Band saws....? Cutting theory

FlyFishn

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I've made several useful mods, including the flip-down table for vertical cutting, which is one of the slickest and most useful mods I've seen.

Can you post some pictures of the mods you've made and describe them a bit more? The link earlier in this thread to the article about the hinged table intrigues me - but the door hinge used bothers me. I appreciate the authors outside the box thinking and that has me spinning my wheels on ideas now also.

I looked at Grizzly machines. Their 0622 saw is comparable to the HF - but $100 more and another $125 truck freight to deliver. I'll browse some local used listings, also, and see what pops up. I looked on FB Marketplace the other day and there wasn't much for band saws - wood variety and either cheap or heavy/large industrial, not much in between.
 

MrWhoopee

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Can you post some pictures of the mods you've made and describe them a bit more? The link earlier in this thread to the article about the hinged table intrigues me - but the door hinge used bothers me. I appreciate the authors outside the box thinking and that has me spinning my wheels on ideas now also.

I looked at Grizzly machines. Their 0622 saw is comparable to the HF - but $100 more and another $125 truck freight to deliver. I'll browse some local used listings, also, and see what pops up. I looked on FB Marketplace the other day and there wasn't much for band saws - wood variety and either cheap or heavy/large industrial, not much in between.
I did my flip-down table with the door hinge, works great! There's a whole thread dedicated to modifications to these saws.
 

FlyFishn

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I checked out the saw at HF that they had on display today. the first thing that hit me about it is how low it sits. However, with a few of the tidbits that I've found in researching them - like the burr on the worm gear and metal shavings in the gearbox from the factory - I think there is enough ammo to go after that saw purchase with a decent level of confidence. I'm thinking that is the way I'll go. For the price it is certainly a versatile machine that will give me a big edge up on fabrication that I have needed for a good while.

I'll research the modifications some more and see what might be worth doing. I think a better table is on the hook up front, and I want to extend the table in the horizontal position so the cut parts don't fall. I might make some kind of a chip collection system, also, to keep the work area cleaner.

I am hoping by the end of April I can get my order in for materials for my coming projects. Until then I'll watch the pricing on the saws and see if I can catch them for a better price - maybe a memorial day sale? We'll see. So far I have not found any coupons that work for it - and the universal % off coupons no longer work for Central Machinery products (along with a whole slew of other brands they carry). You need an item-specific coupon. So if anyone has a link to one that covers the 4x6 saw that is still valid pass it along.

FYI for anyone interested - there is an online database for HF coupons. Enjoy!
 

jmarkwolf

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The HF 4x6 is definitely worth buying. It's one of the few tools I bought new. Hold out for a sale or 20% coupon though, mine was about $200. Unlike many of the complaints, mine cut square and straight right from the box. I've made several useful mods, including the flip-down table for vertical cutting, which is one of the slickest and most useful mods I've seen.
I bought one of these saws a few years ago at the local HF, knowing it was a bit of a gamble. Turns out it cut measurably straight and square right out of the box. Even with the original blade. Still does, albeit with a new bi-metal blade.
 

MrWhoopee

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FlyFishn

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Thanks for the thoughts on blades.

On that point - are there any really tough, really long lasting blades? Like carbide tip ones that are worth looking in to?

I have read people have been able to Tig weld blades together, while anealing afterwards is required. I imagine one can do the same with O/A welding?

It might be advantageous to get a roll of blade and weld my own if I can do it reliably. I am not wanting to invest in a band saw blade welder. I am aware a lot of people have had luck with silver soldering blades together as well. I suppose that is another option if welding doesn't work well.
 

ahazi

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Thanks for the thoughts on blades.

On that point - are there any really tough, really long lasting blades? Like carbide tip ones that are worth looking in to?

I have read people have been able to Tig weld blades together, while anealing afterwards is required. I imagine one can do the same with O/A welding?

It might be advantageous to get a roll of blade and weld my own if I can do it reliably. I am not wanting to invest in a band saw blade welder. I am aware a lot of people have had luck with silver soldering blades together as well. I suppose that is another option if welding doesn't work well.
Bandsaw blades in this type of application last a very long time (years in many cases) and they are cheap. I don't see a need to become an expert in blades welding just for this saw.

Buy a bi-metal blade (M42) with variable pitch and be done. Lenox blades are excellent and you will find many references to them. Don't even think about carbide for this size saw as they are MUCH more expensive and easily damaged and are very material and cutting speed specific for optimal use.

Ariel
 

FlyFishn

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Just a thought on blades -

I know a band saw is a different type of machine (blade only goes one direction) than a reciprocating saw, however I have never had any luck with bimetal blades on reciprocating saws cutting steel. Wood and aluminum they work OK. For example - I switched out to a Diablo carbide tip blade for steel cutting and I never lost the cutting ability on the 1st blade I put on after cutting several hundred inches of 3/16" mild steel. A cheap bimetal blade, in comparison, couldn't get through one long cut (24" run or so) without loosing the teeth where the blade contacted the work.

The durability of the carbide blades, with respect to band saws, has come up a few times. However, I haven't seen that - in the above example and another blade (I have a 12" combo wood/steel Diablo blade that I use for nail/screw-imbedded wood cutting that is amazing also). What would cause the application of a band saw blade to be less durable with carbide teeth than bimetal over the durability of reciprocating blades with carbide teeth?
 

FlyFishn

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Does anyone have any thoughts on tooth count?

Most material (metal) I want to cut ranges from sheet metal to thick bar (I have 3/4" bar in my stock now, not sure that I would get much thicker but possibly depending on what comes down the line on projects), all mild steel. I want to work with some aluminum also. As far as higher strength steels - I don't see getting much in to that at this stage of the game, so I can cross that bridge down the road if I need to.

The higher the tooth count the finer the cut/finish, but slower the cutting I believe. The rule of thumb I have heard is to size the tooth count to allow 3 teeth engaged in the metal at a time. That won't work for sheet metal unless I had microscopic teeth. I'd say 1/16" or around .060" would be the thinnest I'd try to cut, but that might present too much of a challenge - especially for lower tooth count blades.

The stock HF saw blade is 14tpi. I don't know if that is a decent gauge or not.
 
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