The slitting saw and slitting saw arbor are a powerful combination to have in your shop. Don’t be afraid of the slitting saw or its arbor. Just use these tips for safely setting up your slitting saw arbor and blade.
Use the Right Blade
Start with the right blade for the job. The right blade will always be the thickest blade you can use to make a thin cut. In other words, of all the thin blades out there to make your thin slot cut, use the fattest one you can and still get the job done.
A thicker blade is more rigid. In machining we love us some rigidity, don’t we? Seriously, by going with a thicker blade, you decrease the chances of the blade warping or shattering. That’s good for the stock, good for the blade, and good for the machinist. A 1/16th or 1/8th blade is a good start.
Speaking of rigidity, pick a blade made of carbide. That’s because carbide is more rigid and tougher than high speed steel. Sure carbide costs more, but if it lasts longer then you actually save money in the long run.
Use the Right Technique
There’s a few things to consider when slitting or slotting. First, are you going to cut the entire slot in one pass, or will you use a variation of the peck technique? Any machinist that’s used a drill press knows that you get the best holes from a peck cycle. Just like the woodpecker goes after a tree, you move the drill up and down and with each pass you go deeper. Slitting and slotting are the same.
If you need to make a deep cut, keeping chips clear is crucial. If you make the cut in one pass, you worry less about chips clearing. But you worry more about blade breakage. If you make the cut with 2 or 3 successively deeper cuts, you may use more fluid to clear chips but you reduce the stress on the blade.
Of course it goes without saying that you always, always, always check your feeds and speeds when you set-up. And speaking of set-up, don’t forget the slitting saw arbor.
Use the Right Slitting Saw Arbor
The perfect blade, perfect technique, and perfect feeds and speeds are all for naught if you don’t have the perfect slitting saw arbor. What good is the perfect blade if the arbor lets it wander and stagger through your work like it just left last call at the bar at 2 am?
Sierra American Multi-Systems has the right slitting saw arbor for your job. They have a deep, very low profile cap. You get less slippage. But even better (is that possible?) you get as close to the work area as possible.
Don’t worry about chatter or vibration. That’s because the “Vibra Core” design absorbs that nasty stuff. Be sure to ask for Sierra American tools by name. Get American made quality at wallet friendly prices when you get Sierra American.