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Old 06-21-2004, 06:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Band saws-what have you done to make yours work better?

OK, gots to cut some stock for a client's truck and it will be partially visible if it isn't straight, square, plumb, gold plated, etc...

I have a 10 year-old cheapie that replaced a free saw I finally wore out. It has given fine service, but now is showing signs of wear. Today, I wirebrushed the rust from it and draw-filed the working surfaces. Tomorrow, to replace the guide bearings and try to align the blade.

Anybody got any good ideas to make this process better?

PT
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Old 06-21-2004, 06:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have the HF one. Mine worked great out of the box, so I haven't done anything to it yet.



Here are some links for improvements for the saw:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4x6bandsaw/
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Bandsaw/Bandsaw.htm
http://www.tinyisland.com/4x6bsFAQ.html
http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/pro.../sawstand.html
http://www.hut.fi/~kukkonen/bandsaw/bandsaw.html
http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/...hlight=bandsaw
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Old 06-21-2004, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sometimes, it is SO embarrassing the things I don't even consider as being useful for such things.

The feeler gauge idea is great, I even kept my bum blade and can use a piece of that as a reference to square the blade.

Thanx Frank!

PT
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I did the jackscrew in the vice mod. Other than that, it's stock, including the blade. I cut 1/4" angle and get very precise cuts.

I need to do more vice mods. I'll deifnitely pursue that, it's the only part that can't be made to work properly, even the stand functions it's just flimsy.

I'm just going to order another long-side vice face, and add a jackscrew with quick-turn fasteners. I'm also going to devise a system for using machine clamps, and finally modify the stock stop rod to handle locking pliers, or maybe right through the table face with drill press pliers.

I've found the vice situation on these chicom and taiwanese tools is the weakest point.

Last edited by rusted; 06-21-2004 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Which HF one is that? Do you have the model number? I've been thinking about getting one but I was concerned about the quality.

I'll probably use it most in the up right position. Does it work well like that too?
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Old 06-22-2004, 06:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I purchased the Jet 4x6 and I freaking love it. The cuts are 100% better then a chop saw, I can cut metal in the dead of night and not wake the dead. I can stack 4 pieces of 1/4 material and cut 45 degrees across the face with total accuracy. I do need to invest in new bi-metal blades, I've already gone through 4 cheap blades in 6 months. I did fab a larger table out of plywood for cutting down the run flats. But here is some of the crap I've been able to do with it.



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Old 06-22-2004, 07:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How did it do cutting the run-flats? How long did it take? I have the same saw & have the same project with the runflats. We have a *really* nice vertical bandsaw at work, but it's got some meaty teeth on it, and think mine would work better...
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Old 06-22-2004, 07:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jelbehai
How did it do cutting the run-flats? How long did it take? I have the same saw & have the same project with the runflats. We have a *really* nice vertical bandsaw at work, but it's got some meaty teeth on it, and think mine would work better...
I used a 14 TPI blade and it worked really well, about 5 minutes per half. You'll need to drill 4 holes per half, cut one in line the flange and one at the base of the run flat on each side. Start the cut at the flange to the first hole pull out and start on the other end this will help separate the run flat at the end of the cut. Then start the cut at the other flange to the hole rotate, cut along the flange to the second hole and then cut along the base of the run flat.

You'll need a large table, but the magnesium cuts very easily. Every now and then stop and clean up the chips and shavings to prevent a fire.
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Old 06-22-2004, 07:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankenfab

Wow, that tinyisland link rocks. Mine has been out of square from verical since its set up. I now have some great reading to do.. Thanks Franken!

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Old 06-22-2004, 07:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TB76Bronco
Which HF one is that? Do you have the model number? I've been thinking about getting one but I was concerned about the quality.

I'll probably use it most in the up right position. Does it work well like that too?
Here's the link:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=37151

The quality is pretty good. I did buy a good bi-metal blade from a local saw shop. It can be used in vertical mode, but most people build a new table for it. The vertical mode table that comes with it is a kind of cheap. Overall, well worth the money.
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Old 06-22-2004, 08:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Tips on bandsaws


Your import brands Jet-wilton-Amrock have weak gear cases and usually need replacing in a month if used heavily

Good name like Do-all Kalamazoo Wellsaw are the cadillac of saws and will last a long time

Lubricated that saw blade.....A little wd-40 or coolant form a machine shop will help that saw blade last a long long time. Make sure to lube BOTH sides of the blade or oyu will get angled curf on your cut

Dont over speed your blade or you will ruin the teeth very fast

Its is a standard to have at least 3 teeth engaging the material at any one time...if you use a 8TPI blade on sheet metal you are likely to snap the blade or ruin the finish of the metal you are cutting

Blade can be bought in any size and some shops can even make them to a custom length for you. If you get cusotm blades done up make sure they anneal the weld by charging the weld 3 times with the welder and then grinding smooth. Another consideration is to make sure the guides of the welder are set up or teh blade is in line form end to end when the weld takes place.

