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Flood Coolant on a Harbor Freight 4X6 Bandsaw?

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  • #31
    I haven't had any problems with my saw. It cuts well and the blade life is better than I would expect considering the junk metal I sometimes cut with it.

    I work in my little shop for fun. Working with my hands is the best stress reducer I have found. Sometimes my projects are just busy work - after particularly trying days at work, I've machined down pieces of metal to nothing for no reason.

    Back to the saw, I was just wondering to myself if some coolant/lube would make the saw work better, not necessarily correct a problem. I am reluctant mostly because I don't want a mess on the floor, but might go ahead anyway just to see how it goes. If I come across a bunch of scrap that looks like it needs to become a drip pan and reservoir, I'll post some pics of the outcome.

    Thanks for the input, suggestions and advise.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
      There are a number of folks who have put a free-running wire brush wheel on their saw, angled to sort-of "poke" the swarf off the blade and out of the gullets. That may be more effective than the air. It takes high velocity ar to be as effective as lower velocity but higher mass liquids, and a wire brush is more positive than either.
      I like that too!

      For the 4x6 the brushes will need to be pretty dainty little things. By the time the back/lower guides are back far enough to clear the side support extension there's precious little room.. On these sizes it might well end up being Dremel size brushes. Or something equally as small. I'm going to try it out and see what I can get to work.

      Kev, I read you clearly. Now and then when I'm describing my tools someone asks me about converting them to CNC. I make it a point to look at them with a puzzled expression and ask "Hell no! Why should the machines have all the fun?". They look back at me a little odd sometimes....
      Last edited by BCRider; 11-10-2020, 03:38 AM.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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      • #33
        absolutely no need for coolant on this saw. blades are probably around $20. cost of coolant, the mess it makes and the trouble of instalation are in no relation to cost savings. if there are any at all. looking back a few decades i have never worn out a band saw blade, teeth either dull on some inclusion or brake off because of lazyness to change to a finer blade.

        if chips are getting on your nerves, its easy to install some scraping contraption that is free and needs almost almost no maintainance. (i have shown two of them in the past.)

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        • #34
          I think successful sawing depends largely on perameters.
          My saw uses a 3/4" blade, and I like to use 18 teeth per inch
          for general sawing of 1/8" material thickness and above.
          Not sure the rpm, but the belt is on the fastest of the multi-
          step sheave of the pulley.
          When sawing, the chips stream off the blade, just exiting
          the cut, in a neat fan spray pattern. I cut dry and I never
          have chips stick to the blade.
          I use Lenox blades with good results, but I have welded
          a carbon steel blade from my DoAll blade stock, and it
          gives equally good performance.
          Maybe the gearbox on those cheap China saws is geared
          too slow to get the chips not to pack the blade. I run mine
          fast, and still no blue chips, so.....
          I think blade tooth hook has something to do with chips
          sticking to the blade. An angle tooth tends to hold on to
          the chips, whereas a round, hook tooth seems to curl the
          chip more and let it fall away.
          I see coolant on a bandsaw as a crutch for poor sawing
          parameters. It will cure a lot of sins.
          Same as grinding. You can get away with improper wheel
          selection when you use coolant.
          I have run a band saw at a bridge fabrication shop. I have
          cut hundreds of feet of structural steel on a Doall horizontal
          saw for days on end. I know the benefits of coolant and I
          know the hassle of maintenance and cleanup.
          I also have a home shop. YES THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
          This board is called home shop machinist. For production
          coolant on a band saw is useful and beneficial.
          A home shop is different. You guys have these piddily-ass
          saws and want to use coolant like the big boys.
          I say go for it, but be prepared for the aggravation associated
          with it. I have a medium sized horizontal band saw, and I use
          it a few times a month. Once a year I might wheel it outside
          and cut some structural for a larger project. Some coming up
          are 2" angle iron frames for some sliding doors on my shop
          and some 1" square tubing for a few awning frames I have to
          build. Coolant would be just another mess to clean up before
          weld prep. Home shop is not a negative, is just goes to usage
          and utilization. When I set up my saw, I just cut and cut and cut.
          It just runs because I have the guides set right, the speed set
          right, the right blade selected. I experience no jams. No crooked
          cuts, it just works. Not sure what coolant would solve for me
          in my usage situation.
          I can tell you, when I was cutting structural steel for days on end
          with the big DoAll saw, even in the winter, the coolant would steam
          from the heat of the cut, because I was feeding hard to get the job
          done. But if I am not cutting hundreds of pieces, you can back
          off the feed to a reasonable level. But all and all, do that makes
          you happy. Whiskey and ice cream come to mind for me.

          -Doozer
          DZER

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          • #35
            You folks who never have a problem are doing fine. If you are talking true here, keep up the good work. I cut DRY.... I do not lube the blade, I do not have oily gunk on the wheels, or on any blade contact surfaces. The chips get stuck in the blade gullets and around they come.

            I get chips carried around to drop inside the saw, on guide rollers, jamming guide rollers --- between blade and roller, etc. I can EASILY see why someone would want to put a steady stream of something on the blade to get rid of that.

            No, the "coolant" is NOT intended to "cool the red hot blade" for the OP, I feel certain that is not his issue.

            If it helps you not get your panties in a wad, call it "lubricant", or "washing fluid", or anything else that gets "heat" out of your mind. Likely he just wants to to wash off chips. If it IS a heat issue then you all and I are all wrong together, so don't get too superior here.

            ME?

