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Garry Keown

Bandsaws

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I had been thinking of a better way of cutting out my blades rather than the cutting disc in the angle grinder and by better I mean cleaner with much less grinder and steel dust needing breathing masks etc when working it. A few of the guys on the knife forums are using portabands  fixed in a home made frame and I had a look at them today but they seemed a bit light so bought a conventional bandsaw that is able to be used upright the way we need for cutting out blades and with the removal of the work rest (just 3 screws) it returns the conventional set-up. Great value from top-mac (our harbour freight)  for US$345. A simple assembly although nimble fingers would help for a couple of the small bolts placements 

IMG_20190326_143709.jpgIMG_20190326_160848.jpgIMG_20190326_161042.jpgIMG_20190326_161118.jpg

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When I was making folders I used a similar set up.  I thought a mist lubricant system would be a good addition but never got around to setting one up.

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Looks identical to the Chinese machines sold at our Harbor Freight.  I ended up going with a Milwaukee Portaband and table (and been quite happy with the choice, though it would be nice to have a larger throat) due to my research showing that folks complained a lot about reliability and tracking on the Chinese bandsaws, but there are a bunch of posts online that give recommendations on improving same.  In reference to that, is there some reason why you have the upper guide/guard set so high up?  When I learned bandsaw use some 45 years ago they indicated that the machines usually worked better and safer if the guide was set in fairly close proximity to the stock.

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5 hours ago, Dan Hertzson said:

Looks identical to the Chinese machines sold at our Harbor Freight.  I ended up going with a Milwaukee Portaband and table (and been quite happy with the choice, though it would be nice to have a larger throat) due to my research showing that folks complained a lot about reliability and tracking on the Chinese bandsaws, but there are a bunch of posts online that give recommendations on improving same.  In reference to that, is there some reason why you have the upper guide/guard set so high up?  When I learned bandsaw use some 45 years ago they indicated that the machines usually worked better and safer if the guide was set in fairly close proximity to the stock.

The throat is closed down as far as the adjustment will allow but again for the thin stock used for knifemaking that is not a concern. I have operated wood bandsaws for near 50 years and it is how you push the material into the saw that determines tracking of the cut if you have a more  open throat which I am inclined to do in the wood saw.

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If you are going to use the saw in a permanently upright position, I would suggest you check the rectangular box that contains the worm gear and make sure there is enough lube.(ask me how I know this:()

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3 hours ago, Jim Kehler said:

If you are going to use the saw in a permanently upright position, I would suggest you check the rectangular box that contains the worm gear and make sure there is enough lube.(ask me how I know this:()

Will do Jim and thanks for the heads up

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Can you use that bandsaw as a vertical and horizontal?? Is it a multi purpose?

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if its similar to the harbor freight i will say a few things after running mine for almost 8 years the motor quite on me ends up it has a thermal fuse in it i added a resetable type at a lower temp setting and look forward to many more years of use some ppl make seats to clamp in the vice to make long setions more comfortable and theirs is a good likelihood that if you remove the locking wheel for the blade guide that there is another hole that you can use to get the upper guide closer to the work wich helps when using as a chop saw wich i was absolutely giddy with its ability to do finally i could cut something to length wile doing something else also i put off looking in the gear box for way to long the grease that was in mine was like pine tar i scraped and diluted it out as best i could then added a proper level of 80-90w

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4 hours ago, AndrewB said:

Can you use that bandsaw as a vertical and horizontal?? Is it a multi purpose?

Yes I can Andrew. I have made a better work table from 1/4 inch steel  to replace the sheet metal one provided and just have to trim it back now to get right back down to the horrizontal.

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1 minute ago, Garry Keown said:

Yes I can Andrew. I have made a better work table from 1/4 inch steel  to replace the sheet metal one provided and just have to trim it back now to get right back down to the horrizontal.

I just have two small bandsaws but I’m almost wondering if it’d be worth it to bi a metal Baldwin for me ryobi

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2 hours ago, dragoncutlery said:

if its similar to the harbor freight i will say a few things after running mine for almost 8 years the motor quite on me ends up it has a thermal fuse in it i added a resetable type at a lower temp setting and look forward to many more years of use some ppl make seats to clamp in the vice to make long setions more comfortable and theirs is a good likelihood that if you remove the locking wheel for the blade guide that there is another hole that you can use to get the upper guide closer to the work wich helps when using as a chop saw wich i was absolutely giddy with its ability to do finally i could cut something to length wile doing something else also i put off looking in the gear box for way to long the grease that was in mine was like pine tar i scraped and diluted it out as best i could then added a proper level of 80-90w

You have me beat with the electrical input but I will look at the gearbox and the blade guide 

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6 hours ago, Garry Keown said:

You have me beat with the electrical input but I will look at the gearbox and the blade guide 

well yours is almost as far away different from mine at 50h 240 but if it stops suddenly and wont start up theirs a chance the 'fuse tripped' it just doesn't look like a fuse

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I only use genuine Harley Davidson gear oil in mine (because I had half a bottle left over from my bike).

