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Vertical band saw or plazma table

idacal

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Location
new plymouth id
Im out of room in my shop but am contemplating getting a vertical bandsaw for cutting out flat materials, cyclinder mounts, brackets, blanks for the lathe and mill jsut little stuff like that been doing it free hand, with a torch or plazma. But lots of clean up on 2” stock i completely dont have room for a plazma table even though i would love to have one how usefull are the old style big bandsaws? Figured i could put it on wheels beside my horizonal saw a slide it back into its spot when not in use
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Im out of room in my shop but am contemplating getting a vertical bandsaw for cutting out flat materials, cyclinder mounts, brackets, blanks for the lathe and mill jsut little stuff like that been doing it free hand, with a torch or plazma. But lots of clean up on 2” stock i completely dont have room for a plazma table even though i would love to have one how usefull are the old style big bandsaws? Figured i could put it on wheels beside my horizonal saw a slide it back into its spot when not in use

You have to stand in front of the vertical bandsaw the whole time to cut anything, the
horizontal is more like "set it and walk away" while it works.

A CNC plasma table should change your way of thinking about how to make what you need.
You burn the outside contour, put in the holes (even if needing reaming as a second op)

No need to layout, scribe line, prick punch, drill-drill-drill, machine etc.

"Let the machine (the CNC plasma table in this case) doo all the work for you."
 

idacal

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Location
new plymouth id
I have wanted a table for a while, cant believe im saying this, but that is a lot of square feet used up, thats not movable i dont think having one outdoors under a lean too would work to wel. saw would mainly be to cut out shapes, but that does seem like there would be a lot of waste, your not shoving a 4x8 of3/4 through a band saw cutting shapes by hand
Thinking out loud here
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
I have wanted a table for a while, cant believe im saying this, but that is a lot of square feet used up, thats not movable i dont think having one outdoors under a lean too would work to wel. saw would mainly be to cut out shapes, but that does seem like there would be a lot of waste, your not shoving a 4x8 of3/4 through a band saw cutting shapes by hand
Thinking out loud here

Yes, the first time switch to CNC plasma is a big one, heard it several times before about
"All that space".
I cobbled up a 4' x 4' project table, and simply run Oxyfuel, made all sorts of brackets
and such from small pieces I could hand carry to the table (no crane yet).

So now I just burn the part on the CNC, no need to drill holes, etc.

If you make the CNC table sit up a wee bit higher, could you roll the horizontal saw under it?
Maybe a roll a weld table under too.

But maybe your work just doesn't lend itself to the major changeover that the table would bring.
 

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gbent

Diamond
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Location
Kansas
You aren't going to be burning 2" stock with a plasma. You can easily burn 2" with O/A, so your control needs to be compatible with both. I have a similar situation where I'd love to have a CNC table, but I just don't do enough work to justify the square footage it will occupy.

As for using a vertical band saw? Not going to work well. The problem with a vertical band saw is the minimum radius, either inside or outside. The radius dictates the maximum width of the blade, and the maximum width of the blade kinda dictates the maximum thickness of the stock. Inside radii can be drilled before sawing with the saw cuts tangential to the drilled hole. External radii require several tangential cuts and blending with a grinder.

on edit: Yes, I know there are plasma units that will cut 2". I also know the cost is between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude higher than the OP is contemplating.
 
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memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
2 inch is possible with plasma, at 2 I switch over to oxy/propolene tho. Squarer and cleaner cuts. Granted we have the 260 hd so not a small footprint.
Sawing is always better, it just is- having a little 65 amp 4x4 or even 2x2 is what I want for my dream toy shop- a jig here and there, done.
Having a oxy/fuel takes a little more on setting up. But your table won’t care if you add a torch.
If you make one having a decent range on the z and ability to put tall part on/in the table becomes a handy tool.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
You aren't going to be burning 2" stock with a plasma. You can easily burn 2" with O/A, so your control needs to be compatible with both. I have a similar situation where I'd love to have a CNC table, but I just don't do enough work to justify the square footage it will occupy.

I have qty (2) post processors.....one for ox/propane and one for.....wait for it....Plasma !

BTW I source material from a shop that does indeed plasma 2" thick on a daily basis.

But they are running 400 amps plasma torch/supply.
 

neilho

Titanium
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Location
Vershire, Vermont
Seems to me if really you're out of space, the vertical is the choice that's left. If not, get both. :D

A digression.... A good vertical, IMO is more versatile and a better use of space than a horizontal. As Doug notes, a horizontal can be set and walked away from when cutting long thick stock square, but there's a lot of small work and contour cutting it won't do.

I resisted getting a vertical bandsaw for years, then a Grob came along I couldn't resist. Don't know how I got along without it, it's tied with my shop vac for most used tool in the shop.
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
BTW I source material from a shop that does indeed plasma 2" thick on a daily basis.

But they are running 400 amps plasma torch/supply.

I bet you can watch the needle drop on the oxygen battery with a 400 head on.
The new 300 is supposed to do thicker, and make hot chocolate for you on cold days.
 
I won't say a CNC table wouldn't be the best choice for production and larger cut. That said, I have a 16" throat vertical bandsaw and I use it almost daily for stuff like trimming a corner, cut a piece of pipe or even heavy cable etc. I have a hand plasm torch and ox-fuel yet the bandsaw is one of those things you just wonder how you survived without. As for space the bandsaw could be on wheels to roll into a corner.

