I bought a bandsaw with a continuous diamond blade for cutting glass. I
haven't used it and wonder if I can change it's purpose to cutting some
small aluminum pieces. If so, should I still use the water cooling system?
The blade is rather expensive so if it is going to gum up quickly and be
impossible to clean then I'll just sell it.
Abrasive cutting of aluminum usually results in the clogging of the
blade. I would take it off, measure it and get a proper blade made up
for your machine. Also, what speed does the machine run at? Can the
speed be reduced? Generally you don't want to cut aluminum at more than
1000-1200 fpm. I have a Delta 14" wood bandsaw that I changed out the
pulleys on to reduce the speed on, I took it from aprox 3000 down to
1100 fpm. I bought some M42 Bimetal blades for it but find that the
wood blade that came with it cuts better in the aluminum. Still way to
fast for steel or stainless, I would have to make up a countershaft to
add in another set of pulleys to get it down in the 200-400 fpm range.
If you can't do any of the above, try a small cut with the coolant
going and then check the blade for clogging. You also might try some
wax type lube on the blade as well. Good luck.
Machineman wrote in
Diamond is perfect for cutting aluminum, because the aluminum will not
build-up on diamond. The only question here is gullet size. If the
diamond blade has tiny gullets, then I would be concerned with chips not
being cleared and eventual packing. Diamond is the material of choice for
cutting aluminum in industry. Everything else builds an edge.