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  1. #1

    Default Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Hello Everyone,

    I recently upgraded my 14 inch Delta Knock-off* wood cutting band saw. I would like to convert the 14 inch Band Saw to a metal cutting band saw. As I see it, I have three options. #1 Purchase the parts needed to modify it to operate like a Delta 28-348. #2 Use auxiliary step pulleys to reduce the blade travel speed. #3 Use some type of electric variable speed control to reduce the blade travel.

    It appears to me the best option would be #3. Cost of Speed Controller(?). and labor involved. What if any downsides might exist? The next option would be #2 add Step Pulleys and Belts to reduce blade travel speed.I see cost as being less for materials, but labor would be greater. What downsides are there for this option? #1 Add factory parts needed such as Gears, Pulleys, Belts. I believe the parts would expensive($350+). Labor also would be more then the other two options.

    I appreciate any help I can get on this modification.

    Respectfully,
    Benjamin J. "Joe" Browning





    * The 14 inch bandsaw is a Denco, but is identical in all the parts to a 14 inch Delta even down to the casting numbers.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Teikas Dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    I thought about doing the same thing. I read up on it and the biggest issue obviously is slowing down the blade speed. As the band saw runs on an AC motor it is apparently a bit more involved than using a simple reostat to reduce the voltage. Various companies make and sell router speed controllers, here's one that Grizzly sells - 20 amp model: G3555 Router Speed Control - 20 Amp

    I'm thinking that a router speed control might be a viable option as it will handle the amperage and is built for controlling the speed on an AC motor.

    If I'm wrong in my assumption, somebody please jump in here and correct me!
    2012 Kubota B3200 FEL/BH w thumb R4

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    if it is a knock off, and I have one of the knock offs a reliant band saw. Then good luck cutting streight. The amount of money you will dump into it will be better spent on a better machine. Look at the grizzleys.
    This is what I did for my saw.
    1. new urthane wheels
    2. cobra spring (heavy duty spring)
    3. larger crank so I wasnt hitting my knuckles
    4. new guide blocks
    5. new blade.
    I am mostly cutting green cherry wood and I still have some issues when its tracking. Both wheels are level, and I have tried to do as much to make it cut like a better built machine.
    I was able to get it for ~100, and spent another 50 ish on it an it cuts like a 150.oo band saw :0

    using a wood BandSaw for metal work???? [Archive] - WeldingWeb™ - Welding forum for pros and enthusiasts
    can i use a wood band saw to cut metal? - THE H.A.M.B.
    two topics on making the switch.
    www.stormspoons.com my website
    http://www.etsy.com/people/Forgeblast?ref=pr_profile
    Is where I also have spoons listed.

  4. #4
    Silver Member Mendonsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Do you know what motor it uses???
    If it has a capacitor (most single phase 115 & 230 volt motors do) you won't be able to use a speed control with it!
    The best (not cheapest) setup would be to find a 3 phase motor the right size and use an inverter drive to run it.
    I use one of these on my drill press with a 1/2 hp 3 phase motor.
    FM50 Series Sub-micro AC Drive 1/4 to 3HP

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendonsy View Post
    Do you know what motor it uses???
    If it has a capacitor (most single phase 115 & 230 volt motors do) you won't be able to use a speed control with it!
    The best (not cheapest) setup would be to find a 3 phase motor the right size and use an inverter drive to run it.
    I use one of these on my drill press with a 1/2 hp 3 phase motor.
    FM50 Series Sub-micro AC Drive 1/4 to 3HP
    I did modify my 14'' wood band saw to cut steel.I had in stock a motor with a included gearbox .3hp 110volts so with that. gearbox, the speed of the blade is reduced from about 2000fpm to 200fpm. for me this as been a very practical tool .my bandsaw is a cheap ''king'' amateur band saw with a blade .375'' by 92'' Ron

