for reduction. It, as most conversions, is complicated enough to deter converting back and forth between metal and wood. I use v-belt drive and it will slip under heavy load. The power required is more than you would think and I am surprised if happiness can be achieved with only electrical speed control. I think a useful saw needs mechanical speed reduction to allow full use of the motor horsepower.

JohnMartin
10-16-2018, 08:12 AM
I just found the manual for the saw. 50 to 4500 FPS. That will do light metal. The book says up to 1/2". The pic for the saw didn't show the side with the speed control and the listing says wood band saw.

One of the problems with actions and people selling stuff they know nothing about.

The bonus is it located about 30 miles from my house.

Link to the manual: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/808/2539.pdf

Thanks for the replys.


Might want to check those numbers, or at least the units. 50 feet per second is in the typical wood cutting range. 4500 feet per second would be something over Mach 4.

Lew Hartswick
10-16-2018, 02:41 PM
Might want to check those numbers, or at least the units. 50 feet per second is in the typical wood cutting range. 4500 feet per second would be something over Mach 4.
:-) Yea, who ever looks at the letters /? Seconds, Minutes, hours, or how about a good ole Furlongs per fortnight for a velocity. :-)
...lew...

Ironwoodsmith
10-16-2018, 03:26 PM
My 36" vertical SAC Italian bandsaw runs the blade at 5500 fpm. It does an excellent job on wood.

brian Rupnow
10-16-2018, 05:57 PM
I have an old Jet bandsaw that I bought for $200. I put a jackshaft and two more pulleys on it to cut down the blade speed, and it works like a champ for home hobby use. I wouldn't recommend it for an industrial heavy duty scenario, but it's great for hobby use. I use a 3/4" wide bi-metal blade on it and it does a very good job on everything I have to cut.---Brian

Tungsten dipper
10-16-2018, 05:57 PM
Bandsaws and drill presses all have the same problem they're great for wood and not so much for slower speeds for metal.

J Tiers
10-16-2018, 06:10 PM
Bandsaws and drill presses all have the same problem they're great for wood and not so much for slower speeds for metal.

That's a bit of a "broad brush", don't you think?

The wrong tool for the job does not work well, but I, for instance, have metalworking versions of each, and they work quite well.

Tungsten dipper
10-16-2018, 07:27 PM
That's a bit of a "broad brush", don't you think?

The wrong tool for the job does not work well, but I, for instance, have metalworking versions of each, and they work quite well.

How slow does your drill press go? Most drill presses are way too fast for holes saws, silver & deming drills, and etc. in metal. A lot of us start out with a wood cutting band saw (like I did) so now I spent around a 150 bucks converting mine to both metal/ wood, rather than buying a new Jet metal/wood bandsaw for $750 (the cheapest I could find). So if you look at common vertical bandsaws and and common 5/8" floor drill presses they all go too fast.

J Tiers
10-16-2018, 08:17 PM
How slow does your drill press go? Most drill presses are way too fast for holes saws, silver & deming drills, and etc. in metal. A lot of us start out with a wood cutting band saw (like I did) so now I spent around a 150 bucks converting mine to both metal/ wood, rather than buying a new Jet metal/wood bandsaw for $750 (the cheapest I could find). So if you look at common vertical bandsaws and and common 5/8" floor drill presses they all go too fast.

maybe 50 rpm or so, slow enough to use the biggest drills it is supposed to run... around an inch or so

DR
10-17-2018, 01:36 AM
The parts listing for the W-T bandsaw lists it as a metal cutting saw. Yet your seller says his is wood cutting. It's possible there were two models, one for wood another for metal. It'd be a good idea to find out for sure exactly which one is actually for sale.

Given a choice I'd be careful about older W-T machines, they were one of the companies that used proprietary bearing sizes. You can usually work around the no-longer-available bearing situation, but it can be a hassle.

Fasttrack
10-17-2018, 09:34 AM
I just found the manual for the saw. 50 to 4500 FPS. That will do light metal. The book says up to 1/2". The pic for the saw didn't show the side with the speed control and the listing says wood band saw.

One of the problems with actions and people selling stuff they know nothing about.

The bonus is it located about 30 miles from my house.

Link to the manual: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/808/2539.pdf

Thanks for the replys.

