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can I cut 2" round cold rolled steel with an abrasive chop saw?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by schor View Post
    I was thinking the chop saw because I can get a 14" one for $60. I'm a computer programmer by trade (if you can call it that) and am just playing around in my shop building some parts for a friends robots so spending $300+ is not an option.
    I've never liked chop saws due to the sparks, grit, noise, etc. IMHO they're OK for fab shops that only have a drill press in the way of machine tools, but they should never be around lathes, mills, etc. Just way too dirty. In addition many times the ends will be work hardened and it will take an act of Congress just to get started.

    One option is to build a horizontal band saw. I started with the Gingery design and made several improvements. If you're interested in the changes let me know.

    Another is to use a recip saw. Not exactly the best tool for the job, but its what I used before I built my horz saw and sure makes less mess than a suicide (chop) saw.

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    • #32
      A a recip saw with a good blade will do it if this is going to be a one time event.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by loose nut View Post
        Give your friend a hacksaw. You will see how interested he is in the project then.
        I was going through my posts and saw this one is sort of left open without the final result.

        So I did one piece like this. Took about 20 minutes of hard work with a good blade and cutting fluid.


        I've since acquired this wood/metal vertical bandsaw for $100 and it doesn't quite go slow enough for me so I will be doing something with the pulleys to slow it down. I really only care about a slow enough speed so multiple speeds is not a concern, I'm not a fab shop that needs to go as fast as possible.

        Steve

        My youtube:
        http://www.youtube.com/MyShopNotes

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        • #34
          Get your friend to take the metal to a shop and have them cut the pieces. Or- ask the shop to cut some pieces from their stock. It will be cheaper than anything else you would have to do to be able to cut the material properly.

          If it's going to be an ongoing thing, or you are going to be cutting more and more material during the course of this hobby, then a metal-cutting bandsaw is the answer. Good blades are worth paying the money for also.

          I do like loosenuts answer- get your friend involved doing some of the real work of making his part- set him up with a hacksaw.
          Last edited by darryl; 01-14-2014, 07:11 PM.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #35
            Can you --yes -- will it be fun NO !
            Toolznthings

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            • #36
              Last time I needed to cut a piece of 1.25" bar I chucked it up in the lathe, supported the other end using a center, and used a
              parting tool until there was about 1/2" left. Then put it in a vise and finished with a hacksaw.
              Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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              • #37
                Bigger is better but the 4X6 bandsaw works OK.

                The Abrasive saw works OK for material up to 3" solid but I have a large supply of blades which would run the cost up if I didn't. It resides outside under the old oak tree and is covered with a plastic tub for storage. It Does throw a lot of sparks which means a waterhose is needed in dry times.

                A bigger band saw is on the want list.
                Byron Boucher
                Burnet, TX

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                • #38
                  Wow, 2" round with a hacksaw. You've got energy I don't.

                  Originally posted by Dr Stan View Post
                  Another is to use a recip saw. Not exactly the best tool for the job, but its what I used before I built my horz saw and sure makes less mess than a suicide (chop) saw.
                  Agreed. I used to cut aluminum and brass with a recip saw all the time. With a carbide tipped blade and a little WD40 it just mowed on through. On the other hand, I used an abrasive wheel to cut steel, which was pretty miserable. I only recommend it if you like blowing black snot out of your nose the rest of the afternoon.

                  The HF porta-band is pretty cheap ($83 - 20% off coupon). When I got mine, I never tried the blade it came with -- I immediately bought a name brand bimetal blade from somewhere other than HF. Even with the added cost of a real blade, the HF porta-band may be cheaper than modifying the vertical bandsaw to go slower. A vertical might be a little more convenient, though.

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                  • #39
                    I got the veritcal for $100 and its the best for my stuff. A machinist friend made me up a really nice blade.

                    Thanks for all the help, I'm glad I went with a bandsaw.

                    Steve

                    My youtube:
                    http://www.youtube.com/MyShopNotes

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                    • #40
                      Looks great! Since you seem to have a lathe, making some new aluminum pulleys to slow it down shouldn't be too hard.

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                      • #41
                        Abrasive saw will cut 2" steel , yes noisy , lots of sparks but I have never had the material harden near the cut or the blade seize , when cutting I dont ever try to force the saw just apply enough pressure to cut and it will get through and it isnt much problem to stop and rotate the material either .
                        A band saw is also a worrysome beast unless there is some very good protection around the blade.
                        Michael

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                        • #42
                          I have never had any problem cutting 2" round with a disk saw, 1st thing i found, throw the disk that comes with it away, replace with a reputable abrasive companies disk, i have a few norton ones, these are 14" and will eat 2" bar for breakfast, you only get hardening when the steel your cutting has enough carbon in it for that to occur, bout 0.7 or so, be careful of the sparks, dont let them hit your cars windsheild! Dont ask me how i found that out!.
                          Cold cuttof saws are better but they are expensive, $1000 dollar plus, the evolution rage saw will do 2" but blade life is low at that size, mid range solution, if your starting i would recomend a horizontal bandsaw, affordable ones are usually Chinese, once again throw the blade away and buy a tidy one.
                          Have fun and dont set your pants leg on fire, yes i did!
                          Mark

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                          • #43
                            Not relevant to the OP's situation, but years ago I used to frequent a surplus outfit that sold cut-to-length steel as a side line. The only saw they had was a largish abrasive unit using wheels that must have been 3 feet in diameter with a 20 hp motor. They would routinely cut surplus bar 4" and more. Abrasive sawing was their only viable option since the surplus they sold could be anything from soft to heated treated very hard. You wanted to be well back from the saw when it was in use, it was actually kind of a dangerous situation the way they let customers roam around near the saw with the sparks and noise.

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