No announcement yet.

HF 4 x 6 Bandsaw

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • HF 4 x 6 Bandsaw

    I just recently acquired the above saw. I have several questions for guys that have used this saw. This is regarding the operation. Speed and rate of feed.
    I am now running it on the slowest. What should I set the speed at?. Feed (weight of saw) should be set at what?.
    How do I tell if there is not enough or too much?.
    I will be cutting mostly steel rounds ranging in diam. from 1/2 up to 3 inches.

  • #2
    How high is up would be an easier question to answer but I can tell you what I do.

    There are a multitude of variables but with the stock blade, I run it fast for aluminum and slow for steel. The stock blades stink and I think they are a little fine for anyone with even the need for such a saw. I'm plant to get a 10-14 tpi variable in the near future.

    Keep in mind this saw can't be left unattended. The motors have been known to catch on fire if it runs for a very long time. I keep checking my motor with my hand and shut it off when it gets too hot.

    Ther are neat little saws and don't do a bad job for the backyard machinist. Yahoo has some groups on mods for this saw.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


    • #3
      I agree with YOD, get a different blade the stock one sucks. I picked up a bi-metal and it works very well. I run mine slow for steel and brass and high for aluminium. You should join the yahoo group as suggested, the files section has a guide for how to align the blade etc..



      • #4
        Yep. the very first thing to do is pitch the blade, theyre reallllly bad! It can turn you off the saw. You just cant go wrong with the bi-metal blades -- for home shop general use a 10-14tpi will handle most of your needs. Enco usually has them on sale and I'll throw a couple in with another order and get the free frt.

        Second, go over and join the yahoo group, theres tons of info there on these----

        As for speeds/feeds it almost seems to vary from saw to saw, the motors are such a crap-shoot - a good one here, bad one there, a so-so one, etc, and then the spring rate on one saw will be stiffer than another --- it'll probably end up with you just playing around with your particular saw. I can run mine in the fast speed for 90% of what I do, but occasionally I'll have to use a 'lift' finger to regulate the feed,--- as some one mentioned, its best not to leave the saw -- maybe way later when you feel good and comfortable with the way it works you can step away for a short time.

        One thing for sure, this has got to be one of the best bargains and one of the most used tools in the home shop. Sometimes thay can be frustrating with working through their shortcomings, but well worth it.
        If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


        • #5
          How is the feed adjusted on the more expensive bandsaws?


          • #6
            They have a hydraulic cylinder with a valve to adjust the drop of the blade by bleeding off fluid at varying rates. There are several write-ups about making up one for the little 4x6s (along with umpteen other mods/improvements), here again, over at the yahoo site.
            If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


            • #7
              Originally posted by Your Old Dog
              Keep in mind this saw can't be left unattended. The motors have been known to catch on fire if it runs for a very long time. I keep checking my motor with my hand and shut it off when it gets too hot.
              I keep a fan blowing on mine, it keeps the temp well within reason. I've had mine for over twenty years with the original motor. It has run a lot. A while back another member of this board posted that the reason they over heat is the belt guard blocks air movement around the motor, which makes sense.


              • #8
                My 4 x 6 saw is ten years old and is used almost daily. I made a barfeeder for mine.

                For speeds, the fastest for aluminum, middle speed or steel, slowest for toolsteel and stainless.

                The bi-metal blades last 6 to 9 months in my saw. Those hardware store variety carbon blades are fine but only last about a week. Depends on what you are sawing and how much.

                For downfeed, I use as much as I can get by with. If the blade stalls, I decrease the down feed.

                Far to the right I installed a closed circuit air cylinder that is full of oil that holds the head up or lowers the head at a variable speed. A petcock valve between ports A and B to regulate how fast oil flows from one end of the air cylinder to the other.

                At the top of the pic shown below is a feature I added to prevent the sawblade from jumping off the drive wheel. This happens when the sawblade stalls. Has worked great for ten years.

                What these 4 x 6 saw lack is size is made up for with courage!!!!

