Abrasive chop saw conversion to carbide: why not
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  1. #1
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    Default Abrasive chop saw conversion to carbide: why not

    Many of us have abrasive chops saws from back when. Today we have dry-cut carbide chop saws that are faster, more efficient, and cleaner to operate in a machine shop. And the disks wear down to nothing in a dozen heavy cuts. We might lust for the capability but we have to buy a whole new saw costing $350 and up if we want the advantages of a dry-cut carbide saw..

    There is but one substantial difference between the abrasive chop saw and new dry-cut saw and that is spindle RPM. The abrasive chop saws run 3500 RPM and up. The new carbide dry-cut saws run about 1400 RPM. You can argue superior construction, I suppose but according to my in-store side by side inspection of the dry-cut saws Vs the abrasive chop saws there is little difference in rigidity or geometry. - which I conclude is immaterial to success in the usual metal cutting phase of a fabrication project.

    Think of the tens of thousands of cheap abrasive chop saws out there just dying for a $120 bolt-on conversion kit to run carbide blades.

    So why isn't some clever dude marketing a low-speed conversion kit to owners of abrasive shop saws? There are two basic kinds: geared and toothed belt drive. And the lower end chop saws, geared or toothed belt drive, seem to have nearly identical construction features regardless of colors and stickers.

    So why? I'm too old and decrepit to take on such a project but a younger guy....

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    On that note, before I bought a dedicated (albeit a Harbor Freight model) metal cutting circular saw.
    I bought the blade, and simply ran it on a garage sale cheapy hand held wood cutting circular saw.

    The RPM of the saw was below the max for the blade, and it works fine for 27 ga metal roofing.

    Me thinks a proper (read Lennox or other high quality) blade might just run plenty fine
    directly bolted on to the abrasive saw.

    Kudos if you have an "Everett" or "Kalamazoo" belt driven version, a simple pulley change
    could be possible.

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    Those abrasive saws that use universal motors might be adapted with a simple voltage drop.

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    the trend of trying to put ten pounds of tool in a 2 pound sack will never end, eh?

    If the abrasive chop saw was belt driven, as mentioned above, no problem.
    but rpm is tougher to change on a gear driven machine, and, by the time you get done, you probably would have been better off just buying the cheapie carbide saw to begin with.

    Me, I am inherently mistrustful of em- I just have visions of little bits of 1400 rpm carbide flying thru the air.
    I prefer my nice old 500lb 44 rpm cold saw. When the blade breaks on that one (note the factual, experience based use of the word "when") the danger is quite minimal.
    I use high speed carbide saws on wood and plastic all the time.
    When I use em on metal- say, aluminum- I wear a LOT more safety gear, and sometimes even the equivalent of a small town phone book tucked inside my shirt.
    High RPMs running a metal blade is fine- in a 2500lb to 10,000lb machine tool that is rigid.
    Scares the pants off me in the case of a fifteen pound portable circular saw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    the trend of trying to put ten pounds of tool in a 2 pound sack will never end, eh?

    If the abrasive chop saw was belt driven, as mentioned above, no problem.
    but rpm is tougher to change on a gear driven machine, and, by the time you get done, you probably would have been better off just buying the cheapie carbide saw to begin with.

    Me, I am inherently mistrustful of em- I just have visions of little bits of 1400 rpm carbide flying thru the air.
    I prefer my nice old 500lb 44 rpm cold saw. When the blade breaks on that one (note the factual, experience based use of the word "when") the danger is quite minimal.
    I use high speed carbide saws on wood and plastic all the time.
    When I use em on metal- say, aluminum- I wear a LOT more safety gear, and sometimes even the equivalent of a small town phone book tucked inside my shirt.
    High RPMs running a metal blade is fine- in a 2500lb to 10,000lb machine tool that is rigid.
    Scares the pants off me in the case of a fifteen pound portable circular saw.
    Cold saw blades are one piece of hard HSS but carbide tipped saw bodies are something not so brittle. Carbide tipped saws just spit the carbide bits but the body should not split in half..

    Along same lines as digger doug I have used handheld circular saw to cut metals. You don't usually need full size blade so when you replace 9" blade with 5" blade the speed is quite reasonable for metal cutting. (just watch your fingers as the blade guard doesn't necessarily work anymore as intented. 3/8" steel plate has not been any problem to cut with cheap handheld circular (wood) saw and smaller metal specific blade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    High RPMs running a metal blade is fine- in a 2500lb to 10,000lb machine tool that is rigid.
    Scares the pants off me in the case of a fifteen pound portable circular saw.
    Me too, and as you mentioned the carbide tips as well.

    I used it here, 23' up on a scaffold, to cut the wall sheeting off straight.

    Glasses, face shield, ear plugs, welding gloves, welding jacket, and still I was bleeding
    from the shards coming off that blade.

    But it cut that corrugated tin, cleaner and faster than anything else.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hpim0327.jpg   hpim0326.jpg  

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    One of our members (superunknown) has a "home shop screw off" channel on youtube.
    One day he tried such a thing....

    Remember, it's All in fun...

    RIDGID abrasive cut off saw converted to dry cut. Maybe. - YouTube

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    No pedantry there :-)

    I subscribed.

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  12. #9
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    Love it! (And he's one of my tribe with his accent and the use of bumblefuckery...)

    Thanks for the link!

    L7


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