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Bandsaws.. coolant or no... (my opinion)

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  • Bandsaws.. coolant or no... (my opinion)

    This has been debated over and over on this board.
    Some swear they like it dry .. most like it wet
    OK.. my 4X6 saw.. the first thing I did to it was add a coolant system.
    Got excellent blade life.
    I moved to my new place and didn't bother hooking up the coolant system because some said it wasn't really nessesary.
    After about 9 months.. I have to disagree in a big way. The blade life is maybe 2/3 or more worse with no coolant.
    You have to let every part cool before you can hold it in your paws... not so with coolant... it's cold to the touch after falling off.
    My bill for blades lately has been huge.
    The 4X6 and the Wells are both getting coolant systems installed again.
    Yup.. I use my saws a lot but the proof is in the puddin. Blades last a hell of a lot longer with coolant.
    Anyone who says otherwise uses their saw about as much as I use an MP3!
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  • #2
    Russ,
    I totally agree with you on the coolant. Some people use the argument that they don't like the coolant dripping on their floor, it ain't that hard to wipe it up. Metal working is a messy hobby if you can't handle a few drips on the floor take up sewing or something.
    Mark Hockett

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    • #3
      I too agree with you Russ ----- IN YOUR CASE! --. and Marks, and many others ....but, I'm not running an operation like yours. Mine is a hobbyist operation with, probably, much less use of a saw than you.

      I've done some tinkering around with some temporary methods of getting coolant/lube on the saw and pretty quickly decided it just wasnt worth fooling with. I presently keep a couple drip bottles with different mixes that I will just dribble a little along as the cut is advancing and am satisfied with the way it works. HEH! and yeah occasionally one will get a bit toasty. I would think most of us "hobbyists" can get by with something similar, where you guys that really run your saws need more.
      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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      • #4
        Bill...I agree with you also. If you don't use your saw that much it could be a pain. However.. my point is.. coolant does make a big difference in blade life.
        Russ
        I have tools I don't even know I own...

        Comment


        • #5
          With relatively light use of the saw its a bit hard to guage blade life ... I can only say that my blades seem to last very well (if I wont pull dumb stunts with em!) I've got one on the little swivel now that has to been on about a year, and with just completing the gun, I ran it pretty heavily....it'd just be difficult to really compare, kinda apples to oranges.
          If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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          • #6
            Enco 7X12.

            My vintage 1984 Enco 7X12 horizontal bandsaw runs nicely with coolant. It has an integral tank and pump underneath the moving parts. The blade will last a good long time with a nice flood of soluble oil coolant.

            I don't think that the blades would last very long without the coolant but I can't be sure since I never run without it.

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            • #7
              Bill,
              If you own a saw that doesn't have coolant I agree in many cases its not worth the trouble to retrofit it. I have a 4 X 6 Taiwan made saw with no coolant that has been that way for 20 years and works just fine. I also have a Wellsaw with coolant that was factory installed that works good too. Its hard to compare blade life on the two because the Wellsaw has a longer blade so it not a fair comparison, but I am surprised how long the blades last on the Wellsaw even cutting stainless and A2.
              Mark Hockett

              Comment


              • #8
                I always figured that the small bandsaws don't really need it. The blades are cheap and they don't usually see real hard use. Bigger bandsaws absolutely should run coolant, imo!

                I thought about running coolant on mine, but it seemed like alot of work for not that big of a pay off. Ok, I'm lazy ... If someone would pay for all the pumps, hoses, sheet metal for a pan then I'd build one

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                • #9
                  my only concern is the stench of coolant. i haven't used any on my current machine (7x12)...but i really should. It literally ran yesterday for 6 straight hours, and it did the same thing the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that...

                  i also haven't decided if the mess is worth it...all your parts come out wet and slimy, it drips on the floor and makes it slippery, you've always got at least one rogue drip, etc. the blades are 21 bucks each from JL if i get them on sale. it's almost worth 21 bucks a month not to have to clean the floor! I guess I'll see how long the blade I just popped on lasts...if I get reasonable life, I'm not going to be too concerned I dont think.

