I am interested in comments pro or con from anyone with a Jet or Delta 14" bandsaw with the metal cutting option.
After researching the issue, I was prepared to order the Delta but the local Woodcraft owner made such an ugly face over the decision I actually backed off. Does anyone have any experience cutting anything beside wood with either of these saws?
Not Delta but, yes. The reason the guy gave you "the look" was this;
using a band saw for cutting metal and wood is generally a bad idea because of the metal filings make a mess of bearings, tires, the whole nine yards. As you may know, metal filings don't make the best lubricant. ;) The other down side, besides the plain ol' nastiness of metal filings and dust, is that electric motors don't like metal filings either. FWIW.
Sorry I wasn't clear in my post. The Woodcraft guy was down on the Delta product, not the concept. He was critical of the fit and finish of the recent Delta products he has received, and was singling out the bandsaws in particular. He very much wanted to sell me the Jet wood/metalworking BS; however, all my research gave the Delta the nod over the Jet.
The reason I'm even thinking about this is that I've got a near-term "need" (ha ha) for a bandsaw to cut wood and delrin, and I've got a longer-term use in mind that requires cutting metal. So I was debating with myself about getting a "metal capable" BS for now and then dedicating it to metal (and anything else nasty) in the future when I can afford a "big" 18-20" BS and hope to really get into things like resawing wood.
OTH, I may just be thinking too hard and should just get a plain vanilla 14" BS for now, meet the immediate need, and move on!
When my neighbor first seen my band saw several years ago, the first thing he said was " Can I use it to cut up my elk?". I wont repeat what he called me when I turned him down. Might of had something to do with the way I turned him down. Now this last week he was in the shop eyeing my saw up agin saying something about how much easier the two elk he had to cut would be on that saw. Some just never learn. :)
As you have probably figured out, the option is to slow down the FPM of the blade speed.
My bandsaw supplier said something around 1000-1200 FPM I think. Maybe slower, I can't remember.
The machinist at work has a monster metal cutting bandsaw that appears to be just a huge-o bandsaw from a distance. But up close you really can see a lot of differences.
A table that moves or stays stationary. A variable V belt speed drive. And a lot of other differences.
I think many good points have been made about what problems might arise from dual use of a machine. Mine has a TEFC motor so getting metal in the motor wouldn't be a big concern of mine.
But if one didn't really clean it well when switching back and forth, can you imagine what imbeded flecks of metal would do to a set of planer blades? OUCH!
So I dunno about iffen it would be such a great idea in the end. Only you could really decide.
That feller with the hunks of elk though.... he ought to go to Harbor Freight and get him a meat saw. I sure wouldn't want no rotting meat smell in my shop when the spring thaw turns to balmy summer days.
Let him stink up his own place.
Better get a lock-out device for when your not there, just in case of an end run with the kids or the wife with the promise of some nice steaks.
Ya sure don't want rotting marrow and bone sawdust imbedded in your tires. Let alone gritty meat on the table. LOL!
Ahhhhh, no need to apologize though. Any who, like Sonny said it's an rpm thing mostly. If you get a "metal" cutting BS, the basic difference is that it's set up for the right rpms and will have a smaller table. I have a Tradesman 2 speed 14", which is (was?) identical to theirs. You change the speed by changing the belt to the other pulley set, which I didn't even install.
Thanks guys. Based on your advice, I've reconsidered and will go with the woodcutting 14" for now and then reassess at a future date. I can get the woodcutting 14" bandsaw and get good blades, blocks, resaw attachment, etc. for the same total cash outlay. The metal cutting option involves more money, maybe need the metal cutting in the future, clean up and fiddling around... too many negatives for a potential future benefit.