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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Belgium
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    Default Looking for information about the Wespa AS4 vertical band saw...

    Hi,

    I just bought a used Wespa AS4 band saw, and I am looking for instructions, or any advice for use...

    Particularly:
    - Adjustment of the alignment of the upper wheel
    - Maximum blade width
    - Operation of the cutting fluid system (filling, on/off, ...)
    - How to read the indications given on the adjustment wheel (blades / cutting speeds, ...?) --> See picture of the wheel
    - Operation of the hydraulic table system
    - Explanations on the different belts inside the machine

    I obviously started by asking Wespa, but they didn't keep any archives on these old machines. So I thought that I might find more informationon forums... If you (or one of your friends/acquaintances) own this machine and can help me (and in particular provide me with a user manual), I will be forever grateful !

    20200112_124033.jpg
    20200111_202218.jpg

    I wish you a very nice day !

    Stan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Geelong, Australia
    Age
    54
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    1,207

    Default

    Nice saw

    I can't help with a manual, but if you post some more pictures of the front of the machine and the belts etc inside we might be able to help you work it out.

    Adjustment of the top wheel should be the same principle as all bandsaws. Vertical adjustment does blade tension and the angle of the wheel adjusts tracking.

    The width of the top wheel should give an indication of max blade width.

    Steve

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for your answer,
    I'll take more pictures as soon as I get home this evening and post them in the thread.

    The top wheel adjustment sems to be handled by three hex screws (that can be reached through the wheel itself), but I have no idea what each of these screw does... (these screws are for the angle of the wheel and tracking adjustment. Adjusting tension is pretty straightforward, as there's a knob under the wheel to adjust its height).

    The top wheel has a width of 30mm and there is a 40mm spacing between the back of the blade guide and the blade protection. --> question is : "would 30 or 35mm wide blades be OK ?"

    Regarding the picture of the "settings disc" (I don't know how I should call that...), does anyone have any idea how it's used ? For each material, there's a set of figures...
    Example for lead/Zinc:
    O
    -------------------
    75
    60
    50
    -------------------
    L
    M
    -------------------
    14
    8
    4B
    4B
    4B
    -------------------
    910
    780
    600
    450
    300

    I assume the last set is a blade speed (m/min), but I have no idea what the other numbers/letters are for...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Belgium
    Age
    41
    Posts
    6

    Default More pictures...

    Hi,

    As promised yesterday, here are some more pictures of the machine (but it took me a bit more time to properly comment them... )

    The cut lubrification (still no idea how to fill it or how to activate it...)
    cut_lubrification.jpg

    What looks to be the top wheel adjustment system
    top_wheel_adjustment.jpg

    All the belts & chains inside
    inside.jpg

    The command panel :
    command_panel.jpg

    The hydraulic system under the table
    under_the_table.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    4,050

    Default

    Hi The_Belgian, a real name would be nice !

    You seem to have acquired a quite complex machine there. Some things that I recognise, such as the clutch in the third picture. That switch behind the chain is in a bad spot if it starts anything up whilst your hand is in there.
    And sticky fingers seem to have pinched all the indicator bulbs and lens. Difficult to see what the missing belt is driving.

    Interesting machine !
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Belgium
    Age
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    Default

    Hi,

    I was quite shocked to find out that my first name was already used by someone else at the time I subscribed... As if Stan was a common name...

    Anyway, as you may have guessed, I'm from Belgium (and I usually speak french, that's why you'll find odd use of words and weird sentences in my posts...). I'm not really into metal, I'm a lot more focused on wood. But when I came accross this saw for sale at 300€ that can cut metal AND wood, I couldn't resist . Writing in english about such a technical subject is quite a challenge for me, but less so than in German, where I also asked information... but without any success so far (I wasn't able to find any good forum about metalwork...)

    For sure, it's quite a complex machine, and I think that - in its time - it was quite top of the line. It's not really big (a bit less than 2m high, roughly 90x90cm square, but it's heavy as hell (about 500kg). It screams "Made in Germany in the good ol' days"
    I think the missing belt could drive the cut lubrification system, but I couldn't find any tank to fill or any switch to turn it on or off...
    The switch you mentioned doesn't seem to be that useful, since I could start the saw from the control panel after just pluging it --> no idea what it does either. Maybe it's a "general switch" intended to cut power without having to fiddle with the wires if a junction box is used instead of a plug.

