Tips for Operating a Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
If you have a need to cut metal, then a metal cutting bandsaw may be ideal. When using this kind of saw, there are numerous things that you have to worry about and be aware of. Despite being very helpful and worthy tools, a bandsaw is also very dangerous. The article that follows will share with you tips on how to properly use a metal cutting bandsaw to avoid injury, as well as to get the job done correctly.
Know What You Are Cutting
Prior to using a metal cutting bandsaw, always know what material you are about to cut. The most important thing to note is how thick the material is as well as how soft it is. Aluminum will cut much differently than silver or steel or copper. The density of the metal will determine the settings you use on the saw. For instance, using a fast speed to cut aluminum could cause it to splinter, sending pieces of metal flying, which can cause serious injuries. Always consult the manual that came with the bandsaw, or look on the Internet in relation to the model you have and what you are cutting.
Always Use the Vice
One of the safety features that comes with a metal cutting bandsaw is an attached vice. The purpose of the vice is to grip the metal you are cutting so you do not have to get your hand anywhere near the blade. When you are cutting any metal for any reason, always use the vice.
The Right Blade
A metal cutting bandsaw is specially constructed with cutting metal in mind. but to do so you will need to use the right blade. Metal cutting blades have smaller teeth that are closer together. They are made this way to take away smaller bits of metal, which prevents the blade from becoming stuck. When you purchase blades, the metal they are meant for is listed on the packaging. A blade for aluminum should never be used with steel because aluminum is much softer than steel. The blade would break.
Metal and Cutting Speeds
When using a metal cutting bandsaw, you need to do so carefully. Cutting metal at the incorrect speeds can cause you trouble by warping, shredding or simply sending shards of metal at you. A metal cutting bandsaw operates its feed by feet per minute, which should never exceed 300. Aluminum should be cut around 120 and 260, steel between 110 and 160 and copper between 170 and 250 for example. These speeds can change depending on the type of blade you are using so always consult the blade's information.
Keep it Cool
One problem that you will face when using a metal cutting bandsaw is having metal warp and saw blades break. This is caused by heat and friction, but also depends on the metal you are cutting. When you cut the metal it is important to keep it and the blade cool while you are cutting it. This simple procedure will cool down the cutting blade and the metal and it will also reduce friction.