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Thread: bandsaw cutting without coolant

  1. #1
    MBG
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    Default bandsaw cutting without coolant

    Anybody do it?

    I have always cut with coolant.

    The reason I ask is because I am interested in purchasing an ellis 1600 bandsaw.

  2. #2
    Matt@RFR is offline Stainless
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    I've had the same saw for about 5-6 years. I primarily cut aluminum and I use a Lenox 4-6 tooth blade. Even with such a coarse blade it will load up without coolant. For now I just have a spray bottle with coolant in it. It really doesn't take much, but at some point I'm going to put a spray mist setup on it that is wired with a solenoid that the power switch for the saw triggers.

    If you get the saw, there is a plastic tube on the hydraulic feed cylinder. Do yourself a favor and replace the plastic line with copper. Mine broke about 3 times before I got tired of fixing it. Otherwise it's a great low cost saw.

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    Ray Behner's Avatar
    Ray Behner is offline Titanium
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    I've had an Ellis 1800 (wish I'd bought the 2000) for about 8 years and it's great. Sure, there's better saws out there, but not for this kind of money. Plus it's made in Wisconsin.....not china. You'll like the mitering system. I bought mine direct from Ellis and saved a few bucks. Don't know if you still can, though. Used to have a Peerless automatic with coolant. I don't miss the mess. You can cut steel all day without coolant, but I spray a little tap spray on the vice side of the band when cutting aluminum. That way it doesn't get on the band wheels and really makes cuttting a breeze. Make a clamp like this for cutting short stuff:


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    SND
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    I spray a little WD-40 on once in a while when cutting Al, a bit of regular cutting oil if its steel or SS, it helps.

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    FlatBeltBob is offline Stainless
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    Love my Ellis , and always run it dry .
    Use the bimetal Lennox 'classic' vari pitch blades .
    But Ellis is not the cheapest source for blades . My local Airgas supplier beats the price .
    I also bought direct from the factory , and drove there ( Verona ) to pick it up .
    The first thing they asked me is if I priced it thru one of their dealers .
    That allows them to charge me MORE . Found out later the Airgas dealer could beat the factory price by $50 plus deliver it for free on the tank truck .
    But it was a nice truck ride , and a quickie tour of the factory .
    Moral is to check the dealer price first . Also be sure to wear gloves when changing those blades .
    Bob

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    PixMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Behner View Post
    <snip>

    Make a clamp like this for cutting short stuff:
    I like that! Beats hunting around for stock of about the same size as the object you're cutting to put on the other side of the vise.

  7. #7
    GregSY is offline Diamond
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    The Ellis tech guy told me they would void the warranty if they found out you had been using coolant on their saw.

  8. #8
    projectnut is offline Cast Iron
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    A friend of mine has an Ellis 2000 in his shop. He's used it for several years and has never needed coolant for anything he cuts. I have had a Startrite horizontal/vertical saw for the last 6 years that's equiped with a coolant system but it never has been used.

    We both buy our blades from Ellis. They are about 10 miles down the road from us and more than happy to supply consumables. We both use the bimetal blades intended for dry use only. Ellis will make them in almost any lenght, width, and pitch you can think of. The minimum order is 2.

    Since I never know what I'll be cutting next I've been using the variable pitch blades. Although I have several in stock the one on the machine is over a year old. That's the longest I've ever seen a blade last on any machine.

  9. #9
    HuFlungDung is offline Diamond
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    I'd cut dry if I could, because I hate coolant mess, but blades do not last as long when cutting long sections dry, because they plug up and sooner or later, that wad comes through the kerf again, snaps a tooth out, which may or may not immediately strip 2 or 3 inches more teeth out, or bugger the whole blade. I cannot imagine the saw manufacturer voiding the warranty, but maybe they are just trying to protect themselves from imbeciles who use straight water. Use water soluble cutting fluid for cripes sake!

    I use minimal coolant. I tried a spray mist, but it doesn't get the coolant where it needs to be, which is on the teeth of the blade. Blowing mist on the entry side of the cut, really doesn't get enough coolant on either, and it still makes the saw sticky with residue.

    Instead, I hand apply the coolant with a squeeze bottle with about a 1/16" hole in it. I hold the end of the squeeze bottle right against the blade, just above the tooth gullet line. So the moving blade more or less drags out a long thin line of coolant which immediately runs into the cutting zone. It is not necessary to have so much applied that it runs all over the place, in fact you can pulse the application to get some coolant every 3 or 4 seconds. A rig could be made up to do this with greater safety (hands away from danger) by running some small plastic tubing and have the squeeze bottle elsewhere. I apply the coolant just where the blade comes past the guide, in front of the entry point. If the bottle slips, it gets cut. I get a replacement nozzle.

    A rough estimation of the amount I'd use: cutting off 5" aluminum rounds with a 3-4 varitooth, I'd probably apply 1/4 cup. I do have a drip pail underneath the vise, to catch the wet sawdust and yes, there is a bit of dripping there, but the rest of the saw is dry.