    Do you have any idea why there seem to be a clutch in there ? The speed adjustment is in 2 "steps" : 1 lever with a label "use only when the machine is stopped" and a wheel with a label "use only when the machine is turning" --> the lever has a position "1" for the low speeds range and a postion "2" for the high speeds range. But why a clutch then ?

    I don't own a blade yet (I know, that's lame, but it makes for a great word play between english & French... ) so I couldn't really test the machine, but it it's working, speed adjustment is really impressive, the wheel can turn from probably about 5rpm to... a lot (1400-1500m/min on the blade).

    Does any one know of a place where I could have more chances to get a user manual ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Geelong, Australia
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    Default

    The photos have answered a few questions for me.
    The coolant pump is actually just an air pump or chip blower. My ancient Thiel vertical saw has one too. So no need to fill that up.
    That's what the missing belt goes to - the air pump, and it runs whenever the blade is turning. No option for on/off.

    I'm guessing the clutch is:
    a) to allow the motor to run without the blade turning (again my Thiel also has a clutch albeit its a completely different drive arrangement)
    b) to allow changing of the hi/lo geared part of the speed control

    The "change only when running" looks like a variable speed pulley arrangement.

    Looks to me like the black knob on the front controls the rate/force of the hydraulic feeding. The lateral alloy bar at the back of the table appears to have holes in it, and will move with the hydraulic ram. I'm guessing there should be some links or similar that attach from that bar via the holes, to a moveable fence that runs in the slots on the table.
    Clamp the work to the fence, and use the black knob to control the rate at which its fed into the blade.

    Looking at the blade tension gauge I'd say it will take up to 3/4" wide blades.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    4,050

    Default

    Bonjour Stan,

    Beaucoup plus agréable de pouvoir parler à quelqu'un par son nom !
    Much nicer to be able to address someone by name !

    Je suis John, mais aussi longtemps que je me souvienne, tout le monde a utilisé mon nom de famille.
    I'm John, but for as long as I can remember everyone used my surname.

    As far as speaking French is concerned, I spend a couple of months a year over there ! However I only speak enough to get by. So I'll stick to English.

    under_the_table.jpg
    I've turned the picture round ! Steve is quite right the hydraulics under the table are for an automatic feed mechanism. The switch inside the cabinet might be an overload cutoff for the motor. It would make more sense.
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Belgium
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    Default

    Hi,

    Thank you for your replies and the help provided. It's much clearer now. Steve has a good point saying that since the tension gauge goes up to 3/4" (I should have thought about it...), it's probably the widest we can use. I wonder what could happen with a larger blade, but it looks like something quite dangerous to test . Thanks also for the hint to a air blower... That I would never have figured out ! I'll try to find a belt to give it a try.

    The "change only when running" is indeed a variable speed pulley arrangement. The speed adjustment wheel reduces or increases the width of the conical pulley track.
    The black knob on the front doesn't control the rate/force of the hydraulic feeding. There's another "knob" (the actual knob came as a spare part) for that. The big black knob is a mystery as well. There's a 45° gear wheel at the end of it (at the other side of the table), a hole in the table at that place, and nothing else. I guess another 45° gear wheel should come there, but I can't figure out what purpose it could serve... the assembly I imagine would be a bar protruding from the table and that can be turned by hand with the knob... (--> ??? ). But that's not really important anyway, I'll probably remove the knob and the bar entirely.

    There are still 2 things I don't know:
    - How to read the big disc with a lot of figures (which I called "settings disc" for lack of a better word...)
    - How to adjust blade tracking on the top wheel.

    I'm really grateful for your help guys and if anyone has any idea about the rest, don't hesitate to share !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    5,427

    Default

    Hi Stan,
    Welcome to the MetalWork Forums.
    You find you have joined a pretty good group as far as MetalWorking subjects go.

    To have a look around and see our other sub forums and bits and pieces do this:
    GO TO the the Top LH corner of the page and click the arrow in the FORUM box which will take you to a menu puldown where the is Forum Home listed on the top.

    Clicking on Forum Home brings you to a scroll down page where such things as Terms of Use (rules ) and the Welcome Wagon as well as our other sub forums, are listed. Have a look around as there is plenty to see.
    Again welcome to the forums.

    Grahame

  11. #11
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    Geelong, Australia
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    Default

    Top wheel tracking - I think you need to get your eyeball in there and look at what the screws do.
    I'm guessing the larger center one will be the adjustment for the "nod" of the wheel, which should be all you need to adjust.
    Since the top wheel isn't actually driven (just pulled around by the blade) it might be quick and easy to actually remove it to have a better look if you can't see through the holes.

