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Do You Still Use Your Abrasive Saw(s)

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Robert LaLonde

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#1
I use mine occasionally. I used it a few weeks ago to break down some steel square tube for a couple projects. In that case I had the little band saw pretty busy breaking down solid bar stock, the mills were all running, and I didn't want to stand around. I used the abrasive saw to break down and cut all the pieces for a welded washing machine stand to raise and prelevel a machine in a location where it could not easily be leveled and the floor would catch and bend the feet if preleveled. The other project was a simple rack for firewood to get it off the ground and annoy the termites. I thought that was an exception. If that bandsaw hadn't been busy I'd have used it.

Last week my little 4x6 band saw went **** up. ((mamaries elevated)) When I opened the gear box I found the brass worm gear (the steel screw was fine) had turned to chowder and the oil in the gear box looked like a gold metal flake paint that belonged on a 1980s low rider. Well after a lot of soul searching, personal cheapness, and a few wasted days I overnighted a gear from Grizzly that all the hobbyists said would fit my saw.

In the mean time mills were sitting idle and I had 4140 to cut for the current project, so I added some arms to my roller table and threw my old abrasive saw up there. It chopped several blanks and kept the machines going until the new gear arrived.

Next decent size job that pays I plan to order a little heavier 7x12 bandsaw and just keep the 4x6 as a backup. I've started to put the abrasive saw away and stopped about three times now. Not only did it keep me going (at the cost of several blades), but I also found myself using mini cutoff blades in one of the 4.5 inch angle grinders to do other work I ordinarily would have done with the bandsaw in the upright position.

Using the abrasive 14" saw and the 4.5 inch angle grinder is messy, gritty, smelly, nasty work. I felt like I had sand down my neck for days. Other than for sanding and grinding (with the grinder) is the abrasive saw ever the best solution for the job if you have other tools? Obviously if its all you have that's working then you have to run what you brung.
 

PHPaul

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#2
I use my Milwaukee 14" abrasive chop saw and "slitting" disks in my 4.5" grinder almost exclusively. You're right, it's noisy, dirty and smelly, but I can tuck the chop saw under the parts drawers and hang the grinder up on the wall when I'm done.

A band saw takes up precious floor space that I can't spare, not to mention putting a wicked dent in my toy budget.

When I worked at the cannery, we had a pretty nice Jet unit (along with a big ol' Hendy lathe and a Bridgeport mill...:encourage:) so I'm aware of the benefits, and if I were to hit the megabucks and build a new shop, I'd have one in a skinny minute.
 

toploader

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#3
I use mine occasionally. I used it a few weeks ago to break down some steel square tube for a couple projects. In that case I had the little band saw pretty busy breaking down solid bar stock, the mills were all running, and I didn't want to stand around. I used the abrasive saw to break down and cut all the pieces for a welded washing machine stand to raise and prelevel a machine in a location where it could not easily be leveled and the floor would catch and bend the feet if preleveled. The other project was a simple rack for firewood to get it off the ground and annoy the termites. I thought that was an exception. If that bandsaw hadn't been busy I'd have used it.

Last week my little 4x6 band saw went **** up. ((mamaries elevated)) When I opened the gear box I found the brass worm gear (the steel screw was fine) had turned to chowder and the oil in the gear box looked like a gold metal flake paint that belonged on a 1980s low rider. Well after a lot of soul searching, personal cheapness, and a few wasted days I overnighted a gear from Grizzly that all the hobbyists said would fit my saw.

In the mean time mills were sitting idle and I had 4140 to cut for the current project, so I added some arms to my roller table and threw my old abrasive saw up there. It chopped several blanks and kept the machines going until the new gear arrived.

Next decent size job that pays I plan to order a little heavier 7x12 bandsaw and just keep the 4x6 as a backup. I've started to put the abrasive saw away and stopped about three times now. Not only did it keep me going (at the cost of several blades), but I also found myself using mini cutoff blades in one of the 4.5 inch angle grinders to do other work I ordinarily would have done with the bandsaw in the upright position.

Using the abrasive 14" saw and the 4.5 inch angle grinder is messy, gritty, smelly, nasty work. I felt like I had sand down my neck for days. Other than for sanding and grinding (with the grinder) is the abrasive saw ever the best solution for the job if you have other tools? Obviously if its all you have that's working then you have to run what you brung.
I don't use my abrasive at all since I got my 7x12 bandsaw(4 years ago). I keep it as a just in case situation as you described. I do have a dedicated grinder with a cutoff wheel for quick cuts. And a deep cut Milwaukee porta-band. Not a lot of work for the abrasive.
 

ttabbal

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#4
It came in handy when my last blade broke on the bandsaw, but generally I prefer not to now. Reminds me, I need to get a spare blade... :)
 

chips&more

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#5
I use the abrasive when the band saw won't cut it.
 

cathead

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#6
No, I wouldn't have one. I think they are somewhat dangerous:eek 2: so use a band saw exclusively.
 

