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Cutting metal with Statrite 14-S-1

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ljkenny

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Is it possible to cut metal with the Startrite 14-S-1 bandsaw by simply slowing it down via a VFD?
 

AES

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Probably. But it's not only a question of speed but also using the right blade (Ian John at Tuffsaws has info on that). You haven't said metal type, dimensions, etc.

But assuming you only own one band saw, and assuming you're not setting up for "production levels" of metal cutting, why would you want to do that? Cutting most (practically all?) metals requires some sort of lubrication, and personally I would hate to A) try and get the lubricant into the right place while guiding the cut at the same time, and B) have to clean all the mess out again when you next want to cut wood.

If only "workshop quantities" are involved there are plenty of (IMO) better methods and tools for metal cutting.

Of course, if you ARE contemplating "production quantities" of metal cutting then you should invest in a tool for the job (e.g. machine hack saw, or metal cutting band saw). There are some quite reasonably-priced machines available from the likes of Chester Machine Tools (usual disclaimers).

But that's just my take, and there have been members' posts here which do involve successful metal cutting on a band saw for wood.
 

deema

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The only difference between the 14S5 and the 14S1 is the pulley, the 14S5 has a chart in the side of the machine for cutting all sorts of metals with the various pulley speeds.

Rather than a VFD you can very very cheaply buy a couple of 5 stage pulleys off eBay or AliExpress and make it into a 14S5! However you can the also add a VFD to attain almost infinite blade speeds whilst retaining torque.
 

TFrench

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The startrite S or T series saws are suitable for metal cutting when they've got slower speeds - as a 14-S-1 yours is single speed. As Deema said, the S-5 has a 5 step pulley and the S-10 has a 5 step pulley and a 2 speed gearbox to give 10 speeds. The T-series have a slower motor to make them more suitable for metal cutting. To slow a single speed one enough to cut metal with a VFD would give you no torque at all and it would just stall. I fitted my 18-T-10 with an inverter in the compartment where the starter goes.
 

ljkenny

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Amazing, thank you. This is exactly the kind of information I was after. I'll see if I can find something suitable on eBay. Of course if you happen to have any links to something you know well work, they would be gratefully received.

OOI, what does the inverter do for you in this scenario?
 

TFrench

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Just lets me run it off 240v! I won it cheap on ebay then had to figure out how to make it work. What sort of work are you planning to do that you would need a vertical bandsaw for?
 

ljkenny

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Cutting stock larger than I can reasonably fit in my 150mm horizontal bandsaw.

How does your inverter differ for a standard VFD?
 

deema

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Wow, 6” thick steel and above....that’s some weight and some section!
Anyway, an inverter is a term usually used for an electronic gizmo that takes DC (usually a battery) and coverts it into AC (such as mains voltage). A VFD has a rectifier input stage that takes the AC and converts it into DC and then an inverter stage that chops it back up into the required AC.

In context of the reply, I think he has a box of tricks that takes single phase and producers 3phase. It’s just a 3phase output and does not control the speed of the motor which a VFD can do, They are normally called passive or rotary converters. However, the technical names get used generically and most people would understand inverter. A well known brand is Transwave who make both passive and rotary converters.
 

ljkenny

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deema":2yme9agp said:
Wow, 6” thick steel and above....that’s some weight and some section!
Thinking more along the lines of plate and wide, rather than thick stock.

It'll also be nice to replace my other vertical bandsaw, which would never be suitable for cutting metal.

deema":2yme9agp said:
Anyway, an inverter is a term usually used for an electronic gizmo that takes DC (usually a battery) and coverts it into AC (such as mains voltage).
Right. This is my current understanding of an inverter. That and the modern inverter based welders and the like.

deema":2yme9agp said:
A VFD has a rectifier input stage that takes the AC and converts it into DC and then an inverter stage that chops it back up into the required AC.

