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Why are small vertical metal cutting band saws virtually nonexistent??

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TerryH

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#1
I'd love to have a small slow speed vertical band saw. If there were such a thing other than a couple of micro ones I saw. I don't really have room for the foot print of the typical 4x6 saws nor do I care for the tables so would have to build one right from square one. Not enough adjustment to get the blade guides where they really should be etc... I'm going to build a table for my portaband and that will likely suffice but I'd certainly buy something if there was something to buy. Not enough demand for the manufacturers to bother with producing such or??
 

cjtoombs

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#2
You should look for an older model wood cutting bandsaw with a non built in motor, you can add a countershaft to the drive to slow it down. I have an old Craftsman (King Sealey) 3 wheel bandsaw that is slowed down for metal cutting. I order bi metal blades for it and it works great for metal. I think the newer small bandsaws all have a direct drive motor, so changing them over is much more difficult.
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
I've used vertical metal cutting band saws in my working life. They come with built in 'pullers" that you hook up to the piece you're cutting (wrap a bicycle chain around the piece and pull on both ends). It takes forever, you stand there and watch so the saw doesn't hit the chain, or so it doesn't stray from the line you're cutting. Time is measured in hours, sometimes. With a horizontal, you set it up and walk away, doing something productive while it cuts. This is iron or steel.
Aluminum, yeah, you can use high speed, but you've gotta keep the blade 'waxed' to keep the gullets from filling up. I use my verticals for aluminum on a regular basis.
 

PMartin

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#4
SWAG Offroad makes a stand/table for a variety of Portabands. No sense reinventing the wheel when you can purchase something at a reasonable price. SWAG Offroad
 

pacifica

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#5
I converted an older Rockwell 14" band saw,Drive is open so easy to convert, bought a boston gear box 10:1 on ebay for minimal amount and connected to motor shaft. It runs about 150 fps. Stiff enough for 4 " steel and can cut curves. I use a bi-metal blade which lasts a long time.
Add 2 pulleys and a belt and ready to go.

Footprint is about 4' by 2.5'.
 

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mikey

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#6
I'd love to have a small slow speed vertical band saw. If there were such a thing other than a couple of micro ones I saw. I don't really have room for the foot print of the typical 4x6 saws nor do I care for the tables so would have to build one right from square one. Not enough adjustment to get the blade guides where they really should be etc... I'm going to build a table for my portaband and that will likely suffice but I'd certainly buy something if there was something to buy. Not enough demand for the manufacturers to bother with producing such or??
I understand your requirements but I would MAKE room for a H/V bandsaw and make a good vertical cutting table for it. No other tool in the shop saves more time and work while taking up so little space.
 

Bi11Hudson

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#7
I may be out of touch with the current state of affairs, but several years back I saw where horizontal band saws could be swung up vertical. There wasn't any feed or other automation but they could cut the metal. I personally never used one, my work is so small. But I do remember seeing them. Harbor Freight had several, but they (HF) often carry weird stuff that is a "one off" article. Watching around may help.
Bill Hudson​
 

jdedmon91

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#8
SWAG Offroad makes a stand/table for a variety of Portabands. No sense reinventing the wheel when you can purchase something at a reasonable price. SWAG Offroad
This is my set up

I have a HF bandsaw on the swag table. Less than 300 in the setup
Here is a video I have on my channel on the saw

I made a plate and mounting system for my workbench that allows me to fasten the bandsaw table to the bench. This is one of the handiest tools in my shop. Here is the video on the plate
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tomw

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#10
I third the SWAG route. I really like mine for a small shop.
A great little setup.jpg
 

TerryH

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#11
I third the SWAG route. I really like mine for a small shop.
View attachment 268995
Definitely a cool setup. Especially if you have a Milwaukee saw like yours so the table is made just for it. I know it's totally goofy to be this OCD but I just can't stand all the extra holes in the top on the one's that fit my elcheapo Harbor Freight saw. I have some 1/4" plate to make a table for mine that will be held in my woodworking vise.
 

jdedmon91

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I third the SWAG route. I really like mine for a small shop.
View attachment 268995
Definitely a cool setup. Especially if you have a Milwaukee saw like yours so the table is made just for it. I know it's totally goofy to be this OCD but I just can't stand all the extra holes in the top on the one's that fit my elcheapo Harbor Freight saw. I have some 1/4" plate to make a table for mine that will be held in my woodworking vise.
As I showed I did go with the HF saw, and I have the universal table with my SWAG table. As you can see I did mount a handy box with outlets and a switch for my saw on the table. Also I made up the plate in the second video to fasten the table down to the workbench. Later I knocked out some thumbscrews to use in the front holes. Now I have the mounted to the table threaded holes for the thumbscrews to store in.

