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Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Band Saw


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  #1  
Old 03-22-2011, 05:29:54 PM
0002tense 0002tense is offline
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Default Band Saw

anyone ever convert a wood cutting band saw to handle metal? thanks all
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2011, 05:34:14 PM
ar2stp48 ar2stp48 is offline
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Default Re: band saw

I have seen it done a few times. You have to find a way to slow the blade speed; normally an intermediate shaft is added. Have you googled the conversion?
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2011, 05:38:15 PM
Rod Fielder Rod Fielder is offline
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Default Re: band saw

All i do is change the blades on mine for wood or metal. I even freeze deer quarters and saw them up. A little messy with the meat cutting, but it all cleans up
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2011, 05:41:17 PM
0002tense 0002tense is offline
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Default Re: band saw

i'm thinking a step pulley setup. it's an older cratsman with the motor down below and easy to get at. i'll take a look at google. thanks

---------- Post added at 05:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:39 PM ----------

wow, isn't that a little fast for metal cutting? thanks
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:39:22 PM
John Dunn John Dunn is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

Popular Machinist & Home Shop Machinist forums have many threads on the topic. Most rig up an extra pulley & jack shaft but I remember one fellow put the biggest possible pulley on the saw and the smallest possible one on the motor and claimed it worked OK.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:21:50 PM
J Neidig J Neidig is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

I converted one over by using a right angle gear reducer. I don't have it anymore or I would get you some pics of it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:24:46 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

I have a 10" delta band saw that I converted using a 100 rpm, 1/4 hp gearmotor that I got at a surplus house in about 1970. On this band saw, the 1725 rpm motor that drives the saw fo woodcutting is mounted on the bottom shelf of the saw's stand and has a pulley that's about 2 or 3 inches iin diameter. To get the saw blade speed down to about 100 sfm for steel, I put a pulley of about 1 1/2" in diameter on the gearmotor's shaft. The pulley on the saw's lower drive wheel is about 6" in diameter. I mounted the gearmotor on a second shelf of the stand that I made so I could pivot it to add a belt tighteneing feature.
To cut wood, I install the nomal belt between the saw's lowe drive wheel and the 1725 rpm motor.
To cut steel, I remove that belt and replace it with a shorter belt that runs from the gearmotor to the lower dirve wheel.
The on/off switch for the saw is mounted on the top shelf, upon which the saw itself sits. I rewired the machine so the switch output wires terminate in a receptacle. Each motor has a short power cord that can plug into that switch receptacle. That way, when I switch belts to change from wood to steel and vice-versa, I also switch motor power. In this way, the same switch is always used to turn the machine motor on and off.

I have often used metal cutting blades to cut wood, but recently started buying coarse wood cutting blades and I find that it's well worth the time to change in most cases.
Obviously, I hope, one would be smart enough to NEVER use a wood cutting blade on steel.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:40:26 AM
John C Walker John C Walker is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

I changed my Delta over with a DC vari drive and controller, now it can cut anything wood, plastic, steel, copper, etc. Have to keep a variety of different blades, as to be expected.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:22:36 PM
chrsbrbnk chrsbrbnk is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

I used a gear reducer and a set of chain sprockets to get from 60 fpm to about 600 the pulley belt thing eats up alot of power about 50% eff. compared to chain being up wards of 90%
I sawed up a deer but the blade smelled horrible when sawing metal latter on kinda rancid smell
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:34:54 PM
0002tense 0002tense is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

hi john,
thanks, i also have a vari drive that i've tried but it seems to have a not so desirable effect on power when you slow the rpm down. maybe the drive is not right for this app. thanks again, gene
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:46:20 PM
Weezer Weezer is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

Yeah, slow the blade down to where you can count the teeth going by...$35 blade life at normal speed, about 8 seconds. So much for faster is better. Save aggravation and buy a porta-ban. Take the saw to the work. Very handy! Good luck,
Jim
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:40:45 PM
Mel Miller Mel Miller is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

I converted an old Craftsman bandsaw to wood/metal by adding a jackshaft & pulleys to get the speed down slow enough to cut wood.
It's a lot of work, and some expense.
Some companies like Delta and Walker Turner offered an optional gearbox for metal cutting. That is really the way to go. It's easy to change from wood to metal work. You may have to look a little to find one of the wood/metal bandsaws, but will really appreciate it when you do get one.

Mel
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:35:35 PM
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PFT PFT is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

I bought this saw almost 40 years ago. The owner had put the big aluminum table on it and was cutting steel. He said it worked fine, but I found that it was too fast for metal, it still had the original single reduction belt setup. I added the intermediate shaft and pulleys to reduce the blade speed, I think the speed could be reduced a little more. It has served me well for all these years so it will most likely stay the way it is.
By the way, it will still cut what it was made for, ooouch.
PT
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:04:22 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

With a little shade tree engineering, one could use the shuttle pulley from a MTD built riding lawn mower to make a variable speed set-up.

Kent
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:11:41 PM
0002tense 0002tense is offline
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Default Re: Band Saw

WOW!
some great feedback here. many thanks. now all i have to do is, "geterdone"! be well
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