Bandsaw for metal cutting

Without spending too much money, what is a good bandsaw to cutout
designs in metal. How thick of metal can you cut? I am eventually
going to buy a plasma cutter, but would like a bandsaw as well, without
spending too much.
Thanks, James
Reply to
sparty
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You can get a decent Do-All on ebay for $1500.
Reply to
Tony
He said without spending too much. :-)
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
Reply to
Searcher7
Yup. And he did not say how thick of metal he wanted to cut.
How much is too much to pay for a tool that won't do what you want it to?
Low end of the price range (and capacity) is a bit over a hundred and fifty bucks US for a 4x6 like
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If you get one like this you want to read
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Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
comon, that's just a few tanks of gas :^)
Reply to
Tony
I am in the process of making my own budget vertical metal bandsaw. I bought an old 14" Taiwanese wood bandsaw on Craigslist. A real old one is good because it's heavier than the newer ones. I got a 30:1 gear reducer on ebay for about $50 shipped. With 14" saw wheels, and a 1725 RPM motor, 30:1 gets you 210 fpm if you use direct drive with some Lovejoy couplers. That speed is just about right for general metal cutting, but If you play with belts and pullies, you can have other speeds too. From what I've read on the NG, trying to do the 30:1 speed reduction with pullies alone would be too hard and would likely slip under loads. My saw is not done yet (I need to add some bracketing to hold the gear reducer) but I think it will do pretty well for about $200 total cost.
Reply to
lens
I bought an OLD delta metal/wood bandsaw for about 400. It has multiple metal speeds and one high speed for wood. Useable as delivered but needs a paint job.
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
sparty write:
Just to give you an idea: I'm using a Enco 5x6 bandsaw (about $200) to cut curves in 1" thick aluminum: 4 to 7" long cuts, min radius about 4". Takes five or ten minutes but goes pretty easily.
Keep in mind, the blade width will limit how tight a curve you can cut. A 4"radius is about the limit for a 1/2" blade I think.
I'm not too concerned about accuracy: usually cut curves to within a few hundredths oversize, then finish on mill. You could cut closer than that if you can tolerate going undersize.
The table is a little flimsy so many people modify it for a bigger one. But it works well enough for me as is.
If you get one of these saws make sure to buy a good blade for it.
Reply to
k-a-n-d-r
Thanks all. Has anyone tried that one from Harbor Freight...
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That looks pretty cool and an awesome price, just not sure how good it is. I would like to stay under the $300 range.
I would be cutting 1/4" Steel/Aluminum and thinner. Not sure I would ever need to do anything thicker. I would like to be able to cut out designs, like lets say the State of Texas or Michigan or something along those lines. I have used a plasma cutter before, but don't have the money for one right now, and would also like something like this that can do slightly cleaner cuts in tight corners, where a plasma cutter can't.
Thanks.
Reply to
sparty
This is the unit that Tony recommended in his earlier post. The 4x6 bandsaw site he pointed out would be good reading for you.
I have one of the HF units and it has served admirably over the last couple of years. The table is small, and the whole thing is a little low for continuous use as a vertical, but a new stand would be an easy project. I use mine mostly as a horizontal and it works fine. About 10% of the time I wish it had the capacity to handle larger stock (how large is your "State of Texas"?), but obviously YMMV.
I paid $169 for mine and it's been well worth it.
Peter
Reply to
Peter Grey
I wondered about the usefulness of a big vertical bandsaw. I have the Enco Turn-Pro 7x12 gearhead saw. It specs a 3/4" blade. As far as I can tell, you can't use a narrower blade on this style saw. Is that correct?
A 3/4" wide blade isn't going to let me cut precise small curves!
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote: ve or ten minutes but goes pretty easily.
Reply to
Mike Berger
When I say cutting a State out, I figure about 4 to 8 inches square.
Reply to
sparty
Eh, I just checked:
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A 1/2" blade will cut a min radius of 2.5" (not 4" as I said). A 3/4" blade should get you down to about 5.5".
Don't know about the Enco 7x12 but there is no way to use a smaller blade on the 5x6.
Reply to
k-a-n-d-r
A real vertical can use what ever width blades up to max size. The horizontals are limited to one blade width. Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
According to Wayne Cook :
Exactly!
That is because a real vertical has a crowned rubber tire which causes the blade to run at the top of the crown, no matter the width.
The Horizontals (at least my 4x6) use steel or cast iron wheels, with a shoulder to trap the back edge of the blade, and a relief turned under the teeth so the set of the teeth is not damaged by the constant impact against the side of the wheel. A narrower blade would not have this protection -- though you *might* be able to get away with turning a second relief groove for a *very* narrow blade, leaving enough to support the wider blade for normal use.
However -- you might have to re-design the guide rollers to keep them from crimping the set out of the teeth.
Different designs for different purposes.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
That's a great page. Thanks for the reference!
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:
Reply to
Mike Berger
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.
Fred
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Reply to
Fast Freddy
Check the archives - there have been plenty of discussions on this.
For cutting steel, you need to be much slower. You can get there with V belts and jackshafts, but if your final drive to the saw is by belt you may find it slips under the heavy torque required by a steel cutting saw. Chain drive or a gearbox would be better.
John Martin
Reply to
John Martin
I built my own metal cutting band saw about 2 or so years ago and faced this same dilema when it came to getting speeds slow enough. Too small of pulleys and they slip, I did not want to fool with chains and sprockets, wound up with a nice gear reducer which is 60:1 or may be 100:1 and hooked up a 1.5hp DC drive mnotor to it. Itw orked fine and I could adjust my speed well below whats needed for metal cutting and still run it up suffiicinet for most wood cutting.
Reply to
Roy
Where can a guy find a gearbox? Fred
Reply to
Fast Freddy

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