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Tooth count for 14" Vertical Band Saw

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TideDancer

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I have an old Craftsman 14" vertical band-saw that I want to cut mild steel and aluminum with. I know the speed of a wood cutting saw is faster than I should use, but it is what I have. So I will make do with it.
The blade size is 93 inches by 1/2 inch. What tooth count should I be looking to purchase.
Any help with this will be greatly appreciated.
 

mikey

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#2
I use Lenox 10-14 tooth variable pitch bi-metal blades and use it to cut everything on my H/V bandsaw. Highly recommend Lenox bi-metal blades.
 
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If you allow your bandsaw to operate at woodcutting speeds, you will burn up your metal cutting blade in no time when cutting steel. You might get away with cutting aluminum at those speeds, but not for a long time.

As for your question, the 10-14 variable pitch bi-metal blades work great for general purpose work in metals, and as mikey said, the Lenox bi-metal blades are pretty tough to beat.
 

TideDancer

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Thanks for the information guys.
Is there a way to slow down the speed of the blade on my saw?

I have a HF horizontal band saw that does a great job after a few tweaks. But sometimes I would like to use the vertical saw for some small work.
 

Ken from ontario

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Thanks for the information guys.
Is there a way to slow down the speed of the blade on my saw?

I have a HF horizontal band saw that does a great job after a few tweaks. But sometimes I would like to use the vertical saw for some small work.
You could slow the RPM down a bit by changing the pulleys but still not slow enough to cut mild steel, the most successful modification I've heard is done by installing a treadmill variable speed motor on the saw, that definitely works, I also have seen a few mods using reduction gearboxes (expensive) .
I thought Harborfreight bandsaws were capable of cutting vertically?
 

Billh50

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#6
wood cutting saws are definitely running too fast for metal cutting. Also if cutting sheet metalon a vertical saw you will want a fine tooth blade otherwise you will be breaking teeth and jamming the saw.
 

TideDancer

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You could slow the RPM down a bit by changing the pulleys but still not slow enough to cut mild steel, the most successful modification I've heard is done by installing a treadmill variable speed motor on the saw, that definitely works, I also have seen a few mods using reduction gearboxes (expensive) .
I thought Harborfreight bandsaws were capable of cutting vertically?
Yes the HF saw will cut vertically but requires a change of parts to do this. Since I have a wood cutting vertical saw I thought it would be nice to be able to do that. But looks like we don't always get what we want. (Just ask a snowflake) hee,hee.
 

francist

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#8
I cut aluminum and brass for many years on a wood cutting vertical bandsaw. Changed the pulley on the motor to the smallest I could find, and the pulley on the driving wheel to the largest I could fit into the belt guard cabinet. Ran everything from 1/8" wide blades to 3/8" and teeth from 24 to 6 depending on the thickness I was cutting. We made signs for buildings, and I cut hundreds if not thousands of letters and numbers this way. Material ranged from 0.032" brass to 1/2" 6061 and some copper every now and again. No steel though.

-frank
 

wawoodman

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#9
Wouldn't the tooth count depend on the thickness of the material being cut? That's the way it works on wood, anyway.
 

coffmajt

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#10
You can make a jackshaft to give you an additional reduction of blade speed. I would think about another 4 to 1 reduction would get you in the right range for steel. I run my bandsaw at 100 sfpm for cutting steel using a bi metal blade. I also like the Lenox brand blades == Jack
 

Charles Spencer

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#11
You could slow the RPM down a bit by changing the pulleys but still not slow enough to cut mild steel
I disagree with that. I used a combination of what Jack and Frank did. I added a shaft and changed the pulley on the motor. I got the SFM to 118 which works fine for steel. Oh, and I also use Lenox blades because they're made locally.

Pulley1.jpg
Pulley6.jpg
 

Ken from ontario

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#12
Changed the pulley on the motor to the smallest I could find, and the pulley on the driving wheel to the largest I could fit into the belt guard cabinet.
Changing pulleys the way francist described above will slow down the RPM, no if and buts about it. it will be slow enough to cut softer metals like Aluminum . adding a jackshaft is going to slow it even further, but that is a combination the two, (adding a jackshaft is something that I didn't think about and failed to mention ,sorry) , pulleys alone can only slow it down to a certain RPM.

 
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Kernbigo

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#13
I use doall 6 pitch, make my own blades, silver solder them together. I have a 3 wheel craftsman which i added a thread mill motor and works great.
 

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Ken from ontario

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#14
use doall 6 pitch, make my own blades, silver solder them together. I have a 3 wheel craftsman which i added a thread mill motor and works great.
I would love to make that mod with my bandsaw, have gone as far as changing the pulleys with my bandsaw and never went any further than that mainly because I still wanted my modification to be contained within the motor compartment, adding a treadmill motor seems to be the cleanest looking modification that can be done to a woodworking bandsaw .
 

Ulma Doctor

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#15
if one were so inclined, a 3 phase motor and a VFD would make an excellent drive system for any materials to be cut.
the price may be prohibitive for new components, but with some diligence an inexpensive system can be obtained from used components for the ultimate sawing experience
 

Kernbigo

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#16
why waste your money on vfd dives when a lot of treadmills are free off the curb
 

Ulma Doctor

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#17
why waste your money on vfd dives when a lot of treadmills are free off the curb
the challenge to do something others fear to do, in my case
 
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