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  #1  
Old 05-11-2018, 06:14 PM
drtgraves drtgraves is offline
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Default Tooling up. Bandsaw question

Tooing up for a RV-14. What type of blade is needed for a bandsaw. I know the hacksaw needs 32 TPI. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2018, 06:35 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Default Welcome to VAF

Tom, welcome aboard the good ship VAF

Bandsaw blade----fine tooth for doing alum sheet will also work for angle stock, just let the blade cut and do not force it.

I like no more than 1/4" wide blade, trade off between ease of cutting curves and strength. Also stays on the wheels better than a 1/8" blade.

If you get a table top 3 wheel model you can probably get a varity pack of blades and just try them all to see what you like best.

Biggest issue with most band saws (from my experience) is not setting the guide rollers ---top and bottom---correctly or having too much blade exposed.

Good luck, its gonna be a fun time.
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2018, 06:51 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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I got a cheap one on close out (9"-2 wheel). I use the wood cutting blade (6 TPI -oh the horror!). It cuts heat treated aluminum like butter - and the blade lasted for years. Not enough force for ball bearing guides. A rip fence is great for making strips

The blade will dull in one use with fiberglass.
The blade will heat and may break with low temper 6061, unless it is thin. Architectural aluminum cuts fine.

Ferrous is definitely out of bounds.
I cut the few 4130 parts with a Bosch sabersaw.

You can always spend more money, but this one got the job done for lots of cutting.
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Last edited by BillL : 05-12-2018 at 03:19 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2018, 06:51 PM
rv7charlie rv7charlie is online now
 
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For aluminum, you can get away with tooth pitch normally used for wood, and wood cutting blade speed. And more coarse teeth are and advantage; hacksaw-density teeth tend to clog quickly when cutting aluminum. Obviously finer tooth for steel, but the bigger deal is greatly reduced blade speed. Trying to cut aluminum with a steel cutting blade at steel speed is painfully slow and frustrating; trying to cut steel at aluminum/wood speed, regardless of blade, quickly destroys the blade.

Finding a saw with wide enough speed range for both used to be tough (expensive); might be easier now.

Charlie
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2018, 08:22 PM
drtgraves drtgraves is offline
 
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Location: Gallatin TN
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Thanks for the advice. I'm finishing the a few loose ends around the house and getting the shop set up. Pulling the trigger at Oshkosh
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:20 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
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I have the crappy Ryobi tabletop band saw. It has worked OK for most things. I would never think to use it to cut long strips of aluminum or anything that needed to be too precise. I did find that the quality of blade makes a huge difference - at least it did for me. The one that came with the saw didn't last at all. I got a better blade on amazon and it has lasted be about 2 years. I don't have that much to fabricate at this stage but it cuts angle al and sheet pieces pretty good as long as you understand that the sanding belt and scotch pad wheel are going to fix the cuts and make the part the correct size. I have a Grizzly expensive band saw I use for wood working, but would not use it for metal of any kind.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2018, 05:04 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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I built my RV with a 14" three wheel table top model that I bought at a garage sale for $10.
I put

an 18 TPI blade on it and set the belt for the slowest speed and it worked fine for 15 years. Last month I bought an old Rockwell/Delta cast iron 14" two wheel bandsaw off Craigslist, changed the pulleys, blade, and power cords. Probably the best tool in my shop.
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  #8  
Old 05-12-2018, 08:31 AM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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You can get away with almost anything for an RV build. However, if you care, the general rule for any material is 3 teeth minimum in contact with the work. This helps the blade track and maintains the best blade life providing “speed and feed” are appropriate for material being cut.
Sheet = 32 tpi
1/8” stock = 24 tpi
1/4” stock = 12 tpi
Etc.... these are minimums.

For aluminum, a skip tooth blade works very well and helps with the soft material clogging on the blade.
Bi-metal blades, while more expensive, will last much longer than standard carbon blades.

For those trying to cut long straight cuts in aluminum, and don’t get good results: wrong blade, wrong speed, wrong feed, dull blade, saw isn’t set up correctly.... are the most common causes.

Building an RV isn’t a production environment so you can throw out the rules for the most part. Light duty wood saws and course blades are just fine. If you want to spend less time filing and sanding mill marks, you can up your game with a better saw and blade, but it doesn’t buy you much if all you do is RV kit stuff.

I use a 14” Jet with a course blade for aluminum and a Roll-in vertical with a 18/24 tpi (each inch alternates) for steel. If I had a lot of work to do in aluminum, I would ditch the Jet and blade up the Roll-in.
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2018, 09:19 AM
diamond diamond is offline
 
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As mentioned, just about any blade will work. I use a 1/4", 6 tpi blade because they are cheap and readily available. Take it slow and it does just fine. Edges are finished off with a scotchbrite wheel.

ALWAYS wear goggles and gloves when cutting aluminum on a band saw.
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Last edited by diamond : 05-12-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2018, 09:36 AM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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[quote=diamond;1259491
ALWAYS wear goggles and gloves when cutting aluminum on a band saw.[/QUOTE]

If you have ever broken a band saw blade in operation, you will understand quickly how important eye protection is. I have seen blades “snake” themselves out of the machine and spring into the operator.
Gloves can be counter intuitive. Yes for things like saws, no for drilling, lathe work, or other rotating equipment. Better to cut a finger than to mangle a hand or arm.
I have a BS in Industrial Education and in thousands of hours of shop time have seen my share of accidents.
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