Cutting Thick Stock

Soon I will need to cut some 1″x3″ aluminum bars. I know the right tools to cut thick aluminum bars and plates are things like this:

horizontal_band_saw vertical_band_sawBut of course I can’t have these monsters into my small apartment.

Some guys say you can turn a wood band saw into a metal band saw adding some speed reducer and changing the blade. In fact, up to this point I’ve used  a cheap wood band saw as is to cut thick aluminum stock without problems (up to 1″). But I wanted something more appropriate and smaller, so I took a look at the Proxxon band saw.

Proxxon band saw

At first it seemed perfect, but after reading some amazon comments, I discarded this option (easy to understand if you read the specs: 85 watts; my wood saw it’s 250 watts). So I bought a Starret St1010 portable band saw, and start to convert it into a vertical band saw. Here’s the work.

band_saw-01 band_saw-02 band_saw-03 band_saw-04  band_saw-05band_saw-06band_saw-07

All was going well, but then I realized the damn thing was too noisy, at least to be used into an apartment. Here are the noise measurements at 1 mt of the running saws:

  • Cheap wood saw: 71 db
  • Starret metal saw: 84-89 db (it has variable speed)
  • My vacuum cleaner at full speed: 84 db

Noise reason was simple… metal gears inside. Tough at low speed noise level it’s similar to my vacuum cleaner, it’s much more annoying.  So, I will better off ordering a metal saw blade for my wood saw, and left my converted Starret saw into a corner, at least for now :cry:.

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