I'm about 90% certain I have that model bandsaw. I'll check tonight. I use it for metal and, for it's size, it does very well. But I'm also not trying to cut 1/2" steel plate with it ... I'd say go for it. For it's size, it really is a nice stout machine. I don't use a bandsaw often so I didn't want to take up floor space with a big monster DoAll or something. This WT is just about perfect for my needs.

softtail
10-17-2018, 09:43 AM
I converted a Delta using a gear reduction motor, and made a weighted sled for it similar to Frank Ford. Will cut 4" rounds. Takes it's time, but cuts smooth and straight. I use it all the time.
I posted about it years ago, but that was in the photobucket days.

rowbare
10-22-2018, 12:47 PM
The parts list shows a back gear and a variable speed drive of some sort. No need to mess around with variable speed motors, full torque as all speeds. It sounds like a great saw to me as long as everything is working.

bob

velocette
10-22-2018, 03:20 PM
The parts list shows a back gear and a variable speed drive of some sort. No need to mess around with variable speed motors, full torque as all speeds. It sounds like a great saw to me as long as everything is working.

bob

This posting is spot on and consigns my previous posting to the bin having looked up the drawings for this band saw and is for metal and wood with the correct blade.

Eric

outlawspeeder
10-27-2018, 01:16 AM
I have the saw, $300 dollars and they put it on the trailer for me. It has a two speed gear box and a variable speed drive. It is 3 phase and runs like a champ.

I plan on making better guides for it. I thinking rollers, current design only has the roller behind it.

Missing one panel but picked up metal today to replace that.

Black Forest
10-27-2018, 03:10 AM
I have the saw, $300 dollars and they put it on the trailer for me. It has a two speed gear box and a variable speed drive. It is 3 phase and runs like a champ.

I plan on making better guides for it. I thinking rollers, current design only has the roller behind it.

Missing one panel but picked up metal today to replace that.

You buy a cool machine and then don't post pictures........bad form. Now go out to the shop and take some pictures and post them right now.

Tundra Twin Track
10-27-2018, 03:08 PM
[QUOTE=strokersix;1199249] Both worked but neither measures up to a real metal cutter like a Doall

This is my 1950 ML 16 Doall and it is a pleasure to use,I gave it a complete facelift as it looked pretty ugly when I brought home from Auction for $130.00.http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag292/tundratwintrack/image.jpg3_zpspayydxhn.jpg (http://s1371.photobucket.com/user/tundratwintrack/media/image.jpg3_zpspayydxhn.jpg.html)http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag292/tundratwintrack/imagejpg2_zpsaeb48134.jpg (http://s1371.photobucket.com/user/tundratwintrack/media/imagejpg2_zpsaeb48134.jpg.html)

outlawspeeder
10-28-2018, 01:10 AM
Sorry for the poor form on my part. Photos are a must.

It has been repainted but the tags where spared.

https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0409.jpg

It has spent it life in a college wood shop. If you look close you can see that I already building bearing guides upper and lowers. The motor cover got lost somewhere in time. I have already built a replacement.


https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0401.jpg

It has a two speed gearbox and variable speed for the fine adjustment.

https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0406.jpg

The only thing I lost was the panel that covers the power relay.

https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0403.jpg

DICKEYBIRD
10-28-2018, 09:17 AM
[URL=http://s1371.photobucket.com/user/tundratwintrack/media/image.jpg3_zpspayydxhn.jpg.html]'Splain it to me Lucy!;) Inquiring minds want to know about that chain/cable setup.

softtail
10-28-2018, 09:45 AM
'Splain it to me Lucy!;) Inquiring minds want to know about that chain/cable setup.

Weighted pulley system for auto feed I suspect.

https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/building-doall-work-holding-jaw-204441/index2.html

Tundra Twin Track
10-28-2018, 12:46 PM
'Splain it to me Lucy!;) Inquiring minds want to know about that chain/cable setup.

Softail link to PM explains it well, I built the work jaw from scratch and handles can be in 3 different positions depending on job.

outlawspeeder
10-28-2018, 10:21 PM
So the only question I have is the back cover has a stud the goes into the top pulley. On the out side of the panel there the remainder of a handle. The top pulley is the lower pulley for the bandsaw. The panel is sheet metal.

https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0406.jpg

https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0417.jpg
https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0418.jpg

Tundra Twin Track
10-28-2018, 11:52 PM
So the only question I have is the back cover has a stud the goes into the top pulley. On the out side of the panel there the remainder of a handle. The top pulley is the lower pulley for the bandsaw. The panel is sheet metal.

https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0406.jpg


https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0417.jpg
https://thisisjust4fun.weebly.com/uploads/8/3/4/3/83432368/img-0418.jpg

Does the stud go into a bushing that provides additional support for the shaft?