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  #1  
Old 12-14-2014, 07:34 PM
remist17 remist17 is offline
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What do you use to cut metal

Im thinking about getting a bandsaw to cut my metal. I see a bunch of used 10" craftsman. I assume I can just get a metal blade? I have been drilling and using a hacksaw. What do you recommend to use to cut metal? Its just a hobby for me.

Last edited by remist17; 12-15-2014 at 08:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2014, 07:22 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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$20 heavy duty 4.5" angle grinder from Harbor Freight. One cut off wheel will rough out dozens of blades and a pack of 10 costs about $5.

I just lock the scribed billet in my vise and get after it. Only takes a few minutes. Plus, the sparks are a lot of fun!

I finish up the profile on the grinder with course belt.

I can't fathom why anybody would use any thing else.


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  #3  
Old 12-15-2014, 08:10 AM
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SVanderkolff SVanderkolff is offline
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Harbor Freight metal cutting bandsaw. $300
You will wonder why you used anything else. Can also be used to cut wood.
Steve


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  #4  
Old 12-15-2014, 08:19 AM
remist17 remist17 is offline
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Thank you all for the posting. I never thought about the angle grinder. So you mount the scribed metal in a vise and start grinding. Turning the stock and following the scribe line. I do not have a "Shop" to work in so I could mount a vise on my outdoor table. I do all the grinding outside so I do not burn my house down.

I can not afford a portable bandsaw. I fell off my chair when I saw the prices. Looking to keep it as budget as I can. Wife will never let me buy a bandsaw when she knows I have two hacksaws

Has anyone tried to cut metal with a standard sears craftsman bandsaw with a metal blade?

Last edited by remist17; 12-15-2014 at 09:13 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2014, 10:23 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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For saving money, you can't beat the angle grinder.

The cool part is that you just get about 2/3rds of the way through and then just break the piece away.

I trim as much as I can, dunk it in some water with pliers and then off to the belt grinder.

I go from a blade shape scribed in steel to a finish profile in 10 minutes or so. I can then use the same belt for primary bevel grinding (after scribing my center lines on the edge).

Just make sure you use a face shield. lol.


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  #6  
Old 12-15-2014, 10:27 AM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Caveat:
I keep a spray bottle full of water handy and spray the wooden bench right under where I will be grinding--the area where the sparks will be showering. A few squirts defeats the heat build up.


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  #7  
Old 12-15-2014, 01:41 PM
MJV MJV is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remist17 View Post
Thank you all for the posting. I never thought about the angle grinder. So you mount the scribed metal in a vise and start grinding. Turning the stock and following the scribe line. I do not have a "Shop" to work in so I could mount a vise on my outdoor table. I do all the grinding outside so I do not burn my house down.

I can not afford a portable bandsaw. I fell off my chair when I saw the prices. Looking to keep it as budget as I can. Wife will never let me buy a bandsaw when she knows I have two hacksaws

Has anyone tried to cut metal with a standard sears craftsman bandsaw with a metal blade?
If it is a wood cutting bandsaw then the surface feet/minute is way too high even with a metal blade. So no it will not work.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2014, 02:25 PM
jdale jdale is offline
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I started with a angle grinder but have never been a big fan of the sparks and limited number of uses.So I went with a Harbor Freight portable band saw, I believe I paid $75 for it. I placed it upside down on my table, and blocked it from sliding with 2X4's. I use it to rough cut my blades and mosaic pins, other than my belt sander it is one of the most used piece of equipment in the shop.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2014, 03:09 PM
remist17 remist17 is offline
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Ok thanks I was not sure the quality of the HF tools. I can get one for 90 and hopefully i can find a 20% coupon.
Can anyone post some photos of the portable set up ?
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2014, 03:45 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Do not use a regular band saw with a metal cutting blade to cut metal. Your expensive blade will loose its temper before you finish your first cut. It must be a 'metal cutting' band saw. If it doesn't say that, it's incorrect.

I opted for the grinder because band saws take up bench space, are pricey, slower, and have short lives in their cheaper range of quality. My Delta lasted about a year and never cut a straight line--always drifted.

To get a 'variety of uses' out of a metal cutting bandsaw you would be required to change the blade for woods, micarta, etc. (unless you just want to use your metal cutting blade for everything). You also have to lube them as they cut to prevent killing the temper.

I cut my handle material on a small scroll saw which is very narrow on the bench.

Well..., you asked for options. Now you have a few. Good luck and have fun with it.


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  #11  
Old 12-15-2014, 04:45 PM
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mwhuston mwhuston is offline
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I picked up a HF metal cutting band saw of Craigslist and it works pretty well.


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  #12  
Old 12-15-2014, 04:45 PM
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jank jank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Garrett View Post
$20 heavy duty 4.5" angle grinder from Harbor Freight. One cut off wheel will rough out dozens of blades and a pack of 10 costs about $5.

I just lock the scribed billet in my vise and get after it. Only takes a few minutes. Plus, the sparks are a lot of fun!

I finish up the profile on the grinder with course belt.

I can't fathom why anybody would use any thing else.
I do the exact same thing; Fast and easy ready to profile on the belt grinder. I can get have six ready to heat treat in a few hours.


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  #13  
Old 12-15-2014, 05:20 PM
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GHEzell GHEzell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Garrett View Post

I just lock the scribed billet in my vise and get after it. Only takes a few minutes. Plus, the sparks are a lot of fun!
Isn't that the truth.... caught myself on fire the other day.

For rough cuts you can't beat an abrasive type saw. For finer cuts it is hard to beat a hack saw. For fine detail cuts use a jeweler's saw.


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  #14  
Old 12-16-2014, 01:23 PM
remist17 remist17 is offline
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Thank you all. I am all for saving money and for some reason never thought of a grinder. I have at least three of them that sit on the shelf. Ill try them before spending more money this year

If anyone would like to help me out, please post up your contraption to hold the HF bandsaw.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2015, 08:22 PM
Lonestarr Lonestarr is offline
 
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Location: Richland Washington
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I cut a lot of metal....I could not survive without a chop saw....bottom line....ebay has a 14" rand for 72 bucks...I paid 2-$300 for mine but its 25 years old and still cooking....I also use plasma and gas....but I like the chopper for small jobs and nice and square edges


regards Bob
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