Gryphon Model 350 Diamond Band Saw Instructions

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Safety Precautions:
- Always wear safety glasses
- Do not run blade dry
- always have enough water in coolant tray to wet blade
- Keep fingers clear of moving parts
-Turn the saw off when not cutting

Unpacking and Assembling the Saw

Your Gryphon Diamond Band Saw was fully tested before packing. To use, simply remove the saw from the container and install the cutting platform. Remove the two platform screws, and then firmly press the gray platform base (waffled side up) onto the saw chassis, being careful not to bend the installed blade. Re-install the two stainless steel screws (10-24 x 3/4") into the holes in the gray platform base. Use only snug pressure when tightening the screws. Over-tightening the screws will strip the threads in the saw chassis. To avoid damage to the saw use only the screws provided - longer screws can allow water to enter the electric motor compartment. If you need more screws, we can provide them. Snap the white platform (textured side up) into the gray platform base.

Blade Installation

To install a blade, proceed as follows: Lift the top cover to expose the upper wheel. Remove the water tray by moving it to the right, then down. The top and bottom wheels are now fully exposed, allowing easy installation of the blade. Slide your blade through the hole in the worktable, then over the rubber wheels. You may need to lower the upper wheel by turning the two adjustment knobs counterclockwise, in order to create enough clearance to place the blade over the wheels. Once the blade is in place, you will need to turn the adjustment screws clockwise to raise the upper wheel and provide tension for the blade.

Blade Tension Adjustment

You will need to check, and possibly change, the blade tension each time a blade is installed on the saw. The tension is adjusted by changing the height of the upper wheel. Turning the two adjustment knobs counter-clockwise lowers the upper wheel and loosens the blade tension. Turn both knobs equally, so that the black wheel arm remains approximately level. If you are making the blade looser, push down on the black arm or the wheel as you unscrew the threaded rod by turning the two knobs counter-clockwise. Turning the two adjustment knobs clockwise raises the upper wheel and tightens the blade tension. Adjust the height so that the blade slips easily over the two wheels. Increase the tension until the blade becomes slightly taught. Rotate the upper wheel by hand clockwise until the blade moves smoothly and is centered on each wheel. If the tension is too great, the blade will fall off the front of the wheel.

When adjusted properly, the blade may still seem loose, in that some "flabbiness" of the blade may be observed as the saw runs. The guide rollers will quench this motion at the glass; so don't be too concerned about this. It is better to have the blade too loose, than too tight. Blades that are grossly too loose or too tight will not stay on the wheels.

Blade repair

If the blade should break, it can be easily repaired using a propane torch and the Gryphon Blade Repair Kit that consists of an alignment fixture, special solder and flux, and instructions. The blade may also be returned to Gryphon Corporation for expert repair at a modest cost.

Coolant System

Cut a standard 1/2" to 3/4" thick kitchen sponge into 1" x 4" strips. Insert one of the strips into the built-in sponge clip as shown to wipe the blade of water and reduced splash. Take a second, thicker sponge (1" thick. or so), and cut it into a strip approximately 1 3/4" by 6". Center this piece in the bottom of the coolant tray. Your saw was originally supplied with samples of these two sponges in place.

Re-install the water tray. Fill the water tray with tap water so that the water almost covers the sponge that you installed in the bottom of the tray. Too much water will cause excessive splashing, and too little water will allow the blade to run dry (which slows cutting and causes blade damage). Inspect the water level regularly as you cut, and add water as required to maintain this level.

While cutting, you will notice that water will bead around the blade on the glass. This is normal, and indicates that the blade is being properly cooled. If the residue bead becomes very opaque, this is an indication that the water level has fallen too low. You may also want to clean the water tray of residue at this point.

When you are done cutting, remove the water tray and empty the contents. Do not pour the slurry down your drain, as it can cause clogs. Rinse the bottom sponge, and continue to re-use it until it becomes too worn to prevent splashing.

Using the saw

Adjust the blade guide height so that the guide just clears the work, and provides the most support for the blade. Tighten the blade guide knob once the adjustment is made.

Plug the saw into a grounded outlet and turn it on using the switch on the side. To maximize blade life, turn the saw off when not cutting.

When cutting, push your work with only a moderate pressure. Heavy pressure will not result in faster cutting, and may bend the blade. Bent blades will not stay on the rubber wheels. When cutting curves, use only a light pressure and let the blade do the work.

Aggressive pressure against the blade when cutting curves causes rapid wear to the back of the blade. Do not force the blade to follow a pattern, but rather guide the work through the blade. This will insure you of the longest possible blade life.

With time, your blade guides will wear. The square Teflon rear guides (there is one above and one below the work table) should be rotated or replaced when worn. Loosen the knobs that secure the guide covers, and rotate or replace the guides. When tightening the covers, make sure that the guides are perfectly parallel with the blade. The round white Firm-Track rollers should also be replaced when worn. To remove, pull each roller forward. Wipe the shaft with a paper towel before replacing the roller and the retaining ring. The gap between the rollers is purposely larger than the thickness of the blade, so you will find that one or both rollers may not revolve as you cut. Be assured that under these conditions, the rollers will supply sufficient support to the blade to prevent wandering. A little oil on the roller shaft will quiet a noisy roller. You may also cut glass with the Firm- Track rollers removed, as long as the blade remains supported by the Teflon block. The cutting platform tray is also removable. Replace it when worn.

It is a normal for a blade to cut more slowly as it wears. Some materials, such as lead crystal, load the blade and cutting action slows significantly 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.

Clean the saw only with soapy water - do not use solvents.

Cutting Tips

Your Gryphon Diamond Band Saw is a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of projects, in addition to stained glass. You can create intricate cuts in any hard material, such as tile, ceramics, jade, agate, or other gemstones. Consider incorporating some of these materials in your next glass project, or create mosaic tile work for your kitchen or bath.

You may mark your pattern in several ways. Metallic ink pens will draw a fine line approximately the same width as the blade. This ink does not wash off with water, but can be easily removed with a fingernail or paint thinner. You may also wish to copy your pattern onto a waterproof sheet such as overhead transparency material (available at most copy centers). This sheet can then be fastened to your work using double-sided tape or wax. You can also create a water-resistant pattern by covering your paper pattern with clear shelf paper. Make a new pattern for each piece, rather than try to reuse patterns, as you will inevitably cut a little of the pattern off each time.

The factors that will affect your cutting speed are intricacy of the pattern, material thickness, and material hardness. Glass will cut faster than very hard gemstone material, as an example, and thick glass, or very wavy glass with varying thickness, will cut slower than thinner glass. Imported blades cut more slowly than Gryphon blades.

Do not force your work while cutting. Allowing your work to "float" will prolong the life of your blade. Bends and kinks in a blade cannot be successfully removed and will significantly reduce the life and performance of the blade.

Replacement blades, Firm-Track rollers, Teflon blocks, and platforms can be obtained through your dealer.