I recently purchased a DoAll Metalmaster 16" bandsaw. I'm looking for information on how to use the band saw welder. Anyone have experience with using this device. I looks pretty easy but before I dial away it would be nice to get some suggestions.
Let's see, This will be from memory but I used to have one of those. Take your blade material, cut the appropriate length, put on a pair of gloves, this part can get you cut up a bit. Take the blade material and hold the two ends together with one flipped so the teeth face opposite of the other (kind of puts the blade into a big tear drop shape, with you holding the point), take the edges of the blade up to a disk sander or grinder and grind them both smooth, you don't have to be exactly perpendicular, that's why you flip the blade material, so if you are slightly crokked it'll match when you but the two edges together.
Put the blade material into the welder all the way back into the jaws and butt the two pieces together in the center of the area between the jaws, lock the jaws tight, set the heat lever to the correct width of saw blade you are making. Push down the big lever (mine was red), and hold it there as it fuse welds the blade, then let up and let the blade cool for 20 seconds or so before you unclamp it.
The blade will be pretty brittle at this point so be careful, take it to a pedestal grinder and carefully flex the blade just a bit and grind the excess material from both sides and even up the back of the blade. Now you've got nice shiny spots on the welded area of the blade, put it back in the welder, not all the way in this time, leave the teeth sticking out of the clamps, and push in on the "anneal" button, I would ususally not do a constant hold in on it, but more of a push, release, push, release, until you bring the bright spot past straw and just barely to a blue color, let it cool for 20 seconds or so and you are ready to rip and tear. I hope that helps and I didn't forget anything, it's been a few years since I've done it.
Its been a while since I used a band welder also and the infor in the previous post by brian sounds like what worked for us with a couple of differences. The welder on this doall model had a push button release for the weld cycle instead of a lever that brought the jaws together. When we put the blade in to weld the teeth side went in first up against the back of the jaw so they would be in line. The jaws were relieved at the back so that clamping would not knock out the set in the teeth. I always left a gap of about 1/2 of the blade thickness between the ends and the welder would bring the ends together when the button for welding was pushed. This started an arc rather than a dead short when current was applied. After the weld was complete I would release the left vise and return the jaw to its original position, release the right jaw and center the weld. I would then do an anneal cycle using intermittent pressing of the anneal button about 1 second at a time until the blade annealed. This is very hard to judge at this point because there is no color to observe but after you have annealed a ground weld or two you will have a feel for the number of seconds to anneal. The big advantage to annealing before grinding the weld is to prevent cracking the hardened weld while grinding the sides. After the sides were ground I would always do a second anneal to match the temper color of the blade. When the welder was cleaned and working right it produced welds that were very consistent and almost as good as a factory doall weld. Different model welders may have different setup procedures so I hope this helps.
Your right about sometimes needing a gap, mine was the same way, but I thought it might have been specific to the unit we had, it was old when we got it! I always had pretty good luck with not breaking the welds by flexing the blade up against your waist to hold up the opposite side while you ground the one closest to the grinder, of course we used mostly 1/2" and occasionally 3/4" on the welder. If we needed to make some for the big laydown saw with 1" or 1 1/4" material, I would weld them with the tig welder and follow pretty much the same procedure.
Mmmmmm, I just put a 'down payment' on my Doall Metalmaster 16 last week. A guy locally had a grinder running on eBay for cheap, but it was rough. Next question was, "Do you need a vertical bandsaw?" Bullseye! Been looking for months. Right size, right price. And only 15 miles away, rather than 600 like almost everything else I've bought lately. Xmas came early for me this year.
I'll be picking it up in a few weeks ( gotta make room). If you care, we can keep up with this operation of this thing via emails once we're running 'em. I plan to do some preventative maintenance too, as the one I'm getting looks a bit neglected, if not abused.
Might be nice to swap pics and hints.... By the way, anybody have an opinion on this machine's weak spots, or parts that should be regularly serviced?
Bob: Just a short note on the blade welding thing. You can't weld a bi-metal of high speed steel blade with that welder. The carbon steel stock is ok but it won't last. High speed or bi-metal blades will go 10X the carbon steel! Unless you need to pass the blade through a hole in the middle of your part, save yourself some grief and buy pre-made Bi-metal saw blades. Not much more expensive and they will do a ton more work. Many of the discount tooling houses offer blades made to order, check it out Ross
[This message has been edited by AlfaGTA (edited 12-24-2002).]
With that Doall first thing you want to do is to set for widest blade and work that handle, get it limbered up.
Grind ends of blade stock, use the flipover trick. Set welder for blade width, clamp in welder careful like. Push that handle down and hope it welds OK, then while holding down that handle release one of the clamps. Then release the other clamp and slide blade to outside and reclamp. Then you use the anneal button, watch the heat, just want a dull red, do it several times, more the merrier, just don't let it get over a DULL red. I've seen people get blades to hot during the anneal, causes grain growth, scale and it's just not Kosher.
The cycling of the mechanism does seem to help if welder hasn't been used for a while.
Don't forget to dress down weld, should be a built in grinder and thickness gage on this machine.
And a Happy New Year!
Treat your table nicely! Never pick up the saw buy its table or use it to band the saw to a skid or truck. The tilt mechanism underneath is easily broken and cost alot to replace. You would be surprized the number of these tables I have seen broken over the years.
Wow! Thanks for all the good info!
I went and looked at the Lenox web site and got a tad bit confused about the best blades to buy. I need to cut aluminium, stainless steel, mild steel, and brass. Any suggestions?