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Cutting stainless steel pipes

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  • #16
    I have the milwaukee version of that saw, and i do like it. It's not perfect however, miters can be tough especially on short pieces, and the blades can go on you really fast if your not careful. I started out using a water based coolant from McMaster Carr. It's a bout 18 bucks a gallon and you dilute it 20:1 so it is economoical. I put it in a squirt bottle, and keep the cut very wet. Using this method my first blade lasted longer than i thought it would. In fact i got lazy and stopped using the coolant, shortly thereafter my blade went dull, so i mounted the spare and wiped it out in a few cuts on thin 4130!! (milwaukee blades) i then bought the freud blades from e-bay i tried a few cuts without coolant to test and they work well, but from now on i use the little squirt bottle (well worth 20 bucks!). One note about cutting with this type of saw, you will be tempted to cut flat or solid stock, with the blade against the widest side (flat bar flat in the clamp, i think you can cut wider than standing it up) do NOT do it!! It kills blades, i have hard it reccomended that no more than 2-3 teeth should engage the metal at any one time, i would stick to this reccomedation. Cut with the narrowest side of the material facing the blade, and try to orient the blade (by adjusting the holding clamp)so this is true. And use the coolant!

    McMaster.com PN 1216K15

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    • #17
      Thanks for the info Laiky,
      I discovered right away that it is best to stand flatbar vertically when cutting from a speed standpoint. I also noticed that the saw head bounces a little when cutting the other way.
      When it is unavoidable to cut flat, like in cutting large square tube, all you can do is feed lightly. It still cuts fairly fast with light feed pressure. I also lift back out every few seconds to allow some cooling air to get to the teeth. Too bad it's hard to hold square tube standing on one corner so you're cutting no flat sections! I want to test my first blade without coolant to see how she goes. Less pre-weld cleanup and mess. I use my bandsaw dry too for that reason. Bandsaw blades are cheap though.
      Do you get any rusting with the Mc Master coolant? Does it wash off the steel with water?
      Russ

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      • #18
        Just used a Rigid recip saw blade, 24 tpi, to cut through 4" stainless steel exhaust pipe like butter.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Dustyj80 View Post
          Just used a Rigid recip saw blade, 24 tpi, to cut through 4" stainless steel exhaust pipe like butter.
          The issue isn't just making a cut, the issue is prepping for welding, which requires a precise cut.

          Up to about 15 gauge stainless - 3" and 4" I use dry cut blade. I have used an abrassive blade in the past but the kerf varies with how much heat is generated and quite frankly the cleanup is too much.

          Often I buy pre-bent tubing (just don't have $40,000 laying around for a mandrel bender) and need to bi-sect the angle. I have used abrasive blades in a miter saw (that doesn't work well because the abrassive blades heat the metal and melt through the plastic insert on these wood cutting saws).
          I like vertical band saws the best.

          The ultimate idea:
          http://www.icengineworks.com/icewmain.htm
          http://www.icengineworks.com/PIV0872dpi.JPG

          Now I don't have a bandsaw like that (not enough room right now) but you can do something similar with porta-saws.
          http://www.swagoffroad.com/Porta_ban...t_Product.html

          Now, on that last one, the plate that mounts on the saw is very stable/straight etc. The problem is the saw table is not. A little warpage here and there, just enough to throw things off. You will want to flame bend it a bit.... tiny bit, to get everything 100% level or the tubing will rock.

          I have 'outriggers' welded on both sides of the table - scroll down on that last page and see the miter gauge attachment. Those aren't perfect, but they are good enough. The miter gauge attachment are tack welded on both sides and as parallel as I can measure. I have a stainless steel plate that mates up to them and gives me the alignment that I need. I have done 3" stainless that way and needs very very minor cleanup with sander.

          For sander I have a delta combo with 6" wide belt + 12" disk. 12" disk can handle 3" exhaust just fine. I haven't tried larger. I think it can do 4" though.

          I'll try to get a picture up later.

          Note: dewault Portaband are in many respects better than Milwaukee - built-in work light, better protection around wheels etc. But they don't move as fast and they don't have a lock holding trigger down.

          As for using sawsall, I have recently cut apart a stocker exhaust system (my wife's Durango, nothing special) and welded it back together with some 3/32 rod. Looks were not important and a I don't think I could have gotten my TIG torch in there anyway (I have no short cap for the WP17 on my little Maxstar).
          Note, stick welding went OK until I set the creeper on fire... I see this bright light behind the helmet.... Just a quick flair up. No damage, no injury. Just a few stray arc strikes as I got out of there.

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          • #20
            I have the Rage 3 and have cut a lot of 2X2X1/4 and .120 wall with it it works great

            Bout i have not done any SS with it

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            • #21
              I use a vertical do-all bandsaw, I got it for about $300 at a machinery sale. IMO, the easiest way to do this stuff, if you need to make a long merge for a y pipe, or collector, it's easy as can be, fast and accurate. I would look into it.

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              • #22
                [QUOTE=killdozerd11;269209]I have the Rage 3 and have cut a lot of 2X2X1/4 and .120 wall with it it works great

                Bout i have not done any SS with it[/QUOTE

                stainless steel feed and speed rate for cutting is very close to mild steel but keep inmind if you start to see the chips turning blue you are headed for trouble or you can just use a abraisive cut off wheel and not worry about it at all

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                • #23
                  Wao, Thats great!
                  It is very useful to cutting stainless steel pipes.I must used these techniques.I am really impress from you.
                  Thanks for sharing this information.....
                  Keep it up.....
                  Kitchen Edmonton
                  Last edited by Magnus2; 08-06-2011, 02:40 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Anyone tried converting a dry cut to a cold cut by adding a pump, coolant and tray setup?I used to use a band saw to cut all my stainless stuff, now I use a chop saw. I have been eyeing a dry cut for some time now. I also have plans on converting a portaband to a vertical mini band saw for the smaller stuff.

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                    • #25
                      I've been using wax on my rage3. I rub the wax stick against the side of the blade to give it a fair coating. As the blade warms up the wax gets slung out to the teeth. Seems to help, but I think liquid coolant would be better. I haven't tried liquid since I don't want to make too big of a mess in the shop.

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                      • #26
                        Cutting stainless steel pipes

                        I would recommend my friend to either buy a band saw or a cold/dry cut, but I would like to first get a confirmation that it is ok to use Stainless Steel on a cold/dry cut...

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                        • #27
                          Ellis makes a pretty good one for cutting structural steel, ie; tubing, especially thin walled stuff. I usually cut 16 gauge stainless, the blades typically last 2+ months before needing replacement. I picked this one up earlier this year. New, they're $3500+ I guess, I got mine a lot cheaper since it was used. I had thought about getting a wet saw, but there's a lot of cleanup after cutting, plus having coolant all over my garage wasn't something I really wanted to deal with.


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                          • #28
                            This is a genuine procedure that we can implement. There is also one option for cutting a stainless steel using a lathe machine. It is simple and no risk.

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                            • #29
                              Cutting straight tubing on a lathe is fine, but most of what I work with is either thin wall structurals or mandrel bent tube, so that's not really an option.

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