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Discussion Starter #1
I found an INCA woodworking band saw and it's in great shape and looks to be built well. Question is, are the more expensive woodworking band saws good enough to cut the thinner metals? Probably wouldn't ever cut anything thicker than 1/16th.....and I have no idea if metal cutting blades are available for it either but I'm thinking there is?
 

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I have a Jet 14" Bandsaw (Woodworking) that I have converted- you will need to slow the Blade down (Jet offers a kit for this)-I was able to locate a high tpi Blade, and it works pretty well, although you will have to watch your Feed rate and the bearings below the Table-
 

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russlaferrera
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band saw

The book states to cut chrome moly tube the speed is 270 feet per minute.
to cut aluminum 1600 fpm
to cut steel 330 fpm
to cut wood 2700 fpm

The speed for wood vs metal is too fast IMO the blade will burn up unless you can slow it down....russ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup, bands speeds are much slower for metal cutting. I figured I could change the speed with a pulley change but this saw is driven directly off the motor. Thanks for the replies!
 

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That router control will not work with a bandsaw motor which would be strictly AC. To have variable speed control on an AC motor requires an inverter. You could change the motor to a DC permanent magenet motor and buy an inexpensive speed controller for it. Either way is pricey. Check the saw motor to see if it's a multi speed motor(probably not) if so, the wiring can be changed to reduce the speed, but that still won't get you down to the speed you want. Do yourself a favor and keep looking for a metal cutting bandsaw. Good luck.
 

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busted knuckler
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friction cutting

There is a type or concept if you will of using a wood cutting band saw to cut metal. It is called friction cutting. As you already know the problem with cutting metal with a wood shop band saw is that the speed for the Wood cutting band saw is too fast. However if you put a metal blade on the wood shop band saw you can still cut metal under the principal of friction cutting. The blade will almost immediately dull upon applying metal to be cut, but you really are not using the "sharpness" of the blade to cut the metal. Shortly after starting to cut the metal ( 1/8 inch or less, and non ferrous metal only , iron, steel ) you will notice that the metal will begin to turn red from the friction created from the high speed of the saw blade. The metal will begin to soften because of the heat and you can cut thru the metal with this process.
Use extreme caution when doing this, especially if you also use the saw to cut wood. make sure when you begin to cut metal that the saw is clean and devoid of any saw dust.

Hope this helps, I have gotten some really good info from guys on this site, I figure its my turn to contribute something.

Work Bench or Wood Magazine just recently had an editorial article on this very subject.
 

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4*6" chinese bandsaws are cheap. I wouldn't bother converting one.
There's two basic styles. The really cheap harbor freight one. And the mroe expencive hardbor freight one. (That is also the Jet & Grizzly saw, among about all others)
By the time you rebuild the frame, or sure the stock ones up, put a bi-metal bandsaw blade on them & throw together a cheap & dirty DIY water cooling spray they're all descently good units.
Just don't let them overheat the motors.


For the more slick, you can also convert them to different motors, or change the spring feed rate to a hydraulic cylinder.
 
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