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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    263

    Default WIP homemade bandsaw

    Hi all, after some fairly difficult projects (chopping board, tool boxes, toy car) I though I would take on an easy challenge, and decided to build my own bandsaw - mostly because I want to build a rocking horse for my younger daughter's second birthday, and it would be easier to build the design I have in mind using a bandsaw.

    I bought plans for making a bandsaw from Matthias Wandel, here. I wanted a bandsaw that had enough clearance to deal with at least 25cm resawing, and my budget was in the (low) hundreds, not thousands. Matthias' design gives me 27cm resaw capacity and has cost me to date (plans, motor, blade and pretty much all wood included) a bit under $300.

    The first thing I did when I opened the plans was marvel at their detail. The sketchup file alone is pure gold with around 20 or so separate diagrams and views of absolutely every bit. I also like the fact it was all dimensioned in cm, rather than inches. The cut list, hardware list and the step by step instructions (with photos of his build) are similarly comprehensive and have helped considerably cut down on mistakes and wasted time.

    So, first thing I did was cut the wood for the frame, all 72 pieces of it. Then, over about a week or so, I glued it up, layer by layer. The final laminated frame is very strong and when I stood on the top of it and bounced, it didn't - no flex, no movement, nothing.

    While this was going on, I cut out circles of 19mm and 12mm mdf with my router and circle-cutting jig, and glued them together to make the wheels, and cut out a circle of 18mm ply in the same way to make a pulley for the drive wheel. After measuring my v-belt angle and depth I pinned the pulley onto my tenoning jig and used the table saw to shape its channel.

    To put bearings onto the wheels, I had to hammer/press them into plywood flanges - after trying to press them in with my crappy vice (and bending the handle in the process) I used the gentle art of persuasion to get them into position. Then, I glued them to the wheels. The first wheel I made had too much wobble, so I had to make another one, cut up the flanges to extract the bearings and make new ones. But the new wheel has less than 1mm lateral wobble, so it was time well spent.

    The plans call for spinning up the wheels with the motor and then truing them and putting a crown on the rim by turning them as if on a lathe. If you look at the photo of my initial setup, you might see a chunk out of the rim - I have no turning experience or turning chisels, so my single attempt to use a wood chisel to turn the wheel, not only took a piece of the wheel with it, it also took a chunk out of the tool rest I had rigged up and scare the bejezus out of me. So I switched to using a rasp and file instead to shape the wheel - possibly slower, but far, far, far safer and more controllable.

    Of course, with all that yummy MDF dust, I set up my shop vac to catch as much as possible and wore a respirator, and found it fascinating to watch the stream of dust come off the rasp and flow in a tight stream through the air into the waiting hose, provided I held it in the right place.

    To hold the wheels on the bench, I made the bandsaw's bottom wheelmount first, and just bolted it down. When I finished with it, I then bolted it to the frame.

    Next post - building the top wheelmount and the tensioning mechanism

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,205

    Default

    nice,

    i reckon that guy is great i wait everyweek for his new video's on youtube, excpect for last week where he showed a leaf sucker attachment to a mower.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    263

    Default putting wheels on the frame

    He is impressive isn't he? I've learned a lot browsing through his site and his videos.

    After finishing the wheels with a couple of coats of varnish and bike inner tubes on the rims, the next bit to do was the top wheelmount.

    This part has to hold, tension and adjust the tilt of the top wheel, and is made of a frame, brackets, wheel-block and crank.

    I made the frame first, and added splines for strength. To add the splines, I modified my tenoning jig to hold the frame at 45 deg. over the table saw to cut the channels. Then, I used a drill press and chisel to make the bottom shelf in the frame.

    In hindsight, it may have been easier to have cut the shelf before gluing it up (I'll remember that for my next bandsaw ).

    The top wheelmount, like the bottom wheelmount, I made out of an offcut of a redgum sleeper/post that was left over from making raised garden beds. It sits in the frame and the bolt in the top pushes against the top of the frame, and adjusts wheel tilt.

    I made the brackets out of a length of wood I found under the house, and cut channels in to them using the table saw.

    The frame and block are moved up and down in the frame by a long bolt and coupler nut crank. To make the crank handle, I really need a working bandsaw, so a wrench does for now. The 'springs' are slats of tassie oak.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    263

    Default

    To see if it worked, I put the two wheels on, and tightened it up. Nice, tight guitar-string tension on the blade, it stayed on the wheels, the tensioner and tilt adjustment worked like a charm. (And nothing broke or even looked like it could!)

