Bandsaw

This is my homemade 16 inch bandsaw built from plans from the woodgears website.  Matthias at woodgears only charges $21.00 for these plans, and they are totally worth it – everything is well thought out and clearly documented.  The saw is built pretty much as described in the plans, but my top cover is also dressed up with a carved circle with my initials that was made on my CNC machine. This saw design uses 105 inch blades – the two that I use most are a 1/4 inch wide 6 teeth per inch (TPI) blade and a 1/2 inch wide 3 TPI blade from Timber Wolf.

The frame is made from common 3/4 inch pine boards, laminated into a C-shaped stack. It is very strong. Here are some pictures of the frame being glued up.

The wheels, drive pulley, and wheel bearing parts can be cut out using a handheld jigsaw but I used my CNC machine since I had it available:

The blade guide blocks are made from bocote hardwood, and they seem to work extremely well. I have been using this bandsaw for over three years and they have hardly worn at all in that time. I have a spare piece of bocote in case I ever need to make replacements. Also shown below is a section of an old toothbrush that’s mounted as a sawdust sweeper on the lower wheel. And there’s a picture of the upper wheel tracking and belt tensioning apparatus.

The power switch is just a toggle light switch in a metal box, but I added a couple wooden blocks beside the switch to help keep it from being accidentally turned on. The power switch is wired through a hole drilled inside the frame to the outlet box at the rear. The outlet socket on the right is for the motor and is the one controlled by the switch, and the other outlet is “always on” for use with a floor lamp that I keep next to the saw. The motor is a 1 HP 1750 RPM Smith & Jones unit from Harbor Freight. The sheave (motor pulley) pitch diameter is 3 inches and the drive wheel pulley pitch diameter is 11.56 inches. The outer diameter of the drive wheel actually measures 15.7 inches, so the calculation for my saw’s blade speed is: 1750 RPM x 3″/11.56″ x 15.7″ x pi / 12 = approximately 1870 feet/minute.

The table has a removable blade insert piece so it can be easily replaced as it wears out, and the table itself can tilt to 45 degrees if needed.

I made a rolling two-drawer base for the saw. The bottom of the saw is open, and there’s a hole in the top of the base so the upper drawer collects most of the sawdust. I can also use my dust collection system to vacuum it up, but I rarely find that’s necessary. The bottom drawer is a good place to store spare parts and extra blades.

The fence design I used is from an article in American Woodworker Magazine available online at this link.  I made the low fence, round nose fence, and tall resaw fence add-ons described in the article – they are made from baltic birch plywood and maple. I also use a standard Skil 2610011708 miter gauge for crosscuts.

Just like all the other shop-made cabinets and tools in my workshop, the gray parts are painted with Behr 770E-3 Pewter Mug latex semi-gloss from Home Depot.

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