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Band Saw Blade on Bone

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jschmidling

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I was very happy with my new 10 tpi carbon steel band saw blade and was amazed at how effortlessly it cut through 1/2" Aluminum plate.

This is on a cheap Ryobi, single speed wood type saw.

A few days ago I found that I could barely cut through wood that thick and Mahogany, not at all.

Looking back, I did two things, one of which must have destroyed the blade. I suspect it was attempting to cut through piece of 1" conduit type steel tubing. I got nowhere fast and quickly gave it up.

I also cut through a bunch of pieces of lamb breast (meat and bones). Cut like butter and never gave it another thought till the blade gave out.

I don't know which I did first and I gave up on trying to find the Rockwell hardness of bone so my question is.....

Is there any reason not to cut bone with at carbon steel blade?

Thanks,

Jack
Marengo, IL
 

Ulma Doctor

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short answer- no reason you can't but there is an aftermath in some instances, for using low end blades

a bone is harder than you may think. teeth are harder yet.

sure for lamb, fish, chicken, fowl, and pork bones are mostly soft,
but a beef leg bone or a frozen rib will shear unhardened teeth off a blade
not to mention, some folks split the bovine's head with a saw,
the cow or sheep teeth will wipe out a hardened sawblade teeth in minutes

there are sanitary concerns for some grades of steel,
but essentially meat sawblades are either stainless steel or high carbon with a hardened tooth design
some low grade blades are not hardened, they work, but leave a blackish residue in the cut zone.
the lower end blades will rust overnight if not soaked in mineral oil.
higher end blades can be seen in some locations working for weeks(read: months) without a hint of oxidation
 

benmychree

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No bandsaw blade is going to hold up cutting through steel conduit at woodcutting speeds, not surprising that it would cut meat and bone afterwards, no surprising that it would not cut wood, likely you not only dulled the tips of the teeth, but also wore off the set of the teeth.
 

francist

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My boss's wife did that one weekend using our Makita chop saw, minus the part with the conduit. When I opened up the shop on Monday morning it stunk to high heaven. The meat and bone had sprayed up all through the blade guard, thawed, and then proceeded to go rotten in the nice warm shop. Yuck.

-frank
 

MontanaLon

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The bone likely didn't do any harm to the blade. The steel conduit was the culprit here. As you noted it zipped right through the meat and bone even after the conduit.
 

markba633csi

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Ryobi wood saws are too fast for metal cutting, by a factor of about 5
I know because I have one; I had to go to great pains to install a larger XL pulley on the drive wheel to slow it enough for metal cutting
ps I'm glad you weren't talking about human bone as in yours, being cut :)
 
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jschmidling

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Ryobi wood saws are too fast for metal cutting, by a factor of about 5
I know because I have one; I had to go to great pains to install a larger XL pulley on the drive wheel to slow it enough for metal cutting
I was looking at that today after installing a new blade. It is specked at 2500 fpm so 10:1 is more like what is needed.

Where did you find pulley to fit the Ryobi.

I don't understand why you can buy wood cutting band saws for a dime a dozen but it costs several hundred more to slow one down for metal work.

js
 

matthewsx

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My dad put a speed reducer on the craftsman saw that I have. Works like a champ.

John
 

Hawkeye

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I got a '40s wood-cutting bandsaw last year and added a 15:1 reduction gear that I had around, plus a pair of 3-step pulleys. Gives me 9 speeds from 28 to 505 sfm. Really nice to use.
 

MontanaLon

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I don't understand why you can buy wood cutting band saws for a dime a dozen but it costs several hundred more to slow one down for metal work.

js
For exactly the same reason a metal lath costs more than a wood lathe. Rigidity and more stress on the parts. A bandsaw for wood doesn't need the same blade tension a metal bandsaw does. Blade guides don't have to be rollers for wood but are much desired for metal.
 

markba633csi

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"Where did you find pulley to fit the Ryobi."
I had it left over from a robotics project- polycarbonate plastic, 77 tooth, made by hand with a jig
Eventually I wanted to add a countershaft for additional reduction- but for now it's working well
Mostly use it for aluminum so it's ok that the speed is still a bit high
Ryobi BS903 with ball bearing guides
 
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jdedmon91

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I was looking at that today after installing a new blade. It is specked at 2500 fpm so 10:1 is more like what is needed.

Where did you find pulley to fit the Ryobi.

I don't understand why you can buy wood cutting band saws for a dime a dozen but it costs several hundred more to slow one down for metal work.

js
Yes I know. I purchased a 12” Craftsman for $50 at an auction. The belts, bearings, and pulleys was $150. Not counting the material for the Jackshaft or the plate for the motor and jackshaft mount


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jschmidling

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For exactly the same reason a metal lath costs more than a wood lathe.
That is a bad analogy. The major cost in a metal lathe is in the precision with which the position of the tool can be controlled.

> Rigidity and more stress on the parts. A bandsaw for wood doesn't need the same blade tension a metal bandsaw does. Blade guides don't have to be rollers for wood but are much desired for metal

The Ryobi has bearings but the rest is a "get what you pay for" business. If you could slow it down substantially, you could still get a lot of use out of it for simple metal cutting.

js
.
 

markba633csi

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The Ryobi is lightly built, and has many nooks and crannies to catch chips- hardly an ideal saw for metal or wood
It'll serve till my dream saw shows up
 
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