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bandsaw for cutting metal profiies for frame?

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runcyclexcski View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 May 2018 at 11:40am
Do you use bandsaws to cut profiles when building recumbent frames? I used to have 24-7 access to a 7 HP bandsaw which was 2 meters high, not anymore :(. How large (e.g. how many W) does a DIY-grade bandsaw have to be to cut through Aluminum profiles extrusions routinely (say, up to 10 mm thick, 5x5 walls), say, 5x faster than a hacksaw? I am getting fed up with hacksawing, as it takes time, it's tiresome, and the cuts come out messy. I would think I generate 100W cutting by hand, so, a 500W bandsaw might cut 5x faster. And yet, every saw under 1kW I see online says 'wood' in the specs, no mention of any metal, even Aluminum. I hacksaw 2 mm titanium and steel sheets as well, it takes time (say, 5 min for a 50 mm cut), but it works. So I would think gearing down a 500W bandsaw would do the job. Again, very hard to find data online to support this hypothesis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote owl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 10:51am
I've got two bandsaws -one wood, one metal - both at the bottom end of the price range. Both are wonderful and neither is particularly powerful. Any powered bandsaw will be a lot faster and easier than a hacksaw.

Any bandsaw for wood will work fine for Aluminium if you take it steady. However, the blade speed will be too high for steel. For that check out Axminster or Machine Mart machines (in the UK).

Main thing to watch is that you have enough teeth per inch so that two teeth are in contact with the metal at all times. For thin wall tube this means a very fine tooth indeed. You can get away with it if you are manually feeding the work into the blade on the table, but when the bandsaw is auto-feeding (as is common on metal cutting bandsaws) you will break teeth off...
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runcyclexcski View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote runcyclexcski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 8:19pm
Thank you for your comment! I will make sure I get a fine tooth blade. The one I use for my hacksaw is 24 tpi, and each blade lasts. I also think to couple to tap water for cooling and dust control (e.g. for cutting fiberglass). So I hope there is a way to control where the coolant goes w/o flooding the controls and the motors.

Can you share the brand/wattage of your metal bandsaw? Can it be geared down? My 500 kW drill press has belts and pulleys which I change when I have to drill steel of Ti.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote owl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 6:40am
My metal cutting bandsaw is this one: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/593952/Axminster-Mcb100a.html

Single speed - copes with big blocks of mild steel without any problems. Blocks that take me 45mins to hacksaw through get cut in a couple of minutes. The saw can be positioned vertically and I've made a table to fit to it in this position.

Any of the Axminster (https://www.axminster.co.uk/machinery/saws/bandsaws/metal-cutting-bandsaws) or Machine Mart (https://www.machinemart.co.uk/c/power-hacksaws-bandsaws-metal-cutting-saws/) should do the job. They aren't particularly well made but generally more than good enough.

Coolant shouldn't be a problem as long as you can catch it somewhere. I just tend to use a brush to apply coolant but this is much neater: http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/bandsaw-blade-lubricator.html.
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