Hey, all, I have a project coming up that is going to require a lot of cuts in steel pipe (2 3/8 and 2 7/8 pipe, I'm not sure of the type but it's not exotic since I'm buying it from a couple of local suppliers in more-or-less rural Texas; presumably mild-steel). Deciding that I'd like to have a metal-cutting bandsaw for this work (and for future use) instead of my chopsaw, I bought a Jet something or another brand new. The model should be immaterial, but if you need the model number to answer the questions I can get it for you. Suffice it to say it's a vertical/horizontal model, automatic shutoff, coolant system, with a93 inch blade.
It came with a variable pitch blade that I would call a 6/8 by my measurements but I cannot promise that is accurate. It's close to that, but I don't know for sure, I'm an amateur at this stuff.
I cut one piece of 2 3/8 pipe with it, super slow, just because I had to play with my toy. No problems. I then read the instructions (which is good for me, I usually never read the darned things). And I read the little Guide To Bandsaws (or similar title) booklet that came with it in addition to the operator's manual. I bought some Rustlick50/50 and mixed it according to the instructions I got directly from the manufacturer (20:1 ratio). I continued cutting the same piece of 2 3/8 pipe as a test only then I had the coolant running. The Guide said to watch for chip formation and I did and, as the chips were too small, I advanced the rate of feed slowly until suddenly the saw started popping and jumping some. After adjusting the rate of feed some more the thing settled down but didn't cut well. After the cut was complete I examined the blade and found that tips of numerous teeth were chipped off. So, after reading the instructions and trying to adhere to them carefully I had, in fact, ruined a brand new blade on about the 4th cut. So, I could not expect a bunch of squiggly chips when the material was not solid/wide enough to produce them it seemed.
I had purchased a spare blade at the time I bought the saw, but not knowing the saw came with a variable pitch blade I simply bought a 14 TPI blade. So, I swapped the blades out, convinced that I had increased the rate of feed on the first blade too much causing the material to block the blade (the pipe wall is thin enough to fit between the teeth on the coarser parts). I ran it at a lower rate of feed and with the coolant and cut a piece of the 2 3/8 pipe, no sweat.
Next, I had a real project to work on so I cut three pieces of metal T- posts (fencing stuff, supposedly really soft/crappy metal). The first two cuts went fine, and I didn't think I'd done anything too hastily or in a bad manner, but the third T-post wouldn't cut more than about1/8 inch through and then sat there. Skipping some tests and such what I found was that the 14 TPI blade (that has a, I forget the technical term, stand-off to the right and left to create a wider kerf for the back to slide through) was dull on one side and was therefore only cutting in a diagonal through the material.
So, here I am, I've ruined two blades (a variable pitch 6/8 or similar, please forgive my lack of technical detail, I'm new at this stuff, and a 14 TPI fixed-pitch) and I don't know what I've done wrong. I tried to follow the instructions, to set the feed rate properly, and even bought the right coolant (a 65 mile trip, each way) and mixed it according to the manufacturer's instructions. I'm running the saw a the factory setting which I think is 178 FPM.
Anybody have any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong? Any help is appreciated.