Introduction: The Flat-Pack Bandsaw | DIY Woodworking Tools #6
Even before I started woodworking, I wanted one of those tiny Circular-Saws. I also wanted a Bandsaw. Unfortunately (As always), It was pretty expensive, And I couldn't afford them.
But... What I did later remember, Is that I did have a Jigsaw that my dad bought almost 10 years ago. I decided to use that.
My plan was to mount the Jigsaw under some kind of enclosure. That failed quite a bit in the beginning, But I then found a way to make it. Here, I'll show you how I build it!
The end result produced a mix of both of them-- I can use it as a Bandsaw, And if I add a fence, I can also use it as a Table-Saw!
Another advantage of the Flat-Pack Bandsaw is that it can't produce any dangerous kickback, So it's great for beginners, Like me!
Let's get started!
Step 1: The FAILED Plan - (For Good!)
As I mentioned before, My original plan was to build a custom box/enclosure, And to mount the Jigsaw inside.
I started doing that several months ago-- I cut all of the wood to size with my Jigsaw, And put it together with screws and brackets. I wanted to attach my Jigsaw to the top with screws, But didn't have any.
At this point, I stopped, And just left it in my room.
Several months later...
I was organizing my room, And just felt that... I HAVE TO BUILD IT ALREADY!
It was taking up too much space, And I really needed it for several projects...
That made me think-- If I don't have room for it when I'm not done, How will I have room for it when I am done?
And that's what inspired me to make it. Mounted onto a thin metal plate, And used inside of the grip of a vise. Now, I can also mount it onto a wall!
And "The Flat-Pack Bandsaw" is what I came up with! (If you know how big, Heavy, Expensive, And Non-Portable Band-Saws are, You'll know what I'm talking about...)
I guess it's a mix of a Scroll-Saw, And a Band-Saw, But most importantly, Built to be free, Not take up space (Hence: "Flat-Pack"), And be easily transportable!
Step 2: What You'll Need:
Hardware & Materials:
34.5 X 37.5cm Metal Plate (Salvaged from a Desktop Computer Case)
Scrap Piece of Wood
Chemicals & Adhesives:
1-10mm Metal "Twist-Bit" Drill-Bits (The more, The better...)
Small Round File
2 Bar Clamps
Jigsaw (Black & Decker, JS500, 18mm, Type 2)
Why: I need The Flat-Pack Band-Saw!
Safety Gear Needed: Ventilated Area, Respirator, Ear-Muffs, Safety Goggles
Cost (for me): FREE!
Approximate Time: <2 Hours
Step 3: Wrapping Silicone Tape on the Handle
As I mentioned before, My vise will be gripping the Jigsaw's Handle pretty tightly.
I decided to wrap some Silicone Tape onto the handle for two reasons:
1. To provide cushioning-- So the Vise's Jaws wouldn't mar the surface, Meaning that the wouldn't leave marks.
2. I'll be able to have the same clamping (Gripping) force, While tightening the jaws less. Because the Silicone Tape acts like something sticky...
Now did you understand what was that clearish-whitish thing that was wrapped onto the Jigsaw's handle in the "What You'll Need" Step? ;)
By the way, I recommend doing this to Jigsaw anyway-- Even if you don't build this. It's more comfortable this way. Speaking of Soft-Jaws, Silicone Tape actually works pretty well!
Step 4: Mark a Hole in the Center of the Metal Plate
A quick trick* for finding the middle of a square (In this case), Is to draw an X, From each corner, Like I did in the second picture.
(Almost) As always, I didn't take my time, And didn't mark it precisely enough-- I was off ~1cm. That didn't really matter because I moved my punch to the correct place (More on that in the next steps).
*I think I might have learned this from Pinterest, But unfortunately I cannot credit the author because I cannot find it :(
Step 5: Punch, Drill, and File a Hole in the Metal Plate
After Drilling, I can definitely tell you that it isn't very easy to get a clean hole.
I started by marking a hole in the middle with a punch, And then started Drilling. I started with a 1.5mm Drill-Bit, And finished with a 10mm Drill-Bit. Every time that I switched a Drill-Bit, I Drilled from the other side. I don't know if this is a known method for Drilling into fairly thin metal plate, But it worked very well for me.
For best drilling results, I recommend putting a small scrap piece of soft wood, Such as Pine.
