Need help to build wire band saw


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    Member Reallypistauf's Avatar
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    Question Need help to build wire band saw

    I want to build (DIY) a horizontal band(wire) saw using a fine (.035") SS abrasive wire (instead of a blade) I have on hand with about a 32-40 inch cutting length and a 6" throat. Question is what kind of a motorized drive wheel and other guide pulleys will I need and where can I obtain them?

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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    If you've already got a bandsaw like that, all you need are the right tires and guides for your wire. I'm not sure what exactly is available or what works best, but you might ask a manufacturer of diamond wire saws like this one: https://www.well-dws.com/en/ Of course, they might tell you to just buy one of their machines...

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    I guess I would cut a V-groove on the drive and idler wheel, then build a ball bearing guide for the wire at the cutting area. Maybe use a V-groove wheel as the guide wheel. Maybe something like this https://www.mcmaster.com/v-groove-wh...track-rollers/

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    Anyone who would like to help me in this project is most welcome. This is intended to be a productive and potentially quite profitable endeavor.



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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    Figuring out how to guide the abrasive wire is probably the hardest part. Just about everything I can think of to use wouldn't last long. Maybe you can find a cheap source for rubber wheels and just keep replacing them as they wear through. How do the guides on commercial diamond-wire saws work?

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    I need to add here that the wire does not actually have any abrasive grit but is a "dual twisted" wire - one wire tightly wound around another strand of the same wire; is Intended mainly for cutting relatively soft materials (as I will use it for), however I imagine it will still wear on any drive or guide mechanism but likely less than a wire with imbedded abrasive grit.

    Searching on line for any information on such a saw machine or technology seems to turn up nothing* - but then, I'm not the greatest at online work! Yes there are diamond saws but I'm not using a diamond imbedded wire.

    *I find info instead on large machines for cutting large stone blocks - I'm at the other end of the scale.



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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    Looks like I can get v-groove guide bearings for the wire on eBay - only need some kind of drive roller* to move the wire via a small motor. Any advice?

    I can apparently easily make the wire into as continuous loop (for the band saw) by simply twisting the 2 ends together.

    *I've noticed that feed rollers for MIG welders seem to be made for similar size wire. I should only need wire speed of from 1-3 ft./sec. Variable speed motor drive would be great.



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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    What is this machine for? When you started this post you were talking about abrasive wire and a band saw. Now you're on to twisted wire and some kind of MIG wire drive. What do you think this wire is going to cut? Some kind of foam that can't be heated?

    No, you can't simply twist the 2 ends together...

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    I already tried making a loop by twisting ends together and it looks functionally fine.



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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw - PROGRESS...

    Making progress - have made some 6" wood wheels that seem to be able to drive the wire ok without any problem. Each wheel (drive and idler) has a tight fitted 1/4" SS center shaft (see diagram). One of the wheels can be turned using a variable speed motor. Even if they wear out, they are easy and cheap to replace.

    What kind of bearing do I need for the shafts to turn inside? They will have to be able to withstand the side thrust from the constant tension on the wire which keeps it stretched and tight.

    Other problem of course is that the loop made with the wire has a slightly thicker section a few inches long where the two ends are joined via a lineman's splice. This splice is quite strong and easily resists coming apart under tension. Am not sure whether or not this section will be a problem when cutting the soft material saw will be used for - won't know until saw is up and running once I get the right bearings for the wheels and put saw together for test. May need some help on how best to splice (or weld?) the wire ends into a loop. If someone could do that for me, I will be glad to send them a length of the wire to make into a loop.

    Again, what type bearings do I need for the 1/4" shafts? Or can I just drill some 1/4" holes in some 1/2" thick aluminum, steel, bronze, or some other metal bars to use for holding the wheels and tensioning the wire?

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need help to build wire band saw-wire-saw-jpg  
    Last edited by Reallypistauf; 11-07-2020 at 11:31 AM.


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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    Any bearing will be better than no bearing at all. It seems you're trying to cut foam. If that drawing is a representation of your machine, it will be limited to cutting fairly small parts. or making multiple cuts around the edge to cut a large one. It would be better to have 3 wheels, to give you some room between the upstroke and the downstroke. That "lineman's splice" is going to give you a blade that clunks every time it comes around, and an irregular cut. That might be okay for your purposes, but if not you should either weld or braze it, depending on what the wire's made of.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    A bearing like this?




    Guess I'd have to epoxy it in place in a hole about the O.D. size - or is there a better way of mounting/securing it?

    I think the wire is stainless.



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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    Bearings like that are pressed onto the shaft, and then pressed into the hole, which has to be exactly right for that to work. Alternatively, you can use a "pillow block" bearing, which attaches to the frame with bolts, and has a set-screw collar that doesn't require a press to attach to the shaft: https://www.mcmaster.com/set-screw-c...ball-bearings/

    Silver soldering would probably be easier than welding for making your loop from stainless wire.

    Andrew Werby
    https://computersculpture.com/


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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    I know nothing about band wires,but I have used maybe 20 bandsaws and the main source of breakage has always been the join.Traditionally,they were tapered at the ends of the blade strip and then brazed together to reduce the stress raising potential.More modern blades are butt welded and ground smooth before being annealed-it almost always works when done by experienced operatives but i have very occasionally sent a batch back when they were breaking after very little use.You can get bandsaw blades down to about 3/16" wide,would such a thing be any use as it might be easier than learning to put a durable join in an abrasive wire?



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    Default Re: Need help to build wire band saw

    No, has to be the wire I have (see attached)


    Still making progress building - should be able to do some trial cutting this week

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need help to build wire band saw-img_2652-jpg  
    Last edited by Reallypistauf; 11-08-2020 at 01:03 PM.


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