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I Forge Iron

MSC Bandsaws?


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We bought from MSC. My previous college had an older (1960ish) Kalamazoo saw, about same size. It is still the main cutoff saw in the machine shop. Good dependable saw brand.

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It seems pretty solidly build, but is certainly well used. I saw the saw today and couldn't find any manufacturing information at all. Guess I'll find out once i get it in the shop.

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MSC is a huge industrial supplier, I bought a lot from them when I had my machine shop. .  They have a website that you can search through, but that saw may no longer be offered, as they do what Kenmore does, and labels items made by others with their name,

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Yeah- this model certainly is not made anymore. I got the saw in the shop and poked around it better. There's a plate with some numbers. It looks like it was likely manufactured by a company called "Vectrax" in Taiwan. This is, I believe, the newer version of the same saw: https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/09518853

 All the electrical stuff is routed through a crazy panel underneath the saw. Is that normal for these older bandsaws? It seems overly complicated, but I also don't quite understand all the wiring. I'll attach a photo. 

 

IMG_1891.jpg

IMG_1892.jpg

IMG_1893.jpg

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Panel looks like most of the industrial panels I’ve dealt with and you even have a clear schematic on the door.

I’d be a little curious about that wire nut hanging out though…

David

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Looks like a control voltage transformer on the left and a motor contactor on the right. With higher horsepower motors you do not wire them directly to a switch, but through a contactor like you have. It is like a starter on your car. Low voltage to the contactor coil (starter solenoid) which makes the high amperage connection sending power to the motor (starter). At work we have contactor coils that are 12V, 24v, 120v . Then there should be wiring for the stop switch when the cut is finished, as well as a coolant pump.  Looks like a nice beefy saw. 

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Posted (edited)

Neat, thanks. I might write back to ask some more specific questions on the electronics. The previous owner didn't use the coolant pump so I need to figure out how to get that going. It seems beefy for sure. Nothing seems flimsy on it and the bolts are large, which is my kind of machine. The true test will be in the performance, however....

Edited by Mod30
Remove excessive quote.
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Does anyone have tips on setting the blade tension? Someone told me to tighten until the blade rings when plucked, but I can't seem to get it that tight and I'm worried I'm putting too much strain on the machine. 

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Did we cover this in another thread a couple days ago? 

Just in case. A blade that size isn't going to make a sound if you pluck it, even if you tap it. Tension it until you can barely deflect it by pushing on it between the wheels on the far side from the guide rolls. It's a 1" blade yes?

Check the oil in the gear box. Make sure the wheels don't have lash in the bearings by holding them like a steering wheel, push with one hand and pull with the other. Give it a good rattle, it won't be easy on this old boy. There shouldn't be any movement, "lash" if there is it indicates bearing wear.  Turn it on without a blade to get an idea of what the machine sounds like without a load. You'll hear the gears, they shouldn't grind or vibrate but it'll be noisier than a hum this ain't no watch. Install the blade making SURE the teeth are facing the right direction, it's not hard to get it backwards, Ask me how I know that, I dare ya!

Tighten the tensioner until you can barely deflect the blade and turn it on. A short piece of 2"x4" helps keep the blade full on the wheels until you have enough tension it stays. Turn it on, the blade will adjust itself and track if there wasn't any lash  the bearings. Pay attention to how it sounds now. Turn it off and try deflecting the blade, when it won't move 1/8" turn it back on and listen. You should notice normal machine working sounds, the motor will be working, the gears will have smoothed out under load and the blade will be making a sound. Now slowly tighten the blade a little and note the sound change.

I know mine to know where she's happy, the blade sings a LITTLE and the motor is working but not loading up. 

You probably won't need to adjust the guide rolls unless they look worn and don't turn smoothly. If one has a flat spot it's bearing is shot, replace it and the bolt. This is all eyeball inspection I just forgot to mention the guide rolls when you were looking at the oil level, and such. You'll have to manually fit the blade in the rolls when you install it but it's not a big deal just be patient.

Chuck up some "clean" steel to test it. By clean I mean no DIRT! Grit, dust, scale, etc. WILL dull saw blades I take a cup wire brush to steel if it's not  darned clean. Lift the saw and close the 1/4 turn feed valve, close the feed speed needle valve. There is a best feed speed for whatever you cut and it changes so close the feed rate needle valve any time you change size, shape, etc. With the 1/4 turn feed valve closed the head will stay up ad with the test piece barely SNUGGED in the clamp, open the feed valve and just CRACK the needle valve to allow the head to SLOWLY come down until the blade ALMOST touches ad close the needle valve. Now you measure your cut and tighten the vise. 

Turn the saw on and slowly open the needle valve. Remember the saw's feed rate WILL slow when it starts cutting but do NOT get in a hurry it doesn't help. When the blade makes contact the motor will start to work, the gear note will change and the blade will start to sing it's cutting song. If the stock is thick you can open the feed valve a LOT more than on thin stock. If it sounds like a hack saw taking a good bite it's not chattering or squealing let it cut. You can find it's best rate as you learn your machine. What you're looking for now is a straight cut. If the guide rolls are off the cut will be straight but at an angle. Pro tip, you want your guide rolls as close to the work as possible and still clear.

If the blade curves as it cuts, check all 4 final guide rolls to be sure there is no lash in their bearings, if they're good, tighten it up the tension some. If it's a used blade it's getting dull on one side, the side it's curving towards. 

One last IMPORTANT bit of WARNING!! Be GENTLE with the FEED RATE VALVE Needle valves are delicate stop twisting when you feel it stop. Turning it harder does NOT make it close better, it damages the seats so it won't stop leaking at all. 

The 1/4 turn feed valve isn't sensitive but no need to be rough on it. 

If you're cutting the same thing repeatedly just use the feed valve once the feed RATE valve is set. 

I'm starting to babble remembering things I got out of order I'd better stop now.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Okay GOOD, I sometimes think I said something but poof nothing's there. You don't need a special pump if it's an electric. 

I rarely use fluid with mine, only on really thick stock but if I can get away with it I don't use it at all. Easy on the feed and the blade can clear the cuttings without help. Cutting fluids CAN cause cuttings to stick together and gall in the kerf. It's a judgment call.

Frosty The Lucky.

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