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Fixed vertical metal bandsaw?

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choochoo_baloo29/03/2019 13:42:03
242 forum posts
43 photos

Hello all,

As a newbie, I was pondering how to roughly cut out shapes from metal plate. I then watched a video that uses a *metal cutting* bandsaw, with a large cast iron table e.g. "Startrite".

However I am struggling to find makes + models suited for metal cutting. Am I barking up the wrong tree - are only pivot bandsaws suitable for this application? [I'm not too keen on the generic 6 x 4 bandsaws form the usual suppliers.]

Any advice gratefully received.

JasonB29/03/2019 13:59:38
17869 forum posts
1954 photos
1 articles

You won't find them on the usual hobby sites but some of the commercial sites will have them at commercial prices if looking for new, if old then Startite is the most common.

Warco too

Edited By JasonB on 29/03/2019 14:01:19

John Hinkley29/03/2019 14:09:26
851 forum posts
286 photos

Jason, I followed that link to the Warco saw - Blimey what a price! The fact that the Chester site invites you to enquire for their prices rather leads me to believe a small mortgage will be required, too. You (Choochoo-Baloo) could get an awful lot of laser- or water-cut plates for a hundredth of that outlay. Unless you are going into production, of course.


duncan webster29/03/2019 17:55:16
2548 forum posts
49 photos

ChooChoo, I've sent you a pm

Andrew Moyes 129/03/2019 18:54:06
110 forum posts
17 photos

I recently bought a secondhand Myford ML8 woodwork bandsaw attachment with the intention of using it for metalwork. They occasionally come up on ebay for about £80 - £100. I have secondhand ML8 lathe (there are plenty of those on ebay) and have shortened the tubular bed to make the bandsaw into a dedicated machine. Having said that, the unused side of the headstock might be fitted with a faceplate and table, and used as a disc sander.

The Myford bandsaw is very solidly made and I hope it will be good for metalwork. It's quite small by woodwork standards but big enough for my metalwork. The plan is to use the pulleys in the headstock to slow down the blade speed and if necessary a variable speed drive on the motor.


Vic29/03/2019 21:11:36
2496 forum posts
14 photos

JET make modest sized vertical Bandsaws that cut both wood and metal but I don’t know if they are available over here.


Robin29/03/2019 21:35:41
340 forum posts

I have an old Startrite with 12" diameter wheels. Designed for wood I was cutting 1/2 inch aluminium with a skip tooth blade. The blades didn't last long.

I have bought a new, 47 rpm gear motor with 80Nm of torque from Geared Motors UK which will take it down to 2.5 ft/s 150 ft/min which sounds just about perfect to me.

It seems I can buy most any blade in any length, I am going to enjoy this!

80Nm translates to a 118 lbf push on the blade. Wonder if it will slip smiley

Mike Poole29/03/2019 21:41:16
2546 forum posts
60 photos

The speed problem seems easy to address but is the big difference a more rigid framework to cope with greater cutting forces and blade tension required for metal cutting?


John Reese29/03/2019 21:55:30
836 forum posts

The Jet saws seem to be evolved from the old Delta and Walker-Turner 14" saws. I have a 14" Delta for wood & metal. It has a built-in gear reduction for metal cutting. I find it quite satisfactory for cutting metal, including steel. There are a lot of 14" Delta clones built in Asia. I would be very surprised if they were not available in Europe.

John Reese29/03/2019 21:56:59
836 forum posts

Today's Startrite saws are industrial quality and priced accordingly.

JohnF29/03/2019 22:20:34
966 forum posts
142 photos

CCB - I have a Femi horizontal saw and you can purchase or make - very easily - a table to use it in the vertical position, it is not in the same league as a Startrite or similar but it works well enough for the home workshop. Yes they are by comparison to the Eastern offerings but I have never regretted my purchase, the table accessory is expensive and very easy to make,

Would i buy the saw agin -- defiantly but not the table I would make one. See the link to one supplier and if you scroll down you can see the table accessory .


Should yo go down this route and wanted details of the table just PM me.


Derek Lane29/03/2019 23:42:53
318 forum posts
73 photos

I have an bandsaw from Axminster and there are twin belt pulleys, it states that one is for wood and the other metal cutting. Have not tried cutting metal on it as I would need to buy another blade

Gray30/03/2019 07:53:36
1031 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by choochoo_baloo on 29/03/2019 13:42:03:

[I'm not too keen on the generic 6 x 4 bandsaws form the usual suppliers.]

Any advice gratefully received.

I've had the 'generic' 6x4 saws in the past and would agree they are not the greatest, bought one of these from Axminster a couple of years ago and it has not let me down, cut accurately straight out of the box, can be used vertically (although you do need to make a decent table for that mode of use)

Ian S C30/03/2019 10:57:02
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Using a 4" x 6" horizontal/vertical bandsaw, we cut all the steel for 60 of these plus other jobs, the machine is for feeding out large square hay bails. One motor died when the saw was left unattended while the boss was having his tea(evening meal), the blade jammed, and all the magic smoke escaped, and things got a bit hot and bothered(not only the motor).

Ian S C


not done it yet31/03/2019 15:17:52
4508 forum posts
16 photos

Many smaller hobby bandsaws use commutator motors - speed dependant on voltage. Lower power at lower voltage, of course, but there are plenty of voltage controllers around these days.

oldvelo31/03/2019 20:33:37
193 forum posts
48 photos

Hi Choo Choo

Please take a look at my albums for Bandsaw 1 and Bandsaw 2. One is built from scratch. Two is a conversion from that sad little pile of bits. You will need to reduce the band speed to less than 70 metres a minute. depending on the metal to be cut. Poly Vee belts will give far superior performance over Vee Belts for speed reduction and slow speed running. J section Poly Vee pulley grooves 40 deg tool 2.34 mm pitch. Hope this is of use


Vic31/03/2019 22:47:57
2496 forum posts
14 photos

I’ve seen lots of threads on forums over the years about reducing the speed of a wood cutting bandsaw to enable it to cut metal. The only successful conversion I saw however was made by copying the multi pulley system used in the JET bandsaws I linked to earlier.

If you look at the diagram on page 8 here:


You can see the drive setup is considerably different to a standard wood cutting bandsaw.

The drive speeds available on the JET are 3300 SFPM for wood down to 39 to 278 SFPM for steel etc.

Robert Turner 131/03/2019 23:33:37
24 forum posts
15 photos

20190331_151540_resized.jpgI have an old warco 6" metal bandsaw. It's not the 'standard' one that everyone sells, but it has a swivel feature for cutting at angles. It also came with a small table for use when the machine is vertical. I lost the original table in a house move ages ago, so I made a new one. I think it might be possible to modify the more usual non-swivelling type. I have more pictures in my album.20190331_151205_resized.jpg

I remember having to machine the end of the casting to make sure the table was square to the blade once the table was on. Apart from that it was fairly easy. Apologies for the really crappy workshop.

Hope this helps

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