It’s a neat set up. Even with a HF saw. Like I said I have a small vertical bandsaw for under $250.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

454ragtop

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#13
They're around, I have a 300MM (little more than 12") little import that looks like a DoAll, imported, has a slick shift on the fly 4 speed transmission. I lucked out and found it used for short money, they tend to be somewhat expensive. Looks a lot like this Jet, but a little smaller http://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/vbs-1408-14-vertical-bandsaw/414483
 

WalterC

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#14
I made a cage for mine. Use it for horizontal cutting or flip it up for vertical. Does a good job, but it doesn't have a large table.

Portable bandsaw stand 11-23-15 004.JPG
Portable bandsaw stand 11-23-15 016.JPG
 

Brian Hutchings

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#15
I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'small'
I have a Proxxon metal cuttiing bandsaw which was bought to cut out sheet metal brass and steel components for model traction engines but I have used it on 1/2" inch thick by 2" inch mild steel and it coped very well.
I keep 2 blades, 1 for brass and another for steel and copper.
I don't know if Proxxon is a known make in the US of A but it may be known under another name.
Brian
 

9t8z28

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#16
I 4th on the SWAG offroad portaband saw table. Its very very compact. I have the Harbor Freight portaband saw and a Harbor Freight foot pedal. They offer 2 styles of pedals. One is on and off with each pedal press. The other is on with each pedal press and when you release the switch goes off. This setup is the way to go. The only issues I have had are that the Harbor Freight blade does not sit perfectly verticle on the table so I had to shim it which was pretty easy. The other issue I had was that when cutting, the blade tends to Twist so you have to push in towards te blade on a slight angle. Not a big deal considering the cost and versatility of the machine. Both issues are not the fault of Swag offroad.
 

Kernbigo

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#18
YOU don't need a gear box just a treadmill motor and a metal cutting blade. I silver solder my own blade from do all material
 

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Silverbullet

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#19
If you can find an older saw with cast iron construction , most everyone can be slowed down to cut metal. I've been watching and wanting one for years . Mostly when I see them I'm out of money or to far to get for me. It's not like I can hop in the van and drive , buy it load up and leave. This being disabled really really SUCKS. But drs are burning nerves now finally making slow strides to some freedom.
Find a gear reduction motor or drive system and just add pulleys line up and cut. About two months ago there was two units on eBay that had a gear reduction and variable speed on them , They sold I think for $75 each. I put them on here because of the small LATHES they could have powered . Now there's some listed for $350. Each . Gear reduction drive is the way to go , plenty of torque is big plus.
 

pontiac428

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#20
I have a 14" Enco vertical band saw that I "converted" to metal by flip-flopping all of the pulleys around to get the max reduction. It's good for aluminum now, but one of these days I'm going to break down and buy some more pulleys from surplus center to get just a bit more reduction. It's a legit way to go, no funky tinkering or dangerous rigging to get from point A to point B.
 

Buffalo21

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#21
I bought one of the Swag portaband tables, thought it was junk and eventually ended up giving it away to a guy, who later threw it away. I use portabands saws everyday at work, they are hardly a precision tool, they are a crude cut off saw. My table was used with 4 different saws, one of them was brand new, just way too much blade flex. I can cut better or just as good, by hand, without the table.
 

markba633csi

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#22
I modified a Ryobi 903 to cut metal. The oem saw uses an XL style timing belt, I had a large XL pulley I had left over from a robotics project.
I like the model because it has ball bearing blade guides- bit of a pain to adjust but cuts nice and takes up little space-with a variable speed motor it would be terrific
Mark
 

TerryH

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#23
I finally gave in and bought the Swag. Never could seem to find the time to build a stand. Got it today. It's a nice piece. One disappointment is that they didn't send me the right table insert. There are 2 countersunk holes but not the correct ones for the HF Bauer saw. I doubled checked to make sure that I ordered the correct on for the HF saw and I did. No issue. I countersunk the correct ones and got it together. Works well. Glad I finally got the Swag.

Close but no cigar...





Bolted in it's new home...



I had a foot switch that I use on my router table so I just moved it over to the saw...



I'll get a velcro strap but a zip tie sufficed for tonight to hold the switch engaged...



Overall I'm happy with the Swag and the HF Bauer saw. Seems like it'll be a good combo. I like that the saw comes out of the table with one knob and the insert will make using the saw easier when it's hand held. I'm going to keep searching for a real 14" or similar vertical metal saw but this will do for now.

 

9t8z28

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#24
TerryH. Did you just purchase the saw as well? The Bauer brand seems to be somewhat new at Harbor Freight? I got my HF Saw and Swag table about 2 years ago now. One thing I noticed about my saw is that cuts crooked. I still have not fixed it yet. Do you notice that yours does this or I’m wondering since yours is a Bauer that might be different ? I too have a footpedal that I got from HF. It works great but it’s a little tall.
 

