Band saws

After a weekend where I had to hack through a 4" chunk of Al by hand, I have now decided it's time to buy a band saw/powered hack saw to do the boring
work for me!
I had a look around at the show on Sunday and saw a couple that looked liked they would do
http://www.chesteruk.net/HV128%20Bandsaw.htm http://www.warco.co.uk/shop.asp?catidH&ProdIdA3#413 http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id3394&recno=2
Does anyone have one of these, if so what do you think of it. I'm looking for something that will make a fairly straight cut through 4.5" Al in a reasonable amount of time (<30 minutes would be good) . Anyone know of anything better in the <300 mark? I'm try hard to resist buying something bigger than I need!
Thanks
Stephen.
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:46:50 +0100, "Stephen Woolhead"

I bought one of the tabletop ones from Warco a while back (for about twice the price they are now!) :
http://www.warco.co.uk/shop.asp?catidH&ProdIdA8
A bit on the small size capacity wise but it seems to work OK. Gets through blades at a rate though - I think the Warco replacement blades aren't great quality. Must build a blade welder at some point...
Also, as with all of these saws, the vices are crap & there's a bigh gap from edge of vice to blade, so cutting bits off short stock is a problem.
Regards, Tony
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Stephen
I bought one of the Warco 4 1/2" Universals about 3 years ago after a recommendation from a friend. Initial impression wasn't good, the stand is extremely flimsy and I couldn't get the blade to stay on. Having worked out that the blade was not tight enough and re-adjusted the blade guides the machine worked very well. Three years on and it is still working very well, I haven't bothered to strengthen the stand and although it doesn't cut "gunbarrel straight" it only wanders about 1/32" on a 3" bar - I expect it could be adjusted better but it is OK for me. I only cut steel up to 3 1/2 dia and the original blade didn't last very long; however, a better quality one seems to last me many months. The vice is not too special and needs some help to hold short lengths. It is one of the least cared for machines in my little workshop but continues to growl and rattle away in the corner saving me from a potential heart attack. To be honest I have been amazed how useful this little saw is and even after this relatively short period it doesn't owe me a penny and I will replace it instantly (with the same) if/when it finally gives up. I'm sure you could improve on some of the details if you have a good look at the alternatives but I think they are basically the same. The need for spanners to adjust everything is a bit of a nuisance but my choice was made on the worm drive system (I was told some wear out very quickly) and the availability of spares although I have not actually needed any.
Sorry I can't comment on your other suggestions but can recommend this one. No connection with Warco etc, just a content customer.
Best regards
Keith
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:46:50 +0100, "Stephen Woolhead"

We have one of the old Rapidor hacksaws from a school metalwork shop.
Great little machine, getting the shorter hacksaw blades can be a pain, but you can cut serious size bar and leave it running until it turns itself off at the end. Got the oil dashpot as well. Everything is adjustable which is nice.
Paid 100 for it, good value IMO, built like the proverbial brick outhouse!
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
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Peter A Forbes wrote:

I was after one of these and also tried unsucessfully for a couple of similar Ajax items that came up for auction. I gave up when the bidding went past 150, but would have liked one for the extra capacity they offer.
Peter
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I think you can hold 5" round bar if my guesstimate is right...:-))
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
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My dad's saw takes odd sized blades (well, shorter than the handful I aquired for him as a freebie). If you anneal the end longer blades can be cut to length and re-drilled quite easily. As it's just the very end you need to anneal it shouldn't give you any problem with cutting.
Regards
Kevin

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I
pain,
Leave hard, cut to length with an angle grinder, pop a hole through with the edm machine - that's how my saw gets fed blades. In the absence of an edm m/c, locally soften a spot with a carbon rod on a welder then drill.
AWEM
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Stephen Woolhead wrote:

