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Portaband Saw Cutting: How to keep them straight/square?

[memphis]

Web wheeler
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
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1867
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707
I've been using my portaband free hand cutting axle tubes and stuff lately but my cuts end up out of square. I've had luck before using a single hose clamp with my sawzall and got a decent cut on my one axle. What do you guys do to keep them square? Should I try two hose clamps? My last cut was about 1/8" off. I am not pushing the saw and I am using the slowest speed available. I am using a Milwaukee plug in variable speed,
 
Is the blade square to the saw rest? Granted a bit expected with my harbor freight Bauer saw, I had to modify the blade guides to allow adjustments. I was able to get the blade to about 1/16" out of square, which from the almost 1/4" out it was is much better.

You could also build a bigger saw rest, that provides more support. I build this table, but I plan to make a smaller version that allows for better support against the material I'm cutting.

20200815_222926.jpg
 
The initial cut half way through the tube was great, it was on my tape line and then something got wonky on the backside. I currently do not have a table. I was cutting the axle resting on jack stands. I may try 2.75” band clamps, the worm gear on a standard hose clamp does get in the way. I want this cut to be perfect so I know my C’s are pressed on correctly.

I am planning to build a table or invest in the Swag version
 
Practice and paper trick.

Also dont try to cut through both walls at the same time. Get it in and started and chase the upper line around
 
Practice and paper trick.

Also dont try to cut through both walls at the same time. Get it in and started and chase the upper line around

It’s funny, I tried to do exactly that and it started to walk on the backside! What is the paper trick?
 
My Milwaukee is difficult to keep straight. The Dewalt I bought for work seems to cut better.
 
I am sometimes flabbergasted when I am making rough cuts freehand how crooked I cut when I think I am cutting fairly straight. Scribe a line using a piece of paper as a guide works fine for me when I need to cut straight.
 
Wrap a piece of paper around the pipe. when the top edge line up flush you know the line is square and straight.
 
I just ordered a couple 2.75” band clamps. This will insure the blade stays true. $20 investment but I need to make 4-5 more cuts so it’s worth it
 
It's tough to get perfectly square cuts on the portaband. What happens is that the blade starts to twist when you start putting a lot of pressure into the cut.

The portaband has been my favorite tool that I've added to my shop, but a chop saw is the better tool for those types of cuts IMO, and on my 'to buy' list.
 
I've struggled with the Bauer portaband making square cuts since day 1, even with the first cut on a brand new band. Toreadorranger can you outline the mods you made?
 
I use a welders pipe wrap on round tube to mark it all the way around, then turn it as you cut to make sure you stay on the line. I don't make one full cut from top to bottom.
 
If you're cutting a bunch of the same size tube, you can invest in the clamp-on saw guides.

https://andronstainless.com/content/images/Saw_Guide_R.jpg


Otherwise it's like others said - mark a square line around the tube, cut into the tube maybe 25% of the way, rotate the tube 90-120°, cut a bit more, rotate again, etc.

My Dewalt porta-band has an adjustable rest but I agree it's not exactly square to the blade.
 
I have problems keeping straight even on flat plate, lol.

more blade contact, dont cut so perpendicular, tilt the saw so more of the blade is touching your line

if im cutting less than 5" plate i typically lay the saw flat so the blade is pretty much touching my entire line, super straight cut
 
free hand with the porta band 6"x1/4" flat plate, not perfect but plenty good enough
Click image for larger version Name:	20210216_145054.jpg Views:	0 Size:	209.1 KB ID:	313602

and that was with a shitty blade that needs to be changed after letting the neighbor borrow it :laughing:
 
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So not with the portaband mounted in a table, but freehand? I should try that.
 
it'll fight you the whole way, ain't dirt easy like a death wheel or a maniac saw but you can make them cut straight

most of it is that you can't steer the cut like you would cutting plate in a vertical band saw, don't even try you'll get one side close and the other totally fucked
don't cut "through"
go for one side, then rotate the part and continue your cut
keep doing that all the way around the tube until you meet the start of the cut
 
free hand with the porta band 6"x1/4" flat plate, not perfect but plenty good enough
filedata/fetch?id=313602&d=1613516183

and that was with a shitty blade that needs to be changed after letting the neighbor borrow it :laughing:

shitty blade? dull? maybe perfectly shitty. or lucky


i shim my porta saw guides with a new, but broken in, blade they cut perfect. i mark square on one side of a 4x4 square tube it cut square. shitty blade?... just like any bandsaw its goin to be off.

i use morse blades and at a slowish speed, as which portabands its far more common to destroy a blade before it goes dull. it also took me some time to appreciate breaking a blade in... when i can, every new blade goes thru a big chunk of a514 steel. it evens the cut out and helps them last.

when i bought my ellis i would go thru a blade every 2-3 days (yes i was cutting that much) but learned to read the blades and break in and have easily tripled or more my blade life. learnign time cost a bit and Moorse even gave me a bunch of swag for buying so many, but now i know i know. also it soesn't help allot of blades are bad out of the box... on the 10' ellis blades i always check the weld joint for straight before installing. perbably 1 in 10-20 are obviously off, and they are the best blade i can get locally
 
shitty blade? dull? maybe perfectly shitty. or lucky

shitty blade as in missing teeth/bent and you can feel it catch every revolution and it will probably break soon

and not lucky, i have 4 other pieces laying next to that one
 
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shitty blade as in missing teeth/bent and you can feel it catch every revolution and it will probably break soon

and not lucky, i have 4 other pieces laying next to that one

so your shitty blades still cut straight? or you follow a line and can cut straight?

i think you understand where i'm coming from???? riping down a small plate with a shitty blade, says nothing about how well your porta band can cut. cutting 4x box tube down one side, square, does.


if your saying that you can cut a square line with a shitty blade, cool story bro.... we can all follow a line.


and cutting with a shitty blade is no bench mark to those that take pride in their work. can you cut square, down one side of a tube? thats what this is about.

i bet you can cut a straight line with a cut off wheel too?! but who fucking cares?




lets see your crayon work:lmao: you keeping it inside the lines? sharp or not? feel special? i'll send you all my shitty blades, for your next picasso.