TerryH

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#25
TerryH. Did you just purchase the saw as well? The Bauer brand seems to be somewhat new at Harbor Freight? I got my HF Saw and Swag table about 2 years ago now. One thing I noticed about my saw is that cuts crooked. I still have not fixed it yet. Do you notice that yours does this or I’m wondering since yours is a Bauer that might be different ? I too have a footpedal that I got from HF. It works great but it’s a little tall.
I've had the saw for a few months. The new one is much improved over the old version which I also have. I use Lennox blades and they perform quite well. I made several test cuts last night and was very pleased with how it cut.
 

9t8z28

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#26
This is very interesting. I was wondering if you wouldnt mind pointing out the differences that you notice that you feel have improved it. My saw works but it could be better. The crooked cut gets to be a little annoying but I really dont think about it much as I automatically watch where the cut is going. I always think to myself that there are not any affordable metal band saws available and I can do most anything I want with this. I am very happy to have such a versatile tool. I use it all the time and have cut to its max depth on many many occassions and it performed very well.
I noticed recently that the top wheel is starting to get runout. I havent found a way to get rid of it though.
Oh, one quick suggestion. I am not sure how long your blades last before wearing out or breaking but the best way to make a blade last without breaking is to release the tensioner after you are done using it. In 2 years I have gone through 5 blades. 2 were El Cheapo’s from HF and the other 3 were Milwaukee. I have only broke one blade and that was because a few teeth got ripped off of it and it grabbed into a part I was cutting off. I am still using one of the remaining 3 name brand blades. The other 2 name brand blades wore out but have never broke. Releasing the tension allows the band to relax and prolongs its life. It is recommended t do this with all bandsaws but unfortunatly its not practical to do this with most machines. The portabands are the exception.
Lastly, I found a blade that I highly recommend for these portable bandsaws. Its a Milwaukee 10tpi Deep Cut. I have cut plastic aluminum steel brass in all different shapes and sizes. The tooth count and blade angle has been very universal to any material and material thickness. I never change it out. Just thought this bit of info would help anyone with one of these. Oh, and they are cheap. My local family owned hardware store which isnt cheap sells these for $9. Here is a picture of the box.

EBCF78A1-9E8C-4CD6-A808-53BD96E694F5.jpeg
I've had the saw for a few months. The new one is much improved over the old version which I also have. I use Lennox blades and they perform quite well. I made several test cuts last night and was very pleased with how it cut.
 

bpimm

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#27
I put a treadmill motor on my 14" Delta, now it will cut metal or wood with the variable speed.
 

TerryH

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#28
This is very interesting. I was wondering if you wouldnt mind pointing out the differences that you notice that you feel have improved it. My saw works but it could be better. The crooked cut gets to be a little annoying but I really dont think about it much as I automatically watch where the cut is going. I always think to myself that there are not any affordable metal band saws available and I can do most anything I want with this. I am very happy to have such a versatile tool. I use it all the time and have cut to its max depth on many many occassions and it performed very well.
I noticed recently that the top wheel is starting to get runout. I havent found a way to get rid of it though.
Oh, one quick suggestion. I am not sure how long your blades last before wearing out or breaking but the best way to make a blade last without breaking is to release the tensioner after you are done using it. In 2 years I have gone through 5 blades. 2 were El Cheapo’s from HF and the other 3 were Milwaukee. I have only broke one blade and that was because a few teeth got ripped off of it and it grabbed into a part I was cutting off. I am still using one of the remaining 3 name brand blades. The other 2 name brand blades wore out but have never broke. Releasing the tension allows the band to relax and prolongs its life. It is recommended t do this with all bandsaws but unfortunatly its not practical to do this with most machines. The portabands are the exception.
Lastly, I found a blade that I highly recommend for these portable bandsaws. Its a Milwaukee 10tpi Deep Cut. I have cut plastic aluminum steel brass in all different shapes and sizes. The tooth count and blade angle has been very universal to any material and material thickness. I never change it out. Just thought this bit of info would help anyone with one of these. Oh, and they are cheap. My local family owned hardware store which isnt cheap sells these for $9. Here is a picture of the box.

View attachment 274352
The new saw is heavier and a more substantial tool in general. Ergonomics are better on the new saw and it is significantly quieter and smoother. I was guessing that the old saw wouldn't last for 5 minutes the way it sounded the first time I used it but I've had it for years and it still sounds awful but has never missed a beat. The frame of the new saw feels more rigid. The old saw had an single bearing guide setup where the new saw has double roller bearing guides. One place the old saw does win out is the switch has a lock that the new saw does not have. Overall the new saw is better on just about every front.
 
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