            I do not want the hassle, so I'm not gonna do it, do not want to. But I will probably figure out something that is actually practical to do.

            Before the frowning people with eager fingers start typing, the guide rollers in question are BEFORE THE CUT, as the blade comes around. So, NO, the chips are not falling on them etc from the cut. The chips DO get carried around and dropped wherever.

            For some reason, the rollers AFTER the cut do not seem to be as much of a problem. No idea why, except that maybe the swarf has not been loosened up yet.

            Yes, I do use a finer blade, a 10-14 I believe, and use it for most all cuts. Lots of cuts would do better with something like 6 or so, but I'm not changing the blade for one cut. You may sneer if you like to, but the utility of the saw is destroyed by a 5 minute setup for one cut, if I want it cut, I want it cut NOW, not tomorrow.
            Last edited by J Tiers; 11-11-2020, 12:14 AM.
            3751 6193 2700 3517

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

            If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......

            Comment


            • #36
              I run coolant on my 5x6 Grizzly swivel head saw. But I also cut a lot of stainless, so it's out of necessity for the most part. All the saws at work run flood coolant as well, it does make the blades last longer, maybe 2x's as long.

              Now by coolant I mean water soluble cut to 25:1 water to oil ratio. No problems with slipping, no problems with chip loading or galling in the cut.

              We almost never have the correct blade/stock selection. There are too many variables to make that possible. I run a 10-14 as standard at home and that combined with downfeed cylinder and coolant allows cutting everything from 1/4" round to 3" square with no issues. I used to cut dry and anything over 2" was prone to chip loading and tooth loss.

              The big Wellsaw at work I run 8-10 as the standard and anything larger than 5" round we switch to a 4-6. I have cut 6 x 16" UM plate with that and made buckets of watch springs
              I just need one more tool,just one!

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                ...........I used to cut dry and anything over 2" was prone to chip loading and tooth loss.

                ............
                And, there, folks, we have it.

                Precisely what I have seen, except that I don't notice blade damage.

                And, I see, "coolant" has fixed the listed problems. Gee, just about what has been pooh-poohed and laughed at.

                I'm not going to try to use coolant on the Atlas saw, it is not made for it, and I don't want the mess in that end of the shop. I expect that a retrofit system would not be very good at collecting the coolant, the saw top is not well suited to guiding it anywhere in particular. It will need some other plan.

                But the horizontal mill has a large tray base made with a drain in one corner. So THAT would both benefit, and not be so much of a mess, if I decide to change over from air clearing of chips to liquid.

                The air does not always get chips out of a pocket, and there is a good deal of re-cutting and welding, especially with the vertical head. The re-cutting might not be eliminated by liquid, but the welding likely would be, and the re-cutting should be reduced, at the least.
                3751 6193 2700 3517

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                  I'm not going to try to use coolant on the Atlas saw, it is not made for it, and I don't want the mess in that end of the shop. I expect that a retrofit system would not be very good at collecting the coolant, the saw top is not well suited to guiding it anywhere in particular. It will need some other plan.

                  But the horizontal mill has a large tray base made with a drain in one corner. So THAT would both benefit, and not be so much of a mess, if I decide to change over from air clearing of chips to liquid.

                  .
                  My 5x6 wasn't built for coolant either, Atlas was probably building to a price point just like Grizzly and targeted the saw at a market that wouldn't notice blades being changed very often. An hour meter would be an interesting experiment to determine true blade life.

                  Is your saw one of the cast iron Atlas/Craftsman models like this?

                  https://garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=434375

                  A buddy of mine had one and converted his by sandwiching a commercial baking sheet between the saw and stand.

                  As coolant goes, bandsaws are the least offensive mess makers and water sol clings to the blades pretty well. Nothing like a drill press or lathe, those are lawn sprinklers.

                  I just need one more tool,just one!

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    On my old saw and my newer one, I've got 2 strips of rubber sheet - maybe 0.060" thick - with staggered slits on them, that are bolted to the front of the forward roller guide. It actually works surprising well to remove chips before they carried round on the blade. Of course it doesn't remove them all, but does make a big difference. I don't use coolant either, but do occasionally wax the blade on longer cuts.
                    You can just about make them out on these pictures.


                    Click image for larger version  Name:	Saw1.jpg Views:	2 Size:	129.6 KB ID:	1909854
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Peter N; 11-11-2020, 10:25 AM.

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                    • #40
                      Nice metric 80/20 frame.

                      -D
                      DZER

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                      • #41
                        And what is the tool that you have cleverly attached to a chain so that it won't get separated from the saw? Can't quite make it out. I have hooks on the saw stand for the saw tools but they could escape if they tried hard enough.
                        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by mickeyf View Post
                          And what is the tool that you have cleverly attached to a chain so that it won't get separated from the saw? Can't quite make it out. I have hooks on the saw stand for the saw tools but they could escape if they tried hard enough.
                          It's a detent pin, locks the pawl in place when the saw is vertical

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                            ..........

                            Is your saw one of the cast iron Atlas/Craftsman models like this?

                            https://garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=434375
                            .........
                            Not Craftsman, it is a straight-up Atlas ,model, 4353 or some such number.

                            Looks similar, probably different, since Sears would ask for all sorts of things to be cheapened, (and then copy it anyway).
                            3751 6193 2700 3517

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

                            If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Yeah, flood lube is messy.

                              I cut a lot of SS and 4140ph. Both not difficult but it seems (placebo effect) to extend my blade life. And I buy good blades so I want them to last due to cost. JR
                              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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