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Thread: What's the best wat to cut steel?

  1. #51
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Need Advice View Post
    Does anyone here have a bandsaw with a 1/2 blade? Does it cut straight?
    Yes I have an older WF wells handsaw with a 1/2" blade. Buy the best blades available, properly adjust the guides, keep guide space close together ( not like the YouTube yahoos who keep them all the way apart), and use proper feed. It will cut very accurate if this is followed.

  2. #52
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    and that’s with a 10 year old portable bandsaw that’s in the background, practice practice practice…
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  3. #53
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Yes I have an older WF wells handsaw with a 1/2" blade. Buy the best blades available, properly adjust the guides, keep guide space close together ( not like the YouTube yahoos who keep them all the way apart), and use proper feed. It will cut very accurate if this is followed.
    Thank you.

  4. #54
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Weldman_ View Post
    and that’s with a 10 year old portable bandsaw that’s in the background, practice practice practice…
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    thanks.

  5. #55
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    I use band saw and torch. Plate up to 6" bars to 5" and tubing to 24"
    Low cost and simple to come by.

    Dav


    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    As soon as you combine the word "CHEAP" with the word "ACCURATE",, you are doomed to failure,,
    I am sorry, there just is not a "short term" answer.

    Now, I bought my bandsaw, used in good condition, back in the year 2000 for $1,000.
    Per year, my cost has been $47,, and I get WAY better accuracy than 1/16",, I would bet I get better than 1/64" accuracy.

    The saw will cut as accurately as I am willing to spend the time to position the part. So, I can literally get milling machine accurate parts, if I work at it.

    So, are you willing to spend $47 per year?? or,, are you gonna just wish you could make accurate parts??
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  6. #56
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Need Advice View Post
    Maybe i'll try out the HF bandsaw. I have 90 days to return it if i don't like it.
    I have the Harbor Freight 4x6 bandsaw which is 12 years old. Back then it was $115.00 with a 30% off. It still cuts straight and square but it's
    really slow. I replaced them motor 3 years ago and buy made in USA blades from Farm and Fleet.
    I've upgraded to an Ellis 1600 a few years ago. Now that's a real saw.
    There's times when both saws are cutting.
    I got my $$$ out of my 4x6 HF saw for sure.
    If you get it, consider getting the extended warranty.
    You'll probably want to build a base for it. They supplied one is really low and cheesey.
    There use to be a Harbor Freight 4x6 bandsaw group. Maybe try a search.
    Good luck


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #57
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    I have the Harbor Freight 4x6 bandsaw which is 12 years old. Back then it was $115.00 with a 30% off. It still cuts straight and square but it's
    really slow. I replaced them motor 3 years ago and buy made in USA blades from Farm and Fleet.
    I've upgraded to an Ellis 1600 a few years ago. Now that's a real saw.
    There's times when both saws are cutting.
    I got my $$$ out of my 4x6 HF saw for sure.
    If you get it, consider getting the extended warranty.
    You'll probably want to build a base for it. They supplied one is really low and cheesey.
    There use to be a Harbor Freight 4x6 bandsaw group. Maybe try a search.
    Good luck


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks. I started a thread in the harbor freight forum. You are the second person to say the saw is good. I think I'll buy one. It would be nice to afford a name brand bigger saw but i think this saw will do me for now, maybe in the future i'll get another one like you did.

  8. #58
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    In my experience of self learning grinder cut off wheels work great but are messy, loud and not good to inhale the dust meaning put a respirator on, portable bandsaw I say is what to start off with in my opinion to see how it works and to size up a quality bandsaw that works best for you. Look around online for a good used one, take a bit but in mean time you got a bandsaw that can suffice for most part. This is what I scored for $500 after “months” of searching 9 x 16” bandsaw made in America with parts still available, in mean time I got better with cutting torch on accuracy and right flame, got steady with portable bandsaw and resorted to the cut off wheels as last resort. Will go in my shop when I’m done building it.

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  9. #59
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Weldman_ View Post
    In my experience of self learning grinder cut off wheels work great but are messy, loud and not good to inhale the dust meaning put a respirator on, portable bandsaw I say is what to start off with in my opinion to see how it works and to size up a quality bandsaw that works best for you. Look around online for a good used one, take a bit but in mean time you got a bandsaw that can suffice for most part. This is what I scored for $500 after “months” of searching 9 x 16” bandsaw made in America with parts still available, in mean time I got better with cutting torch on accuracy and right flame, got steady with portable bandsaw and resorted to the cut off wheels as last resort. Will go in my shop when I’m done building it.