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Hi Guys,

    I recently re-powered a 14" Walker Turner bandsaw with a re-purposed DC motor (90VDC, 15AMP) from a treadmill I salvaged from the dump. The power supply, controller, everything you need is in the treadmill, albeit spread out a little But...Then again...I have never met anything mechanical I could not TAKE APART It works great on the bandsaw, I can turn it up or down, depending on the SFPM I need (Metal or Wood Speeds) when it was originally only setup for wood and any change within the wood cutting speeds necessitated a belt/pully arrangement change. The DC Motor whirrrrrs up or down with a simple rheostat (Slower-Faster knob). Check out www.surpluscenter.com for everything you need if you cant manage an old treadmill off Craigslist or the local dump. Most are moved twice, once from the store to a fat ladys basement where it becomes an unused fixture (Maybe ridden once) until its hauled to the dump from...Lack of use...Everyone I have taken apart showed little or no wear on anything inside the danged thing! Great source for these dandy little motors.

    Just google DC Repower, or DC motor on Youtube or even just Google DC repower. The beauty of the DC motors are they are reversible (Simple polarity swap) and most are inherently and infinitely adjustable by a simple rheostat. I have had great results using these little motors, shoot, I have a stack of them in my shop. When you are bored playing with the cool power options they provide you can slap some blades on them and have a nifty DC producing wind or water turbine.

    Enjoy!

    BTW ; My particular little motor is rated at 1HP, the torque is linear to the RPM's on these motors which makes them very useful for high drag items such as lathes and milling machines. I repowered a little 12" Atlas lathe with a nice 2HP 90VDC motor and have NEVER stalled it once even when a tool digs in and stops the chuck a belt will slip before these DC motors will give....

    Jerry

  7. #7
    Veteran Member sparc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Quote Originally Posted by Teikas Dad View Post
    I thought about doing the same thing. I read up on it and the biggest issue obviously is slowing down the blade speed. As the band saw runs on an AC motor it is apparently a bit more involved than using a simple reostat to reduce the voltage. Various companies make and sell router speed controllers, here's one that Grizzly sells - 20 amp model: G3555 Router Speed Control - 20 Amp

    I'm thinking that a router speed control might be a viable option as it will handle the amperage and is built for controlling the speed on an AC motor.

    If I'm wrong in my assumption, somebody please jump in here and correct me!

    the router speed control will not work, they are different types of motors; capacitor start motor(band saw) vice a universal motor(router).

  8. #8
    Gold Member Teikas Dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Quote Originally Posted by sparc View Post
    the router speed control will not work, they are different types of motors; capacitor start motor(band saw) vice a universal motor(router).
    OK, thanks for the info. All I know is that electric motors are either AC or DC.
    2012 Kubota B3200 FEL/BH w thumb R4

  9. #9
    Bronze Member davel8257's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    I have a friend who has converted most of his machine shop tools to DC motors from surplus center. He builds his own speed controls. Beware of rheostat/resistive controls. The motor is wired across a variable resistor. That resistor dissipates a lot of power at slower speeds. If you are feeding a lot of stock through it, the rheostat windings can heat up. This would be less of an issue at full-up speeds (wood-cutting mode). Some kind of a solid-state controller would be better for running at slower speeds.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Changing a wood cutting band saw to cut metal

    Hello Everyone,

    I believe I have come up with the best solution to convert my 14 inch Delta knock off wood cutting bandsaw to a metal cutting bandsaw. On early Delta 12 inch wood lathes Model # 1460(46-305), you could purchase, as an option, a counter shaft kit (Model 46-864) which allow you to reduce the speed of your lathe substantially. The kit consisted of three pulleys and mounting brackets, bearings, and shaft. In combination with your existing pulleys the speed could be reduced to below 200 rpm. The reduced speed along with a Delta carriage makes a very economical metal lathe. The nicest part is I already have a counter shaft kit that I was going to use on a lathe restoration project, but that project can wait while I look for another counter shaft kit.

    Using the pulleys and shaft from the counter shaft kit along with a couple of bearings and some angle iron will be the the easiest way and by far the cheapest way to convert the bandsaw to cut metal.
    After that is completed the next step will be to make a system to handle the cutting oil.

    Thanks to everyone for your help.

    Respectfully,
    Benjamin J. "Joe" Browning.


    Remembering the words of that wise old American Indian: "Frog that looks on to the northern sky has a toothless blind Muskrat nibbling at it's knee!"

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