Rockwell Delta Vertical Metal cutting bandsaws...circa '80s looking to buy...
I rarely have a use for a vertical metal cutting bandsaw. My dad on the other hand has expressed some interest in one. Fathers Day is around the corner too.
I love the Do-All's but the prices the dealers are asking for them blow my mind. And the sales here in the South are slowing down too IMO.
I have run across several Rockwell 20" machines on-line, I can't make out the model number, these may be US built or Taiwan.
Is this an OK saw? Here is the link to one I have found Industrial Recovery Services - Bidders Paddle. I don't see these being variable speed either. I would like to find one that is 3PH so I can install a VFD on it.
A Walker-Turner sold last night on Ebay for a fair price too. The drive time made it a no buy... Walker Turner wood and metal cutting woodcutting variable speed bandsaw band saw | eBay
Thank you guys!
If you slowed the Rockwell wood cutting bandsaw down enough for metal cutting with a VFD it would stall out due to not enough torque and even if cutting nothing, the motor would overheat due to too slow a fan speed.
Originally Posted by TFPace
The Rockwell/Delta 14 inch vertical bandsaw is more common with the wood/metal gearbox than the 20 inch.
As far as i can recall, all the Rockwell dual purpose 20" saws had a band welder on the side (to ID from photos). Saw in IRS is nice looking saw but almost certainly wood only. As Milacron notes, it is not trivial to convert to metal cutting. Besides your proposed VFD it would likely need a more "positive" final drive to the lower wheel to do metal (at least steel) cutting.
That said, i sometimes cut thick (2" - 4" thick) aluminum blocks on my wood cutting 30" American saw just to save time with a 3 or 4T hardback hook tooth wood blade. Point being, if all you ever want to cut is aluminum, a wood saw will do it if you keep the blades separate. For steel, forget it.
Have you considered Grob? Still in business in the USA. Their older 18" saws are quiet and capable and don't quite bring the premium DoALL does. Their guides are "different" and Grob says "better". But they work, and are easy for the non-technical to change for different band widths, compared to the SNAFU's some inexperienced get into when trying to re-set the size on conventional guides. Older saws have an easy to change 10 or 12 speed belt drive system (50 - 2500 rpm IIRC). Later models are VS. I almost think the belt change model might be preferable (fast easy change, less to go wrong)unless you are buying new.
I have a Rockwell 20" wood/metal bandsaw with the welder built in to the column.
It has a big heavy two speed transmission to slow the speed down for metals. I don't know what the reduction ratio is though I suppose I could figure it out.
Since I already have one I don't know about availability nor going prices. What I do know id that it is a very solid saw and the cost of repair parts is very high though most parts are still available (unlike their mills and lathes) from Rockwell. I think tires are over $100/tire.
Mine has the model number 28-3x5 which is the same as the 28-345 for all parts and manuals that I am aware of. For some reason most model number lists do not show the 28-3x5. Perhaps the guy stamping model numbers that day was a little bleary eyed and put an X in instead of a 4 and nobody bothered to correct it.
Last edited by David Utidjian; 06-10-2012 at 12:39 PM.
Reason: added stuff
The reduction ratio will be in the 30:1 range, if not higher.
Originally Posted by Milacron
30:1 is a typical ratio on conveyor line worm gear reducers. Don't expect to create a dual-purpose bandsaw unless some step pulleys are involved, a VFD can give you from 10 hz to 120 hz or so, but that doesn't produce 50 fpm to 3000 fpm.
I've done a conversion, using a VFD and a 30:1 gear reducer (with a cooling fan attached). It wasn't hard, but satisfaction will depend on expectations.
From my 1974 Rockwell catalog with 1977 prices:
20" two-speed wood/non-ferrous metal bandsaw Blade speeds 2000 and 4500 SFPM Model 28-340 (less electrical equipment) $1378 Blade welder 28-701 $704
20" variable speed metal bandsaw Blade speeds 50-530 (gear drive) and 450-4500 (direct drive) SFPM Model 28-345 (less electrical equipment) $2309 Uses same welder
2HP motor and 24V controls $361.40 (1 PH or 3 PH)
You can see that the gear reduction in the steel-cutting saw is 450/50 (9:1) or 4500/530 (8.5:1)
These were great saws. Note the blade welder fits either model. You can tell the variable speed, steel-cutting saw by the foot pedal speed changer at the lower right side of the cabinet. The IRS auction is for the wood saw.