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    Thanks. Looks like a nice saw.

  10. #60
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    You DO need advice!! It's hard to give you good advice without knowing a little more about what you wish to accomplish with your metal working. How thick of materials, for example. Artwork, or a few nice simple smokers from 55 gallon drums. Regardless, here is some advice, or what I would do given what I know from what you have posted. Keep the small portable bandsaw. Build a stand for it, with a small table, and cut your steel by guiding it with your hands. There are some good examples of what I am talking about here on Welding Web. I made mine to where it lifts out of a "cradle" and I then can use it like the manufacturer intended. As was stated, buy a 5/6 inch angle grinder. Forget about the 9 inch grinder for awhile. I have several and seldom use them. A lot of people get focused on accurate cuts. And that isn't all bad. "The better, the better". But it doesn't take very long to straighten up the cut with the grinder and good abrasives. I'm referring to the same 5/6 inch grinder we were talking about before. Buy some good cutoff disks, and learn how to use them. They don't like to be forced. Let them do the cutting, and you do the guiding. A chop saw, or some variation of a metal cutting saw isn't absolutely necessary at first. Nor is a horizontal bandsaw. A metal table is nice. A heavy metal table is nicer. It doesn't have to be so big. Build it. A vise is nice also. A couple of squares, soapstone, some clamps, visegrips, and level are very useful. And necessary. I don't remember if you have a welder or not. Welder technology has changed a lot in the last while. Prices have also changed. Some of the cheap welders work surprisingly well. As do some of the cheap plasmas. The main thing is to get started making things. Your work will teach you what you need in the line of tools as you go along. I do have a lot of metal working equipment at my disposal, but an awful lot can be done with a grinder, welder, and some simple tools. I wish you well.

  11. #61
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by villageblacksmith View Post
    You DO need advice!! It's hard to give you good advice without knowing a little more about what you wish to accomplish with your metal working. How thick of materials, for example. Artwork, or a few nice simple smokers from 55 gallon drums. Regardless, here is some advice, or what I would do given what I know from what you have posted. Keep the small portable bandsaw. Build a stand for it, with a small table, and cut your steel by guiding it with your hands. There are some good examples of what I am talking about here on Welding Web. I made mine to where it lifts out of a "cradle" and I then can use it like the manufacturer intended. As was stated, buy a 5/6 inch angle grinder. Forget about the 9 inch grinder for awhile. I have several and seldom use them. A lot of people get focused on accurate cuts. And that isn't all bad. "The better, the better". But it doesn't take very long to straighten up the cut with the grinder and good abrasives. I'm referring to the same 5/6 inch grinder we were talking about before. Buy some good cutoff disks, and learn how to use them. They don't like to be forced. Let them do the cutting, and you do the guiding. A chop saw, or some variation of a metal cutting saw isn't absolutely necessary at first. Nor is a horizontal bandsaw. A metal table is nice. A heavy metal table is nicer. It doesn't have to be so big. Build it. A vise is nice also. A couple of squares, soapstone, some clamps, visegrips, and level are very useful. And necessary. I don't remember if you have a welder or not. Welder technology has changed a lot in the last while. Prices have also changed. Some of the cheap welders work surprisingly well. As do some of the cheap plasmas. The main thing is to get started making things. Your work will teach you what you need in the line of tools as you go along. I do have a lot of metal working equipment at my disposal, but an awful lot can be done with a grinder, welder, and some simple tools. I wish you well.
    Thanks for the advice. I have a harbor freight stick welder i bought new and a Lincoln 180 amp MiG that i bought used.

  12. #62
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    After a lot of questions and reading many posts i think I've made up my mind. A dry cut saw works well I'm sure, but its too loud for me because of my hearing damage i think, so I'm going with a cheap HF horizontal bandsaw. I will also see if i can get better blades for my abrasive chop saw and buy a decent grinder as well, probably a Dewalt or Milwaukee. And i will get a decent affordable plasma cutter from primeweld too. It has a 3 year warranty and good customer service. If needed in the future i can upgrade my tools. That's my plan and my goal. Thanks for all the help folks. If anyone has more advice it would be welcome.

