Review ebay portable metal cutting bandsaw first impressions.

  1. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,544
    Location:
    halifax, England
    I had been thinking of a getting a metal cutting bandsaw for a while for cutting bar metal for a while. when I got up on the morning after the Europe **********, the first thing I did after making a cuppa was to order one, due to the doom and gloom about changes in currency exchange rates. This was shipped from Germany and priced in pounds sterling, so I ordered it before the prices went up, and they are now £40 more than I paid. (was £192.48)

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371564826151

    my first impression wasn't too good as I broke it trying to cut some wood like this (125mm long which is the maximum for this machine)

    [​IMG]

    The bandsaw has an electronic speed control and I was using it on the fastest setting, and when I fitted the plug I used a 5 amp fuse as I didn't have any 3 amp fuses. After about 10 minutes use (not continious) it stopped working. As this was imported, I took the attitude that warranties arn't worth the paper they are written on and had a look to see what had happened. On the main circuit board there are a couple 6 amp diodes that had blown but had shorted rather than going open circuit. there is also a 4 amp resetable circuit breaker, that didnt go open circuit, but shorted out too. both of these items were replaced and and its been fine since, but I only use it on the slowest speed now.

    there are some very similar looking machines about but are much more expensive, but have no idea what the diffrences are between them.

    this is the mechanism for adjusting the wheel tension, there are no adjustments for alignment though

    DSC04397.JPG

    the blade guide by the driven wheel needed a bit of adjustment to run true(run vertically), the other one is non adjustable. the pivots that the bearings run in that support the blade alos needed adjusting to remove slop between the bearings and the blade.but this is easy to do as the pivots are eccentric so just need turning to do this. (don't think this is mentioned in the instructions though)

    DSC04399.JPG


    the screws that hold the belt cover in place have now been replaced with studs and wingnuts as is easier than trying to use a screwdriver.

    the bandsaw can cut angles up to 60 degrees,and there is an adjustable stop so its easy enough to change back to cutting at right angles on a bar.

    I've finally got round to cutting some metal with it now during the last week. yesterday I was cutting 60mm bar, and it does cut pretty square now

    DSC04404.JPG

    and the finish of the cut using the standard blade

    DSC04407.JPG

    I dont have space for a full sized bandsaw so mine lives here and its about you need a space about 75cm long x 45cm deep x 45cm high to keep it in.

    DSC04422.JPG

    wish I'd got a bandsaw years ago, its much easier than using a hacksaw for cutting thick bar, its hard to get round to doing a job that will take 30 to 45 minutes to cut by hand, yet a machine can do it in a couple of minutes.
     
    gaz1, Richard., eSCHEn and 1 other person like this.
  2. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    17,949
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    It's put a nice cut through that thick lump
    Looks to be quite a usable little tool.
    The great thing about tools like this is you'll get to find the weak points very quickly and you'll also find that those weak points only require a short amount of your time to modify them.
    Play in drive and idle wheels, flex in handles, lack of weight in the bow etc etc are some of the usual trade off on cheap saw yet take no time to sort and improve making it comparable with more expensive equivalents. Tools like this are well worth buying and tweeking with a few personal touches.
    I'd recommend making some jigs for angled cuts. Repeatability an all is better this way than rotating vice jaws or bows around.
     
  3. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,544
    Location:
    halifax, England
    yeah have to agree with you Richard, one of the reasons I got it was that I may need to make a custom exhaust system for the Herald, and if I need to do some lobsterback cuts its easier and more accurate to do it with a machine than by hand.

    looking at it from underneath, the vice assembly is bolted to the pressed steel base (around the long slotted hole at the bottom), so easy enough to remove and make jigs if necessary.

    DSC04424.JPG

    also when I was watching this episode of Project Binky at 16 minutes, it also show a simple jig for cutting radiused bends for fabricating an exhaust with.



    I was thinking of using a evolution rage/fury saw (my neighbour has borrowed it for the last couple of years), but the noise and shrapnel they create when cutting metal put me off. The bandsaw is certainly quiet enough to be used late at night.
     
    Richard. likes this.
  4. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    17,949
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    That's my 45 jig/spacer.
    The only time my vice ever moves now is if I'm notching tube.
     
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  5. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,544
    Location:
    halifax, England
    today I did a tiny little mod on it...... I drilled and tapped some M6 holes in the vice.

    DSC00379.JPG

    so that I could use my milling machine clamps.

    [​IMG]

    to clamp a narrow piece of plate in the vice securely to cut it to size.

    DSC00381.JPG

    and now I should be able to cut things less than 15mm wide . I've never been a fan of clamping things in one side of a vice and hoping that it doesn't move as you work on it.

    DSC00382.JPG
     
    steve t, slim_boy_fat and Richard. like this.
  6. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    17,949
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Simply wonderful and I'm stealing it mate. (Not the saw just the idea!)
     
    optima21 likes this.
  7. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    17,949
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    That's a major flaw on these saws particularly ones with swivel vices like mine and that is if the job isn't long enough to go past the pivotal point on the vice you can't hold it without putting something the same size in the back of the vice to stop it swivelling round as you clamp. I've often thought of fitting a mini vice in the main vice to get round the issue of cutting small items but what you've done there is an even better simple way. Can it hold short lengths of tube as that's a common one for me.
     
  8. optima21 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,544
    Location:
    halifax, England
    the trouble with tube is that it will flex so you can't just clamp it down......but there is an answer if you look at the keats angle plate like this one

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350472901597


    and an article about them here

    http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php?topic=632.0

    now that for lathe work, with your fabrication skills it would be easy enough to fabricate one with a long plate on the bottom of it for holding in the vice of the bandsaw

    or you could buy one like in the link above and mount it on an angle plate or just angle (but you might need a hole in it for the tube to stick through.

    I've got a tiny keats angle plate ( or it could just be a drive dog for turning between centres) that Ive had for years and have never used. the bolt heads are too large, so I thought I'd try it out with 3 clamps

    DSC00385.JPG

    and being used to see if it would work, just done to prove if it would work, if I was going to do this in future I would have a more permanent fixture

    DSC00388.JPG

    and there it is,a 20mm length of 1.5" diameter steel tubing

    DSC00389.JPG

    and as the tube if clamped in 4 places it wont distort when held.

    gives you something to think about anyway :D:D:D
     
    oilyneil and Richard. like this.
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