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Metal Workers, Do I need a band saw?

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by Dino1, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. Mar 22, 2020 at 8:41 AM
    #1
    Dino1

    Dino1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    or just make do with a chop saw and cutting blade on a 4.5” grinder?
     
  2. Mar 22, 2020 at 8:44 AM
    #2
    jowybyo

    jowybyo Mobtown Offroad

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    Depends. What kind of work are you doing?
     
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  3. Mar 22, 2020 at 8:48 AM
    #3
    Dino1

    Dino1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    General welding for projects, racks, trailers, may shorten a truck frame but I’ll use a plasma cutter for that.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2020 at 8:57 AM
    #4
    jowybyo

    jowybyo Mobtown Offroad

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    Really could go either way. The dry cut chop saws make cuts fast, but the clamps to hold the work piece aren’t great unless you spend a ton of money. The blades are expensive too. Cold saws are great but can be expensive. Bandsaws are slow to cut, but are pretty accurate.

    Personally I like the dry cut chop saws despite some of the flaws.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2020 at 11:20 AM
    #5
    ksJoe

    ksJoe Well-Known Member

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  6. Mar 22, 2020 at 11:23 AM
    #6
    koditten

    koditten Well-Known Member

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    Porta band is my go to cut off tool. I'll use the plasma if I'm cutting on the bench, never when cutting on the vehicle. Too much spark.
     
  7. Mar 22, 2020 at 12:22 PM
    #7
    jowybyo

    jowybyo Mobtown Offroad

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    Not a lot of control with a portaband. End up filling a lot of gaps.
     
  8. Mar 22, 2020 at 12:39 PM
    #8
    ridefreak

    ridefreak Well-Known Member

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    I'm not metal worker but I do use the HF metal bandsaw like KSJoe linked to, I never use the pipe cutting option (laid down) but I often use the vertical one. The floor standing frame on the HF saw is garbage, flexes and the wheel mounts bend as your trying to roll it around. I use it allot so I made it's standup configuration permanent. Now it takes up less room in the garage and rolls around like it should.

    [​IMG]

    It paid for itself when I was building this.
    [​IMG]

    There's also a kit to turn a portaband into a mounted vertical band saw, it's pretty slick but pricey.
     
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  9. Mar 22, 2020 at 12:52 PM
    #9
    Dino1

    Dino1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just thinking I might cruise CL to find one of the HF bandsaws then I remembered I only have a Miata to pick it up with. : (
     
  10. Mar 25, 2020 at 12:52 PM
    #10
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    I think that depends on just which saw and how many years of experience

    it was about all I used if possible in the field.

    I could say the same about torches and plasma having poor control .

    My Horizontal saw in the shop saw lots of use over the years.

    If you never had one you can`t really miss it.
     
  11. Mar 25, 2020 at 12:58 PM
    #11
    FirsandFire

    FirsandFire Well-Known Member

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    No you don’t NEED one but as soon as you buy one, you’ll realize how much easier it makes even simple projects. Mine is one of the most used tools in the shop.
     
  12. Mar 25, 2020 at 1:00 PM
    #12
    Tttacodan

    Tttacodan Well-Known Member

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    I got a portaband a couple years ago, Use it all the time. Faster and easier for a lot of things.
     
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  13. Mar 25, 2020 at 1:23 PM
    #13
    jowybyo

    jowybyo Mobtown Offroad

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    Sure. I still don't want to use it to consistently make mitered cuts.
     
  14. Mar 25, 2020 at 2:37 PM
    #14
    Dino1

    Dino1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If cost was no concern should I get a plasma cutter before considering a band saw?
     
  15. Mar 25, 2020 at 5:58 PM
    #15
    koditten

    koditten Well-Known Member

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    No.

    Bandsaw is going to be used the most. You don't need dedicated floor space to use the porta band.

    I've used base model band saws. The portable bandsaw will be much more user friendly than a base model.

    There are vids all over the internet on how to turn the portable bandsaw into a based model. Save some money and go that route.
     
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  16. Mar 25, 2020 at 6:05 PM
    #16
    Pickeledpigsfeet

    Pickeledpigsfeet Well-Known Member

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    With a plasma cutter you will still have to clean up most cut edges. After cutting with a band saw, you flap wheel it and start welding.

    Cheapest route is HF bandsaw and chop saw. Can do 90% of everything you need. 4.5” grinder with flaps and cut off wheels for everything else.
     
  17. Mar 25, 2020 at 6:10 PM
    #17
    Pickeledpigsfeet

    Pickeledpigsfeet Well-Known Member

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    ridefreak and koditten like this.
  18. Mar 26, 2020 at 2:46 PM
    #18
    682bear

    682bear Well-Known Member

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    I have 3 bandsaws... an Enco 4x6, (identical to the HF mentioned above), a Johnson horizontal 12x18, and a Startrite 18x10 vertical. I use at least one of the saws just about every day.

    It will surprise you how many uses you will find for a bandsaw once you have it...

    The 'Big Johnson'... as it was when I brought it home... it needed some minor repairs and a blade. This thing is 6 feet long and weighs around 700 pounds.
    20180220_103617.jpg

    I don't have any pics of the other 2 on my phone.

    -Bear
     
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  19. Mar 27, 2020 at 3:20 AM
    #19
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose that is a option if your limited on space.

    I used my deep Cut Porta band once since it came of the truck just thinking that was about 10 years or longer ago

    There might be a long learning curve for someone that never used one
     
  20. Mar 27, 2020 at 3:23 AM
    #20
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    If you need to clean up after a plasma cut something is wrong .
    unless the material is so rusty and dirty a clean cut is impossible
     

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