The Walker Turner (that particular model) has a relatively small blade height, which would be fine for most metal cutting, but limits any wood-working or composite work over 7 inches or so. It also has a 16" throat. The Rockwell pictured is most likely two speed step pulley (doesn't appear to have the vari-speed handwheel) which is fine, but non-ferrous and wood only. If you find one with vari-speed transmission, you'd have a great saw for both ferrous and non-ferrous material. I think, as stated earlier, a VFD would not give enough torque at low range speed for metal cutting.
I have/ have owned both saws. I keep my Rockwell on the lower step speed and it flies thru Aluminum.
There is a Rockwell 20" wood/metal for sale on the OWWM forum (in FL):
Old Woodworking Machines • Login
text of ad:
For sale is a Delta Rockwell 20" Metal/Wood Bandsaw
Model 28-345 Variable speed with a Reeves Drive
2HP 3 phase Motor
Copmplete with Owners Manual and Mobile Stand
Moving Forces Sale
Asking $1650 OBO
Cash, no trades, need to lighten the load
Pictures available upon request
Outside Pensacola, FL
If larger work is not anticipated, the Powermatic Model 143 is a nice 14" metal cutting vertical band saw. A two- speed transmission and four-step v-pulleys provide a speed range of 40-3000 sfpm.
I have a 20" Delta metal cutting saw now and it is an OK saw. At a former job I used a 20" Powermatic a lot and it was pretty good also. I used to have a 14" metal cutting Delta and wouldn't really recommend it for more than just very light use. None of these saws really compares to a DoAll in good shape. The DoAlls that I have used just seemed to work better and be smoother.
Here is yet another reason why Practical Machinist is THE BEST source for everything the involves metal !!! I was convinced that the IRS machine was what I needed and the owner said it was fine for metal too.
I guess I need to look at the Do-Alls after all.
I don't know if any wood/nonferrous models came with the foot pedal but the sure way to tell is in the picture of the lower cabinet with the door open. A few inches directly above the lower drive wheel is an oval slot in the cabinet. If it was steel cutting model it would have a gear shift handle in that slot and a label marked HI and LO. The foot pedal is for the Reeves drive and also has a speed indicator scale on the column that is connected by cable to the foot pedal.
Originally Posted by L Vanice
On mine I also have a tiny air pump that is connected by round rubber belt to the main pulley. The air is used via a flexible steel pipe and a nozzle to puff the chips out of the way. Kinda handy when I remember to use it.
I looked in my 1983 Rockwell catalog and saw the 20" band saw model numbers changed after the 1974 catalog. I did not see why the numbers changed, but did note the blade speeds and basic specs are the same as the older models. The two-speed wood/non-ferrous metal saw is model 28-654 and the variable speed metal-cutting saw is model 28-663. You could add a chip blower and light and other accessories.
As before, the foot pedal variable speed control is the easiest recognition mark for the steel-cutting model.
Larry and others,
I checked with the owner of the machine for sale in Florida. It doesn't have a welder attached. I am guessing that the welder was an option? I need to ask about the foot pedal too.
This machine has the following nameplate info:
Series No. 28-3X5
Serial No. 1745467
He did say it has a foot pedal/brake
The wood saw has a small brake pedal on the front, near the bottom. The steel saw has an open hole in that location. I expect the steel saw stops pretty quickly by itself when the gear box is engaged.
Rockwell’s performance is average and its price is reasonable. But finding its replacement parts is hard. Try these brands: Jet, Wellsaw and Trajan band saw machines. You won’t have a hard time searching for their missing parts.
I tried to Google the brands you referred and I came up to this site Band Saw Links. I think you’re right Camero68. Those brands are only a google away when you need to search for missing parts. Thanks!
I remember buying an old Rockwell 20" bandsaw that was supposed to be a metal cutting saw. Turns out it was a wood cutting saw with a bunch of diamond tipped blades.
That was an expensive lesson I learned early on in my equipment buying disease. I still have it awaiting conversion to a metal cutting saw.
Well, that’s sad to know. That’s life, sometimes we just have to experience to learn the lesson in an expensive way. Good thing I’ve been reading blogs like this one: The Importance of Band Saw Machine Selection | | BandSawBlogBandSawBlog . It prevented me from having “equipment buying disease” just like what you had. This blog site might help you in some cases –BandSawBlog | News, reviews and articles about band saw blades and partsBandSawBlog.