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By Lazurus
#1261715
Just moving into a little metal work, I have an abrasive cut off saw, a Plasma cutter and the usual angle grinder which covers most situations but I also have a Axi bandsaw is it practical to use this with the correct blade to cut metal or will I bu88er it up. Would have to be dry cut and is a single speed?
By AES
#1261728
+1 for the above comment. CAN be done (especially ali) but NOT a good idea. See the comments about this on my sticky about cutting metal in the Metal Working section - comments supported by Ian John of Tuffsaws.
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By MikeG.
#1261731
It's absolutely fine with aluminium using the right blade (teeth not too fine). I can't see why it wouldn't be OK for copper, too. No way would I even attempt steel.
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By Lazurus
#1261733
Been looking into it, I would need a 30:1 reduction gear box, to lower the speed to a realistic level, then as stated problems with swarf and chips will cause damage. Think I will stick to what I know until a cheap portable metal bandsaw falls in my lap !!
By AES
#1261737
I agree with MikeG re copper - like ali, it's soft enough, and provided you stick to the usual rule of at least 3 teeth always in contact, fine for the odd one-off job.

BUT as already said by someone else, cleaning all the swarf off the tyres and out of the machine casing, AND the fact that ali has a nasty tendency to sometimes "melt" tiny bits of itself onto the blade, personally I'd find cleaning the band saw up afterwards a real PITA. As already said by someone, cutting steel or any other metal which required a cutting lubricant is IMO a real NO NO - cleaning up afterwards again.

But if it's for the odd one-off job, and the material is soft, then why not? My answer to that would be that unless you've got acres of stuff to cut (in which case you'd be better off buying the correct tool for the job, just like professional fabrication shops do) then there are many methods of cutting soft metals by hand which are just as quick and effective - and without possibly "filling" your band saw up with metal swarf, etc, and at least maybe "damaging" the tyres!
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By Trevanion
#1261763
I did a job with a bit of 1" aluminium bar recently on my little Scheppach Basato 3, I wrapped the wheels once over with a bit of gorilla tape to protect the tyres and put in an old "not good enough for wood" blade and it worked fine.

I thought cutting copper on a bandsaw was a no-no because it is an absolute nightmare for biting hard unless you had very fine tooth blades?
By AES
#1261793
I've never really tried cutting any metal on my little band saw, I'm just saying that like ali, copper should be soft enough, and with at least 3 teeth always in contact I guess it should be fine with little or no grabbing.

It's your choice of course (as it's every individual's) but personally if I spent time wrapping the tyres of my band saw with tape for protection I guess I could have cut at least 5 x 1 inch ali bars with a hack saw (for example) and probably more than 5 with a cut off disc in that same time!

But I'm not trying to be "snarky", it's clearly the individual's own choice, I just don't see why I would make that choice.
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By Trevanion
#1261796
AES wrote:It's your choice of course (as it's every individual's) but personally if I spent time wrapping the tyres of my band saw with tape for protection I guess I could have cut at least 5 x 1 inch ali bars with a hack saw (for example) and probably more than 5 with a cut off disc in that same time!


If I was just cutting 1" bar to length I would've just used a chop saw. I was cutting complex shapes out of a couple of 5x5x1 bars with the bandsaw because it would save me a lot of time with a hacksaw, therefore it was worth the 5 minutes of time wrapping the wheels.
By Fergal
#1261983
I thought about modifying my Dewalt wood bandsaw for metal cutting, but it wasn't worth the effort in the end. Also, cutting steel benefits from using coolant, which would make a right mess.

If you're going to be cutting a lot of steel, the 4x6 bandsaws like this can be had used for £100:
https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cbs45md ... tting-ban/

I got one of these few years ago and it's brilliant. It's like having an assistant in the workshop as it just gets on with cutting (relatively quietly) and stops when it's done. It can also be used vertically, and there are lots of tweaks you can do to improve it. See here:

http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/bandsaw ... tions.html

Aldi also have a small bandsaw on offer at the moment. Don't know if it's any good though.

https://www.aldi.co.uk/workzone-240v-po ... 5229503400
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By Lazurus
#1266858
Ok , well I managed to win a nice little Axminster metal bandsaw, required a little clean up and fettling but is now a proper saw. Cuts very accurately and is much quieter and cleaner than the chop saw and abrasive blade, just need a bigger workshop now........
By sunnybob
#1266868
My axminster 350 bandsaw has a two speed pulley. The handbook specifically mentions cutting metal on the lower speed pulley.
I even have a metal cutting blade for it.

I admit I have not cut metal on it, purely because I havent needed to thanks to a very large ironworks fabricating workshop less than a mile away with an obliging owner. If I did need to cut a few pieces of mild steel, I would, but on the understanding that I had a large clean up job afterwards.