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Tech and Tools Saws – with “30Pack” Matt
M: Today I am going to talk about some tools; more specific saws and how important it is to have a good saw.
C: I know you’ve been cutting up quite a bit of metal. How do you want to start?
M: This all started with me helping out a buddy with building some carts that had mitered cornors. I tried doing the cuts with my Jeep abrasive chop saw and I figured out that the abrasive saw wouldn’t work wfor mitered corners. I needed something that would produce clean and equal cuts. I started doing some research and I found that the best saw for this project was called a cold cut saw. A cold cut saw is like a chop saw but it spins slower and uses a metal blade with a bunch of carbide teeth on it. It cuts anything from wood to plastic to aluminum and steel. There’s a million ways to cut something from a 3-inch wheen on a die grinder using air, a 4 1/2-inch electric angle grinder with a cut off wheel, a regular abrasive chop saw that throws sparks everywhere and makes a bunch of heat, a band saw, or even a plasma cutter. However, when you get to something with a mitered corner, you need perfect cuts. Nothing beats that cold cut saw. It doesn’t leave a burn, it doesn’t heat it up, and it makes a perfect cut every time.
C: That’s really interesting because as you’re welding and making these cuts, sometimes perfection does matter, right?
M: The more perfect you start out the more perfect you’ll end up. Metal will always move a little when you weld on it. You can avoid it as much as you can, but it’s still going to more. For example, when you need to make a box out of square tubing, you need to cut four pieces exactly the same. You can’t have a saw that cuts every piece a little different because it’s wobbling or cutting crooked. It’s nice to have a good saw but it will come with a price tag.
C: Metal versus wood; is their a difference in the saw tha you would use for the two?
M: You really need two different saws. Wood saws use really big teeth that spin at a really high rpm. The teeth will actually grab the material and carry it out. The problem with using a wood saw on metal is that it spins too fast and will make too much heat. It will actually burn or break the teeth right off the saw blade. Which is another reason the carbide tipped chop saw is probably the way to go. You’re not going to do the trim on the inside of your house with the cold cut saw, but if you have to lop off a couple of 2 by 4s it would probably work.
C: Are the number of teeth, the kind of teeth, and the size of the blade important?
M: Definitely. Most metal saws use an abrasive wheel when the wheel is almost sacrificial. The wheel grinds up against the metal and as the blade disappears so does the metal. On the other hand, the blade on a wood saw is a lot stronger than the wood, so the wood will disappear before the blade. With cutting wood and metal you need to worry about speed. You can’t use a wood saw to cut metal because it spins too fast and will even burn up the metal.
C: What about cutting glass?
M: To cut glass, ceramic tiles, and other material like that you want to use a diamond blade. A diamond blade is a cross between an abrasive blade and a steel blade. The part of the blade that comes into contact with the material is infused with diamonds and the diamonds are so strong that they will wear the material down before the blade does. The beauty of it is that you get a really smooth, clean cut.
C: What’s the difference between a bandsaw and a table saw?
M: A table saw would be more for ripping a piece of wood and making it the same width where as a band saw would be more for a unique shape. With a bandsaw you’re taking the mood and moving it on the blade. it allows you to maneuver the wood differently so your not set to one straight line like with the table saw.
C: Have you ever manipulated a band saw into a metal cutting device?
M: All it is, is gear reduction. The band saw is the same as any other wood saw; it goes fast for wood and clears the material out of the way. If you want to start cutting metal with a wood saw you need to slow the blade down so it doesn’t build up the heat.