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Old 03-04-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
strat_thru_marshall
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Default saw question

I just got my stainless tubing for my stand build.

Is there any reason that I should not use a 10" miter saw with an abrasive cutoff blade to make my cuts? it's 2" 11ga stainless square tubing

I have seen recommendations of using a bandsaw for tubing, but I dont have a bandsaw.

I have learned the entirety of my DIY skills from this forum and my brewhouse builds...thanks in advance!

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:50 AM   #2
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I would advise against it.
It states in my Dewalt miter saw manual "Don't use abrasive wheels" with this saw.
You've already went all out with stainless. For $150 you can buy a good chop saw, or you could get one from harbor freight for cheaper.
That would be the the proper tool.
When you're done with it you can sell it, but you can never have too many tools.
If you don't already have a grinder, get one. Your gonna need a grinder anyway.
A chop saw leaves big nasty burrs on the exit side of the cut.
Harbor freight has cheapies from what I've heard that hold up pretty well.(grinders that is)

Oh yeah, who's doing the welding?

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Old 03-04-2011, 11:41 AM   #3
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I would also advise against it. I've heard of people doing it for years without burning up their saw. My Dewalt also says not to use an abrasive wheel, but i have a feeling that's just to generate sales of their abrasive saws.

If you only have a handful of cuts to make, i'll bet your saw survives, but I'll agree with dmfa200 and say find another way. It might not be worth buying your own chop saw, but an angle grinder with a cut-off disc should work, and those are dirst cheap at harbor frieght (like $10-20). Or better yet, find someone in your area with the right equipment, lay out all of your cuts and trade them some beer for the use of their band-saw/chop saw.

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Old 03-04-2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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When you cut SS with an abrasive wheel, especially a chop saw, the material gets extremely hot which draws out the nickel in the area of the cut. This could cause that area to rust later. Even when welding, special care needs to be taken so that the metal does not get too hot.

Find a cheep band saw if you can. Harbor freight has a little floor (stationary) model that is affordable.

Have fun with your build.

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Old 03-04-2011, 01:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I am still very much in the "acquisition phase" of putting my home shop together, so while I was hoping that I could use what I already have as a multi-tasker...I know that having the proper tool for the job is most important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmfa200 View Post
Oh yeah, who's doing the welding?
I am planning on doing it myself with the help of a friend who is an experienced welder. I bought plenty of extra metal and plan to spend a solid amount of time practicing on the SS before I start work on the actual stand.

So if I go with a band saw, (in order to keep this project within some semblance of a "budget"), should I get a name brand portable band saw or buy the harbor freight stationary saw? Or something else?
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
I am planning on doing it myself with the help of a friend who is an experienced welder. I bought plenty of extra metal and plan to spend a solid amount of time practicing on the SS before I start work on the actual stand.
A) I would have fun playing with the welder, but welding is a skill that takes a lifetime to perfect. I would pay a pro to get nice looking beads... SS is tricky...
B) The friend with a welder probably has a band saw
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jota21 View Post
A) I would have fun playing with the welder, but welding is a skill that takes a lifetime to perfect. I would pay a pro to get nice looking beads... SS is tricky...
B) The friend with a welder probably has a band saw
Yeah, point taken. I'm stubborn and am overconfident in my abilities. I know it wont look perfect, I'm ok with that as long as I have the satisfaction of saying that I did it myself. Maybe thats stupid...just stay on the lookout for a thread in a couple of weeks titled "I just ruined $500 of stainless steel!!"

Also, my friend doesn't have a band saw... dang.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:46 PM   #8
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Another issue, when you use an abrasive cutoff blade, it tosses lots of glowing hot sparks.

There are chop saws that are designed to handle this. Regular wood-cutting miter saws aren't, and those little balls of glowing hot fun can burn their way into the plastic casing of the saw, eat tiny holes in the (often aluminum) base, and sometimes even eat through the wires and kill the saw.

Not that I've ever seen anyone wreck a perfectly good miter saw this way...

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Old 03-04-2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
I am planning on doing it myself with the help of a friend who is an experienced welder. I bought plenty of extra metal and plan to spend a solid amount of time practicing on the SS before I start work on the actual stand.

So if I go with a band saw, (in order to keep this project within some semblance of a "budget"), should I get a name brand portable band saw or buy the harbor freight stationary saw? Or something else?
I hope your going to tig it, because if you don't have a good mig machine setup properly to run stainless, it's a PITA.
I'm sure your friend will guide you in the right direction.

As for the band saw, I want to tell you to buy brand name, but since metal fabrication is not something you do a lot, I say buy what ever floats your boat. I will say this though, you get what you pay for.
Can't give any recommendations on cheap tools,. I don't buy them.


IMO Milwaukee power tools are the best on the market. That's what we use at work, and what half of my own tools are.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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I have the floor model band saw you linked, and I think it provides a great value. I cut metal with it, but also wood on occasion. You can lock it upright and mod up a table on it, so you can do more free hand cuts if you like. I don't have a portaband, but hot damn they are super awesome tools. You have to line them up and hold them straight etc., and you will probably have to spend a little more time learning to use it properly then a floor model, but they are super portable, and super handy. Sometimes I want to cut a large piece of metal, or an awkward piece, etc, and the portaband does the job just fine, when the floor model won't. In essence I guess the portaband can be used in more ways then the floor model, but the floor model is a good tool too... I purchased my floor model used for 50$ off of craigslist. It was a good buy in my book. I'd love a portaband (my buddy has one) but I can't justify the purchase at the moment.. Oh also with the portaband you are going to want to use a good vise to hold the metal you are cutting.

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