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Thread: Cutting drywall on a bandsaw

  1. #1
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    Cutting drywall on a bandsaw

    I rarely work with drywall but today I had to cut a few small pieces with inside corners. I used the bandsaw. It did a great job. Will this dull the blade fast? I know it would not be good for the bearings if done much but for just a few feet of cutting it seems harmless enough.

  2. #2
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    I like a keyhole type saw for that, no bearings to worry about and less mess.

  3. #3
    Drywall dust sucked into an electric motor is not a good thing.

  4. #4
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    Gypsum has a Mohs' hardness rating of 2, chalk if 3, talc is 1. So I don't think you'll see any damage unless there is something else in drywall other than gypsum and water.

  5. #5
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    Oh yes, it will dull the blade fast! If I have some to cut where score and snap won't work, I use a a stab saw or a sabre saw.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  6. #6
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    You must have a good reason for using BS so not going to offer any suggestion on what to use. But I would be using the cheapest blade possible if there is such a thing or one of your old blades.

  7. #7
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    Most drywall has fibreglass in it so sawing it puts that dust in the air. It's really irritating stuff. Score and snap is the way to do it generally. I keep a drywall saw in my tool bag, they do get dull pretty quickly. It's just a straight handled keyhole saw.

  8. #8
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    USVI
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    I would go for the sawzall with a slow speed. Itís not too bad if you score cut the face with a razor.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Most drywall has fibreglass in it so sawing it puts that dust in the air. It's really irritating stuff. Score and snap is the way to do it generally. I keep a drywall saw in my tool bag, they do get dull pretty quickly. It's just a straight handled keyhole saw.
    Based on my research, only fire rated drywall has fiberglass in it. The major ingredient in drywall is air (over 50%) based on the use of a foaming agent (detergent). The second and third major ingredients are gypsum and water. After that, all the other ingredients are controlled to less than 1/2 of one percent.

  10. #10
    Good lord, why would you subject such a lovely tool as bandsaw to drywall? So many other ways to cut it. Did you have to cut a curve in it or? I’ve used an oscillating multi tool with a dust extractor hose right up on the blade for more surgical cuts.
    Still waters run deep.

  11. #11
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    For one or two small pieces I don't think I would worry about it. But I wouldn't make it a habit. The dust is very fine and will get into everything. I had to replace several tools after building my house because of the dust. It'll clog filters very fast. If you have an old router with a fixed base they work well for cutting circles in drywall.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    Based on my research, only fire rated drywall has fiberglass in it. The major ingredient in drywall is air (over 50%) based on the use of a foaming agent (detergent). The second and third major ingredients are gypsum and water. After that, all the other ingredients are controlled to less than 1/2 of one percent.
    Most of the lite versions do, I'd bet 90% of what we use does. Not just the fire code sheets. OSHA says there is very little respirable silica risk even when cut with a saw but... I know doing cutouts on a ceiling will make you itch, so there is enough in it to be irritating at least.

  13. #13
    I’ve never thought of cutting drywall with a BS but here are a couple of stories from my Italian days:

    -Customer was a jewelry artist and wanted a bandsaw for cutting soapstone. To my surprise, he knew about blade speeds and even told me about this water sprayer he used for cooling the cut. I asked him, “How do you keep the machine from rusting?”. His reply: “You don’t”.

    -Customer ran a business making dog chews from deer or elk drop antlers. He ordered a couple of bandsaws and killed them both within a couple of months. From what we could conclude, something about the antler dust was destryoying the bearings, getting in the motors, etc. I think he ended up having to buy a $10K Do-All to satisfy his need.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post

    -Customer ran a business making dog chews from deer or elk drop antlers. He ordered a couple of bandsaws and killed them both within a couple of months.

    Erik
    OMG that had to stink to the high heavens to cut that!!!!
    I cut a dog bone in half once with my bandsaw. Never again. I couldn't get that smell out of my nose for hours!
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 04-10-2021 at 10:26 AM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  15. #15
    friend loaned a bandsaw to his friend who ended up cutting frozen fish on it. When he got it back he threw it out. I cut Acorn squash on my bandsaw a number of times and no ill affects, just blew it off with compressed air after. I still smelled the squash for a few years but it was fine.

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