If you go through alot of material you may want to make your own blades, outfitters like jlindustrial.com sell blade welders and bulk blade stock.

Guide depth is another consideration when setting up your bandsaw. make sure you have the guides as close to the material as you can when your cutting this helps the blade from walking when starting and when its cutting giving you a more square cut. a 1 1/4" blade can cut many times faster than a .5" blade because of rigidity of the machine and of the integrity of the blade.

You can spend $100K on a band saw or $400 but depending on your needs look into the available options.

1. variable speed
2. coolant pump
3. hydralic feed
4. pnuematic/hydralic vise
5. power requirements
6. Blade size and length
7. automatic features


We used to cut 6" round tool steel on a little rigid bandsaw and then went to a import bandsaw (that didnt last long) and finally a Do-all that could cut 2 engine blocks in half in one swipe. picking the right bandsaw would have saved us alot of dough.

hope this helps...someone
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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here's another good place for hf band saw improvements http://frugalmachinist.com/bandsaw.html
we have a kalamazoo at work and I have a hf at home. With most of these improvements there isn't much difference between the two cutwise until you get over 4 inches solid. The hydraulic rate control is one of the best improvements that and the lubrication.

-ben
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Shit guys, all I wanted was some input on aligning the guides and I get an encyclopedic response! Thanx.

I now have the jack screw mod and today, will work on getting the guides lined up. The saw I burned up last was the best, a Jet. This one has never really cut straight, but I was never too concerned about it as I wasn't running a shop then. Now, time to square cuts is a little more valuable.

Peace,
PT
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
I now have the jack screw mod and today, will work on getting the guides lined up. The saw I burned up last was the best, a Jet


I pretty much take it your joking about the best
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I pretty much take it your joking about the best
The best of the three I have owned . Damned communication skills fail me again.

My Jet stuff is far and away better than any other import (asian) stuff I have. My Jet bench grinder is running storng and I have had it 23 years, only replacing wheels.

I have had the opportunity to use real bandsaws in past positions and am fully aware of the huge differences between what other people will buy and what my economics dictate for me.

Peace,
PT
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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good thread i see some mods i need to make/add...

i just mad a new cart for my HF its ~2 years old and i use it all the time. I just did all my run-flats like above i just made a few pie cuts in and i free handed it on the small table.. and cleaned it up with a grinder...

anyway... my thinking is that with a sturdy cart and the saw bolted tightly to that, i woudl be able to make some atachments to the cart to hold stuff better or differnlty. I like the handy mods in some of the links...

I also planed to add a lub setup which is why my cart is as big as it is...

Yes i need a guard on the pullys...

Blades, im running Lenox Die Master II variable pitched blades, im using a 10-12 now and will switch to a 8-10 next time to handle the 1/8" a little better.... Basically i run the saw as fast as it will go and the chips fly. This blad has been running for almost a year now and is just starting to show that its gettign dull...

-mike
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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hey guys i know i havent posted much but at my shop we have an ellis 1600, if you do alot of fab work you really cant beat it, spensive though. we have an older 4x6 saw that i love to use but its almost as old as i am... my boss cant really help with my question about whether or not the delta version of the saw ($319 locally) is worth the extra expense... any opinions?

the site for the ellis if your not familiar with it is http://www.ellissaw.com
i think we have one of their grinders too i cant wait till i can afford to have all the ellis equipment they make its really good stuff !
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When I first started money was tight so I boughtthis one from Northern Tool on sale for around $500 a couple years ago. First thing I did was get rid of that flimsy low base and raise it up. (Sorry for the crappy pic.) Yanked the coolant system off and modified it to work on my drill press with a momentary foot pedal. But I run Lenox blades and they last a good 6-8 months which I'm happy with since this is used daily for my business. Modified the jackscrew underneath of course and that's about it really, been a good saw.
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I gave up, mine was so far out of square after years of abuse, it was time for a new one. For $125, I got a new Taiwanese swivel base 4 1/2" X 8" saw. Fairly solid base, no wheels.

First few cuts, works great!

Peace,
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Old 12-27-2005, 12:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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