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Some use the band saw similar to a scroll saw, tight curves on thin stock and the like. It will be to advantage to slow the saw down.
Also, some use the band saw to cut non ferius metels such as copper and aluminum. Here again, a slower speed would be to advantage.
And some use it to cut plastics, which can melt, so a slower speed would be to advantage.
My "personal" opinion is, if your going to make such cuts, use the proper saw. The band saw can be, but was not intended for a multi cutting tool. Within limitations a single speed can perform the above cuts.
I have not tried it, but it would seam that a router speed control box would feasablly work to adjust the speed. But I value my Ridgid band saw too much to try.
John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>
Thanks for the info re cutting plastics and or non ferrous metals on a band saw. Only certain kinds of motors can be electroniclly varied safely without overheating, so you're right to not try it unless Ridgid says it's ok.
Router speed control won't work on an induction motor like on Ridgid's (and everyone else I'm familiar with) bandsaw. To vary the speed, you would have to vary the line frequency. I've heard of small variable frequency drives being available for around the $200s, but never seen one.
Multiple speed bandsaws use step pulleys, similar to the typical small drill press.
Carl, I don't cut plastic or aluminum, so I really don't know. I just looked at some recommendations and specifications, and all the aluminum speeds listed were enormously slow, some down as low as 60 f/m. I have never heard of a multi-purpose bandsaw that runs this slow, so either people have been buying machines of doubtful utility, or higher speed works OK.
Wood in general uses a higher blade speed, usually 3,000 f/m or higher. I've never tried slowing a woodworking bandsaw down to see what would happen, but my guess is that the cut would be very rough.
Afraid I can't answer the warranty question. If you call 1-800-4RIDGID, they should be able to answer that question.