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  1. #1
    Member squeakygeek's Avatar
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    Question How to cut copper stock?

    My grandpa has this bandsaw made for cutting metals. The blade is horizontal, and you can lift it up on an angle. It has an adjustible shock absorber that lets it down at an adjustible rate as it cuts through the metal. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can I use this on 1/4 and 1/8th" copper stock? My grandpa doesn't know because he's either used other metals, or he's used really thin copper.

  2. #2
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    If it is for cutting metals I say go for it, just go slow. Copper is relatively soft. I used a jig saw with a metal cutting blade and it worked, although slowly.

  3. #3
    Member squeakygeek's Avatar
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    Jigsaw. Interesting.

  4. #4
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    A bandsaw will work fine for copper, it's just slow. Use wax to lubricate the blade and keep the copper from clogging the teeth.

    The fastest way to cut copper and aluminum is with a carbide tipped blade in a mitre saw or a radial saw.

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  5. #5
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    Originally posted by squeakygeek
    Jigsaw. Interesting.
    Not a handheld but an industrial table top.

  6. #6
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    that metal cutting band saw is the same type I used to cut steel bars

    just need to adjust the feed to the slowest setting and see if you can put some liquid cooling on the point of cutting to keep the blade from clogging with copper chips
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  7. #7
    Member Mikeonatrike's Avatar
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    I used the metal bandsaw at school and it cut my block crooked
    So i use my dads grinder. Although a chop saw would be nice.
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  8. #8
    Member omaticrail's Avatar
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    ...my dad's grinder
    eeeeeeep....don't try to "grind" non-ferous metals. You'll just gum up the grinding wheel.

    ...a radial saw
    That would scare the crap outta me!
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  9. #9
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    Copper is very soft, so be careful not to damage saw. It gains high temperatures while modding, so if you use some cooling - like pouring water on it, you should have no greater problems.

    Anyway I suggest relatively high speed of saw, moving into copper slowly.

  10. #10
    Hey! I showered! Senior JFettig's Avatar
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    yeah, horizontal band saws rule.
    Mikeonatrike: thats because you didnt have it squaired up....

    does it have flood coolant? like pooring out? if not be constantly oiling the blade and where its cutting, make sure you go ultra slow. on the one at school that I use, I had it right on the number 1, as soon as I went 1/16" past that the blade locked up
    what you want to do is put it in horizontally so the shortest side is up, so basicly lay it flat.
    One thing to be conserned abuot is if its too short it can either not be clampable or pop out on ya, that can result in a broken blade.

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  11. #11
    Member Rokk1972's Avatar
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    or use some "lefty" sissors and make sure to clear your schedual for the next few weeks while you cut your block out!!

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by omaticrail
    ...a radial saw

    That would scare the crap outta me!
    Yeah, the first time I did it, I was scared, too. However, you just can't beat the speed of cut. It takes less than 3 seconds to cut 3"x0.5" copper... I love it

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    Sounds like a drop saw, if I understand you. At least that's what people called the one I used in the past. The blade is like a bandsaw but it drops down onto the part due to the weight of the top part of the saw, so it doesn't apply a lot of pressure. That is good for hard to cut stuff, because otherwise you could jam the blade, which is a very bad thing. I had some stainless pieces cut on such a saw, it took like an hour for a 6 inch diameter bar.

    Because copper is a lot denser than aluminum it will take longer, and you want a lot of coolant.

    I tried to cut a fairly thick copper piece on a radial saw, the thing got stuck and smoke came out of the motor. The piece was like 2 inches thick, and the drop speed was actually for wood or aluminum, so obviously it wasn't going to work very well, it was too fast. The motor still works luckily.

  14. #14
    Member squeakygeek's Avatar
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    Yes, it is a drop saw. Would a radial chop saw work ok? My dad has one, and it seems like it would be much faster.

  15. #15
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    I used a drop saw at school for my waterblock and it worked great.

    Just make sure there is coolant in it to keep the blade wet.

    I cut several blocks with that saw at school. It takes a while but it got the job done.

    Also put it on low speed since copper is sticky.

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