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2 hours ago, HSJackson said:

I only use genuine Harley Davidson gear oil in mine (because I had half a bottle left over from my bike).

Sure to make it run better :D

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Mine is a 1980 (which I bought used in 2002) model from HF and is still running strong.  I finally looked in the gearbox last year, and the grease is indeed thick, so I topped it off with some 90W and called it good.  Good blades are the key to getting the most out of these.  Starrett or Lenox bimetal variable pitch are the greatest with these.  Just be sure you always have at least two teeth in the cut.  I tried to cut some thin 15n20 with a coarse blade once.  Stripped every tooth. 

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

Mine is a 1980 (which I bought used in 2002) model from HF and is still running strong.  I finally looked in the gearbox last year, and the grease is indeed thick, so I topped it off with some 90W and called it good.  Good blades are the key to getting the most out of these.  Starrett or Lenox bimetal variable pitch are the greatest with these.  Just be sure you always have at least two teeth in the cut.  I tried to cut some thin 15n20 with a coarse blade once.  Stripped every tooth. 

It seems that the 14tpi is the best option for the use we put the saw to as knifemakers according to other forums. With that being said I use a 1.5mm 12c27  so 25.4 over 14 is 1.81 which would have a tooth either side of the material so to follow your theory I would need a 32 tpi blade to have 2 teeth in the 1.5mm stock. I may just have to keep cutting out those blades with the cut off disc in the angle grinder.

Will see how the issue blade lasts but there is a good supplier here for bandsaw blades that I get my wood bandsaw blades from and I use bimetal blades for that so will order a couple for the metal saw as well. Going to open the gearbox and check the lube before getting down to serious work with it.

Appreciate the experienced comments and discussion guys.

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9 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Mine is a 1980 (which I bought used in 2002) model from HF and is still running strong.  I finally looked in the gearbox last year, and the grease is indeed thick, so I topped it off with some 90W and called it good.  Good blades are the key to getting the most out of these.  Starrett or Lenox bimetal variable pitch are the greatest with these.  Just be sure you always have at least two teeth in the cut.  I tried to cut some thin 15n20 with a coarse blade once.  Stripped every tooth. 

i have some variable tooth blades and i tried to cut some thin ti and striped off all the coarse teeth i feel yah

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Cut the first two blades out today and while it is slower than the cut off disc in the grinder, it is just so much cleaner and with zero dust and grit to make wearing breathing gear necessary so I am a convert.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2019 at 11:56 PM, Garry Keown said:

Cut the first two blades out today and while it is slower than the cut off disc in the grinder, it is just so much cleaner and with zero dust and grit to make wearing breathing gear necessary so I am a convert.

This is exactly why I got a portable band-saw and made a table for it too.  Cut off disks are nice, but they throw sparks everywhere, make things so hot that I've burned myself more by cutting than actual forging, and if they shatter, yuck.  Not to mention that they can zip off a finger like that, (so can your band-saw).  I've gotten away from using grinding disks, and cut off just because of the dust factor.  I breath enough dust at my industry job, I don't want to at home. 

As for other things to watch for with your new saw, just be a little mindful that the filings coming off the work still go everywhere and your eyes are magnets. Even getting the fine filings on your hands and wiping your face can result in an unexpected eyeball splinter.  I'm very self conscious about eyes since I started to have trouble with them and had a few accidents in the past 2 years. 

What you might do next is take 2 or 3 pieces of stock tack weld the ends together - and wind up cutting out 2 or 3 knives at once. 

Edited by Daniel W
GRAMMER!

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Hear you on the eyes needing protection Daniel. I have had glasses since '83 so always have something between me and the steel. 

While it may take a few minutes longer to cut out on the saw, the cut is neater and closer to the line so the heavy profile grinding is no longer needed which saves back the time.

 

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Definitely the way to go. I like that saw too. I might have to trade out the benchtop porta-band someday. Did the table come stock?

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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

Definitely the way to go. I like that saw too. I might have to trade out the benchtop porta-band someday. Did the table come stock?

Yes the sheet metal table comes with it but it is not solid enough for any serious work so I made a 1/4 in steel table and that is working really well with no flex or distortion like the issue table 

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Very nice I wondered if that table was your own invention, or came with it.  Shoot if I would have known that I might have gone after that saw rather than their portaban. There is a very large horizontal saw that has come available at work I'm thinking about placing a bid on it although I have no where to put the thing.  I't a whole 1hp motor by the look of it, and has the coolant system on it already.

 

Although cut off disks are nice, anyone mess with the more expensive diamond cut offs? The guy I get steel off of uses one in a big chop saw that is torqued down, I'm wondering if their worth getting into. 

 

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