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January 20, 2019, 04:07:52 am
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Maintenance and Improvements in Efficiency, Quality, and Speed

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Author Topic: Maintenance and Improvements in Efficiency, Quality, and Speed  (Read 844 times)
Mark
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« on: March 30, 2010, 09:18:01 am »

Last weekend, i finally got around to replacing my slab saw's belt.  This is the "V" belt that transfers the spinning of the motor shaft to the saw blade shaft and causes the blade to spin.  I had noticed that the belt was starting to shred a bit but still seemed to be cutting ok.  I did have a chunk of Graveyard Point Plume Agate that had been giving my saw fits.  Previously, the first slab took three slabbing sessions to cut one slab off the chunk of rough.  Total time for one slab, was about an hour and a half.  So after replacing the belt and tightening it up, I decided to try the Graveyard Point Plume again.  After starting the saw, I went back to cabbing.  To my surprise, not 20 minutes later, I hear a slab fall into the slab catching tray.  I open the saw and sure enough, I have a new slab after only 20 minutes.  Each slab after that took about the same time, until i had 4 or 5 nice slabs of agate.  So just replacing an old and worn belt and tightening it up, decreased the time to slab a piece of agate, by almost 75%.  Actually, I'm not sure that the saw would have even cut the rough anymore, without the maintenance.  I was about to buy a new saw blade, thinking that mine was worn out and not able to cut much anymore, other than soft stone slabs.  Was I ever wrong! 

Another thing that I have noticed that can improve performance, is to change your oil when it starts getting really bad.  Oil that is full of grit and gunk, does not allow your blade to cut at its optimum rate, as the gunk causes friction to increase.  I believe that gunky oil can has even caused my saw blade to stick in a stone and refuse to even spin, which can be a bad thing for the saw and stone.  Fresh and clean oil allows the blade to cut much more smoothly and quickly. 

So the moral of the story is, a little maintenance can go a long way in improving the speed and efficiency of your equipment.

Mark
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Taogem
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 10:08:16 am »

For the life of me I can't figure out how replacing and tightening up the new belt improved the cutting..

On my old home built saw, the arbor bearings are a big deal.. The bearing on one side seems to want to wear quickly. I think that can cause a bit harder cutting as the blade will not run true.

I suppose the same might apply to any part of the saw that is not lined up and running true.. Rails, arbor/blade alignment..

Then of course we have talked a lot about treating our blades to things like Obsidian or even brick to keep them from getting clogged.

On the topic of efficiency.. Little things like utilizing the full 1 1/2" of our wheels from the start will make them last a lot longer and offer the best overall performance over the wheels lifetime.

Good water obviously results in best abrasive belt and diamond wheel efficiency.

I am sure there are numerous other shop related  "maintenance and Improvements in Efficiency, Quality, and Speed" ideas...

Lets see what else comes up !
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Mark
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 11:28:15 am »

I would guess that with the worn and shredded belt, it was not making good contact with the pulley and was therefore slipping to some degree.  For a soft stone, the slippage did not seem to be enough to affect the cutting much, but for a hard stone like agate, the saw would make contact with the stone surface and start slipping and that impaired its cutting performance.

Mark
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 11:29:20 am »

George,

I believe his belt was probably worn so bad that it was slipping when the blade encountered resistance thus resulting in a much longer cutting time.  I have found this to be the case with other types of belt-driven equipment in the past.  The blade may not stop entirely but the RPMs can be drastically reduced.
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 11:36:46 am »

Ah... That makes perfect sense !
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 02:42:18 pm »

I visited my son in Corvallis Oregon last week and he lives next to a rock shop.  I spent as much time over there as I could as the shop keeper was a very friendly, knowledgeable guy.  One thing we talked about was dirty oil in the saws.  He told me a friend of his built a pump/filter set up for his saw.  No oil stayed in the saw as it gravitated out the bottom thru a hose into a filter and then into a container (size ?) on the floor.  There was a pump in the container that pumped the oil back up to the saw and thru a tube positioned over the blade.  The tube was small and flexible and could be positioned where you needed it. 

Anyone out there heard on anything like this?  From what the guy said his friend has never changed oil since he installed the filter system.   I am going to look into this...seriously...I have about six hours into the three saws that I picked up and still see very little daylight.  I don't want to do any more cleaning.  I have seen to much 'Chocolate Pudding' (as someone put it) to last me a long time.

Gary (Rockoteer)
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 02:59:47 pm »

Here is a post by Tony within the Draining a Big Saw's Oil thread at the top of the Let's Talk Shop Board.

Enjoy !
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2010, 03:34:47 pm »

This was a very interesting post and I did read this about the first day I was on the forum.  Actually what I am looking for is an outside filter.  One that I never actually change the oil as there is never oil in the saw.  I think if I don't find one I will make one.  A drill hole here and a thread tap there, a little hose, a little tubing, a filter and there it is.  I can see it in my minds eye George. 

Gary (Rockoteer)
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010, 05:41:33 pm »

This is essentially the system I use, but instead of a filter i use an overflow settling system.  I have designed automated grinding systems that use coolant instead of oil but are otherwise similar to what this is about.  In order to make this work, the filter is a moving sheet of filter paper that advances automatically when the paper is clogged.  A small filter would clog very quickly in a large rock saw.  Another method is to spin the coolant and force the solids out.  A typical bed filter system runs about $500 and measures 30" x 60".  It will need about 30 to 40 gallons of oil to function properly.  The spin type filtering system runs about $1000 but uses less than one gallon of oil in the reservoir and is only about one foot square.  Let me know if I can help.  I would love to see this work.
steve
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 05:54:40 pm »

It will, as you said, take a lot of oil.  I had forgotten about the 'time from use to clean to use again' cycle.  I am going to make that a top priority.  In the mean time I will get ahold of the guy in Corvallis and ask him to get me more details on his friends filtering system.

Gary (Rockoteer)
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 05:05:12 am »

Gary, Tony's vacuum bucket arrangement works great. I just don't let too much sludge build up in the pan. I have filtered my oil through an old terry cloth towel, and it seems to do a wonderful job. You can't believe what my wife said when she saw me using one of her towels, as a filter.
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 10:22:56 am »

Well Dave, the terrycloth towel sounds like a good idea.  I take it you use that in conjunction with Tony's vacuam bucket system?  I spent most of the evening yesterday searching for a continuous filter system but to no avail.  I think I will print off the vacuam bucket post and go ahead and build one.  Your mention of not letting too much sludge build up is probably the key.  I am going to also rig up a splash guard over my blade to keep the saw from flinging that oil everywhere, at least not as much.

Gary (Rockoteer)
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 09:46:36 pm »

I keep a five gallon bucket with a Thrift Shop pillow case inside and hanging over the top and down the side of the bucket.   Whenever the muck in the saw starts getting deep enough to get slung around inside the saw I use a plactic 1 quart container to muck out about 3 gallons of sludge into the pillow case.

I then tie a knot into the pillow case and hang it from a hook on a chain, sitll inside the bucket but as high up as possible.  I let it sit for a few weeks and then wrap up the remaining "clay" and pilow case and put what is now basically clay into the trash and dump the filtered oil back into the saw.
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2010, 10:51:22 am »


Another good idea.  I surely don't want to get to the point I was at when I got this saw of having

to take it all apart, go down to the carwash, etc. etc.

I still have the 10" to do the same thing with.

Rockoteer
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-Gary

Of all the things I've lost..I miss my mind the most.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.


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