I have a question about metal cutting bandsaws. Specifically, converting a
wood cutting bandsaw to cut metal. I got one real cheap at a garage sale. It
is a chinese-made 14" saw. Since I'm an absolute retard when it comes to
wood-working I needed to slow the blade speed way down. Using the stock
pulleys at the slowest setting I put on a metal cutting blade and grabbed a
piece of 1/4 inch plate to try it. Well, sparks fly and the blade burns up
immediately. So, I spend about a half day machining a bearing carrier,
bracket and shaft to reduce the speed. Bigger pulleys and smaller pulleys.
All out of stuff hanging around the shop, so no money spent yet. I even had
the right size belts. Got the speed down to 125 rpm. Run out, buy a new
blade at harbor freight, install it, grab the metal, and burn the blade up.
So I finally do the math and with 14 inch wheels I'm doing 500 fpm, way too
high for cutting metal, right? At least according to the sticker on my sheap
horizontal band saw. Probably need about 50 fpm, right?
Any suggestions for a cheap and dirty way to reduce the speed will be
greatly appreciated, as will any comments about metal-cutting bandsaws and
fpm and blade tooth counts, etc. It seems as if I can get this thing working
right I can make all kinds of cool stuff.
BTW, the reason I want an upright bandsaw is cause the 4X6 cheapie doesn't
have a large enough throat. Plus it is at a better height for working
without hurting an old man's back.
I've pretty much been a lurker around this NG, but I can truly say I've
learned a lot reading this stuff.