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Ron Bontz
12-04-2015, 10:56 PM
So I decided I really need a metal vertical band saw. I would love to keep both my 18" wood and add the metal one. But I am out of room. So any thoughts on the new wood/metal band saws? I've looked at Shop Fox, Grizzly and Jet. The jet is a pulley system. The others are VFD variable speed. Thanks in advance.

Dan Hintz
12-06-2015, 2:19 PM
I have a Jet 18" dual-speed with a metal-capable blade on it... I cut wood all day, but it'll slice through a nail without flinching. Would something like that be okay? At the slow speed, non-ferrous metals (e.g., aluminum block) aren't a problem.

Ron Bontz
12-06-2015, 2:33 PM
Hi Dan,
I will be cutting an assortment of metals. Bronze, stainless, and other alloys. So ferrous and non ferrous. In looking at the different sub $3000.00 machines, the above were the first I came across. I believe there is one called Craftex as well. Looks like a Shop Fox. The Jet was the most expensive of the three. Not having dealt with any of these combo machines I am really in the dark. I am very happy with my PM3520 Lathe with the VFD, so I am leaning toward those, but Jet has a better rep. than the others. Hence the question. I am wishing my shop was bigger. Then I could just get a metal cutting saw and be done with it.

Bruce Page
12-06-2015, 2:43 PM
Search flea-bay or Craigslist for DoAll bandsaw. DoAll was the gold standard metal cutting bandsaw back in my machinist days.

Allan Speers
12-06-2015, 3:09 PM
Search flea-bay or Craigslist for DoAll bandsaw. DoAll was the gold standard metal cutting bandsaw back in my machinist days.


DoAll made great machines, but the problem with most of the vintage saws, and especially the wood-metal ones, is that they have very limited resaw height.

Personally, I wouldn't get a combo machine, I'd be looking as hard as I could to find space for a second, smaller metal BS. I had a Do-All for a short time, and quickly tired of all the cross-contamination, both from metal dust and from the oil.

Ron, you didn't say what size metal you'd be cutting. Maybe you could get by with a smaller BS, even a wood machine modified for metal. - I'm thinking about doing this with my (currently not used) vintage 1940's Sears 12". I'd just change the motor pulley and then add an oiler system & blower.

Another, very workable solution, depending on the size of your work and wether you need to cut curves, is to get a Nobex hand miter saw, with their optional aluminum & ferrous blades. I have this now and use it all the time to cut various pipes and aluminum / steel rails, etc. It will handle up to 6" wide stock, and it very accurate.

Kevin Nathanson
12-06-2015, 4:32 PM
I have the Grizzly saw and like it very much. Download the manual for the details, but it is both a belt change and VFD for speed change; it is dual range. It is an excellent saw; I use it with a thin blade for curve cutting wood so I don't have to change the blade on my 24" Agazzani. With a fine tooth metal blade it cuts very well in sheet, tube and channel metal.

K

Bruce Page
12-06-2015, 5:05 PM
DoAll made great machines, but the problem with most of the vintage saws, and especially the wood-metal ones, is that they have very limited resaw height.


Very true about the limited re-saw height on the DoAll machines, a lot depends on your needs. I could be wrong but I think Ron is looking for something a little more industrial to facilitate his hand plane business. Most 14" and up bandsaws will cut nonferrous metals without much problem. Cutting SS and other ferrous alloys is a different story. I once had to cut brick size blocks out of 3" inconel 718 plate. The DoAll didn't complain. Fortunately the saw had power feed!

Ron Bontz
12-09-2015, 11:43 PM
I have the Grizzly saw and like it very much. Download the manual for the details, but it is both a belt change and VFD for speed change; it is dual range. It is an excellent saw; I use it with a thin blade for curve cutting wood so I don't have to change the blade on my 24" Agazzani. With a fine tooth metal blade it cuts very well in sheet, tube and channel metal.

K
Which Griz. did you get?

Kevin Nathanson
12-10-2015, 1:24 AM
Which Griz. did you get?

The G0640X, which is a 17" saw (131.5" blade length). It is really quite a good saw. The guides are a little irritating to set, but Grizzly actually has a set of euro guides that will fit that saw, which I may spring for someday. It's basically their 513 family saw—with most of those bells and whistles (they only have about eight flavors of 513's!) with a VFD added in to get you down to 100 fpm if you need it.

K

Ron Bontz
12-15-2015, 12:52 AM
Still looking. Searching for a new mill as well.

Michael Arruda
07-21-2016, 5:58 PM
I have a Powermatic 87 which is slated to replace a Powermatic 81, which is the same saw but wood only. 20" saw with a little over 12" resaw. Constant variable speed and blade welder. You could find one cheaper than a new saw and have a 10x better saw at the same time.

-Michael

Charles Lent
07-22-2016, 9:28 AM
How big do you really need in a band saw for metal cutting? Could it be done with a portable band saw if the saw was mounted in a table? I have a Milwaukee portaband saw that's mounted upright in a small metal table, that I use for metal cutting. The company (SWAG Offroad) that makes the table, makes them for every portable band saw on the USA market. I too, thought I needed a large metal cutting band saw, until I started thinking about what I would actually be cutting. Then I saved a lot of money and space by going this route. The table has miter slots on both sides of the blade for a miter gauge and a separate plate in the center that the saw bolts to (without modification). You just remove the saw foot that comes on the saw and replace it with this table insert. The insert (with saw attached) then just drops into the table and is held in place with one knob/bolt. This makes it easy to remove the saw for portable use or quickly place it back in the table. www.swagoffroad.com. If you already have a Portaband saw, a table like this can be purchased for about $140.

Charley