I really dont think you understand. nobody has a problem cutting a straight line on 6" of 1/4" plate. no matter how fucked the blade or the tool is.

have your ever made an improvement or adjustment to your saw that has helped? or do you really think its all operator error, and your just that good?



bottom line is porta bands aren't made for precision cuts, but they can be, with some adjustment. if cutting a piece of 1/4" flat bar straight is an accomplishment, congrats! your trophy is special. extra special.
 
so your shitty blades still cut straight? or you follow a line and can cut straight?

i think you understand where i'm coming from???? riping down a small plate with a shitty blade, says nothing about how well your porta band can cut. cutting 4x box tube down one side, square, does.


if your saying that you can cut a square line with a shitty blade, cool story bro.... we can all follow a line.


and cutting with a shitty blade is no bench mark to those that take pride in their work. can you cut square, down one side of a tube? thats what this is about.

i bet you can cut a straight line with a cut off wheel too?! but who fucking cares?




lets see your crayon work:lmao: you keeping it inside the lines? sharp or not? feel special? i'll send you all my shitty blades, for your next picasso.




I really dont think you understand. nobody has a problem cutting a straight line on 6" of 1/4" plate. no matter how fucked the blade or the tool is.

have your ever made an improvement or adjustment to your saw that has helped? or do you really think its all operator error, and your just that good?



bottom line is porta bands aren't made for precision cuts, but they can be, with some adjustment. if cutting a piece of 1/4" flat bar straight is an accomplishment, congrats! your trophy is special. extra special.

are you ok? do you need a hug? try following along with the thread, my first reply to this thread was about tube



i typically put a line all the way around and rotate my tube as i cut so i can always see the line

then i responded to this post

I have problems keeping straight even on flat plate, lol.

with this


more blade contact, dont cut so perpendicular, tilt the saw so more of the blade is touching your line

if im cutting less than 5" plate i typically lay the saw flat so the blade is pretty much touching my entire line, super straight cut

and this was an example of the cut i can get using that method
free hand with the porta band 6"x1/4" flat plate, not perfect but plenty good enough
filedata/fetch?id=313602&d=1613516183

and that was with a shitty blade that needs to be changed after letting the neighbor borrow it :laughing:

whats your problem? are you dumb?

fucking douchebag

and fwiw i was cutting with a shitty blade because i had something i needed to get done and it was my only blade, i also like to use my blades as long as i can
 
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I've struggled with the Bauer portaband making square cuts since day 1, even with the first cut on a brand new band. Toreadorranger can you outline the mods you made?

I removed the guides and slotted the holes on them so that I could slide them around to try and square the blade up. Its not perfect but its better then it was. I mostly use it to cut smaller parts on the make shift table I made for it, so it being a bit out isnt the end of the world. I absolutely hate trying to cut tube with it. I need to pick up a horizontal bandsaw again, I sold off the two I used to have and have regretted it ever since.

Ill try and get a photo tonight of what I did
 
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are you ok? do you need a hug? try following along with the thread, my first reply to this thread was about tube

a hug, who doesn't need a hug. i had just got in from pounding a couple back. decided the ibb was what to look at before hitting the sack. shoulda gone with porn.

and no, not following along with the thread. i read op.... skim.... see something and respond.


i responded to your post because everyporta band question thread has the same 'i cut square with dog shit' and rarely much good useful advice. and no i dont consider chasing a line, or anything with shitty blades good advice.

good advice is to break in your saw blade, and tru your saw. dont chase a line unless in a pinch, and dont use shitty blades. (yes yota, you did have some good advice, just some that i dont agree with)

once you learn the right way you will never go back to chasing lines and shitty blades. good blades and a tru saw are less wear on the user and the tool

this is the saw i use, it is beat on almost daily (i'm a big fan of the m18 metal cutting circular saw more everyday) and gets tru'd up when need with whats at arms reach. not ideal but good enough. this saw will cut within 1/16" on 4x 1/2"wall sq tube

* also i mostly use Morse 10/14 or 8/11 blades but because most bandsaws destroy before wearing out blades, i recommend use a higher tooth count before getting too course.

View attachment SeJXeRQfNRTdsx-KJ9OwaV-gZWzM5Qv5fq63SqbQPpZJ9MXrPNDa1KlKMR0Vk1cMQjIvuRfS2qV28fKroGc_hcxk3aLZI0BznqhT View attachment K_E-sIwpvThyHeTFq_XFvFE-3WcL6osQt0B0XRGDrJmMd32urRJro1HOnaJLUQ7llzQy6S0MgYfcU_OERCpA7MM85iCjGKAOiJJ3

certainly not proud of the shim job, it works. now that i'm thinking about it... its been just over a year since i last adjusted the shims.
 
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