Steve
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I had an 18" or 24" (don't remember) Grob vertical on nice casters in my shop for 7 years. I used it twice and finally sold it. I have a 10x16 Jet mitering horizontal bandsaw and a Cosen CNC autofeeding mitering horizontal bandsaw that can cut 14"X28". I use the horizontal saws every day.

I do most parts from steel plate on a CNC mill. Just mill the whole thing out if I only need one or a few. When I need a bunch I farm it out laser or plasma.

I would like a 4x8 or 5x10 plasma, but I cannot justify it. A sort of decent looking hobby one is $25k++ before you buy the power supply. I can buy a shitload of cut parts for that.
 

steve-l

Titanium
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Geilenkirchen, Germany
I spent years mulling over the same question and my answer to this question was two band saws both on castors because space was the major issue. I use the saws all the time, the horizontal for stock and the vertical for the other stuff. I also have OA and hand plasma. I farm out my CNC plate work because my usage does not justify the expense or space consumed by owning one and I am very happy with my decision. Both of my saws are 1000 lb machines. They are not so easy to push around. Use the best urethane tired castors with a stout frame, it is necessary.
 

dana gear

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Location
Northern califorina, usa
CNC plasma tables are a game changer. There's a number of table manufacturers building 48"X48" tables that are not going to take up much more space than a large band saw.
Air plasma machine torches are 1.375 outside diameter bore the same diameter as an oxy/fuel machine torch.
For Thicker carbon material you could simply switch to an oxy/fuel machine torch.
On some of our machines we have them set up with both plasma and oxy/acetylene machine torch mounted on a common base that travels on the same raiser, we simply program in the appropriate zero point depending on which torch we are going to use.
 

LKeithR

Stainless
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Location
Langley, B.C.
No local shops that you could sub it out to? We have used laser, plasma and waterjet extensively over
the past 20 years. There are multiple options in our area so prices are pretty reasonable. We'd have to
do a lot of parts to justify the cost of a decent plasma or laser table and then we'd be limited to some
extent because each of the three processes is best at different things. If we need shapes of any kind
now I'll simply draw it up and fire off a DXF file to the appropriate supplier. We had a vertical bandsaw
for a while and i know that cutting any quantity of parts, especially in thicker material, is a painfully
slow procedure...
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
This subject has come up a few times before.

Yes, you could farm it out cheaper, if you are in a location
that has vendors nearby.
Also, farming out doesn't work well for emergency breakdowns on a Saturday/Sunday.

Why all the comments about CNC being for "production" ?
Even if the OP is making one off's, the CNC is a good option.

$25k for a table ?
Yes, for production one, but it sounds like the OP is not looking for that.
 

Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
how much are you doing? Look at cost, space etc and decide if its worth it to buy or bring it in burnt. Mine runs pretty constantly but we scraped a second one to gain the space - it would have to have a fairly high utilization to earn its place.

btw, that's a heck of plasma that will do 2". Ours does up to 1", then there is an O/A head for thicker stuff.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
I bought a Plasmacam, blue 4' x 4' a few years back and would warn against that kind. They only seem to have 1 guy that knows about them, he is never available when it won't work so he calls back when you are eating dinner or some other time when you cant get to the machine. It would go along and make a few parts right then dive into the material wrecking the tip, moving the material. In talking with other owners of them I heard similar stories. This was my experience with a machine that cost 15k not counting a computer to run it and a plasma cutter and 7 trips on a UPS truck to Colorado to get gobs of resisters soldered into my new Hypertherm. It did make some good parts but was a constant aggravation to do it.

PlasmaCAM Cutting Systems
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
I bought a Plasmacam, blue 4' x 4' a few years back and would warn against that kind. They only seem to have 1 guy that knows about them, he is never available when it won't work so he calls back when you are eating dinner or some other time when you cant get to the machine. It would go along and make a few parts right then dive into the material wrecking the tip, moving the material. In talking with other owners of them I heard similar stories. This was my experience with a machine that cost 15k not counting a computer to run it and a plasma cutter and 7 trips on a UPS truck to Colorado to get gobs of resisters soldered into my new Hypertherm. It did make some good parts but was a constant aggravation to do it.

PlasmaCAM Cutting Systems

Friends don't let friends buy Plasmacam....just sayin.
 

dkmc

Diamond
I have both Grob and Doall and I like the Grob better. Inherent design flaw is an undersize key/keyway in one of the drive pullies (I think the one on the motor) that eventually fails due to shock from start up and is a problem to fix. A VFD set to slow-ish accell would help prolong the life of the keyway-key. Didn't happen to mine, but watched a youtuber go thru the pain of the problem.


Seems to me if really you're out of space, the vertical is the choice that's left. If not, get both. :D

A digression.... A good vertical, IMO is more versatile and a better use of space than a horizontal. As Doug notes, a horizontal can be set and walked away from when cutting long thick stock square, but there's a lot of small work and contour cutting it won't do.

I resisted getting a vertical bandsaw for years, then a Grob came along I couldn't resist. Don't know how I got along without it, it's tied with my shop vac for most used tool in the shop.
 








 
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