Cutting Structural Materials

When cutting structural materials, it is important to understand what the material is made of, and in order to achieve long-lasting cutting performance, there are different types of steel that require the use of a specific type of bandsaw blade.

It is also simpler to be able to determine the correct tooth pattern for solids than it is for structural shapes.

Here are a few things to consider before cutting structural materials using any bandsaw blade.

  • Square tubing and angled structural materials need to be cut at the correct angle in order to keep the saw blade’s teeth in constant contact with the thinner portion of the cut.
  • If the piece to be cut is at a 4” angle with a 1/4” wall, then match the tooth pattern to the 1/4″ wall thickness (10-14 variable or 14 raker) and not the 4” thickness (3-4 variable or 3 hook).
  • The 4″ angle should be placed on the saw so that it sits as a pyramid and not an L-shape .

Variable-pitch bandsaw blades are usually preferred in most applications because of the varying tooth configuration per inch. Because the teeth vary between fine and coarse, the blade is better able to accommodate a wider range of material.

Variables become particularly useful when cutting rounds and tubing because the top and bottom of the curved work piece have a smaller cross-section than the middle of a solid round. This is where the harmonics problem tends to be the worst (entering and leaving the work piece).

For tubing and pipe, the top of the material cuts like a solid, and then the sides of the tubing cut like a thin, flat stock.

Once the correct saw blade size and desired tooth pitch are implemented for a specific shape and size of structural material, the time, effort, and cost factors will begin to manifest themselves.

When cutting structural materials like steel, the advantages of a Haltbar 501-Series bandsaw blade make it the obvious choice.

structuralbandsawblade_p2Among the wide variety of saw blades offered at SawBlade.com, the 501 IC saw blade is best for cutting structural materials. It is designed with heavy-set teeth to provide extra blade clearance. It is able to handle even the largest cross-section structural materials while avoiding pinching during the cut.

The 501 IC is engineered to reduce vibration and noise levels to give a smooth, quick cut while preventing tooth stripping.

If a successful cutting experience is desired, utilizing the right saw blade to fit the material being cut is necessary. For a smooth-run operation, the bandsaw operator will recognize and understand the advantages of using a specific blade designed for specific materials as well as being confident about the created synergy between the bandsaw and the blade.

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