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?
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
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.
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.
"Jack" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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.
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..
Please remove splinters before emailing
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.
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