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Author Topic: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations  (Read 1187 times)

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Offline ljohnsaw

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Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« on: March 20, 2018, 02:41:34 AM »
Well, my old used 4x6 horizontal band saw is finally pretty far gone.  The top idler wheel wore off the back flange.  I turned it down to make a new flange but that wore out pretty quick.  It has a few issues with the guides as well so I don't plan on fixing it unless I can find a new wheel real cheap.

IIRC, mine is a Jet.  Not great but I did use it a bit on my sawmill build and a few other projects.  What do others have that they like, or don't like?  I just saw a Vulcan listed on CL that looks identical to mine but in new, cheap Chinese paint finish.  I don't want to go the HF route unless a few have had real good results with theirs.

TIA
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 03:54:07 AM »
I like Grizzlys but I think all the cheap one come from the same place. I have 4 units but I don't use them much since I started using 6" cut off wheels.
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Offline square1

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 05:40:52 AM »
I have a Wellsaw 58B. It's not a light duty saw.  Ellis is also highly a regarded brand.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 06:13:10 AM »
Depending on where you live occasionally  a heavy duty unit comes up at auction like Kalamazoo ,Do All etc .Most are three phase which causes most people to shy away from them .Those little JET types IMO are about one step above a porta band and not nearly as versatile .I have a porta band and two 14" abrasive saws plus a 14" Makita rail /concrete saw .

Offline 21incher

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 08:37:23 AM »
My little old Jet has worked hard over the last 20 years  and is getting tired now also. They seem to have a limited lifespan with heavy use. I recently bought a klutch 14 inch dry cut saw and love it so far. A little over 200.00 and it works for 90% of my cuts. I also have a evolution Rage 3 10 inch multicut saw that is good for lighter stuff. I keep watching for a good used  bandsaw on craigslist also.
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a Logrite cant hook.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 10:44:28 AM »
I thought about the Evolution saws.  How are they on 1/4" steel?  They say they last 20x longer then the abrasive cutoff blades. 

I bought a DeWalt 10" abrasive blade for my (wood) chop saw - that thing didn't last!  I've used other brands in the past that lasted WAY longer then that DeWalt blade.  I made about 40 cuts in 1x2x.120 tube before it was too small to use.  Maybe I was spoiled as to how long the band saw blade would last.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 10:49:17 AM »
I have had my HF bandsaw for at least 15 years. it gets used all the time. never had any issues with it. I am starting to think I want a deeper throat though and after building my sawmill and learning quite  bit about band saws I think I may rebuild mine to do a 6x6 cut.
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 12:40:04 PM »
.
I thought about the Evolution saws.  How are they on 1/4" steel?  They say they last 20x longer then the abrasive cutoff blades.  

I bought a DeWalt 10" abrasive blade for my (wood) chop saw - that thing didn't last!  I've used other brands in the past that lasted WAY longer then that DeWalt blade.  I made about 40 cuts in 1x2x.120 tube before it was too small to use.  Maybe I was spoiled as to how long the band saw blade would last.


I don't use the evolution Rage 3 on thick steel. It throws alot of chips back at me and is not as rigid. I use the 14 inch Ironton (got the name mixed up in the first post) for the thicker materials and evolution also has a nice 14 inch one. It has a 100 tooth blade and shots most of the chips out the back. I have made atleast 100 cuts in mild steel and the blade is still good. For hard steel l use an abrasive saw that I hate. I just love having the material cool enough to handle right after cutting. Here is a video I made about it.

Evolution gave me a Rage to test and here is a video about that one.
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a Logrite cant hook.

Offline muggs

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 01:26:32 PM »
Where I buy my steel in town, They use a Harbor Freight saw when the big saw is busy, And the big saw is busy a lot. They said they have had no problems with it. It probably gets used 2 hours a day.     Muggs

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 01:51:16 PM »
21,
Thanks for re-posting those videos.  I've never done compound cuts on steel and I like the look/operation of the Evolution.  I think that will do what I need with a smaller foot print then my band saw.  Its too bad it is a Northern product :-\
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Larry

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 02:23:02 PM »
I had one of the Chinese 4 X 6 junk machines. You can find thousands of utubes on how to fix and make them work. I shouldn't be so hard as my machine as it cut a lot of stock.

I watched craigslist and auctions for machines nearly a year before finding a good USA made one. It's a P-47 Kalamazoo 8 X 16 with hydraulic feed and coolant pump. The 47 in P-47 is the year it was born which even predates me.

It needed a lot of repair/adjustments. Kalamazoo still stocks parts for the old dog. I probably have a total of $350 in it but it performs as new. Has the capacity I need, plenty of power, and easy to use. I didn't want the mess/maintenance of the pump so I left that off.

I use bi-metal bands on it which are a little higher, but they seem to last forever.


Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 08:14:08 PM »
I can highly recommend Ellis.  Definitely a step up over a Jet and about three steps up over the Chiwanese saws.

Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 11:01:31 PM »
This is like Grizzly saw I use. I would not want to count the hours I got on my saw.





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Offline gspren

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2018, 07:49:43 PM »
Look at MetalMizer from the WoodMizer folk. It's probably more than most of you want but that style is handy.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2018, 08:59:56 PM »
My 14" Evolution saw came today.  Sure is handy to move - not like my bandsaw.  My neighbor picked up 240' of 2x2x1/8" angle iron for his deck project.  I'll be testing the saw soon. ;)
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2018, 09:51:11 PM »
Have had a couple kalamazoo, an enco and i think a greenlee.  They all did the job if you kept them up.  
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Offline Randy88

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2018, 11:43:41 PM »
Depends on if you have to do miter cuts, I have an ellis and love it, to miter cut, the workpiece stays the same and head swivels, to me its a huge space saver and a must.      Any bandsaw will cut metal, the accuracy, the size of metal it cuts, how long the saw lasts and where its made is where the price changes.



Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2018, 06:28:38 PM »
I needed to cut some 1/4" thick aluminum angle for a little bracket so I used the Evolution chop saw.  The clamp is easy to use and held firmly for my cuts.  One thing I noticed is while the saw is running, but not contacting metal to cut, the blade had a harmonic vibration.  It would run true about 90% of the time and then have a shutter for about 1 or 2 seconds where the apparent width of the blade looked like it would cut twice the width.  The moment the blade contacted metal, it would run true without incident.  Now if I just had a plasma CNC like 21, I'd be making the nice adjustable base!

I did like the ability to set the band saw cutting and walking away.  I'll be watching CL for a purchase in the future but this chop saw will do a lot of work for me in the meantime.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline 21incher

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Re: Metal cutting bandsaw recommendations
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2018, 07:29:13 PM »
You may want to give them a call. That blade should run true and smooth all the time. Now that you have the saw a cnc plasma table is easy to build ;D. Evolution has some good videos showing how to make cuts to get the best blade life.
Hudson HFE-21 on a custom trailer, Deere 4100, Kubota BX 2360, Echo CS590 & CS310, home built wood splitter, home built log arch, and a Logrite cant hook.


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