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Bandsaw for cutting wax


#1

I’ve been in the market for a band saw that can be used for cutting
carving wax.

It has to be fairly small-compact, and possibly variable speed.

Has anyone found one that can accomodate a block of wax up to 4
inches deep ?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Margie Mersky
www.deepdetail.com
Wax Models & Miniature Sculptures


#2

Small bandsaws break blades much faster than their larger
counterparts. This is why there are so few around. Same problem
with three-wheeled models. The problem is the small wheels. The
small wheels make the blade bend severely (blade must assume the
radius of the wheel as it goes around it) and all that repeated
flexion fatigues the blade and snaps it. That’s why most bandsaws
are 12" minimum wheel size.

Now, they do make smaller wheel bandsaws, the smallest cutoff
bandsaw has wheels that are about 6" in diameter. It is portable
and overall dimensions are around 12"x24", but you are buying a
specialty tool, and the price shows.

A steel cutoff bandsaw (not the portable kind) can be had for as
little as 200$ if you find a good sale. This is called a 4x6 cutoff
bandsaw, and it is nearly ubiquitous in smaller metal shops. It is
a floor stander though, not very small at all.

Hope this is of use,
Katou


#3

I have a few small bandsaws and a 14" Delta .2 are the 8" wheel
version which have been fine for work within their capacity.
Blade breakage has not been a big problem.

One is an 8" wheel version sold by Delta for less than $100.
Another is the same size but a machine by Ryobi also less than
$100. This one has been adapted to a full variable speed by
switching to a DC motor with a pulse width control. This machine
was easier to adapt than the Delta one would have been. I have about
$200 more in the conversion alone. This is not a project for
most…The standard AC induction motors are not suitable for
variable speed.

There is an inexpensive lapidary bandsaw sold by Harbor Freight for
about $150 that comes with variable speed. It has 5" wheels. cuts
stones and glass with a diamond blade but also has a regular bandsaw
blade available. I have not used this machine with a regular blade.
see:

http://www.harborfreight.com
Item Number 33751

A problem with the bandsaws is the lack of premade blades in a
variaty of tooth pitches and forms. Even a wide variety of fine
blade stock is hard to find What is available my not be the best for
what you want.

You may want to consider one of the several Scroll saws or Fret
saws available. They can use a very wide variety of blades. Some
have a range of variable speed. The expensive ones are generally
better than the cheap ones out of the box. I have never sawed wax
with a power saw. You probably will have a learning curve. I have
cut acrylics and polycarbonate which should be similar in working
characteristics. The slower speeds and proper blade selection make
these doable.

jesse