Sunday, June 5, 2016

Harbor Freight Bandsaw, Part II

Exchanged dead one for a new one.  After assembling new one: no blade movement no motor movement; motor housing is badly dented.  Either Customer Support has a solution or it goes back and I do not buy another.

I have a Sears 10" bandsaw intended for cutting wood.  Cutting aluminum, especially at angles has never worked well.  Is this a blade problem, or just enough power?  This video shows this bandsaw cutting metal.

The 14 tpi wood blade works on thin aluminum plate slowly, and Idaho license plates very quickly.  It appears that cutting aluminum square tubing is impractical, but the chop saw does that fine.

Ordered a 1/2" specifically metal cutting blade.  Let's see how that does.  A horizontal bandsaw requires less attention but they are either junk or hideously heavy and expensive.

The chop saw does not like cutting 1/2" thick wall aluminum tubing.  It does it, under protest, tripping its thermal circuit breaker.  I shudder to think what a steady diet will do to the blade.

I also notice that bottom of box where the dented motor housing would have been is very badly smashed.  If I turn the pulley that attaches to the motor, I can hear stuff rattling about in the motor.

They are sending a new motor.

1 comment:

Will said...

Metal cutting generally requires a higher tooth count than wood.

One of the defining characteristics of a metal bandsaw is a closely controlled blade. Guides with bearings are common, along with extending arms to keep the guide as close to the object being cut. The band is kept at a higher tension, IIRC, which is one of the reasons for the bearings that the blade touches. It's intended to make precision cuts, to save production costs in fabrication.

I think that is also why they tend to have a blade welder mounted on the chassis. They break blades more often than wood saws do.

The other difference is a wide speed control, as different metals can require radically varying speeds.

Unless you stock extra copies of the blades you normally use, a blade welder is important, if the saw is used for business.