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 09-14-2004, 21:01 Post: 96480
DeTwang



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 converting wood band saw to metal

I have this welding handbook that describes how to convert a wood cutting bandsaw to metal. Mostly by changing the blade and slowing it way down through gear reduction.

It has a table that lists various tyoes of metal and the corresponding blade type/speed for each.

However, for stainless stell it says "not recommended". But it gives no reason why.

Unfortunately, I'm neck deep in a project for the youth group at church that requires me to bend an arc into stainless tubing, then cut the tubing in two so that I have an arc'e half tube which can then be welded to another piece of stainless.

The idea is to make a stainless steel counter top with a one and a half inch radius (actually a 3/4" radius, 1 1/2" high) along the front edge.

Any idea why the book says "not recommended" and how I can get around this non recommendation? There's no budget to send this thing out for fabrication at a shop so I have to do it myself somehow.






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 09-14-2004, 21:08 Post: 96483
AV8R



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 converting wood band saw to metal

The blade won't go slow enough. Too much surface speed of the blade through the stainless will burn up the blade. Experience of an ex-machinist.






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 09-14-2004, 21:18 Post: 96484
DeTwang



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 converting wood band saw to metal

So how do I cut the tubing?






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 09-14-2004, 21:25 Post: 96485
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 converting wood band saw to metal

Angle grinder with LLOOTTSS of cut-off wheels would be one option. Take it to the local High-school machine shop and have them cut it/learn a stainless lesson, could be another option.

Stainless is a very "tough" material. Not necessarily hard, but gummy and abrasive to cutters. Cutters must be run slowly, but with a heavy feed to cut well in stainless.






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 09-14-2004, 21:37 Post: 96487
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 converting wood band saw to metal

Stainless can be sawed, but requires a hard blade with an aggressive pitch. Also needs to be run very slowly. There are many different grades of stainless, the most common is 304. 304 stainless can be machined and sawed, but only with the right blades, at the right speeds, with coolant. Thin stainless is usually Plasma cut in a water bath to control distrotions, since it is so sensitive to heat.

Also, be aware that it is very easy to contaminate stainless steel with carbon steel. Don't wire brush, grind, or abrasive cut stainless with wheels that contain carbon steel. You will cause the stainless to corrode where the contamination occurs.






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 09-14-2004, 21:56 Post: 96491
DeTwang



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 converting wood band saw to metal

I've been eyeing a portable plasma cutter (thermal dynamics cutmaster 50, or a small hobart).

Would cutting the tubing with a plasma cutter be something I could do myself? I'm not sure how that works since there are two levels of steel separated by air when cutting tubing. Do you cut through one side at a time or both top and bottom of the tubing at once?

Also, how does cutting in a coolant bath work? Having a hard time imagining how that works. Is that something that is neccessary, and if so, can I do it this way myself?

I guess I'd make a plywood guide to help me cut the tubing accurately.

Any thoughts/advice beyond what has been already offered?

Thanks,
Mark






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 09-14-2004, 22:11 Post: 96492
AV8R



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 converting wood band saw to metal

That will work. One side at a time. Don't worry about coolant with a hand held cutter, you'll electrocute yourself. Watch the heat build up, it will warp your project. Cut small sections at a time to keep heat down.

A small plasma has a million uses, I didn't know this project had that kind of budget.






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 09-14-2004, 22:24 Post: 96493
DeTwang



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 converting wood band saw to metal

The project doesn't have that kind of budget. But I've been eyeing those things for a long time. It'll be a couple months (maybe less) before I get to the countertop, so maybe by then 'my budget' will allow for that.... Smile It'll be handy for another part of the project in that I need to cut their logo intop steel before the project is done.

I'm working on the thing at my mountain hideaway up north, and hoping to break away for another few days worth in early october.

But in case I don't come up with the cash for a plasma cutter in time, I need to come up with plan "B".







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 09-17-2004, 16:11 Post: 96723
rabbittrun



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 converting wood band saw to metal

try a 4 x 1/16" x 3/8 cut off blade in air tool.






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 01-10-2005, 00:45 Post: 103882
tomrscott



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 converting wood band saw to metal

Forgive me for a completely different approach, but is there really some reason that you couldn't just bend the tubing and weld it on without cutting it open? If I am envisioning correctly what you are describing, this would just give you a 360 degree rolled edge instead of a 180 degree rolled edge? Seems like a better design all the way around.

Just a thought.






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