The introduction of bandsaws to propagate and cleanly cut some of the more massive coral species was a revolution in aquarium coral fragging. However since the first Inland saw made their way to coral farmers very little has changed about these aquarium power tools.
Sure most of us have upgraded to more dependable Gryphon saws and companies like Eye Catching Corals have dabbled with coral ring saws but by and large the majority of us are still cutting corals like it’s 2009. We’ve been cultivating ideas about refining the bandsaws that we do have for many years and with the coral action at the Reef Builders Studio now in full swing, we’re steadily modifying our Gryphon C40 to be more useful and easier to use.
The biggest issue with the current design of aquarium bandsaws is that first of all, these are all designed to cut plain old, non-living tiles. A recirculating pool of water is fine when you’re dealing with stone but when cutting live corals, that reservoir of lubricating water can rapidly become a cesspool of coral germs, bacteria and all around nastiness – cleaning up with the current design is somewhat tedious and cumbersome, dissuading us from using the saw as often as we would like.
To deal with this issue and streamline the process of using and cleaning the Gryphon C40 to be a powerhouse coral cutting tool we modified our unit to be flow through and self cleaning. With an overhead reservoir to very slowly keep the blade wet and lubricated, the ‘used’ fluid then drips down into the reservoir but instead of being completely recirculated, a simple thin pipe drains all excess fluid right into the adjacent sink.
Yes we’re aware that some of the cut coral juices get recirculated from the bottom but it’s a much smaller volume than the fresh aquarium water coming from the overhead reservoir. We still have some tweaks we’d like to implement to this design but we were excited enough to produce a video detailing how this bandsaw ‘hack’ becomes self-cleaning with the flow-through design.
The simple modifications allow us to start cutting desired corals with very little set-up and more importantly, the cleanup is practically automated when we fill the reservoir with freshwater and just let it flow through. We’ve since also painted the bandsaw to be all white like the Studio, it’ll probably get a custom blue stripe or blue accents but in the meantime, we hope the customized modifications can be of use to any hobbyist or professional wishing a better and easier to use bandsaw for all their coral cutting and propagation needs.