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Bandsaw blade speed for brass.

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Robin Graham10/08/2020 22:33:29
754 forum posts
185 photos

I have some CZ108 brass sheet which I would like to cut into strips. I'm wondering if I can do this on my woodworking bandsaw (low speed 380 metres/min) without knackering the blade - I'm happy to get in a bimetal blade for the job.

Any advice?


Grindstone Cowboy10/08/2020 22:38:50
325 forum posts
27 photos

You don't mention the thickness of the sheet, but make sure there are at least two teeth engaged with the material. Other than that, should be OK.


Simon Collier10/08/2020 22:58:25
359 forum posts
56 photos

I once tried to cut copper sheet on my wood bandsaw. Stripped the teeth from the ordinary carbon steel blade in a flash. I now use my jigsaw with suitable blade to cut large sheet such as 3 mm copper and 1.6 mm steel. I can cut quite straight with a guide fence clamped on.

Robin Graham10/08/2020 23:37:49
754 forum posts
185 photos

OK, thanks - sheet is 3mm, so 16tpi blade if I can find one.

Jigsaw/fence is an option I hadn't thought of - don't think I've had the thing out of the box since I got a bandsaw, (jigsaw doesn't cut true in the vertical plane - but probably OK over 3mm!).

Starrett say 55-75 m/min for brass using a bimetal blade, but they also give 80-120 m/min for ali, which seems pessimistic - I've cut ali at 380 without problems, and feel I could go faster, so wondering if if I can push it with with brass.


David George 111/08/2020 07:18:53
1304 forum posts
447 photos

Hi Robin I did some investigation on a band saw and found that you can get a replacement blade from Screwfix made by Starrett and it cuts brass and Aluminium ok. Don't evan try it on steel as the sparks showed it was too fast unless you could slow down the speed without losing power.


Jim Nic11/08/2020 10:37:21
261 forum posts
162 photos

Ian at Tuffsaws sells metal cutting blades for vertical bandsaws. He is not answering his phone at the moment but does respond quickly to e-mail queries.

I have found him to be very obliging and providing excellent service. Well worth a message to


JasonB11/08/2020 10:43:10
18637 forum posts
2047 photos
1 articles

I've used Starret blades in my old woodworking bandsaw for ali, brass and copper. gets a bit loud but cuts OK

EDIT, just looked up the speed at 760m/minsurprise

Edited By JasonB on 11/08/2020 10:48:59

Clive Brown 111/08/2020 10:59:47
481 forum posts
18 photos

My home-made band-saw runs at about 100 m/min. It uses the ~60" x 1/4" blades from DIY saws which I now usually get from Screwfix.

It's almost invariably fitted with a 14 tpi blade 'cos I can't be bothered to change it. It will cut 1.6mm sheet brass all day long, other sheet materials, wood on occasion and even steel up to say 12mm for short cuts when I'm feeling lazy, ie. most times, but that does shorten the blade life.

I wouldn't be without it.

Brian Wood11/08/2020 11:15:57
2244 forum posts
37 photos

Hello Robin,

You might find the job goes better and more quietly if you use a cushion of delivery box cardboard beneath the sheet and push the sandwich through as you go.

Regards Brian

Edited By Brian Wood on 11/08/2020 11:16:32

Robin Graham11/08/2020 22:27:12
754 forum posts
185 photos

Thanks. I contacted Tuffsaws as Jim suggested and had a very rapid and detailed response. Apparently this shouldn't be a problem even with carbon steel blades though obviously bimetal are longer lasting. Ian recommended 14tpi, so that's what I'll go with - seems 14tpi is working for Clive too.

In the light of Jason's success cutting NF metal at 760 m/min it seems I was worrying too much!

Brian - thanks for the tip about cardboard.


Robin Graham19/08/2020 23:54:16
754 forum posts
185 photos

Result! I ended up getting a half inch 18TPI carbon steel blade from Tuff Saws. Cuts 1/8 and 1/16 CZ108 brass sheet at 380 m/min like butter - no chattering, just the faintest click when the weld goes through. No need for cardboard cushion.

The most surprising thing was that I cut some 12" long 3/8 strips from the sheet and they were parallel to better than a thou. That shouldn't be possible on a hobby wood saw! Hardly dare to breathe on the thing in case I move something.

Thanks again for advice, Robin.

Edited By Robin Graham on 19/08/2020 23:55:26

Brian Wood20/08/2020 09:43:48
2244 forum posts
37 photos

Hello Robin,

Thank you for completing the story with a successful result. So often the final outcome remains undisclosed.

I still support the cardboard 'cushion' as a means of quietening the cutting, some materials are inherently noisy emitting an ear splitting shriek as they are being cut.

The ideal is for at least two but as long as one tooth on the bandsaw blade remains engaged in the cut as the second is entering, you will get a smooth cutting action. The trouble starts when the section being cut is thinner than the tooth pitch spacing on the blade and each tooth has to cut it's own track. It gets noisy and rough and can damage the blade.

A dodge for those situations is to exploit the angled tilt facility if your bandsaw can support that ability so that the material being cut is presented to the blade at a ramp angle that lengthens the cutting path and once again keeps at least one blade tooth engaged before a second enters the cut. Not all machines offer this added refinement

Edit addition. The other trick frequently used  is to make a sandwich and cut the two materials at the same time

Regards Brian

Edited By Brian Wood on 20/08/2020 09:47:17

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