Gryphon Model 300 Diamond Band Saw Instructions
Initial Set Up
Your saw has been shipped fully assembled, but with the blade removed and packaged for protection. Before you begin to use your saw, you will need to do two things:REMOVE THE PACKING AROUND THE MOTOR and INSTALL THE BLADE.
A foam pad has been inserted around the motor to prevent it from becoming loose during shipment. You must remove the pad prior to running the saw. To remove the motor packing, unplug the saw, and then remove the rear cover. Reach Into the saw and pull out the motor packing foam pad. Check that the Drive Belt Tension Screw is secure and that the belt is under moderate tension. Replace the cover and cover screws, then proceed to the Installation of the blade.
Remove the nameplate cover held by a single brass thumbscrew. Remove the tape from the upright support and the tension mechanism parts.
Blade Tension Adjustment
Loosen the two Blade Tension thumb screws and lift up on the upper wheel assembly until the bottom of the support rods extend about 1/4 inch below the lower rod guide and tighten both thumb screws finger tight. Remove the blade from the box, and gently shake it until it forms into a loop. Handle the blade carefully to prevent kinking it. Install the blade by positioning It under the bottom wheel first then through the platform slot and finally over the upper wheel. Adjust the blade tension as shown in the illustration. Turn the motor on to the slowest speed and verify that the blade rides in the center of both wheels, and that it nearly touches both Teflon Blade Guides. If the blade does not track properly on either wheel, adjust the tilt as described in the section on Tracking Adjustment. Replace the cover; being certain that it is straight. The bottom end of the clear plastic strip should be positioned outside the Coolant Tray.
Check that both upper and lower Blade Guides are straight with the Blade. Note that the upper Blade Guide Shaft can be positioned in either of two holes, depending upon the thickness of the work being cute and that both Teflon guides can be moved within their holders for additional control of their position.
The diamond blade must never be allowed to cut dry. Add water to the Coolant Tray to a level where the lower 1/4 inch of the drive wheel is covered, and as the blade passes through this it will be both cleaned and lubricated, Add water as needed to maintain this level. Wetting agents or other lubricants added to the water will cause additional splash, and for this reason are not recommended.
To control the excess water picked up by the blade, a section of 1/2 inch kitchen sponge about 1 1/2 x 3 inches is used. It is secured with the spring clip and positioned between the bottom wheel and the Coolant Tray so that it wipes against the blade as the blade comes up from the water bath. The sponge should be positioned as far to the rear of the tray as possible in order to prevent water splash.
The sponge should be removed before installing or removing the blade. Wetting the sponge before installing it is very helpful. The cutting sludge that accumulates in the sump can be readily cleaned out by brushing the deposit to mix it with the water and then tilting the entire saw to pour out the resultant slurry. This slurry should not be poured into your plumbing.
Diamond Blade Care and Use
During the first hours of use the splice on the blade will be wearing in. During this period there may be a slight thump each time the splice passes through the material being cut. It will be most noticeable on soft materials, particularly when cutting curves. This is a self-curing condition and will almost completely disappear in a short time. Do not try to FORCE the blade to follow a pattern. This will twist the blade and very rapidly wear away the rear uncoated portion. Allow your work to “float" as you GUIDE it into the blade. In this way, the blade remains straight. Remember: everything you cut is harder than the rear portion of the blade, and only the diamond coated portion of the blade should come in contact with the work.
Diamond Blade Repair
If your band saw blade should break, it can be easily repaired. Included with your band saw is a blade alignment fixture (incorporated into the platform), a length of special solder, and a tube of flux, In addition to the provided material, you will need a standard small-tipped PROPANE torch, long nose pliers, emery cloth, a file, and husky scissors.
Reverse the platform as shown to prevent damage to the coolant tray. Clip each end of the blade at a 45 degree angle using either heavy scissors or diagonal cutters. Straighten the clipped ends using pliers. Insert the two blade ends in the slot in the front of the platform and position the blade so that the ends to be joined are centered In the cutout provided. The diamond portion of the blade should face the center hole of the platform. Check that the angles that you cut match very closely. If necessary, re-cut or file one end for a near perfect match. The exact angle of the splice is not nearly as important as is having both ends match as closely as possible. After matching the ends, remove the blade and clean each end of any dirt or grease by pulling it through folded emery cloth several times. Reinsert the blade in the fixture, and tighten the two small screws provided. A very slight clearance between the two blade ends is necessary to allow for heat expansion and solder flow (about the thickness of the uncoated portion of the blade is correct). If one end is high, press it down until the ends are in alignment. Check again from all angles for accuracy of position. Coat the joint area with flux from both sides, being certain flux is applied between the ends being joined. NOTE: To avoid damage to the coolant tray and to prevent possible fire, the Platform must be reversed in its fixture as shown in the illustration.
Adjust your propane torch to about 1/2 inch blue flame and direct the heat to the bottom of your joint. The blue flame should be just clear of the blade at this time while you evaporate the flux moisture. This requires only a few seconds. Touch the end of the silver solder to the top of the joint while moving the torch up until the tip of the blue flame makes contact. A second or two after the solder melts; you will observe its texture turn glassy. At this point, slowly move the flame away. Allow the joint to cool for a few seconds. Check the joint head-on for alignment. If one end is too high, soften the joint with your torch and press down with a fine-bladed tool to regain a straight edge. Remove the blade from the fixture and wash off the residual flux.
