Horizontal Band Saw - 4: Dry and Wet Cutting
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Dry cutting on the horizontal band saw is a matter of choice and dependent on a knowledge of the material and other factors. For example, the concept of a coolant would not be desirable if the cut being taken was on a piece of plastic bar stock or on an iron casting. The coolant is inappropriate for both and would not provide any benefit to the cut.

There are other materials that should not have coolants such as materials that need to be free from contaminants. Aerospace workers often find this condition in their work. Dry cutting may also be desirable if rust (corrosion) is a concern.

Almost all forms of cutting can benefit from the use of a coolant or lubricant on the cutting edge of the tool. Most small horizontal band saws use a mixture of water soluble oil or another industrial coolant. As in all cutting action, the cutting takes place when the cutter comes in contact with the material. This contact is abrasive and causes heat, which softens the saw blade material and wears out the blade.

Depending on the extravagance of the saw, it may be equipped with a coolant system. In a large shop, where the horizontal band saw is always in use, it is certainly an advantage to have. Otherwise, spray-mists are commercially available if constant coolant on the blade is required. Also convenient is the ever handy oil can.

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