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    strokersix is offline Cast Iron
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    I have good luck with wax to prevent galling when cutting aluminum. Doesn't make a mess at all and doesn't take a lot.

    I just use candle wax. A product specifically designed for the purpose would probably work even better.

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    IAMATT's Avatar
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    I you have a carbide guide saw you need a mist or coolant system or you will crack the blade. If you have just a guide wheel system you can get away without it until you clog up.

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    MBG
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    Wow, a lot of good reviews about the ellis.

    From the people that made good reviews what kind of work do you do? This saw seems like it would suit a metal fabricator best.

    I plan on using it for machine black and a little fabricating at times.

  13. #13
    dkmc is offline Diamond
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    In the words of Monty Python:
    "And now for something COMPLETELY different"

    If you guys don't cut many pieces per order, or need the miter capability, the Ellis has it's place in the shop.
    But for production slug cutting.....

    I have a Victor 10A (2 actually)
    It does have, and I do use coolant.
    It is a sticky-gooey mess most of the time, but not that bad.
    I use Wikus blades and they last 'forever' compared to
    Starrett, Lenox, Simmonds, and Sterling.
    It feeds the stock and It pumps the coolant while I do first OP facing, set up another machine, or surf around PM.
    Once in awhile I dig out the chips and spiff it up a bit...

    My days of manual stock feeding, and watching the 'ole Carolina Tool bandsaw chug thru parts, are long done and I never had fond longings to revisit them
    I also have a Welles 1270 and a Kalamazoo 9H that have miter cut capability if I need it which is rare.
    Laurentian likes this.

  14. #14
    Mike C. is offline Diamond
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    Shop saw runs coolant, but that's mainly because we work a lot of stainless in the fab shop and on the CNCs. At home, I don't run coolant, like Hu, I have a bottle (409 empty) that I have loaded with soluble cutting oil. Shot now and again keeps her ticking on long deep cuts in stainless scrap from work. cast iron, steel, I cut dry. Aluminum gets WD.

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    angus murray is offline Plastic
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    I have a Do All which I use only 2x a month and the coolant evaporates so fast that I generally cut w/o coolant unless I'm doing something complicated. Blades seem to last.

  16. #16
    kpotter's Avatar
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    I run a DOALL I used to have a wells and I cut dry I thought I would never need coolant but when I started doing production sawing I was destroying blades. I replaced the wells with a big Doall and run cutting oil and now my blades last months and I can cut through steel at 3 times the rate. I cut solid steel up to 4 inch round almost daily and my blades hold up great I am using old starret carbon steel blades that I bought on ebay for 20 bucks for whole rolls. I would never cut without coolant again.

  17. #17
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    I have been running dry for 20+ yrs. We had coolant on a saw at the old shop and the coolant will end up on the floor no-matter what you doo - unless you have a HUGE LONG drip pan.

    I run slow and with cheap "carbon" blades. I spray with WD occassionally. Especially with alum, but it keeps the squeek down if you spray the blade occassionally. I have used some better quality blades in a production job cutting 4" 4140 - also dry. Blade lasted quite a while even on that.

    Much of my cutting has been cutting full bundles of bars. All dry.

    I would only run coolant in a production oriented job, and if time was money situation. (I don't stand next to the saw while it cuts, doo you?)



    ---------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    IAMATT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    I have been running dry for 20+ yrs. We had coolant on a saw at the old shop and the coolant will end up on the floor no-matter what you doo - unless you have a HUGE LONG drip pan.

    I run slow and with cheap "carbon" blades. I spray with WD occassionally. Especially with alum, but it keeps the squeek down if you spray the blade occassionally. I have used some better quality blades in a production job cutting 4" 4140 - also dry. Blade lasted quite a while even on that.

    Much of my cutting has been cutting full bundles of bars. All dry.

    I would only run coolant in a production oriented job, and if time was money situation. (I don't stand next to the saw while it cuts, doo you?)



    ---------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Wow you dont do much for production then?

  19. #19
    Winfield is offline Hot Rolled
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    I primarily cut aluminum using a Lenox 4-6 tooth bimetal blade on an import 7x12 bandsaw that has flood coolant. Where flood coolant is too messy with horizontal aluminum cutting on the same bandsaw I use a Vortec 610 cold air gun instead of flood coolant. Also for short rounds I make use of a Lab Jack on the back of the vise see: http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...ia_LabJack.jpg

  20. #20
    Mike C. is offline Diamond
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    "We had coolant on a saw at the old shop and the coolant will end up on the floor no-matter what you doo - unless you have a HUGE LONG drip pan."

    Yup, it sure does. The morons at work just stand there and watch it drool. Occasionally, they'll sit a 5gal bucket under the ends of the work, but most times not. A few sticks of round bar is bad enough, but 20ft angle, tubing and channel makes a HUGE mess.

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