At this point there will likely be a thick spot at the joint. Lay the spliced section on a flat surface and file each side to remove the excess solder so that a smooth cutting action is obtained.
Note: When the solder becomes too short for convenient handling, simply clip pieces about the length of the blade width and place directly along the diagonal joint before heating. (This pre-cutting method is preferred by many for every repair.)
The upper and lower Teflon guides provide back support for the blade and greatly affect the proper operation and life of the blade. The best rule is to keep the distance the blade is unsupported to a minimum. The lower guide should be as close to the bottom of the platform as possible, yet allow whatever tilt is needed. The upper guide should be positioned just high enough to clear the thickness of the material being cut. For additional clearance, the upper guide shaft can be positioned in the upper mounting hole. To change the shaft's location, remove the setscrew and move the shaft to the new position and secure it with the setscrew.
The guides will become grooved in normal use and deep groves will result in decreased cutting speed and possible blade breakage. These guides should be rotated when needed, to provide a fresh surface for the blade. All four sides can be used before replacement is needed. Don't neglect the bottom guide, even though it is not readily visible.
Every band saw has been properly aligned and checked out at the factory. It is, however, possible for this adjustment to change during transit and occasionally when a machine is received, the blade will not track properly. The blade is tracking properly when it runs centered on both wheels and when the rear of the blade is nearly in contact with the Teflon blade guides. Proper tracking can be easily restored, by following the instructions given below.
A slight amount of tilt is required on both wheels so that the blade rides properly centered on the crown of the rubber wheels. The tilt is adjusted by slightly loosening the tracking adjustment screw holding the wheel arm and rotating the arm backward or forward as needed. If the blade runs to the front of the top wheel, the top of this wheel needs to be tilted farther back. The opposite movement is used to correct the bottom wheel. Insure that both tracking adjustment screws are securely tightened once the proper tilt is achieved.
Blade Tension Adjustment
Tension on the blade is provided by the two springs on the support rods. Adjust the collars such that each spring is compressed to about 1/2 inch. This adjustment will need to be made after each blade repair to accommodate the shorter length, or when a new blade is installed. Too much tension can cause the blade to break, so it is important that the spring height is not less than 1/2 inch. It is normal for some movement of the support rods and upper wheel assembly to be observed while the saw is running. This will not affect the cutting.
Drive Belt Tension
If the saw is not delivering adequate power the cause might be a slipping drive belt. To tighten the belt, first unplug the power cord. remove the rear cover (use the end of the wench in either screw hole to pry the cover loose). Loosen the Drive Belt Tension Screw, and press the motor towards the control switch as you tighten this screw again. Only a reasonable belt tension is required, and any protesting howl is a signal that the belt is too tight.
The platform can be tilted up to 45 degrees by loosening the adjustment screw. This adjustment can be of value in cutting pre-forms at the proper mounting angle. The platform can also be moved forward and backward. Use caution when making this adjustment so that the blade rides in the center of the hole in the platform, and is never allowed to come in contact with the platform.
Servicing the felt oil pads behind each wheel should be lubricated with light machine oil after approximately every 200 hours of use. Run the oil directly down the backside of the lower wheel to the pad. The upper oil pad is directly accessible just behind the wheel.
Watch for excessive grooving of the Teflon guides and rotate or replace them as needed. Replace the sponge as needed with a section of standard kitchen sponge. It is recommended to wash the sponge with soap and water before use to remove any wetting agent that may have been added by the manufacturer.
Tips on using the Diamond Band Saw
When cutting glass, the highest blade speed will usually result in the fastest cutting. On other materials, such as jade, you will find that a slower speed actually cuts more quickly. As a starting point on an unfamiliar material, try running the saw at 50 or 60 on the dial.
Use a gentle pressure when cutting, especially on curves. Allow the work to float.
Metallic marking pens are available today with high contrast water resistant ink, and these are very satisfactory for marking your pattern on the material to be cut. Make sure that your material is free from grease or oil before marking it with these pens. You can also "Xerox” your pattern onto clear plastic viewgraph sheets, and then tape this pattern to your work (paper patterns do not hold up well in the presence of the water.) You may also mark your material with aluminum, copper, or lead pencil, or use a carbide scribe on glass, however these marks are more difficult to see while you are cutting. The sides of the diamond blade can be used as a diamond file to remove any burrs that might be present at the end of the cut.
Cutting debris from the saw may set up hard. Never put cuttings down plumbing drains.
To back the blade out of blind cuts, run it slowly and ease the material away from the blade.Some materials such as lead crystal and some agates load the blade and cutting action slows after a time. Good cutting action will be immediately restored with only a little cutting into a piece of clear window glass, silicon carbide, or a brick.
When cutting, the blade may appear "loose" and floating from side to side. After a cut is started, this floating settles down, but the blade can still be moved sideways by the piece being cut. This is normal and important for extending blade life. Resist the temptation to increase blade tension, as this will cause the joint to break.
Two or more pieces may by cut simultaneously by sandwiching them together using double sided indoor/outdoor carpet tape, or the equivalent. Many of these tapes set up over time, so it is important to separate the pieces immediately after cutting is complete.