few questions about using a band saw

SHOKR

Well-Known Member
hey guys

i bought a dewalt portaband while ago and used it for handle material and it was great, but when i started using it for cutting thong tubes or knife steel things got bit messy

the tubes shave the teeth for some reason, any idea why? (and i think once the steel did that as well)

i wanted to ask also about the speeds i ought to use for materials/thicknesses from your opinion, i figured some by feel but want to know from experience the most efficient
(yesterday it took me 3 hours to cut out 5 blades ranging between 10-12" in 1/4" D2 with 10/14tpi blade i think)
i think thats a lot but i dont have much experience. and the weird thing is sometimes i felt its cutting really well and others i had to push really hard(which sometimes leads to blade being stuck in the steel while the saw is running)

i asked before about the tpi for thickness and was told 2.5 teeth inside the material at all time, is that right?

after using the bandsaw for a little bit the blades started tracking outwards (ie half the blade is between the bearings and the other is outside, so i end up having to push more than usual to cut) any idea why or how to fix it?

any other information is welcome of course :)

thanks
 
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Frank Niro

KNIFE MAKER
Here a couple of quick answers. Using a band saw to cut any round metal should only be done if the metal is clamped in a vice.
Yes about 2 1/2 teeth is correct. There has to be a screw to change the angle of the top wheel. The wheel will be on a sort of hanging pivot to allow this to be done. You will soon be breaking blades if you don't adjust that top wheel so the blade will come in to barely be touching the back rim. This will cause the blade to run more to the back. Also check the position on those blade guilds. They should be almost against the blade.As well it probably hasn't changed but check the tension. It should feel like it hcan't be tightened down much more. My best. Frank
 

Lagrange

Well-Known Member
I use a Milwaukee portaband for the same things. I've been using Milwaukee bi metal blades (because they are available at my hardware store) of 18 tpi or 24 tpi. The coarser blades don't work well for me. Use a little wax on the blade while cutting and remember not to feed the steel too fast, you'll just destroy the saw blade.
As for tubing or pins...I use a cutoff wheel in my dremel and just clamp the tubing or pin material into my vise. I hold onto the exposed end of the rod or tube with a pair of needle nose pliers and cut it with the Dremel. I use the pliers to rest the Dremel on while I cut. It helps to keep the cutoff wheel from jumping.
I can normally get about 4 or 5 hunting knives cut out before the band saw blade is shot. I don't try to cut the exact contours of the knife because acute radius' can damage the band saw blade. If you cut slow and steady and allow the saw to do the work without forcing it you should be just fine.
 

SHOKR

Well-Known Member
thanks Frank, i honestly didnt understand all what you said (im no good with hardware, ironic isnt it?) so will check your post again when i'm at the band saw. and yes, while it should run between the guides, its almost halfway out of them. thanks for the info

Eric, thanks.
normally i use the angle grinder to cut the pins and tubes, but i use the bandsaw after glue up. allows me to cut them cool instead of the tedious task of grinding and cooling (i also tried dremel cut off wheel once but took forever)
what kind of wax?

i have several blade sizes for different material thicknesses and i did the math(and also got the advice when i started using the bandsaw) to use less tpi for thicker blades, and its probably better
i now actually have 10, 10/14, 14/18, 18, and 24tpi blades and im experimenting, just my main concern is the teeth flying off :/

i cut these with a blade that had about an inch of shaved teeth in two places in three hours, cutting was fine but was exhausted specially since i set up the saw on the floor
they're 1/4" D2


next up i have lots of 1/8" K100 (D3) cutting to do
 

wmhammond

Well-Known Member
Interesting thread as I'm having the same problems. I recently purchased the harbor Freight $269 metal cutting band saw. I got along fine until I broke the blade that the saw came with. I purchased a HF replacement blade and put it on - no problems but after using it for only a short time the blade started veering pretty sharply to my left (Facing the blade). When I looked closer I noticed that the blade was not riding correctly in either the top guide or the bottom one - the blade was sticking out about half way and the back roller was never touching the blade. Took the cover off and found that the blade wasn't riding properly on the drive pulleys - riding about half way out and not even close to touching the back rim of the pulley. I attempted to adjust this condition according to the Owner's Manual. Got the upper pulley to adjust but the bottom one didn't. I have decided that the problem is the new blade and I have ordered a more expensive one (must be better if it costs more . . . . . right?) off the internet and I am waiting for it to arrive. I also didn't try to adjust the blade drives until I got a better blade. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thanks

wallace
 

Jason Wernli

Well-Known Member
Here is what I know about band saws shaving teeth... Here at work we use a metal cutting bandsaw daily. If you try to cut any material that is thinner than the space between the bandsaw teeth, it will tear the teeth off. I think what is happening for you is, you start to cut the top of the tube and no problem...then it gets to the middle of the tube where it is cutting perpendicular to the blade,then the teeth tear off. I think this is an inherent problem with the band saw and thin material and you should stick to a cut off wheel or the like.
My 2 cents,

- J
 

SHOKR

Well-Known Member
thanks Jason

i will try and find another solution (or maybe try the 24tpi blade, ought to be ok with tubes


wallace, the problem is not the blades, i have a dewalt and use the dewalt blades and still have the same problem
 