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                  • #10
                    The mess? Every place I've ever worked at has a couple of drip buckets to catch the coolant if it comes out the pipe or whatever. Only take a second to put the bucket under the leak.
                    The coolant I use is easy to clean off the metal before welding. A wipe with a dry rag is all it takes. The guys who squirt oil on the blade.. that isn't so easy to clean up.
                    The stench? I don't get that. Maybe it's our colder climate up here but I seldom have a problem with that. The only real problem I had was with a totally closed coolant tank that never got used for a few months. Now that WAS some really nasty crap... some kind of 1/2" thick rotten jelly stuff.
                    I can see guys in the southern places probably having issues with the heat causing the rot... I don't know.
                    I have tools I don't even know I own...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mark Hockett
                      Russ,
                      I totally agree with you on the coolant. Some people use the argument that they don't like the coolant dripping on their floor, it ain't that hard to wipe it up. Metal working is a messy hobby if you can't handle a few drips on the floor take up sewing or something.
                      Sewing is not that neat either. My grandmother made drapes for a living. She supported herself and my grandfather after his stroke for about 20 years that way. Her sewing room was always full of fiber dust. She did clean up but it was necessary on a frequent basis - every job or two.
                      Paul A.

                      Make it fit.
                      You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a 4X6 and the blades seem to fail with stress cracks. I have examined them, thinking that I should try to splice them, but I can always see more cracks forming so it does not appear to be worth the effort. I am in the oil bottle/dripping a bit as the cut progresses group at present.

                        So, does coolant help to prevent the blades from developing stress cracks?
                        Paul A.

                        Make it fit.
                        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by torker
                          The stench? I don't get that. Maybe it's our colder climate up here but I seldom have a problem with that. The only real problem I had was with a totally closed coolant tank that never got used for a few months. Now that WAS some really nasty crap... some kind of 1/2" thick rotten jelly stuff.
                          I can see guys in the southern places probably having issues with the heat causing the rot... I don't know.
                          Th stink and the newly hatched "Organisims" are most likely from tramp oils, rather than from the coolant itself. Most of the coolant nowadays has some biocide blended in to comabt stink and fungii growth. In cooler climates, it may take a bit longer, but, coolant doesn't last forever, eventually it will go rank. Oil skimmers will help combat the tramp oil issues. Replacing the contents of the coolant tank as necessary will also help minimize fungal growth.

                          Unless you end up with so much coolant on the floor, that replenishing the tank accounts just as much for replacing the contents thereof.
                          Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can't figure out why anybody would think that running a bandsaw blade dry would be a good idea. It's a cutting tool and at the point of contact it gets very hot. That heat will damage the blade. Even just hacksawing I get smoke off the blade when I put some oil on it.

                            I have a deep sided cookie sheet clamped to the tray under my 4x6 and it catches the small amount of oil that my drip feed system dispenses. I use a mixture of 50/50 generic multi-purpose hydraulic oil and Varsol (white spirits) as a cutting lube. It's dirt cheap and works well with iron and aluminum. When the cookie sheet is getting full I tip it off into a coffee can and let it settle for a week. Then I reuse what's in the can for drilling and the bandsaw.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore
                              I have a 4X6 and the blades seem to fail with stress cracks. I have examined them, thinking that I should try to splice them, but I can always see more cracks forming so it does not appear to be worth the effort. I am in the oil bottle/dripping a bit as the cut progresses group at present.

                              So, does coolant help to prevent the blades from developing stress cracks?

                              No - what thickness blade are you using? To thick of a blade will crack in short order when used on the 4X6 models.

                              Evan - For me, the issue is the cost of the coolant and coolant system versus the cost of the blade is what has deterred me from putting one on the saw. I just don't use it enough to justify a coolant system. I don't mind spending the 15 bucks for a new blade when I need it, even though I might need it sooner than the folks with coolant. Like I said, big saws should asbolutely have coolant, or if you use the saw day in day out, then coolant is worth it imo. I don't get the mess or smell argument, though.

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