A band saw comes with a protracted sharp blade consisting of metal teeth stretched between wheels to cut materials. They’re utilized in woodwork, metalwork, and lumbering.
The power saw could also be a machine designed to cut the tool at a desired length or contour. The band saw is faster and easier than hand sawing and it’s used for a perfect sq. cut or massive tangled cuts or angles on the workpiece.
You can use a band saw to cut metals for lightweight works. However, in the case of heavy-duty works, a band saw is not so appropriate tool. You can even use some of the wood cutting band saws to cut metals. For that, you have to use a metal cutting blade. You cannot use the same blade you use for cutting woods to also cut metals. But all these metal cutting should be always light-duty work.
A band saw is a power tool. It can be dangerous if it is not used carefully. So your first job before start using a band saw is to read the user’s manual completely for both cutting planks of wood and metals. Learn about the dos and don’ts and the limitations of your machine. Read in instructions manual that comes with the saw.
Never forget to wear the necessary safety gears before using a band saw or any power tools. They are all very dangerous after all. Wear safety goggles and hearing protection before you start the machine. Use a dust mask if necessary. You are cutting metal here. So it is pretty much sure that metal powders will spread around you when you will be cutting metal. So you must wear these protective gears for the sake of your own safety.
Check the blade tension of your band saw before you turn it on. If it is not correct then you should adjust the tension first. Then check if all the blade guards of your saw are in the right place. The blade guards are there to protect your fingers from the blade. Place them at their rightful place so that they can do their job.
The blade of a band saw dulls after using for some time. You have to change the blade after it becomes dull. You cannot use a dull or blunt blade to make cuts on any type of material. To check whether your blade is dull or not, run your finger over the blade when the blade is not running. Try to feel sharp edges on the toothed side of the blade. If are not able to find any sharp edges, then it is sure that the blade has become dull.
For using a band saw for cutting metals, if you have a saw which is made for metalwork then it is most suitable for you. And if you do not have one, some of the wood cutting band saws can be used to cut metals. As I have already said earlier, you just have to change the blade. Replace the wood cutting blade with a metal cutting one. And you also have to adjust the speed suitable for cutting metals. The moving pitch of the wood cutting band saws is very high. You have to reduce speed. Keep the speed around 150-300 feet per minute for cutting metals. Where the normal speed of wood cutting blades is 3000 feet per minute. To reduce the speed you have to add an extra set of tool to your saw. Use a speed-reducing gearbox or jackshaft or pulleys to get the right speed for cutting metals.
Different types of blade patterns
There are 3 types of blade patterns in band saws- raker, wave and straight.
If you are willing to do metal cutting work with your band saw then you should use a raker type blade. In case of making thin cuts like making angles or tubing or channels, you have to use the wave tooth pattern.
The band saw blades for metals have bent teeth. You want to know why? The bend in the blade teeth creates wider cuts. The width of the cut is more than the thickness of the blade. Because these bends in the blade will prevent the blade from getting stuck and being pinched by the material.
While cutting, at least three teeth of the blade of the band saw must stay in contact with the workpiece all the time. This is because the teeth might shatter and shear off due to tooth overload. So you have got to use fine-toothed blades for cutting metal sheets and tubing.
The finishing of your cut will depend on the speed of the pitch of the blade and teeth of the blade. The faster the speed, the finer the finishing with a fine-toothed blade.
Again, the faster the motion of the blade, the faster it will become dull. Your precious blade will become dull quickly if it is used at too much high speed. And also, the metallic material which you are cutting is too solid, you will see abnormal wears on your cut. And the blade becomes dull quickly. This also happens if a too fine blade is used to cut too hard materials.