I got by with a 7" angle grinder and cut-off wheel for cutting stock to VERY ROUGH dimensions. I now have a Horror Freight 14" chop saw ($90) and that helps make it less of a white-knuckle experience and lets me make a much closer cut, but the grinder worked for everything I needed to do below 1.5" thick and cost all of $30. I'll likely never have a bandsaw but I just try to chose stock that is the correct thickness and width and then cut the chucks off I need over time I have developed enough scrap cut-offs that I rarely need to buy new stuff. I have a couple places here locally that will cut metal to small lengths and sell it that way. Saves me a lot of time and shipping costs. Might look around and see if there is something similar out there in your area.
In my opinion, this was probably one of the most important purchases I have made throughout the entire lifetime of my hobby. It has paid for it's $179 over and over again.
I wore out an older green HF bandsaw already. I am working on wearing out one of the newer red ones like in the picture. I have had to tweak it and replace a couple bearings as well as address the lower wheel shifting on the shaft, but now it's a fine little bandsaw.
20% discount coupon works great at check out too.
Oh yeah. It cuts steel. Even hard stuff as well as stainless. I usually buy Starrett blades for this from Mcmaster Carr at about $20 each.
My big clausing is actually kinda worn out, unfortunately, but that's ok for manual work. My knee mill is in very good shape, and I have a nice Anilam DRO on it. Just didn't seem like a good CNC conversion candidate, mostly cause I didn't want the DRO money to go to waste.
Anyway, I paid for a set of phase2 plans this morning! Looking forward to seeing them. I figure I can start getting stock together and machining parts while I wait on grizzly's backorder.
http://www.hossmachine.info - Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here. - Roy Batty -- http://www.g0704.com - http://www.bf20.com - http://www.g0602.com