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Author Topic: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades  (Read 442 times)

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Offline btulloh

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Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« on: October 29, 2018, 08:58:54 AM »
A while back I traded a 15" grizzly planer for a 14" Wilton metal bandsaw.  I've been looking around at blades to put on it, but can't seem to come up with something appropriate.  Problem is I don't have any experience with these.  Any recommendations?  

I see some bi-metal blades that are 14-18 tpi that look interesting but they're pretty pricey.  Just wondering if that's a good direction or would I be better off with just 14 tpi, or 18 tpi.  I'll be cutting mostly mild steel.  1/8 plate and tubing, sch 40 tubing, maybe 1/4" plate, maybe 16 ga sheet.  What's a good general purpose choice?  Can I get enough life out of $60 blade to make it worth while?  (Not concerned with curves.  1/2"-3/4" width blade will be fine.)
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Offline gspren

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 09:30:40 AM »
Since your cutting thinner sections stay with the finer tooth blade, 18 TPI and then be careful with sheet metal, if you try to cut too fast you will strip the teeth. 
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 09:46:36 AM »
I like using the combo tooth ones like the 10/14 or the 18/12. I think those are the numbers. I would have to look it up again. But the combo ones are nice. They will cut nice and smooth but the 1 odd tooth helps clear the chips and it cuts so much better with a sweeper tooth.

I do agree with Gspren. if you are doing thin sheet metal you want alot of TPI. be very careful if you do not have enough tpi on thin material it will grab and pull. I have some pretty ugly scars if you want to see what happens :)

I typically cut everything from sheet metal to 1/2" plate all shapes and sizes. The 10/14 and the 14 are my go to blades. Unfortunately in the 64.5" blade that I have it is getting much more challenging finding a blade locally.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 10:58:12 AM »
Roger that.  As of now I rarely do anything with 16 ga, but that could change.  I'm thinking that if I have a better way to cut shapes I might do more with it.  Probably 1/8 and 1/4 mostly.  I know there's some local suppliers around here, but I haven't figured out who they are yet.  I'd kinda like to talk to a good counter man instead of just ordering stuff until I get some experience.  The other side of that is it takes a lot more time to go get it than just having the UPS driver bring it to me.

Crusarius, that's a good warning.  I'm always tempted to go over and just make a quick cut on some thin stuff with the wrong tpi blade.  Sounds like I should resist that tendency.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 11:15:10 AM »
The cutoff wheel on my angle grinder works well in situations like that. especially a quick and dirty cut. Much more forgiving on the blood and hands :)
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Offline Larry

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 12:00:16 PM »
I only buy bi-metal bands anymore for both the vertical and horizontal saw.  I had an occasional problem stripping teeth with the cheap carbon steel bands.  Probably cause I saw from thin to thick with the same band.  The bi-metal bands last 10 times longer.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 07:11:17 PM »
The cutoff wheel is my main weapon at the moment.  That and a 14" chopsaw. I run into trouble with small pieces though.  That's where I see the bandsaw helping out.  Small pieces sound like a good way to get wounded if a blade catches though.

Larry - who do you buy your bands from?  I see plenty of vendors but when you throw in the shipping it starts to add up unless it's a decent size order.  Amazon doesn't seem to have a lot of vendors for this.  Maybe I should get an order together that includes abrasives and make the shipping worthwhile.  I always need cutoff wheels and flappers.  And belts.  And . . .

HM126

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 07:39:23 PM »
ahh I remember the good old days when all my fab tools fit in 1 drawer. I started with a single angle grinder a sawzall and a stick welder.

Funny thing is I have a plasma cutter and I still use the cutoff wheel more. 

btulloh, you should look at soft pads if you like flap disks. they last 10 times longer than a flap disk and are flexible enough to grind curves. Plus lots of different grit options. The flap disks do make great polishing wheels though.

I have been ordering my blades from amazon. Just be careful and reread the description to make sure you get the right length. they got me on 1 blade.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 08:16:44 PM »
Yeah, one drawer.  I'm a wood guy trying to do metal work.  It's like a whole nother thing.

My tool collection has gotten better, but I'm still a wood guy.  I have 5 angle grinders now.  I've found that 4 or 5 is the minimum.  Mig/Tig, Stick, gas, but no plasma.  I'm getting there, but I'm still a wood guy.  I get by though.

Flap disk I was talking about is the flat kind you use on the angle grinder, not the wheel.  Maybe it's called something else. 

I found some  10/14 bi-metals on Amazon.  That might be a good way to start if keep the 16 ga. away from it.  
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 09:05:55 PM »
those are the ones I use when I can find them. the 64.5" is getting hard to find. half tempted to rebuild the saw into a better one :) already have all the parts and learned alot on the sawmill :)

This is what I use. works great on wood shaping to.

5" BACKING PAD WITH 5/8'" TPI - 11 THREAD LOCK NUT AND 4 GRINDING RESIN FIBER DISCS with MULTI GRITS. - - Amazon.com

I use the 4.5" version

I am a metal guy playing with wood. Metal is much more forgiving. you cut it to short you weld it back together then cut it to short again :) then crack a beer and call it for the day.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 09:33:20 PM »
Larry - who do you buy your bands from?
I've been buying Lenox from MSC.  For some reason I get a big discount from them.

I also buy from McMaster-Carr.  They have customer service second to none.  Their online catalog is really easy to use and find stuff.  Shipping speed is excellent.  If only there prices were a little better, they would get all of my business.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 10:05:07 PM »
Larry , MSC looks good.  That's useful info.  I was not familiar with them.

I like McMaster-Carr for fasteners and a few other things.  For some reason I prefer them to Grainger but both seem a little high for general items. I think they're one-stop shopping for factory and industrial customers, but I have to shop around a little.

Crusarius, thanks for pointing that out.  I use those on the die grinder in 2" and 3" but I hadn't considered using on the angle grinder.  It could save me some money on abrasives too.

Got some good info from you guys.  Thanks.  I'll be ordering some 10/14 bi-metals for general use.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 07:48:17 AM »
I have not been a big fan of the lenox blades that I bought from fastenal. but they do cut. They just don't seem to last like some of the others I have used.

you will learn to respect those soft pads real quick. especially when doing sheet metal. I always seem to catch the edge of the sheet metal and either barely catch the grinder before it takes off or shred the pad.
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Offline dmartin

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Re: Metal cutting vertical bandsaw blades
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2018, 08:11:39 AM »
Try Timberwolf blades from Suffolk Machine, I get the 10-14 variable tpi for my metal cutting bandsaw and their prices on bimetal blades are great.
Their other blades are great too, I just sold my Timber King B-20 and had used their blades on it, they have both good blades and good prices.


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