  13. #63
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Once you know the length and thickness of the blades, order up some Lennox, Morse or other good manufacturers bi- metal blade. 10-14 tpi is good for lighter material, up to 1/4" or so. 8-12 tpi is good if your cutting a little heavier stock.

  14. #64
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Look for used stuff.

    Many year ago, my first little bandsaw broke. I ran to HF and purchase their bandsaw. Got home, opened the box and said nope... I will not assemble this. Took it back. Purchased a jet swivel head off the floor of a local vendor.

    I would look for used stuff. Regardless of Warranty.


    Good luck

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  16. #65
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    Once you know the length and thickness of the blades, order up some Lennox, Morse or other good manufacturers bi- metal blade. 10-14 tpi is good for lighter material, up to 1/4" or so. 8-12 tpi is good if your cutting a little heavier stock.
    Thanks.

  17. #66
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Great band saw
    My father purchased one in 1948 and sold with business in 2004.
    It was only rebuild 3 times.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by _Weldman_ View Post
    In my experience of self learning grinder cut off wheels work great but are messy, loud and not good to inhale the dust meaning put a respirator on, portable bandsaw I say is what to start off with in my opinion to see how it works and to size up a quality bandsaw that works best for you. Look around online for a good used one, take a bit but in mean time you got a bandsaw that can suffice for most part. This is what I scored for $500 after “months” of searching 9 x 16” bandsaw made in America with parts still available, in mean time I got better with cutting torch on accuracy and right flame, got steady with portable bandsaw and resorted to the cut off wheels as last resort. Will go in my shop when I’m done building it.

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  19. #67
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Lots of good advice. Horizontal/vertical bandsaws are pretty versatile. I got a slightly bigger/better one (7x12) from ENCO before MSC eliminated them that has coolant. 98% of the time it is in horizontal mode and I use the coolant. From time to time I need the vertical mode, and am glad I have the option (no coolant then as it would go everywhere so I turn it off). It has an additional table to put on to use it vertical. 2 screws, no big deal. It is very flexible for a lot of uses. It helps to have a couple adjustable work stands to support longer sticks of metal like the ones from Sumner or others (search for Sumner stands).

    Also GOOD bandsaw blades make a big difference. I buy Lennox from bandsawbladesdirect.com but you need to have an idea of what you are going to cut to get the right range tooth count. They have a chart you can find on the bandsawdirect website from lennox that helps a lot. For my use I keep 18 tooth for thin stuff and 10/14 tooth for thicker. That works for what I do but I probably should also get a 5/8 for the real heavy stuff. But it works for me so far. If you cut heavy sections frequently, you will want coarser blades. All depends on your use. I don't swap back and forth a lot as I am usually either working on something "heavy" or something "light" so the blade stays the same for the duration.
    -Dave
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  20. #68
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Look for used stuff.

    Many year ago, my first little bandsaw broke. I ran to HF and purchase their bandsaw. Got home, opened the box and said nope... I will not assemble this. Took it back. Purchased a jet swivel head off the floor of a local vendor.

    I would look for used stuff. Regardless of Warranty.


    Good luck
    Thank you.

  21. #69
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by davec View Post
    Lots of good advice. Horizontal/vertical bandsaws are pretty versatile. I got a slightly bigger/better one (7x12) from ENCO before MSC eliminated them that has coolant. 98% of the time it is in horizontal mode and I use the coolant. From time to time I need the vertical mode, and am glad I have the option (no coolant then as it would go everywhere so I turn it off). It has an additional table to put on to use it vertical. 2 screws, no big deal. It is very flexible for a lot of uses. It helps to have a couple adjustable work stands to support longer sticks of metal like the ones from Sumner or others (search for Sumner stands).

    Also GOOD bandsaw blades make a big difference. I buy Lennox from bandsawbladesdirect.com but you need to have an idea of what you are going to cut to get the right range tooth count. They have a chart you can find on the bandsawdirect website from lennox that helps a lot. For my use I keep 18 tooth for thin stuff and 10/14 tooth for thicker. That works for what I do but I probably should also get a 5/8 for the real heavy stuff. But it works for me so far. If you cut heavy sections frequently, you will want coarser blades. All depends on your use. I don't swap back and forth a lot as I am usually either working on something "heavy" or something "light" so the blade stays the same for the duration.
    Thank you, i'll look for that chart and download it.

