cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

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gotquestion
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cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by gotquestion » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:48 am

Is it possible?

I know I'd need a high TPI, metal-cutting blade but is there any reason that cutting thin steel on a wood-only band saw would be a mistake?

The owners manual says no but, I don't know of that is the engineer or the lawyer talking.

Thanks for your input.


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Pinewood Daddy
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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by Pinewood Daddy » Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:20 am

There would be 2 problems.

Not enough horsepower, the additional load might stall the motor.

The biggest problem is that cutting thin metal you need to have at least 1 (?) tooth in the cut at all times to reduce the "bite" the tooth is taking. If the metal goes to the bottom of the tooth gut it will rip out the tooth. All of the teeth can disapper very quickly. The is a sign on the band saw at work (2 HP!) not to cut metal thinner than 1/8 (?) or it will wreck the blade.



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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by gotquestion » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:10 am

Good point!! Don't want to rip out teeth :)


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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by PWD » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:14 pm

The biggest issue is that a metal bandsaw goes a lot slower then a wood bandsaw. Metal is between 85 - 300 FPM. Wood bandsaws don't usually go below 600 and usually up to 3000 and sometimes even higher.



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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by rdeis » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:30 pm

I have a basic 10" Delta bandsaw and have cut 1/4" aluminim bar stock using a metal cutting blade.

I don't know if that applies to your situation or not.



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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by Teeeman » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:49 pm

We cut a slice off of several 2inch diameter lead "hockey pucks" this year so at 1 point we were cutting through 2 inches of lead...


the saw is a generic Delta ($200 at Lowes) and I put on a 3/8" blade to help with blade deflection…

I also had to replace the blade side/side plastic guides with shim stock that I ground to fit (used the same grinding trick we used to turn our wheels this year).

-Terry


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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by Mr C » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:43 pm

Another issue are the blade guides. Some bandsaws use blocks to brace the blade left & right to prevent drift, as well as one in the rear of the blade, better saws use sealed bearings that can take increased pressure from harder materials being pushed through.

If you chose to cut metal- push the the piece though slower than normal
when making tight turns, predrill in the area to prevent binding the blade.
also as with any bandsawing, it may be nessasary to make relief cuts to ease tight radius'.



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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by FatSebastian » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:12 pm

gotquestion wrote:The owners manual says no but, I don't know of that is the engineer or the lawyer talking.
I'm late to this thread, but my understanding is that manufacturers discourage cutting metal and wood on the same machine because sparks from the metal may ignite sawdust in the saw.
rdeis wrote:I have a basic 10" Delta bandsaw and have cut 1/4" aluminim bar stock using a metal cutting blade.
I have also cut thin aluminum and lead with a 10" bandsaw. The manufacture's recommended "metal cutting blade" was actually their fine-toothed wood-cutting blade.



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Re: cutting metal on a wood-only band saw?

Post by gpraceman » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:57 am

FatSebastian wrote:
gotquestion wrote:The owners manual says no but, I don't know of that is the engineer or the lawyer talking.
I'm late to this thread, but my understanding is that manufacturers discourage cutting metal and wood on the same machine because sparks from the metal may ignite sawdust in the saw.
I believe that you are correct. If you first clean out all of the sawdust from inside the saw, then that hazard should go away.


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