59.5 inch metal blades for Skil bandsaw?

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I'm getting a little tired of cutting out my blade profiles and handle/sheath material with either an angle grinder with cutting blade or with a hacksaw and I've been looking at all of my different bandsaw options.

Tonight I stumbled upon this Skil bandsaw that says it has two speeds(can't find out exactly what they are..) for either wood OR metal applications. The saw comes with a big 'ol 6 TPI blade for wood, and from the specs I get that the blade length is 59.5 inches. I did some searches and can't find any sources for 59.5 inch blades with either 18 or 24 TPI for cutting metal. Anybody know about this saw, and/or the availability of blades with higher TPI for metal? The price is really attractive and I've had good luck with Skil brand products over the years.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001V9K69E/ref=pe_97270_17239780_pe_epc_t3
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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http://www.toolcenter.com/BANDSAW_BLADES.html

Order a 1/2" wide 10/14 TPI Varitooth Lenox Diemaster-2 blade from Tool Center ( Cyber Woodworking). Order two, because you will ruin the first one fairly fast learning how to cut up steel on a band saw. The Bi-metal blades are far superior to the carbon blades.
http://www.toolcenter.com/BI-METAL_DIEMASTER.html

They carry every size, because they make them to order. 59.5 is a standard size, anyway.

Now, about that saw.
Check the motor size and info. I used to have a Craftsman unit like that ( gave it away to a new maker about five years back), and IIRC it is a 10" throat light duty bench top unit. The motor is something like 1/5HP. The speed was changed by switching out the drive gear. It was barely powerful enough to cut up 1" wood, and I don't think it would work well for cutting out knife blades. I can't remember if the max blade width was 3/8" or 1/2", so check that out before ordering a blade if you go with this saw.For a wood cutting blade, get the carbide tipped Lenox Trimaster blade in the standard positive 3TPI. Used properly, it will last for years.
http://www.toolcenter.com/CARBIDE_TIPPED_LENOX_TRI-MASTER.html

Before anyone yells, "Jeez, look at those prices, I can get plain blades for $10 at HF !".......these are professional quality, bi-metal and carbide tipped blades. They are worth every penny, and cost less in the long run, as they will outlast cheap blades 10:1 if not abused.

You often spend more on a set of good blades than you do on the bandsaw.
 
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Thanks Stacy,
Probably not the saw I'm looking for given that information, and yes it's pretty much the same as the craftsman model you describe. Looks like I'm going to stick with the dewalt/Milwaukee portaband in a vertical setup.

Thanks for the link for blades, by the way. I'll give them a look:thumbup:
 

Mark Knapp

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I would like to second what Stacy said, the problem with that size saw is, the wheels are too small on them to get good life from blades, the blades fatigue quickly and crack before the teeth have gotten dull. Lenox makes bi-metal blades in .020 guage, a bandsaw with wheels smaller than 14 inches will get longer blade life with .020 blades than with .025. When you can get one, a 14 inch saw is a much better saw for knife makers.
 
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I would like to second what Stacy said, the problem with that size saw is, the wheels are too small on them to get good life from blades, the blades fatigue quickly and crack before the teeth have gotten dull. Lenox makes bi-metal blades in .020 guage, a bandsaw with wheels smaller than 14 inches will get longer blade life with .020 blades than with .025. When you can get one, a 14 inch saw is a much better saw for knife makers.

Mark,
Aren't most bandsaws with larger wheels set up for wood applications. I've looked at a number of them and they all seem to run too fast for cutting steel. I would prefer a larger floor model if I could find one that would run slow enough.
 

Mark Knapp

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Mark,
Aren't most bandsaws with larger wheels set up for wood applications. I've looked at a number of them and they all seem to run too fast for cutting steel. I would prefer a larger floor model if I could find one that would run slow enough.

Most are made for wood, the ones for metal/or both are quite a bit more expensive. The small bench top band saws, especially the three wheel version, are as Stacy said pretty much useless for metal even if they go slow enough. An alternative is a 14 inch saw for wood and when you want to cut metal use a carbide grit blade in the wood cutting saw, it's messy and hot work but it gets the job done economicaly. You always have to remember to clean the saw dust away from the machine when you switch to cutting metal because the blade throws sparks. I did it this way for years, you can cut blade stock that has already been hardened too. Another common aternative as you know is to use a port-a-band for metal cutting and a wood saw for that. Later
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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Johnny,
Do yourself a favor and spring for the HF 4X6 metal cutting band saw. It is three times the price of the portaband,........ but ten times the tool.
http://www.harborfreight.com/horizontal-vertical-metal-cutting-bandsaw-93762.html

With all the coupons and specials HF is running right now, I bet you could get one for $180-200.

If you polled knifemakers countrywide, probably 80% have this exact tool.
 

Mark Knapp

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Johnny,
Do yourself a favor and spring for the HF 4X6 metal cutting band saw. It is three times the price of the portaband,........ but ten times the tool.
http://www.harborfreight.com/horizontal-vertical-metal-cutting-bandsaw-93762.html

With all the coupons and specials HF is running right now, I bet you could get one for $180-200.

If you polled knifemakers countrywide, probably 80% have this exact tool.

Thanks for that Stacy, I didn't know there was a big difference. I was using the term generically to mean portable bandsaw. That really says something for the tool when the import is favored over the name brand. I've never used the HF but I will check it out.
 
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bacustomknives

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lowes carrys 18tpi thats what i use in my shop for cutting everything on a 10" bandsaw,there around 12.00 each
 
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I just orded a Rikon 10-320. Not sure about cutting steel with it but its what I wanted to cut handle material. I'm just starting out making knives and so far have beaten 2 out with forge and hammer. Anyone tried the rikon for metal cutting?
 
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