  22. #70
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    I added up the cost of the plasma cutter with 3 year warranty and the cost of the HF bandsaw which will last at least 3 years but probably more going off of what others have said. The total cost of the two tools together over 3 years is $20 a month. I spend that much on a pizza. If i can make that much the tools will pay for themselves, if they last longer than 3 years they will be well worth it, and anything over 20 a month is all profit.

  23. #71
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    Great band saw
    My father purchased one in 1948 and sold with business in 2004.
    It was only rebuild 3 times.

    Dave
    Only reason it got sold to me was cause the business it was at was shut down, originally went there to buy a grain truck which I did buy and I jokingly said I would like to buy that saw he said it's for sale and everything in there had price tag on it. Bought grain truck $250, saw $500 antique vise $50 roller stands $50and few other items.

  24. #72
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Weldman_ View Post
    Only reason it got sold to me was cause the business it was at was shut down, originally went there to buy a grain truck which I did buy and I jokingly said I would like to buy that saw he said it's for sale and everything in there had price tag on it. Bought grain truck $250, saw $500 antique vise $50 roller stands $50and few other items.
    wow truck was cheaper than the saw.

    @need advice. $20 a month for three years is pretty cost effective but is that truly going to be the only cost associated with this endeavor? Insurance, materials, blades and plasma gun consumables, work clothes, rent or mortgage, advertising, utilities etc etc etc. I don’t recal if you mentioned the type of things you will be doing? Artwork, repairs, custom builds, own line of product? Is this a side hustle hobby you are hoping turns into a real 9 to 5 replacement or will this be your main bread and butter? There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to finances and being realistic with true associated costs involved in running a successful business. There are many successful entrepreneurs here that can give you advice on that front as well. Wish you the best of luck and with enough skill and the right attitude you can succeed “thumbs up”.
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

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  26. #73
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    It is great saw. 👍
    The only reason I let go is no space and weight.
    Now I have a 4x6 saw it a lot smaller for a work shop.
    I had to shrink everything including the saw, welding machine, lathe, mill and bottles.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by _Weldman_ View Post
    Only reason it got sold to me was cause the business it was at was shut down, originally went there to buy a grain truck which I did buy and I jokingly said I would like to buy that saw he said it's for sale and everything in there had price tag on it. Bought grain truck $250, saw $500 antique vise $50 roller stands $50and few other items.

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  28. #74
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    I have used one of the Harbor Freight 4x6 bandsaws multiple times and have been absolutely unimpressed. There's a reason you can find countless threads on modifications to make them work better. When I started shopping for bandsaws I wouldn't even consider them...too slow, too limited in cut size and I didn't want yet another project. With my Wellsaw it's simply a matter of adjusting the support arms for the size of cut (most often it's already close enough), picking the right blade tooth pitch and monitoring for blade wear. With that said, I can get straighter cuts on the dry saw with less effort and it's much, much faster.
    Check out my bench vise website:
    http://mivise.com


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  29. #75
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    Re: What's the best wat to cut steel?

    Depending on what you plan on doing impacts your purchase. A plasma has its place like all other tools.
    I still haven't bought a plasma cutter but keep watching for a used one.
    I've been doing fine with my abrasive saws, portable bandsaws, my Milwaukee Metal cutting circular saw, the HF saw, and my Ellis.
    If you're working with small materials, like for artwork, a portaband with table on a stand is perfect. Mine is used all the time. Once you have it, like many tools, you wonder how you did without it.
    As for a grinder, my METABO'S are great ! My first one is over 35 years old and still going.
    I suggest getting a variable speed grinder.
    Using a wire wheel on one with low RPM'S, will extend the life of the wheel and help keep the wires on wheel . You'll also have less wires flying around.
    My portaband stand setup is cheap, and all leftovers materials.
    I made it for in vise use and it worked so well, I adapted to a stand.
    Portaband had a busted casting, so I got it for $25.00. Definitely unsafe for hand use.
    It's definitely great for artwork pieces.


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