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Question about band saw speed

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Forum topic by Charlie75 posted 01-01-2014 01:06 PM 857 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Charlie75

286 posts in 1729 days


01-01-2014 01:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: band saw cut speed

I have a Chraftsman band saw (#124.32607) which has two speed settings. (1620 and 3340) Many who have saws with multiple speed capabilities tell me that they never change the speed of their band saws not matter what they are cutting.
I mostly use my saw for boxes made with soft or semi hard wood. I am looking for opinions. Where do you set your saws?
Charlie

-- Charlie75, Alto


15 replies so far

View Rob's profile

Rob

229 posts in 2451 days


#1 posted 01-01-2014 02:39 PM

Charlie, I have the same Band Saw. The higher speed (3340 ft/min) is for all wood cutting while the lower speed (1620 ft/min) is for metal cutting. Also, keep an eye on the wheel bearings. I had one go bad on the lower wheel and have only had the saw about a year (Loud screeching and grinding sound). I bought new bearings from vxb.com and replaced all four. Now it purrs like a kitten again.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1910 days


#2 posted 01-01-2014 03:23 PM

Rob I think 1620 fpm is a bit too high for metal,As far as I know the speed for cutting metal is 100 to 300 FPM. blade type is also a factor.
http://freetechnicalcharts.com/Band_Saw_Speed_Chart_for_Metal.php

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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Charlie75

286 posts in 1729 days


#3 posted 01-01-2014 03:37 PM

Hey Rob, Thanks for your reply. Somehow I got the idea in my head that the lower speed was for wood. I did finally locate my book that came with the saw it said the same.

I have, so far, not noticed any problems with the bearings but I will be watching for that. And any new bearings won’t come from Sears.

Took a peak at your projects. That router table is a spitting image of mine. lol I am new here and have not gotten around to post any photos yet.

Charlie

-- Charlie75, Alto

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

2018 posts in 1632 days


#4 posted 01-01-2014 03:47 PM

Hello Charlie,

I think here you will find your answer:
http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/woodworking-tips-1205may/askthestaff.html

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1910 days


#5 posted 01-01-2014 04:14 PM

Thin ,non ferrous metal can be cut with bimetal blades,on bandsaw,miter saw,etc. but proper metal cutting speed on a band saw is 100-300 fpm

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Rob's profile

Rob

229 posts in 2451 days


#6 posted 01-01-2014 04:15 PM

I agree with you distrbd. Slower speeds are much better for metal cutting but this particular saw only has two speeds available. The 1620 ft/min speed with the right metal cutting blade will cut non ferrous metals ok (Copper tubing, thin Aluminum etc.) Personally, I don’t use my band saw to cut any metals, only wood and keep it at the 3340 ft/min speed.

Charlie, I used to own a Grizzly shaper but found that the table was too small for most of the work that I do so I sold it and made that router table. It works great and it gets used often! The reason I bought the Craftsman Band Saw was because it was a Rikon clone and the price was right for me at the time. If I had it to do over again, I would have bought a different saw. There’s a couple of quirks that I don’t care for. There’s a couple of metal pieces that make moving and installing different blades harder than it should be. They tend to catch the blade when maneuvering it. They serve no purpose other than to make the saw visually appealing (fit and finish). Also the slot in the table is toward the front where you stand rather than out to the right side of where you stand. This means I have to remove my Rikon fence every time I switch blades. If it were where many saws have the table slot it would be as simple as turning the blade 90 degrees when removing or installing it and the fence bracket could remain in place.

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2088 days


#7 posted 01-01-2014 04:30 PM

Rob, I dont have a craftsman saw but would it not be easier to take the entire table off to change blades. Mine comes off lickety split.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 1502 days


#8 posted 01-01-2014 04:42 PM

would it not be easier to take the entire table off to change blades
No, not on this saw. The blade goes through the middle. There is a slot on the table going from the middle to the front edge. The front edge is covered by a fence (that only takes 10 seconds to remove/replace on a Rikon – is the craftsman clone different?) If he undoes the entire table, it is still wrapped around the blade. He has to take the fence off to slide the blade out from the table.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1910 days


#9 posted 01-01-2014 04:44 PM

Rob you are right ,I have a Delta clone with the same speed settings for wood/metal but you wouldn’t believe how many people heavily mod these wood cutting bandsaws to cut metal,at the end of the day it is wiser to leave these wood cutting 14” bandsaws to either cut wood or mod it once and leave it to cut metal.
I also never use my bandsaw to cut metal.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View DKV's profile

DKV

3940 posts in 1968 days


#10 posted 01-01-2014 05:49 PM

Check the manual.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Charlie75's profile

Charlie75

286 posts in 1729 days


#11 posted 01-01-2014 06:05 PM

When replacing blades on my Cman saw I do remove the table. It involves removing four bolts and lifting it off. The main reason I do this is it is so much easier to fine tune the bearings without the table in the way.
As for the metal cutting speed I don’t cut metal on my band saw at all.
I got my saw for much the same reason Rob did. It was what I could afford at the time. it was on sale. Still is. I saw it yesterday at Sears for $399.
I didn’t discover the Rikon clone thing until after I got the saw. As for the fence that some of you have mentioned it’s a non issue on the Chraftsman. It didn’t come with a fence.
Charlie

-- Charlie75, Alto

View Rob's profile

Rob

229 posts in 2451 days


#12 posted 01-01-2014 06:51 PM

Taking the table off to change blades would be the ideal thing to do but as stated above, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Most of the time I have a 1/2” blade on the saw but when I need a 1/4” blade or smaller for some curved work, it’s usually just a quick couple of cuts and I’m done. For this reason, I leave the table on when changing blades because I don’t want to get into a 15-20 min stoppage in work time. My fence is the Rikon fence that I purchased after I bought the saw. I read several different posts about how it was an exact fit. Well they were half right. The holes to bolt the fence onto the table are where they need to be left to right but require a 1/8” thick wood shim to get the portion of the fence that attaches to the table to sit properly so the fence itself will lock and/or slide on top of the table. I guess the table on the Craftsman clone is 1/8” thinner than on the Rikon so when removing the fence and table, it becomes a little time consuming getting it all to line up right and reattached. Charlie is right about the lower bearings being a pain to adjust without the table being off but I modified some Hex key wrenches just for this purpose. I’d love to sell my saw and get something better but wanting that and convincing my better half is easier said than done!

View Charlie75's profile

Charlie75

286 posts in 1729 days


#13 posted 01-01-2014 07:05 PM

I was going to get a Rikon fence but when I asked at Woodcraft I was shown a Carter magfence. They are nice but the few time I need one was not worth it. There are other things I need more. Like a blade stabilizer and or cool blocks for my saw.
I have to admit that I don’t always take the table off but it is a ton easier without it.
Charlie

-- Charlie75, Alto

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2412 posts in 2386 days


#14 posted 01-02-2014 01:13 AM

I take the table off of my G0555 to adjust the guides. Takes about a minute to remove or install the table.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Charlie75's profile

Charlie75

286 posts in 1729 days


#15 posted 01-02-2014 01:45 AM

Makes it much easier doesn’t it Jim. Take me probably about 2 minuets. Mine has four short bolts.

-- Charlie75, Alto

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