Wood working to metal cutting conversion is sometimes necessary when the everyday suddenly turns out to be not so ordinary work-order-wise.
For a wood worker, the band saw is an important tool. The machine is useful in cutting curves and irregular shapes. Most wood craftsmen have a wood working band saw. Due to its speed, this type of saw, with a blade designed to cut wood, is not suitable for cutting metals.
A wood worker wanting to convert a band saw to cut thin sheets of metal will need to follow certain steps in order to safely and effectively use the wood working band saw to cut metals.
Wear a pair of gloves to prevent cuts from the blade
Remove the wood-working band saw blade (loosen the tension lever and slide the blade off the wheel)
Install a bi-metal band saw blade (the blade must have a fine tooth per inch and will depend on the size of the materials to be cut)
Properly adjust the tension of the bi-metal blade (metal saw blades require higher tension than wood blades, and the band saw blades are labeled with required tensions)
Install a manual coolant bottle on the frame of the band saw
Point the coolant nozzle directly above the entry point of the blade into the material (cutting metal creates friction, which generates heat, which causes the bi-metal blade to weaken, so using coolant will prevent this from occurring)
Fill the coolant bottle with coolant solution (refer to its mixture procedure for accuracy and safety purposes)
Open the drain spout to start the flow of fluid (making sure that the bottle is secured on the band saw frame)
Be aware that if the plan is to cut material that is more than a quarter inch thick, it becomes necessary to change the band saw’s speed. To change the speed, change the drive pulleys or use a speed reducer gearbox.
Also remember to change the guide blocks into roller guides in order to optimize the band saw’s operation.
And don’t forget to break-in the blade before going to full throttle. Doing this will help to lengthen the life of the new bi-metal saw blade.
By following these steps, the ability to cut metal up to ¼ inch is now possible using a wood worker’s band saw.
Have fun with your newly converted band saw.