                Click here to see the barfeeder work:

                Last edited by outback; 03-12-2009, 10:53 PM.
                So much to learn, so little time


                • #9
                  Originally posted by outback
                  I made a barfeeder for mine.
                  Neat! Once again I'm amazed by the ingenuity of the members of this board.


                  • #10
                    I'm always amazed at what great those little saws do, that said I just picked up a bigger and thought about selling the 4x6 for about a minute.......naw doesn't owe me a thing and can do second ops when needed.......

                    OB your upgrades are very impressive.........
                    Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


                    • #11
                      Thanks to all. You have been most informative. I just replaced the original blade. I used it for a month and it still seemed to cut alright.

                      Years ago, I used a band saw that had a sliding weight on the top which slid from one end of the saw to the other on a rod. This was to vary the weight on the blade.

                      I really like the machine and the price. It was $211.99 out the door at Harbor Freight in Melbourne, FL.




                      • #12
                        I set the minimum force with the spring setup on the 4x6 and then don't fool with it - it has popped off too many times. Now I have a couple pieces of scrap with heavy wire hooks on them that I hang from the saw's handle to increase pressure when needed. Almost as nice as a plastic bucket and a pile of rocks

                        Location: Newtown, CT USA


                        • #13
                          Hah! That's too funny John. I do the same thing, except I have a stack of c-clamps nearby on my welding cart, and I grab an appropriate size to hang on that same handle. But on mine, I need a bit more weight because I replaced the junk chinese motor with a decent US made UL rated motor. Less rated HP, but FAR more powerful and weighs more. But due to the weight, I generally have at least a 4" c-clamp hanging on the handle to offset the motor...

                          I use Lenox Die Master multi-pitch blades. Last "forever" unless I do something stupid with them. They also cut far faster and straighter than the junk blades from HF.
                          Master Floor Sweeper


                          • #14
                            I lucked out and ordered mine maybe 10 years ago from HF for $125 delivered with some sort of cupon at the time. Mine says it was made in Taiwan. I don't know if that's still the case or not, but the newer ones seem to have some better features even if the fit and finish is not as nice.

                            I used the stock blade just a brief while. It does work but as most already know, a decent bi-metal blade will cost maybe three times what a carbon steel blade will cost....but last up to 10 times as long. I find them on sale from Enco from time to time for as little as $15. Last time I bought them was maybe 2 years ago and the blade stock they used for the vari-pitch blades I bought was Morse branded.

                            Usually the problem with the blade is one of adjusting and trimming the saw correctly. People pitch the junk blade and replace it, and this forces them to re-adjust everything....something that might have helped tremendously even with the stock blade had it been done to start with. This is a machine must be adjusted. The very first thing to do is to get the two wheels (no blade installed for this check) in plane with one another using a long straightedge. Then, install the blade with the guides loose and adjust wheel tilt on the upper one until the blade stays on when turned by hand. Then, and only then, worry with tightening the guides in place and adjusting until they hold the blade square to the work.

                            My 4x6 is still my only metal saw. I made a stand for it with a bit of an outfeed table and also replaced the motor with a decent one at .5 HP (much bigger and more powerful than the stock one at .75 "Tiwanese Horsepower"). The bigger, heavier motor means that sometimes I need a bit of counterbalance weight. It also means that I have to be careful when setting the saw up not to "drop" it into the vertical position. The motor mounts are rather fragile and my casting has a crack that came in it from the factory.

                            I figure if I ever buy another saw, if I can find the space, I will keep this one and put a coarser blade on it to dedicate to aluminum....which I cut much more rarely. Blade changes are annoying on a band saw and in general, the "righ" blade for cutting a thick piece of aluminum is way too coarse for steel.

                            Paul Carpenter
                            Mapleton, IL


                            • #15
                              I just received a HB catalog and it has listed as new, what looks like my bandsaw, under a different stock number. 66435. I couldn't find in online. Could this be the same saw only with a better motor and stand?