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Cut mild steel bar with miter saw?

Posted by dhenryp (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 28, 05 at 20:05

I need to make several (~ 25) cuts on 1018 steel bar. One size bar is .5" X 1.5" and the other is .625" X .625". I've used a sawsall but find it too hard to get a clean square cut. I've also tried a bimetal ferrous metal blade on my 14' woodworking bandsaw (Jet) but without success : it cuts for a few seconds and then the blade dulls and stops cutting. I don't know if the speed is too fast or something else?

I've decided to try to use and old Delta 10" miter saw with an abrasive chop saw blade. Should this work? I'm not too worried about shortening the saw life but don't want to do bodily injury to myself.

Any other suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cut mild steel bar with miter saw?

The speed of the blade for a wood saw is way to fast. If you can slow the blade down it will cut with out any problem. Metal saws cut at about 1/3 the speed of the slowest wood saw speed. It is the same with drilling larger diameter drills in a 1/2" drill press. The speed is set for only a 1/2" drill and to go any larger without any problem you have to slow down the speed. I installed a motor from a 3 speed washing machine and all I have to do is switch from one speed to the next without changing the belt.
I wanted to try to install a small tractor transmission on a wood saw to just shift to a lower gear to slow the speed down. The transmission runs at 3600 RPM so I would install a 1/2 HP motor with 3600 RPM. I now have one of the metal cutting band saws that tips up for a table saw, so I never got to try out that idea.
I saw an article where they took a dull plywood saw blade in a table saw and cut steel angle using friction to cut the metal. The way that works is the blade travels so fast that the metal turnes red hot in front of the teeth and the blade cuts it away but since the teeth never stay in place long enough they do not wear away. It does mention to remove all the sawdust from the saw bed since it will throw many sparks below the table. I have seen a friction band saw that traveles at very very high speeds and will cut a hard file in half using the same method.

RE: Cut mild steel bar with miter saw?

I have used an abrasive blade in a small (cheap piece of junk) 8 inch table saw. It worked very well cutting 1 1/4 dia hardened shafting. You should be outdoors, or well away from anything that will catch on fire. The sparks will fly!

RE: Cut mild steel bar with miter saw?

Putting a chop saw disk in a miter saw can be dangerous, as the miter saw is not built to contain the sparks, chips, and possible disintegrating disk.

Better to go over to harbor freight and pick up one of their cheap $99 chop saws and use that for your metal work.

A preferred way to make accurate cuts is either a horizontal metal band saw, or a cold saw. The cold saw looks a lot like a miter saw but has a coolant system to keep the cut cool and lubricate the blade, and a special blade for cutting metal.

There's also the good old hacksaw.

RE: Cut mild steel bar with miter saw?

Evolution Power Tools Rage 3.

Bought mine at

10' compound sliding miter cuts steel aluminum and wood with only one blade for $289.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weldfabulous

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