In context of the reply, I think he has a box of tricks that takes single phase and producers 3phase. It’s just a 3phase output and does not control the speed of the motor which a VFD can do, They are normally called passive or rotary converters. However, the technical names get used generically and most people would understand inverter. A well known brand is Transwave who make both passive and rotary converters.
Understood. Thanks for taking the time to explain.
 

Myfordman

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modifications-to-a-startrite-bandsaw-t38613.html
This is an old thread about mods to my 18-s-1. the photos have been blurred by photobucket but you should be able to make out a second small poly vee pulley on the motor running on a smooth mdf pulley driving the band wheel making the machine an 18-s-2 is startrite speak. the extra pulley system and an inverter make the machine highly suitable for cutting metal including steel.
 

TFrench

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ljkenny":2cflck6l said:
Cutting stock larger than I can reasonably fit in my 150mm horizontal bandsaw.

How does your inverter differ for a standard VFD?
Sorry I wasn't clear - its a VFD I've fitted to it. Had I known at the start how my workshop would end up, I'd have been much better off just getting a big rotary inverter so I could have proper 3 phase. Overall I'd have saved money by not buying multiple VFD's (got 3 currently, plus a static converter) although having variable speed is very nice on the lathe, and I think it will be handy for the pantograph as there's very little torque involved with that. Bear in mind these old startrites are very heavy - if this is for home use you'll need a way to move it. I used a genie manual lift to get it out of my van and I've welded feet to the bottom for castors. If I want to stabilise it I can wind down feet as well, although I've never needed to do that yet.
Inverter
Inverter
 

ljkenny

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Apologies for the delay gentle-people, it's been a long and hectic festive period.

Myfordman":33t2jpe4 said:
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/modifications-to-a-startrite-bandsaw-t38613.html
This is an old thread about mods to my 18-s-1. the photos have been blurred by photobucket but you should be able to make out a second small poly vee pulley on the motor running on a smooth mdf pulley driving the band wheel making the machine an 18-s-2 is startrite speak. the extra pulley system and an inverter make the machine highly suitable for cutting metal including steel.
I did see this. It was one of the first posts I stumbled over when starting my research.

Did you rip out all of the original electronics?

I assume you used a lathe to make your own v-pulley?

I've been looking for suitable ones, but the smallest I've found is 2". The largest was 12", but they want £50 for it.

Ideally I'd like to use this for wood and metal cutting, so I'd need a stepped pulley AND a VFD.

TFrench":33t2jpe4 said:
ljkenny":33t2jpe4 said:
Cutting stock larger than I can reasonably fit in my 150mm horizontal bandsaw.

How does your inverter differ for a standard VFD?
Sorry I wasn't clear - its a VFD I've fitted to it. Had I known at the start how my workshop would end up, I'd have been much better off just getting a big rotary inverter so I could have proper 3 phase. Overall I'd have saved money by not buying multiple VFD's (got 3 currently, plus a static converter) although having variable speed is very nice on the lathe, and I think it will be handy for the pantograph as there's very little torque involved with that. Bear in mind these old startrites are very heavy - if this is for home use you'll need a way to move it. I used a genie manual lift to get it out of my van and I've welded feet to the bottom for castors. If I want to stabilise it I can wind down feet as well, although I've never needed to do that yet.
I see. That makes much more sense thank you.

Yes, it's for my home workshop. It arrived about an hour ago.

Not sure what I'm going to do about transport yet, but seeing how everything else in my workshop is on casters, it seems like the way to go.



 

Myfordman

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Yes I did make my pulley on a lathe but you can buy a 30mm one here
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/J-Section-po ... XQfvlSjIse

As per my write up, I did NOT use a poly vee pulley for the large diameter just a disc of 18mm MRMDF with thin flanges to stop the belt riding off. More than enough grip over such a large area.
There was no electronics in my original saw. so I added a new stop and start button in a box at head height that also powered a gooseneck halogen lamp - also written up in the article as far as recall.

If you do turn your own small pulley for J section belt, an 11TPI whitworth thread chaser is almost perfect for finishing off the grooves. - little known wrinkle!
 
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