Frank Niro

KNIFE MAKER
You shouldn't have any trouble cutting 1/8" material with a 14 teeth per inch blade, but you must have the blade positioned properly or it won't cut worth a darn but will destroy the blade. Frank
 

Rudy Joly

Well-Known Member
If your blade gets too hot , that makes it wander.
On my Hf 4x6 the blade guides adjust in and out besides back and forth (looking from front). I had to diddle around with both directions from the getgo. I use wavy tooth blades for everything (usually 14/18) and get good radius cuts with it. Also keep the guide block down as close as possible to the work unless cutting a radius, then keep it high. Keep backing out of the cut every 1/2" and widen it to cut a radius. If cutting tubing, twist the tube continuously into the cut moderately. The portaband has always behaved well. The tires wore out very soon after buying it but duct tape solved that problem. I wraped both wheels with quite a few turns of duct tape, trimmed, and found that the blade makes it's own groove and stays in it. It tracks very well, it's held out for two years that way. In the past year I've only had to replace one blade on the portaband. Eric's right...let the tool do the work.

Rudy
 
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BonhamBlades

Well-Known Member
Interesting thread as I'm having the same problems. I recently purchased the harbor Freight $269 metal cutting band saw. I got along fine until I broke the blade that the saw came with. I purchased a HF replacement blade and put it on - no problems but after using it for only a short time the blade started veering pretty sharply to my left (Facing the blade). When I looked closer I noticed that the blade was not riding correctly in either the top guide or the bottom one - the blade was sticking out about half way and the back roller was never touching the blade. Took the cover off and found that the blade wasn't riding properly on the drive pulleys - riding about half way out and not even close to touching the back rim of the pulley. I attempted to adjust this condition according to the Owner's Manual. Got the upper pulley to adjust but the bottom one didn't. I have decided that the problem is the new blade and I have ordered a more expensive one (must be better if it costs more . . . . . right?) off the internet and I am waiting for it to arrive. I also didn't try to adjust the blade drives until I got a better blade. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thanks

wallace
In my opinion HF blades in general are just not worth the metal they are made of. You may think about upgrading in order to get a better performance.
 

wmhammond

Well-Known Member
Got my new, more expensive, "better" blade yesterday. Low and behold, it fixed my problem. Doesn't happen often but I just love it when the simplest fix actually fixes the problem. I couldn't agree more about HF blades.

Wallace
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
Buy top quality USA made Bi-Metal blades from Starrett, Norse or Lennox and let them run for about an 30- hour on the saw without any cutting to stretch them into each other and then make a few light cuts without pushing full force to kinda break the teeth in.. " Not Out"

The blades that come with those saws usually are not very good and remember that we cut mostly Ferrous steels so we need the Bi-Metal blades.

14-18 TPI seem to work best for me and I also keep an old candle by the saw to dress the blade with every few minutes to help keep things cool and lubed.
It help cut down on chatter.
 

smithy

Well-Known Member
My H/F stationary band saw became a project for me. It took me 2 days(IIRC) to adjust it, the guides ,bearings being the most problematic. And then the mods started...

I use it vertically exclusively, so I made a padded seat for it. The on/off switch was very inconvenient , so I installed a foot switch. I kept dropping my lubricant container, so I rigged up an oiling system.

I installed a larger, sturdier table from an old, ruined, cheap bandsaw.

I installed a bi-metal blade size 14/18 TPI. The tracking and tension I adjusted until it ran smooth and straight. It cuts like a dream. Here's what it looks like...

 
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smithy

Well-Known Member
If your blade gets too hot , that makes it wander.
On my Hf 4x6 the blade guides adjust in and out besides back and forth (looking from front). I had to diddle around with both directions from the getgo. I use wavy tooth blades for everything (usually 14/18) and get good radius cuts with it. Also keep the guide block down as close as possible to the work unless cutting a radius, then keep it high. Keep backing out of the cut every 1/2" and widen it to cut a radius. If cutting tubing, twist the tube continuously into the cut moderately. The portaband has always behaved well. The tires wore out very soon after buying it but duct tape solved that problem. I wraped both wheels with quite a few turns of duct tape, trimmed, and found that the blade makes it's own groove and stays in it. It tracks very well, it's held out for two years that way. In the past year I've only had to replace one blade on the portaband. Eric's right...let the tool do the work.

Rudy
Rudy, thanks for the tip on using duct tape. Sounds like a great idea.
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
My H/F stationary band saw became a project for me. It took me 2 days(IIRC) to adjust it, the guides ,bearings being the most problematic. And then the mods started...

I use it vertically exclusively, so I made a padded seat for it. The on/off switch was very inconvenient , so I installed a foot switch. I kept dropping my lubricant container, so I rigged up an oiling system.

I installed a larger, sturdier table from an old, ruined, cheap bandsaw.

I installed a bi-metal blade size 14/18 TPI. The tracking and tension I adjusted until it ran smooth and straight. It cuts like a dream. Here's what it looks like...

Teddy,
You need to add some flames & pin striping to your hot rod bandsaw! LOL
 
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