Gryphon Corporation has the longest history of supplying bandsaws to the glass industry. Their first saws opened new doors of possibility to scores of glass craftspeople no matter what type of glass work they practiced. Since their debut, the company has conscientiously heaped improvements on their basic tool making it easier to use, more versatile and more effective with each modification.
Gryphon's latest model band-saw, the C-40, is the result of years of experience in the manufacture of bandsaws and a response to the ever changing and evolving needs of glass craftspeople. Before implementing any changes on their existing model, the company established certain design criteria by which any modifications would be made. First and foremost they wanted to reduce maintenance costs on their tools to near zero. On previous models, the shoulder at the top of the back wheel would wear out from user adjustment and misadjustment.
Also, the bore in the lower wheel experienced wear due to rotation in the presence of glassy water. To remedy the first concern, the angle of the motor drop on the new C-40 is limited to insure long upper wheel life even if the saw is not adjusted properly. Additionally, the new lower wheel has long life Delrin insert bushings that can be replaced in about five minutes and cost appreciably less than the originals.
1. Looking down the well of the C-40 with the surface removed. Note the position of the sponge located under the blade.
2. The housing cover is removed from its track exposing the upper pulley of the blade. After blade replacement and/or adjustments are made the cover easily slips back into place.
3. For this photo, we've pulled the blade from its channel guide for demonstration purposes. The channel stabilizes the blade. For proper use, it should always remain in its track.
To improve cutting accuracy, the C-40 has spring loaded blade tension that maintains the stiff feel of a thick blade (which fatigues easily) in a thin blade that does not fatigue easily. Top and bottom blade guides help to keep the blade steady during use. These keep the blade from wandering out of position while cutting.
Adjustment procedures were simplified. Upper and lower adjustments to the blade are set at the factory. Any future modifications need be made with the upper adjustment only. An easy to use screw adjustment allows for visual setting of the blade. If the screw is too tight, the blade moves forward out of the guides, and if it is too loose, the blade moves out of only the lower guide slot.
Gryphon has also sought to make the C-40 as fast a cutting tool as possible. Through extensive testing they found that running their German made blade at a rate of 40 mph, allowed effective, quick cutting without any hazardous heat build-up in either the glass or the blade.
Gryphon's C-40 is a handsome machine. It stands 17 1/2" tall. The work surface is 13 1/4" deep and 1 3/4" wide. Distance from the blade to the housing is 5 1/2" inches. This allows a substantial piece of glass to be maneuvered freely on the work surface.
As far as studio points go, the Gryphon C-40 moved quickly and effortlessly through any kind of glass we ran through it. On a basic piece of 1/8" art glass the C-40 traveled through five inches of glass in twenty-three seconds. On a piece of high profile, Uroboros ripple, the C-40 moved through a similar five inches of rather thick glass in forty-two seconds . . . not bad at all. Needless to say, intelligent use of a bandsaw will minimize glass loss that's always a concern when cutting deep inside cuts, and it makes easy work of creating thin strips of glass for stems, borders and the like.
As more studios and enthusiasts diversify their arsenal of glass working techniques, the bandsaw is becoming as natural a studio partner as the glass grinder. A tool that used to be a luxury is quickly becoming a necessity. Give Gryphon's C-40 a serious look, we think you'll like what you see.
Gryphon Diamond Band Saw Model C-40 Road Test
Reprinted with permission from:
Gryphon C-40 Diamond Band Saw
by Joe Porcelli