How to Use Band Saw Cutting Fluid

What You'll Need
Band saw
Material to cut
Cooling fluid
Cooling pump

Band saw cutting fluid can make your band saw even more useful than it is at the moment. Band saws are one of the most versatile tools in your workshop. It's the one tool which can be used for almost every project that you ever do. Whatever you want to do you can bet your band saw will be useful. A band saw is an ingenious invention which uses a sawblade, which is a continuous band, to cut through the material. The band is rotated which means that the same sawblade continues passing through the material.

The only problem with band saws is that they can get very hot when cutting certain materials. Band saw blades can quickly overheat distorting whatever you are cutting and even damaging the blade. Cutting fluid can be applied while cutting the material to avoid the blade getting too hot. The cutting fluid is applied directly to the blade and this should take away some of the heat to keep the blade within safe temperatures.

Step 1 - Deciding What to Cut

Whether or not you need to use cooling fluid will generally depend on what you are cutting. If you are cutting thin timber then you probably don't need to worry about using any type of cutting fluid. If you're cutting metal then you will always need to use cutting fluid to cool down the blade and to lubricate the blade.

Step 2 - Choosing the Cutting Fluid

There are four main types of cutting fluids which are available. These feature different properties which make them ideal for cutting through different materials. Choosing the right cutting fluid can help to improve the cut and also improve the life of the blade.

  1. Soluble Oil Cutting Fluids - These cutting fluids will become an emulsion when they are mixed with water. These are used diluted and are mixed with water. The concentration of these cutting fluids can be from 3 to 10% with the rest made up with water. These have good heat transfer properties and also offer good lubrication, these are popular in the metal work industry because they are a cheap form of cutting fluid.
  2. Synthetic Fluids - These fluids do not contain any oil based products and are actually made from compounds. They include additives which prevent corrosion and are normally used diluted. Synthetic fluids offer the best cooling when compared to any other cutting fluid but they are some of the most expensive.
  3. Straight oils - These are used without diluting them and are not water soluble. These are made with an oil base and sometimes contain fat and vegetable oils. Sometimes sulphur and chlorine are also included. Oil based products offer the best lubrication but the worst cooling when compared to other cutting fluids.
  4. Semi-synthetic cutting fluids - These are a mixture of both synthetic and soluble cutting fluids and so share some of the characteristics with these. They are also cheaper than synthetic fuels.

Step 3 - Using the Cutting Fluid

The cutting fluid needs to be used whenever you are cutting through metal. The cutting fluid is simply put inside the container where the pump will automatically apply it directly to the blade as and when needed.