What do you use to cut your metal out?


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OK, here's the setup I've got for my portaband. It's not a Harbor Freight, but a Milwaukee, but from all I've read about the HF saws, they should do what you're looking for nicely.


If you look, you'll see the U-bolt clamping the saw handle to the wooden board. An angle iron is bolted to bottom of wooden board, the "C"-clamped to a table saw top. The saw handle is sitting in a cutout on table top, and while not "perfect", it's plenty steady for routine cutting. Also easy to remove and use as PortaBand saw when needed.

The table is a 6"X6"X1/4" aluminum plate with a slit cut for saw blade, and screw holes to bolt down.

Nothing fancy, but it works.

Ken H.


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I have the Jet 4 x 6 bandsaw. It has cut a mile of steel I bet before wearing the gear box out. For $35 I rebuilt the gear box with parts available on ebay. It's the same saw that Harbor Freight sells but with a neat paint job.
The biggest thing is to buy Diemaster II blades. The one that came with the saw lasted about 30 seconds.
I made a small table for mine so I could still use it in both vertical and horizontal positions

I had the HF 4 x 6 but had to sell it and my 14" wood saw when I down sized my shop and had too much stuff to put back in a one car garage. I now have the Dewalt portable bandsaw on a http://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Portaband-Tables-Accessories_c_35.html Table, works for cutting steel and the most important thing that my pal Bruce Bump mentioned is to get QUALITY USA made blades no matter what kind of band saw you get. I've been pretty happy with the Morse Bimetal for the 44 1/8" ? Porta band saw.


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I bought a HF 4x6 band saw about 2 yrs ago. When I got it, every adjustment was totally out of alignment and the blade was a piece of crap. I replaced the blade with a Lennox blade and spent a lot of time getting the tracking and blade guides adjusted. The time was well spent and now the saw cuts like a dream.

When using the saw, I kept a small oil can so that I could lubricate the blade and try to keep it cool. This got to be a hassle, so I built an 'oiler' to the blade. The saw table was a small piece of stamped metal, so I adapted a bigger table salvaged from a cheap band saw I ruined. As I use it vertically all the time, I build a seat for the frame of the saw. I installed a foot switch to operate the saw. Here's a pic of the completed saw.



Morse came out with a new blade, the 811 which I got my first one through a promotion they had. A great blade. I have cut steel, micarta, horn, G10 and wood with it. I bought a second one to have when the first one gives out. After months I'm still using the first one.

MK Morse 811 Portaband Blades: http://youtu.be/ufOBTozh3bI.


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Everyone thank you so much! I think I will see what giftcards I get after Christmas and go to HF. Thank you again!!! while waiting I am going ot try out the grinder. The good news is I am getting a 12"x12"x6" section of A516 Steel from work. I am going to try and use it as a mini anvil. Not sure if it is hard enough but it was free!
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Scott Davidson

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I started out cutting out all my blades, but recently started to just use the saw to separate them. I started using one of my grinders with an old 8 inch wheel to grind out the profiles. Its much faster. After slipping once and sticking my thumb in the saw blade, i found another way. This cost less also.


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Don't piss away your $ and step up to a Milwaukie porta band with a vertical stand. The blades are relatively inexpensive for the use you get from them.
just a thought...


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I second tactically sharp's thoughts above about the Morse 811 band saw blades. I will never use anything else for my portaband. Those blades cut forever!


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I have a little 10" craftsman that I bought for woodworking some time ago. Once I got into knife making, I decided to try using it for cutting out blades. I special ordered in some bi-metal blades that fit my saw and gave it a go. Like has been stated above, the saw runs much too fast to cut most metal, especially stainless. I gave up on it for cutting out my blades and now use a combination of hacksaw and angle grinder with cutoff wheels until I can afford to get a metal-cutting bandsaw. I do still use the craftsman for cutting out titanium liners though; it rips right though 1/16" titanium like butter.

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
While we are on the subject which porta bandsaw works and lasts the longest? I,d like one for fine jobs.


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X2 on the Dewalt I have had mine around a year only thing I need is a foot switch...I have a zip tie on the trigger and use the plug and its gettin old.

We use both Dewalt and Milwaukee at work, its just like Ford and Chevy, two good saws.
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For $70, I mounted a portable band saw from Harbor Freight to the wall near my grinder. I removed the handle and used a vertical bicycle hanger and piece of plywood as a mount. Works well and comes off easy for blade changes. One drawback to this is that the blade is at an angle so cutting anything that is longer than about 12" on the left of the blade means it runs into the wall.

Agree with the others that this saw is loud, but it gets the job done just fine. The blade that comes with the saw is not designed to cut blade steel. Buy a blade from Morse or other good manufacturer.

I tied down the trigger on the saw and connected it to a foot pedal (these can be found cheaply at Harbor Freight as well.)

Hope that helps.



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I have had a Wholesale Tool branded Chinese 4x6 (same as HF model of that time) for 8 years or so. It is starting to give out, but worth the money. The modified port-bandsaw is a popular option, but what you give up with that is the ability to cut horizontally on the bd like with the 4x6. that is really good when dealing with thick pieces.

PT Doc

Well-Known Member
FYI, swag has a bad batch of tables with miter slots that are too wide. This is the b4 stand. Inquire about the miter slot dimension prior to buying.

mike miller

I'm using a Jet 4 by 6 right now. I had one of the import jobs that I bought from Bob Schimshire back in the 80's. it lasted 19 years before the gear box went south.
The Jet I have had 11 years now.