Thursday, April 20, 2017

Shopbuilt 12" Bandsaw

Here is an old project I would be remiss not to include here. I built this 22 years ago with just hand power tools but it has held up beyond my expectations. A 12" wood cutting bandsaw, it has turned out to be one of the best tools I have ever built.

Over the years I have put countless feet of wood through this saw, even cutting small firewood and the only thing I have ever had to do to it is change the occasional dull blade. I now have a large 20" General but still prefer this one for small work.

Old as it is, I don't have build documentation. The design is loosely based on a plan I saw in an old Popular Mechanics magazine and is a relatively simple construction.

For the main frame I cut a template out of cardboard and used it to trace out and cut 5 laminations of 3/4" plywood, some with additions depending on where it was situated in the frame. The laminations were then glued and screwed to each other producing a very solid frame that will withstand much higher pressures than this saw will ever be subjected to.

The motor is a 1/2 hp sealed Leeson motor. It is housed in the sheet metal base, the two wood grills allow cooling air movement.

The adjustment handles are all discarded valve handles, except for the blade tension handle and screw which is from a scrapped X Y vise.

I didn't have a shop when this saw was built so the tension and tilt weldment and blade guide weldments were made in the shop at work.

The table tilts 45* on solid laminated plywood trunnions, clamped between the middle frame lamination and two steel plates bolted to the frame.

The upper and lower ball bearing blade guides. All are adjustable in oval mounting slots.

Lower blade guide.

Upper blade guide and guard.

I have it on casters to move around the shop and it has a good dust collection port.