Do I need two of everything?


I want to combined woodworking and metalworking but I'm trying to avoid buying two of everything for the same function. Ok, drill press, compressor, grinder, sander could be used on wood and metal. What about bandsaw? I see adjustable speed bandsaw for metal with a build-in welder for the blades, could that be used on wood too? Table saw for wood fitted with a 10" metal cutting blade, will the blade speed be too fast for metal? I've seen circular saw fitted with a metal cutting blade did ok but the saws specifically for metal have lower speed. Anything else?
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The only thing that would concern me about dual-use machines is the use of oil as a coolant when cutting metal. Do you leave the dust collector off when cutting metal with oil? Then when you switch back to wood, does the sawdust stick to the oil (since you'll never be able to clean it all off) making a dust collection problem?
For a metal band saw, I think I would get one of those offset band saw thingies that allow you to cut really long metal pipe with only a 12" wheen diameter on the band saw. Those seem to have a clamp system and oil bath also. Then there's the miter saw. I know people cut aluminum and such with their carbide blades. I would prefer one of those low-speed abrasive type saws with the liquid coolant.
For the drill press, you could make an auxilliary table for woodworking, then remove it and replace it with a vice for drilling metal.
Grizzly sells what it calls a wood mill. It looks like a milling machine, but they claim it's for machining wood. That might be able to replace some machines.
I probably wouldn't try to cut metal on the table saw.
brian
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I'd also consider the fact (besides the previous point about oil) that cutting wood throws off sawdust. Cutting metal often throws off sparks, which will probably go about the same place the wood-cutting throws the sawdust. Not an ideal mixture, if you ask me. :)
I'll add that I have no experience cutting metal with wood-working tools, so take this with a grain of salt.
--
Clint
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You have a point. Some years ago, I was employed making vacuum form molds. I used wood and metal. We had a 36 inch disk sander with built in dust extractor. The pipe to the extractor was open, no bag. I went to grinding metal on it one day and noticed four foot flames shoooting out of the dust extractor exhaust. No damage, just a bit exciting.

metal?
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My 1" belt sander was used on a bolt and soon I smelled smoldering sawdust in the sander. Fortunately I was still in the garage.

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Beside fire hazard and mess from oil, a problem that I had was metal shavings around the shop... not good to mix with sawdust, get imbedded in a wood project from table/tool contact or those nasty metal shavings becoming splinters.. OUCH!
A minor point, but the smell of a board being sawed is So much nicer than the lingering smell of machine oil..
mac
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On Sat, 29 Oct 2005 10:14:28 -0700, mac davis

woodshops and metalshops aren't very compatible. cutting iol makes stains on wood and sawdust clogs up the ways on metalworking machinery. thing is, both are so much fun... I gotta have both....
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Somewhere in this statement there is room for the comment "that's what cutting torches are for"...
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On Sun, 30 Oct 2005 08:13:43 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

......and hot sparks will burn down your woodshop....
but some tools cross over just fine: the sawzall butchers metal just a well as wood....
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Sure does - but it just isn't as much fun as a set of torches. It's just a shame that torches leave such a ragged edge on a hunk of cherry.
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super
Wonderful tool! A buddy has one, so whenever I need it, I just go up the road to his shop and use it. Absolutely beautiful cuts.
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Jack wrote:

Depending on what you want to cut, you can combine some saws. You can buy non-ferrous circular saw blades from all the big blade manufacturers that will cut aluminum, brass, copper, etc. fine on a table saw. It's noisy, but works reasonably well. I believe Ed Bennett, of the TS-Aligner, uses a Unisaw for cutting all his aluminum plate. Bandsaw blades designed for metal cutting will last longer than those for wood, but the bandsaw will work well, too.
Steel, on the other hand, has to have a much slower cutting speed. Table saws are right out. There are bandsaws like the Delta 28-348 14" with a gearbox to slow the blade for metal cutting but they're more than double the cost compared to the woodcutting version.
Coolant is better for all metal cutting, and especially so when cutting steel. But is very messy around wood.
Next, do you want to cut off long pieces of metal, or do contour cutting on smaller pieces? If you are just doing cut-off work on steel, an abrasive cut off saw is reasonably cheap. A friend has a small Chinese horizontal/vertical bandsaw that he really likes for cut-off work in horizontal mode, but I don't know if it'd be very useful doing contour cuts in vertical mode.
The big DoAll bandsaws with the blade welders often have low and high speed ranges and can cut metal and wood with the right blades, but they're big and expensive. They're great for contour cuts on metal, but are inconvenient for cut-off work.
So, it could be possible to share some equipment, but it really depends on what you want to cut and the type of cutting you want to do.
Good luck,
Tim
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