PHPaul

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#7
Side benefit to abrasive cutting: The smell, along with welding smoke and varnished gas, keeps my wife out of my shop...:grin big:
 

Downwindtracker2

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#8
At work I had the use of both a bandsaw and a chopsaw. A bandsaw is at it's best in something solid whereas a chopsaw is much better in thin stuff. With a bandsaw you cut 2 x 1/4 flat bar flat but with a chop saw it's cut vertically. 3/8" is about it's limit. Yes you can cut more but why bother.Tubing is cut much quicker and likely more accurately with a chopsaw. Blades on a chopsaw are very important , for me, it's Walter only. There're not something you get a Princess Auto or Harbor Freight. A chopsaw is a welder's tool, not really a machinist's. I've never used a cold cut, but they sure look interesting.
 

ChrisAttebery

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#9
I sold my abrasive saw a couple years ago and bought an Evolution Rage 2 chop saw with a 14" carbide blade. It will cut steel, thin aluminum and wood with the included multipurpose blade. I bought the aluminum specific blade a few weeks later because the multipurpose blade tends to load up on thick aluminum stock. It cuts quickly, leaves a pretty clean surface, and doesn't take up a lot of shop space.

My only complaint is that the blade guard tends to spread the chips all over the place instead of sending to the rear like my abrasive saw did. At some point I should see if it's possible to modify the rear blade guard so that chips are directed rearward.
 

Ray C

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#10
... Have not used mine in nearly 5 years or more. Too much heat damage to parts, too much dust, too noisy, needs both hands and full attention to operate. If I get rid of it, I will need it the next day -and that's the only reason I hang on to it.


Ray
 
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f350ca

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They have their place. Good if the material is chrome plated or case hardened, the abrasive saw doesn't care. Was making a metal railing a while back. Replaced the fixed jaw on the abrasive saw with a piece of angle iron long enough to set up a stop for the spindles. Worked like a charm.
But to be truthful it was the first time in over a year I dug it out from under the plasma table.

Greg
 

Joncooey

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#12
I use the abrasive when the band saw won't cut it.[/QUOTE


Had a big stainless job; lots of parts to cut. Went to the 7x12 band saw out of habit; it's dang accurate. Learned my lesson about half hour in after I fried the new blade. That's when you have to snap out of it and realize that you're using the wrong machine. 20 years experience at this stuff but sometimes I get tunnel vision. Got out the chop saw and it ran with no complaints; faster too, for the last couple days now. Messy, dirty, noisy but sometimes down and dirty is the only way to get it done. I never get rid of a tool; there is always a use for it that crops up and it will prove itself invaluable.
 
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#13
As Greg said, only for hard stuff. Otherwise it goes in the horizontal bandsaw.
 

gr8legs

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#14
I never much cared for an abrasive cutoff saw - for all the usual reasons - noisy, dirty, smelly etc.

I'm guessing 10-12 years ago Harbor Freight got a deal on refurbished DeWalt tools and they had a great price on the DeWalt cold saw.

Like a regular chop saw except designed for metal. Slow blade speed, carbide blade and a vise. Much better - probably just as noisy but cleaner cuts, no smell of blade adhesive and overall a better sawing experience. Fast, too.

Sold the abrasive cutoff saw at our next garage sale and never looked back.

Stu
 

KBeitz

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#15
I use around 100 6" abrasive cut off wheels a year and my plasma cutter and band saw blades
and around two 14" abrasive blades.
 

Buffalo21

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#16
Between dry cut, cold cut saws, bandsaws, drop bandsaws and plasma cutters, my 14” Milwaukee chop saw, has sat unused for 8-10 years, hopefully it will stay that way until the close the casket lid. I hate them, poor cut quality, dirty, noisy and highly inaccurate, I guess they do serve a purpose, but none that I would use again. I had the saw on CL twice, no one showed any interest, now it just a plastic crate with stuff piled on it, in the basement.
 
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8mpg

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#17
Im with Chris and got a dry cut saw. Evolution Rage 2. Carbide cuts fast clean and stays cool. I dont plan on ever using my Dewalt abrasive chop saw. I still use a grinder with cutoff wheels for some stuff.
 

Mikkell

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#18
Nope, I use a Evolution 15" Metal saw, works Perfect.
 

amsoilman

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#19
Love the carbide chop saw
 

Mikkell

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#20
Seems like I use it every day, soo many projects going on.
 

bhigdog

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#21
Rigged up a shop vac to the abrasive chop saw. Chop saw for steel tube, pipe, smaller angle, solid up to 1". Do-All for Aluminum or flat anything. Racine 14" hack saw for anything up to 7". Wouldn't want to part with any of them.................Bob
 

COMachinist

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#22
Not since I got my 14” cold cut saw. That old stinky noisey hot abrasive saw is under the work bench where it will stay. Did I mention it is like realy dirty:(.
CH
 
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