Help: How to Make a Gang Saw

I need to cut soft metals into strips and also groove wood and plastics for several projects, and it seems that the only plausible way to make these cuts consistent and accurate is to use a gang saw.

Unless there are readily available "kits" for something like this, can anyone direct me to a "how to" on making these?(I'll need to make 30 cuts/grooves at a time).

Thanks a lot.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
Searcher7
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Searcher7 wrote in rec.crafts.metalworking:

How wide will the material be, how widely spaced will be the cuts, and how narrow the kerfs?

Reply to
RAM³

As for the metal strips, I'd like to get close to the .156" width of some PCB traces I'll be working with.(I can clip them to whatever length I'll need).

And the grooves in wood/plastic are to be wide enough to accommodate those strips, and have the same .156" spacing between the grooves.

So that is two different gang saws I'll need.

Thanks.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
Searcher7

Darren:

This sounds like a manufacturing setup. Production setup. There will be lots and lots of things that this text-only newsgroup will be unable to communicate. Your cuts / grooves are going to be too close together and you might introduce minor flex on the gang saw shaft due to cutting resistance of 30 cutters on a single shaft, IMHO. What level of tolerances must your setup hold to?

Plus you are going to have to insure the stock material does not shift while cutting; either lock the material down and move the cutters and shaft, or setup some sort movable bed that holds the stock. Either way it could get expensive. Really expensive. (Unless you have your own machine shop of course.)

Have you considered a laser cutting/engraving ?

sawmillcreek.org (note the dot org) is a forum that has a sub-section on laser engravers and CNC cutting. For about $20,000 you can get a good wood / plastics laser cutting / engraving CNC rig. (Please, let that forum suggest you what rigs, add-ons, makers, and costs.) You can have a setup that will be *A LOT SLOWER* than a dedicated gang saw workstation, but you will end up with the accuracy, repeatability, and consistency you seem to be looking for. Maybe not ISO 9000 quality control consistency at the $20,000 investment level, but close enough.

All said and done, maybe even a cheaper overall investment for your enterprise.

Best of luck, and I hope others have other advise.

Phil

Reply to
Phil Again

Small horizontal mill with two arbors?

Dan

Reply to
dcaster

A multi gang saw with a few 10 saw spindles may be more cost effective.

Reply to
Pete C.

I don't know the specifics of the set up you are talking about, but $20,000 is way out of the question!

For the cutting gang saw I figured I'd have to build a jig of some sort. The metal("Beryllium Copper" or Phosphor Bronze) to be cut into these strips will be anywhere between .005" and .015" thick.(Whatever I can find cheaply).

I thought I'd make a channel that would be the same width as whatever the standard width metal coil I'd slide under the gang saw. The idea would be to score the metal enough so that I can easily break off the strips. I'm assuming the saw would rotate against the direction of the work, and that multiple passes may be necessary.

As long as the grooving saw can make grooves in the material(wood or plastic) those strips would fit in, visual accuracy is really what this comes down to.

It'll be tedious work, but I guess I'd have to progressively grind down the thickness of the metal bushings between each saw until I get to the proper spacing needed.

If I can buy enough of these saws and find a way to fit them together in a group as large as 30, I guess the biggest issue would then be sharpening them when needed. I have a mini lathe. (And a mini mill that needs to be fixed).

I figure a gang saw like this would be an easier option than some sort of indexing jig with stops where I'd have to make passes for every parallel cut. But correct me if I'm wrong. (I doubt that would be as accurate).

Anyway, I was hoping to get a handle on the materials I'd need to build something like this. And I'm still open to ideas

Thanks a lot.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
Searcher7

Searcher7 wrote: ...

...

I'd be playing w/ small cutters like the Dremel saw blades, etc., determining what you need to cut the material manually.

Something on that order is small enough to go on a shaft although 30x

2x0.156" --> ~10" so it'll have to be a good quality hard tool steel spindle to not be excessively flexible at any reasonable diameter.

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Reply to
dpb

Actually, to groove 30 slots that are .156", with the same distance between each groove, would result in 30 grooves in about 4-3/4" of material. And to cut 30 .156 strips would probably require a gang saw that would be about 2-1/2" across.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
Searcher7

Two ways to get metal strips this thickness, a shear (just a flat plate and a guillotine blade), with limited length of strip (I've seen 5 foot wide throats, though). Or, a rotary device (not sure what the name is), consisting of a top roller with small/large/small...diameters opposed to a bottom roller with large/small/large... diameters, both rollers geared to rotate together.

