HF or regular bandsaw?

Hey guys. I've been researching all the mods done to the HF metal cutting
bandsaw, and also how to slow down a regular wood type bandsaw for metal. IF
you had to choose one over the other (and do the mods for cuttinjg metal),
which one and why would you choose?
TIA, Bf.
Reply to
Bullfrog
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That depends on what types of cuts you'll need to make. A vertical bandsaw is superior for scrolling cuts. But the frame of the saw imposes a limit on one dimension. You can't, for example, cut a 10' bar into two 5' sections like you can with a horizontal saw (assuming "square" cuts).
To convert a typical wood working bandsaw into a metal cutting saw you need something on the order of a 20:1 speed reduction. This really needs to be done with a gear reduction unit coupled directly to the driving wheel's shaft. It might be possible to cobble up something using chain drives for the last couple of stages, but a belt drive won't be able to take the torque. Been there, done that, and it didn't work very well.
Reply to
Jim Levie
OK, thanks, Jim.
Reply to
Bullfrog
I find that I use the vertical bandsaw more often than not, due to the ability to make and control complex cuts in plate and metal chunks. I make a lot of brackets, mounts, and such. You can make cuts longer than the throat of the saw, if you don't mind wasting a small piece that will be out of square. You can also cut wood with it, although more slowly. Now, for larger frame fabrications and such, the horizontal saw is heads above the vertical bandsaw. It really depends on what you're making. Vertical bandsaw = detail cuts on smaller items. Horizontal saw = volume cuts on larger items.
RJ
Reply to
Backlash
I bought a 4" x 6" miter bandsaw from Grizzly for about $400, and it has been in almost constant use for the past 13 months. No problems at all other than replacing the saw blades now and again. Excellent piece.
Thanks, jw
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Reply to
James Walsh Jr.
I like the HF type bandsaw. It works fine out of the box. The normal improvements of hydraulics, a stand, and coolant are pretty simple to implement. A vertical wood bandsaw, if geared down appropiately, would be useful for freehand cuts, but a pain for cutoff work because it's not self feeding and doesn't have a vise. Thats 90% of what I do with my HF type. One thing I wouldn't try is using one saw for both wood and metal, at least not without extensive cleaning in between materials.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Peter T. Keillor III
There's a Do-all 20" vertical bandsaw at work that is open house to anyone trained to use it from a personal safety standpoint. It has been in use for 37 years. Unit runs at 125 FPM most all the time. Anything that does not destroy a blade has been cut on it, including reams of paper, and there is NO cleanup of the internals between materials, save for clearing waste dusts and material off the table surface, and around the floor area of the saw. The internals are blown out about every 3 months. The waste runs down through the lower wheel housing and drops into a small catcher tray during use. An 18 tooth pitch blade, along with a 6 tooth pitch blade, are all that have ever been purchased to use on the saw. It has never started smoking, caught fire, nor exploded. Now mind you, we're not doing cabinet work on this saw. It's use on wood is limited to roughing out a piece for utility use, cutting wood bucks for hammer forming, or cutting dunnage for moving or blocking machinery. This is apparently one instance where wood and metal will mix and survive in the shop. A belt sander, however, is a dangerous SOB if you mix materials and don't clean it up afterwards. Particle size apparently has a lot to do with this, along with the sparking that occurs with the sanding of metal. YMMV.
RJ
"Let no one say it, and say it to your shame, that all was well here, until YOU came."
Reply to
Backlash
I converted an old Sears tabletop bandsaw (for wood) to slow speed, and it has worked out just fine. I got an old Zero-Max transmission off ebay (~$15), allowing infinite speed changes (80fpm to 300fpm). I used a V belt to drive it and it rarely slips (YMMV). But, as the other posts indicate, it is not really suitable as a cutoff saw, and I plan on getting a 4x6 as well. So if I were to buy only one saw, it would be the horiz/vert 4x6. David
Reply to
David Malicky
If you mainly work with bars and tubes, get a horizontal saw. If you mainly work with plates, get a vertical saw. If you work with both types of metal, then the decision gets more difficult.
Reply to
AL
Difficult? Hell no. You simply get both. Tools!
Gunner
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there. - George Orwell
Reply to
Gunner
I wonder if it's the low speed that permits the dual use.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Peter T. Keillor III
I like this idea!!!
my 2 cents
Reply to
xman Charlie
I made this set of guides for my saw to allow cutting long stock. Works great on a sturdy saw; these are installed on a 16" DoAll. After I made the guides I discoevered that DoAll made a similar attachment, though with a smaller angle of twist.
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Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons

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