    Then, I turned the wheels to see if the band would stay on the rims, and it wouldn't It took me a bit of worrying and thinking to realise that the wheels, while the same distance from the frame, and directly in line with each other, were tilted on different planes. The bottom wheel, in particular, was angled with its top towards the frame, so I spent a bit of time planing the wheelmount to give it a flatter angle.

    Then, with a bit of tilt-adjustment on the top wheel, success! The blade stays in the centre of the wheels when I turned it with my hand.

    So I clamped the motor on. The belt I have is a bit too long for the frame, so I'm waiting on a shorter one to arrive in the mail, but just to see if all my work was worth it or not, I just clamped it in place to see if it would work.


    You can see the video of it here

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    kallangur qld
    Posts
    1,074

    Default

    Nice job , are you going to cover the wheel rims with inner tube rubber as Matthias has done on his???

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    901

    Default

    Nice work. Keep us posted.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
    Age
    67
    Posts
    6,312

    Default

    Very nice job Michael. Please keep the pix coming as work progresses.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dundowran Beach
    Age
    70
    Posts
    19,868

    Thumbs up

    Doing very well Michael!!

    One of the members at our turners' club is an old Man.Arts teacher. He showed me a picture of a beautifully made wooden Bandsaw that had bee done by one of his former students. It was very large and apparently worked a treat.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    263

    Default

    Thanks all, it was a big relief to see the blade stay on the wheels when it turned!

    Vk4, yes I have put inner tubes onto the wheels, and they seem to work fine. They were pretty straight forward to do to, and don't slip around, even though they're not glued on.

    I'm not sure when the next update will be though, my wife gave birth to our third (and final!) child this morning, so I may not be able to get much time in the shed under my belt for the next little while.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
    Age
    67
    Posts
    6,312

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by michael_m View Post
    I'm not sure when the next update will be though, my wife gave birth to our third (and final!) child this morning, so I may not be able to get much time in the shed under my belt for the next little while.
    Forgiven.
    Understood.
    Congratulations


    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    901

    Default

    Congratulations on ur new workshop apprentice!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    kallangur qld
    Posts
    1,074

    Default

    Congratulations , and best wishes to you and your family .

    family always come first , and it seams at the expense of hobbies , but that's just a part of life,
    .

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    263

    Default

    Thanks all, it's been a big week with the new one home, but I managed to sneak in a few odd minutes in the shed.

    The latest work I have done has been to put the blade guides together and attach them to the bandsaw.

    The bandsaw column was going to be made from a bit of redgum, but I stuffed up the cutting of it on the tablesaw, and after cutting it developed a slight bow, so I made another one out of a bit of cypress fencepost. The column clamp was also shaped on the tablesaw - the piece wandered a little in cutting the bevel, but it still clamps OK, so it will do for now.

    The most nerve-wracking part of this process was cutting the channel for it into the frame, because there was going to be no second chance if I got it wrong (but I didn't, so that was okay).

    The top blade guide went together alright; my little rotary tool got a good workout cutting the bolts to size, and the bearing is from an old rollerblade wheel.

    The bottom blade guide attaches to the mounting block for the table, so I had to build that first. It's made from two pieces of tassie oak glued together, and will eventually have trunion cradles dowelled to either end. I have to put the rest of the saw together first though, because I need a bandsaw to make the trunions .

    With the bottom block and guides together (after cutting the attachment slot in the guide upside down and having to make another guide), I got a bit impatient and clamped the block to the frame to see if the setup fit around a blade.

    It did, which was a relief. Then, because I'm not good at waiting, I tried to cut a piece of wood with the saw (just 19mm tassie oak, because that was what was lying on the ground at the time). The motor's not on yet (I'm waiting on a shorter belt) so I turned the top wheel with one hand, and sort of pushed the wood through with the other.

    Goodness, did it cut easily! I reckon I had around 200rpm on the wheel (when motorised it will be going around 550rpm), and it took no effort to push the wood through the blade. I'm really looking forward to seeing what it can do when it's finished.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    gippsland. vic.
    Age
    70
    Posts
    22

    Default

    HI, good work on the band saw, nice pice of engeneering,
    Conmgratulation on the new addition to the family,
    i to stopped on no 3 then, after a little rest,
    i completed the job and stopped on no 6,Cheers Ralph.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    kallangur qld
    Posts
    1,074

    Default

    Looking good .

    I would put a washer behind the wing nut on the blade guide or it will gradually pull into the timber.

    And another mode , would be a bearing on the lower blade guide , for the blade to run against ( same as the top.) I don't know if this is in the plans , probably not as you have not built it , , but most commercial machines do have the roller top & bottom.

    Are you keeping a list of material costs as you build this?? would be interesting .

    Cheers,

    jeff

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