As for slotting metal and plastic, you will need controlled-diameter saw blades of known widths: horizontal mill saw blades of this type are available from machinery suppliers, and that, rather than woodwork-type saw blades, will be your best source of standardized parts to build your production machine.

Reply to
whit3rd

That's almost the kind of thing one would do with a specially ground set of shaper knives. IOW, think vertical? Most power feeders will work just fine on their side. $ 1500 - $ 2K for the kit? Set of carbide cutters, made like a comb..$2-300.00 for a set of 3? Adaptable finger-jointing technology?

Reply to
Robatoy

You lost me. This is about width, not thickness. I need to get accurate and consistent results, which cannot be done with the tools you are referring to. Upon visual inspection, each strip must be the same width. With your way there is no way to be accurate throughout the length of the cut, or from one strip to the next. And your strips would also be deformed at the edges along their length.

I'm not attempting to slot metal. Just wood and possibly plastic.

Thanks.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
Searcher7

You mean "adjustable" finger-jointing?

I'm not trying to make this an expensive project. :-)

For something with "stationary" blades as opposed to rotating cutters (saws) as the cutting tools, I'd have to design something that would be hand powered.(ie: Crank).

These of course would be a lot easier to sharpen when needed.

Thanks.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
Searcher7

This sounds like a job for a rolling mill from a jewelry maker. One starts with wire and rolls it flat. Widely used for silver wire, which has the same consistency as copper. Also widely available used, in a wide variety of makes and models, manual and powered.

Joe Gwinn

Reply to
Joseph Gwinn

You lost me. This is about width, not thickness. I need to get accurate and consistent results, which cannot be done with the tools you are referring to. Upon visual inspection, each strip must be the same width. With your way there is no way to be accurate throughout the length of the cut, or from one strip to the next. And your strips would also be deformed at the edges along their length.

I'm not attempting to slot metal. Just wood and possibly plastic.

Thanks.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

Reply to
CW

Actually , what he described is known in the cabinet trades as a slitter . We use 'em to cut plastic laminates , but no reason they couldn't be used for metal too . With tight control over the thickness of the discs , no reason you couldn't get what you're after with ZERO WASTE . Like a rotary scissor ... as far as the slotting operation , I have no ideas ... perhaps a router ?

Reply to
Terry Coombs

Searcher7 wrote: ...

30 x 0.156 (5/32") --> ~15/16*5 is the width of the grooves alone--it would take twice that to have 30 slots plus the same distance between them.

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Reply to
dpb

Several people have tried to tell you cut the thin stuff with a rolling shear or a tool like a Kett shear. A slitter would also give you long controlled cuts. I don't know what PCB traces are, so it leaves me a bit in the dark. Here is one that will cut 5/32 strips 4 at a time, depending on your material:

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your blades are set up really well, the same saw set up could cut the groove and the inlays, but it will waste a lot of your PCB trace material.

The gang saw part sounds strange, but one idea that comes to mind would be to use woodworking slot cutter router bit blades. There is one listed at 5/32 = .15625.

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I think most any other idea would require custom made blades to get the width slot you seek. The next problem would be the spacers, but standard washers come to mind to start. The shaft and the driving motor are another matter. The proper size drill rod sized to the slot cutter's bore might make an arbor. It would need a stop collar and I would think you could cut threads for a nut to pressure the blades. A pillow block at each end or even the shaft mounted in hard wood blocks for experimenting might work. As others have said, at some point there will be too much flex in the shaft. Might be driven by pulley and small motor or even run directly by router or drill. Just a few thoughts to get you started. I assume you are talking about some shallow grooves.

Reply to
DanG

You lost me. This is about width, not thickness. I need to get accurate and consistent results, which cannot be done with the tools you are referring to. Upon visual inspection, each strip must be the same width. With your way there is no way to be accurate throughout the length of the cut, or from one strip to the next. And your strips would also be deformed at the edges along their length.

I'm not attempting to slot metal. Just wood and possibly plastic.

Thanks.

Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.

A guillotine paper cutter. Since it cuts thin paper nicely, it should also cut thin sheet metal nicely.

Reply to
Calif Bill

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