A timely enquiry, I actually just took delivey of one of these from Warco today: http://www.warco.co.uk/shop.asp?catid=48&ProdId=414
It's pretty much the same saw you're after except that mine has a mitre vice whereas yours has a mitre arm. First observation is that the stand is rather flimsy and will need some bracing to avoid collapse in the longer term, other than that the construction was quite good. I tried a first cut in a bit of EN8 plate 10mm thick by 125 wide and it did this in about 10-12 minutes at the slowest band speed. I don't think I had the spring loading for the downfeed right though, it was holding off a bit much. Adjusted the spring pre-load, upped the speed to the middle setting, and it went through a 30mm dia mild steel bar in less than 5 minutes.
As Tony said I don't think the standard blades are that good and I've been told that a good bi-metal blade will almost halve the cutting time, but that when the teeth on these go they seem to break off in sections.
As a footnote I've been trying to buy a saw of this ilk off e-bay for about a month, but people on there seem prepared to pay out more for a secondhand item than a new one of these would cost (thy obvisously believe all the RRP's they're given!), so I gave up and got this. HTH
Peter
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I have had one of these Warco band saws for some years now and it has given excellent service and the stand needs no extra support at all even though it seems a bit "tinny". I have used it to cut through short lengths of 7" MS bar as well as all the usual stuff.. Recent blades from Warco have not been as good as earlier ones so perhaps they have changed suppliers. As far as the distance of the blade from the vice is concerned it is easily overcome for smaller stock using one of these: http://www.aonx97.dsl.pipex.com/WS-page/wshpage.htm#vice
Alan
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Arc euro trade had a small power hacksaw on their stand today at the Midlands show. Might be of interest as an alternative to the bandsaws. Their website is www.arceurotrade.co.uk, and click on Saws. Website shows out of stock, but they defintiely had one on the stand today! Looked relatively sturdy - certainly wouldn't compare very well to a Rapidor or similar though!
Cheers
Alastair
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On 17 Oct 2005 10:19:08 -0700, "Alastair"
Do their replacement blades fit the Rapidor etc.? If so, no need for messing with shortening blades to fit.
Regards, Tony
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Thank you all for your advice, much appreciated. Only question is are there any reason to choose a bandsaw over a powered hack saw or vice versa? I see that most companies only sell bandsaws these days. Just curious if either has any advantage over the other
Stephen.
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A bandsaw is quicker as it cuts all the time, a powered hacksaw only cuts in one direction. Also you can't tip a powered hacksaw up by 90 degrees and use it as a vertical bandsaw.
Regards
Kevin

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If you are cutting Ali in a bandsaw or hacksaw if you put a piece of scrap steel in as well in will cut quicker because the steel stops the ali from blocking the blade

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We use paraffin or WD40, get a better cut that way.
Peter -- Peter A Forbes Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk http://www.prepair.co.uk
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Stephen Woolhead wrote:

I asked exactly the same question a couple of months ago, and I see that Kevin has already provided the answer for you. To be honest, I thought an older hacksaw would be cheaper (wrong!) and some of the Ajax ones I looked at would cut up to 6" x 8" I think, and you never know when you *might* want the extra capacity. I also thought that an old hacksaw would be a bit more durable, but everyone anywhere who has one of these bandsaws and neglected and abused it has prety much disproved my theory. Jonathan (Barnes) threw a googly into the mix with the thought that a circular cut-off saw is up for consideration too. Regards
Peter
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:46:50 +0100, "Stephen Woolhead"

A good bandsaw or a Rapidor like Peter Forbes' would be nice but I considered that space was at too much of a premium. So I bought a Kennedy hacksaw - it has a limit of 2 inches but is pretty useful and fits under the bench. Highly recommended.
Charles
Visit http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk The free pages to buy and sell workshop equipment
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:46:50 +0100, Stephen Woolhead wrote:

How often would you use it to do a job which takes less time to set up than hand-cutting? I take such jobs to a local shop and get them done for the price of a pint or two. The money stays in the bank and I can still move around in the shed :)
Ken.
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On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 20:12:11 +0100, Ken Parkes

We are not machinery-orientated, but the Rapidor has well earned its keep, especially when it's late and you need something doing quickly. Yes, it takes up floor space, but looking at the 4" piece of fcms that Philip cut the other day, I don't think I'd want to do it by hand, or the 30 pieces of 1-1/4" Dural bar that we got in a hurry from RS and cut up that evening, turned into cabinet canopy spacers the next day and so on.
It's the same as having the Littlejohn lathe and bench pillar drill at the factory, we don't use them daily but wouldn't be without them when we REALLY need them.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes Email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
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