I then used a hammer to break off (The tiny bit of) tearout that happened. After a couple of hits with the Hammer, I filed the rest off.
Step 6: Wipe & Clean Off the Jigsaw's Shoe, & Metal Plate
I used an Alcohol Pad to clean, And remove any possible dirt, Dust, Or oil from from the Jigsaw's Shoe, And Metal Plate.
You'll soon see why this is very important
Step 7: Center, & Trace the Outline of the Jigsaw Onto the Metal Plate
First, I inserted a blade into the Jigsaw, And then used two Bar-Clamps to Clamp the Metal Plate onto the Table.
I then made sure that the blade was exactly in the center on the hole. I knew I was safe because this blade has absolutely no flex in it.
After I made sure that it was resting square to the edges, I traced around it with a Permanent Marker. This can be pretty confusing, So I recommend referring to the pictures
Step 8: Cover the Bottom of the Jigsaw's Show With Double Sided Tape
I don't know if you know, But Double Sided Tape is EXTREMELY strong. It is also very cheap.
There isn't a lot of explaining to do here-- The picture is pretty much self explanatory. I covered every possible part of the Shoe with Double Sided Tape.
Step 9: Peel Off the Double Sided Tape, & Stick to the Metal Plate
After a couple minutes, I peeled of all the all the tape. I don't know if you've seen my 8 Unusual Uses for Tweezers Instructable, But over there, I show how to peel the release liner off Double Sided Tape with Tweezers. Go check it out!
I stuck the Jigsaw onto the Metal Plate-- Inside of the outline. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of this process in action because I was very careful to do it accurately, But this shouldn't be very hard.
After you think that everything it aligned properly, apply a lot of weight onto the Jigsaw for around a minute. This serves as a clamp for the best possible adhesion.
For results, I recommend leaving it to cure overnight. I use A LOT of Double Sided Tape, And believe me, It takes it time for it to adhere well. After 10 minutes in adheres strong, After a day it is very very strong, And after a couple weeks, It is extremely strong. Don't even try ripping it off!
Step 10: How to Use "The Flat-Pack Bandsaw"
Here is a full "Tutorial" on how to use "The Flat-Pack Bandsaw":
1. Secure the Jigsaw in your Vise's Jaws. Tighten enough so It doesn't move, But DO NOT over tighten. You don't want it to break.
2. Insert the a Blade into the Jigsaw: Pull down the Blade Clamp, And insert the Blade from above.
3. Plug it in. Plug the Jigsaw into a wall socket
4. Hold down the trigger, And press on the Lock Button. Your Jigsaw will now stay on-- Even when you let go of the Trigger.
See? It isn't complicated! AT ALL!
Step 11: Safety Warnings: Keep Hands Away, & Gloves
WARNING: Do not put your hand in front, Or anywhere near the blade at any time! This is a dangerous tool ONLY when used incorrectly!
Well, I guess that's kind of obvious... I'll get into a bit more detail:
Never apply pressure. Let the blade do the work.
If there was some sawdust on the ground, And you slipped. What would you like your head to fall on? The blade? No... Adjust your posture!
When you finish a cut, Can your hands slip into the blade? If yes, Adjust your hands like I show in the picture. This way, You are safe.
Never touch a blade after it has been used. Let it cool down for a couple minutes.
Always wear shirts with tight sleeves.
Remove all necklaces and bracelets when using the saw.
Make sure to wear proper safety equipment: Use a Respirator, Safety Goggles, And Hearing Protection.
In the future, I will also build Push-Sticks, A Fence, Different types of Sleds, And more.
I also recommend watching a few YouTube videos on Bandsaw Safety before attempting to build The FLat-Pack Bandsaw
With all of that said I want to hear YOUR opinion: Would you use gloves while operating the saw?
If yes, Why?
If not, Why not?
Step 12: DONE! But... Does It Work?
Okay... I've showed how to build it, How to use it, And how to operate it safely.
Time to show the results! (Keep in mind that all of the pictures that were taken here were my first tries, Meaning that I did not have any experience when beginning. I will get better at it!)
In the first 3 pictures, You can see me cut off a piece of scrap plywood that I found. I used the Flat-Pack Bandsaw to remove a part that had been drilled into.
In the last 2 pictures, You can see that I drew some random lines onto a piece of wood, And then cut them out. Not bad for the first try!
Of course it can do a lot more than just that! That's only the beginning!
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