    That bevel gear feels to me like it should be something to do with the hydraulic feed.
    Leave the feed as-is for now. Once you start using the saw you will find that there is quite a bit of constant pressure required on the workpiece to get an efficient cut, and the feed might be useful.

    My Thiel saw has a max blade width of 10mm, which I initially thought was very narrow. I've got a 10/14 pitch 10mm blade on it and it cuts really nicely.
    Metal bandsaws are quite a lot different to woodworking bandsaws when using them. Wood saws are very fast feeding and initially when you use a metal one (particularly for steel) you think its cutting poorly.
    When you stop and think of the rate of any other mechanical cutting method for steel you soon realise that they're actually cutting a decent rate.

    You might find that one of the round section polyurethane belts will drive that chip blower nicely. There's a red one I've used for a coolant pump that is hollow and has a special barbed joiner. They can be cut to length and have a bit of stretch so convenient for drives that don't need to transmit a lot of power.

    What you have labelled as the grinder drive chain is actually the variable speed adjustment and will be connected to the handwheel on the front of the saw below the gearbox selector.
    How many positions on that gearbox selector?

    The speed chart still has me stumped too.
    Since the speeds are not going to be special for a particular saw - and really depend on the particular blade.

    My advice would be that when you get the blade, find out the recommended speeds for that blade in the materials you normally cut (make sure the spec is for a dry cut), then set the blade speed to suit.
    Bi-metal blades can cope with higher speeds than carbon blades.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Belgium
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    Default

    Hi,

    Sorry for the late answer, I was away for the week-end. I'll definitely "try" the front wheel adjustment and see what each screw does (so far, I didn't dare touch anything... best have a blade first to test it directly).

    I noticed that the forum is quiite well referenced in Google, so this topic comes as the 4th results for a search on "Wespa AS4". In order to help future owners of this saw, I'll update this thread with more pictures and full specifications.

    The "bevel gear system" is really strange. i had another look at it, and it's still a mystery. It's composed as follow:
    - 1 big knob at the end of a rod.
    - At the end of this rod, a first beveled gear
    - 90 degrees from that (I.E. towards the center of the table), a second rod & second beveled gear.
    - The "main rod" can slide back and forth and engage/disengage the first beveled gear from the second
    - There is a 3rd beveled gear on the other end of the second rod.
    - Then, there's a hole in the table at the position of the 3rd beveled gear.
    --> The system could (with a 4th beveled gear and a rod through the table) result in a revolving rod protruding from the table and manually controlled. --> No idea what this could be used for...

    Thanks for the tip about the "round section polyurethane belt", I'll try to find one asap so that I can test it.

    About the blade width, since I will mainly use this saw to cut wood (once I'm done building sturdy metal frames for my wood lathe and radial arm saw), I still think a wider blade could be useful to make rip cuts (and maybe even cross cuts) on big wood pieces, but I'll first see what I get with a 3/4 blade before making hazardous experiments with wider blades

    About the gearbox & grinder, I'm quite sure what I labelled "high/low speed selector" on the picture is actually that. There are 2 positions (I and II), and when I action that, it definitely doesnt feel like it's spinning a wheel/chain. I'm often alone in the shop and I don't have a mirror, so it's difficult to see what my actions (from the front panel) do (on the other side of the machine), but I'll record small videos tonight to verify that.

    There are 6 "sections" on the chart. Starting from the outside:
    - Material
    - range of 1 or 2 increasing values (examples: 300/450/600/780/910 for lead/zinc, 15/20-25/30-35/35/40-45 for a type of stainless steel) Total range : 12-1830 --> speed ?
    - 5 "increasing"values either numbers or combination of numbers/letters (example: 4B/4B/8/14 for lead/zinc). Possible values : figures from 4 to 24 and 3B/4B/4B-6 and 2 figures: 6-10/6-10)
    - 2 letters (example : M-L for lead/zinc). possible values : M/L/R
    - 3 figures (example : 50/60/75 for lead/zinc) total range: 15-90
    - A letter (example: O for lead/zinc). possible values : nothing-O-W

    I can imagine following information to be more or less relevant on this type of chart:
    - Material
    - Blade type/tpi
    - Blade material
    - Blade width
    - Blade speed (for specified height ?)
    - height of the cut
    - feed speed (for specified height ?)
    - ?

    More pictures & info to come.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default

    You high/low speed selector labeling is correct, but I'm confident the chain drive adjusts the cones for the variable speed drive. It is below the high/low selector - the grinder looks much higher up the machine.

    Steve

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