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Startrite 351 upgrade options?

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Vyvsdad

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Hello all,

I have a startrite 351, you know, one of the old green ones, and whilst I am very happy with it recently I have been thinking about 'pimping' it.
Specifically I would like the blade to be bearing guided, but have been told that the axminster blade guide upgrade doesn't fit.
Also (and I'm beginning to think that this is a stupid idea) I would like to make it variable speed so I can slow it right down and cut metal. Like I said, stupid.
So, do I have any options available and open to me, or should I give up any of the above ideas and just start saving for a new bandsaw(s)?

Thanks.
 

Benchwayze

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Vyvsdad":2ijtibxz said:
Hello all, ....

give up any of the above ideas and just start saving for a new bandsaw(s)?

Thanks.
Hy Vyv,

You answered your own question. Mine is still going strong after 20 years.

I would have liked roller bearings but never got around to fitting them; and really never found it necessary.
I have cut aluminium and galvanised steel without trouble, just by fitting a metal-cutting blade. Not a lot I must admit, but the saw copes. It also cuts tufnol and other plastics without trouble.

The main thing is to keep it clean and free of swarf, and examine the tyres after cutting metal.

HTH.
 

beech1948

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I have a 352 so very similar to yours.

Its about 30yrs or so old. I have tried bearing style upper guides and found them not to be so good. Others mileage may differ.

I have found that the metal triangular guides are very good but need to haver some attention every 5yrs or so. If you use it medium to heavy use.

When I got mine the upper guides were a little chewed up. So I used the Scary Sharp method to flatten and square up the triangular guides and then I forget about them for 5yrs or so before I inspect them again as I am a light user. Keeping the threads of the bolts securing them in good shape also helps so I do an annual brush with a copper brush it gets all of the rubbish off the threads and they can be adjusted finely.

They can be a bit of a pain to adjust but I have found that putting an 100gsm A4 sheet of paper around the blade and then adjusting the guides upto the paper works a treat.

I don't see much advantage in the bearing type guides on these saws.

I have never cut metal on mine but I have cut Tufnol etc on the slowest speed with some success.

If you want to cut metal then you need to slow the blade down to only about 20% of the current speed. So a new larger shreave for the belt is needed possibly with a change at the motor end as well. Lower speed may also be possible with an electronic speed adjuster but these are few and expensive to get hold of.

Al
 

beech1948

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I have a 352 so very similar to yours.

Its about 30yrs or so old. I have tried bearing style upper guides and found them not to be so good. Others mileage may differ.

I have found that the metal triangular guides are very good but need to haver some attention every 5yrs or so. If you use it medium to heavy use.

When I got mine the upper guides were a little chewed up. So I used the Scary Sharp method to flatten and square up the triangular guides and then I forget about them for 5yrs or so before I inspect them again as I am a light user. Keeping the threads of the bolts securing them in good shape also helps so I do an annual brush with a copper brush it gets all of the rubbish off the threads and they can be adjusted finely.

They can be a bit of a pain to adjust but I have found that putting an 100gsm A4 sheet of paper around the blade and then adjusting the guides upto the paper works a treat.

I don't see much advantage in the bearing type guides on these saws.

I have never cut metal on mine but I have cut Tufnol etc on the slowest speed with some success.

If you want to cut metal then you need to slow the blade down to only about 20% of the current speed. So a new larger shreave for the belt is needed possibly with a change at the motor end as well. Lower speed may also be possible with an electronic speed adjuster but these are few and expensive to get hold of.

Al
 

flh801978

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Is the 351 a direct drive machine ? If so a variable frequency drive (inverter) probably wouldn't work as there's little torque at the lower speeds...however I'd you have a belt and pulleys you could gear it down somewhat and then use a vfd to slow it down further to the sort of speeds required for steel cutting
You also need a 3 phase motor if yours isn't already
 

andersonec

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Pete Maddex":32ocijkq said:
Hi, Vyvsdad

If your guides are like a 352s you can do what I did for £5 have a look at this thread.

startrite-352-t54696-15.html?hilit=startrite

I am still using mine and haven't had any problems.


Pete

Pete,

Followed your advice on that thread and because I have some blades over 1/2 inch ( the one in the photo is 5/8 ths) I have fitted two, didn't know if it would work but it works perfectly, thanks for the tip. Bandsaw is a 351.
Band saw.jpg


Andy
 

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Pete Maddex

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Hi, Andy

Looks good, how are you finding them?

I have a 5/8th metal cuting blade in my 352 at the moment with only one set of bearings, cuts 1.9mm stainless steel easly.

Pete
 

andersonec

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Pete Maddex":37p3uwb3 said:
Hi, Andy

Looks good, how are you finding them?

I have a 5/8th metal cuting blade in my 352 at the moment with only one set of bearings, cuts 1.9mm stainless steel easly.

Pete

Pete,
I just thought that supporting the full width of the blade would be preferable, To set them up I pull them together onto the blade with thumb and forefinger of my left hand then finger tighten, let go then tighten with a spanner, although they seem to be in touch with the blade, mostly they don't turn. The problem I had with the blocks was that trying to tighten the nuts the blocks would spin and try as I might, I couldn't get a consistent, and straight gap both sides of the blade but these do the job.
Once again, thanks for the tip

Andy
 

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