Introduction: Weld a Simple Mobile Bandsaw Stand
I recently got a small benchtop-style 10-inch bandsaw and decided to build a simple mobile stand for it.
This instructable covers the build process. If you're looking to make something similar I hope this will help you out.
This is a welding project that requires basic metalworking tools. Thanks for looking!
Step 1: Background, Reasoning
For the last 10 years or so I had a JET brand 18-inch woodworking bandsaw. It was really nice but I didn't use it much and it was quite large and overkill for my needs, so I decided to sell it and downsize to something smaller.
My garage workshop doubles as an actual car garage (sometimes), so I tend to put all my larger tools on wheels to make them as mobile as possible.
I specifically chose to make this mobile stand with three wheels because my garage floor is horribly uneven, and anything with four wheels rarely sits flat without wobbling - no matter where I put it.
Having three points of contact (wheels) was a choice I fully committed to, even if that required loads of extra bottom weight to minimize any tip potential. A single locking caster keeps it perfectly steady during use.
This new saw is the 10-inch Rikon 10-3601 and I've found it to be quite nice once dialed in and paired with some good Timberwolf blades.
I don't do any re-sawing and rarely have the need to rip down massive boards, so a smaller bandsaw is adequate for most of my projects. However this model weighs about 80 pounds so it's not as easy to move around as you'd think based on the size, hence me wanting a mobile stand for it.
Step 2: Materials and Cut List
I wanted this to be simple and minimal but intentionally very bottom-heavy, so I opted to use some 2" by 3" by 1/8"-thick metal tubing I had left over from a previous project (this: Retro-Style Camping Gear Trailer).
The stand alone is about 50 pounds, but once completed I added an additional 100 pounds of weight as well.
Mounted in the stand, the bandsaw's table height is just under 45 inches. Depending on your saw and your height you could make this higher or lower as needed by adjusting the length of the two 20" pieces noted below.
Here are the cut lengths of the tubing pieces:
- one @ 22"
- two @ 20"
- one @ 16"
- one @ 14"
- two @ 3.25" (with each cut in half as shown in 2nd photo to make 4 angled brackets)
In addition I also used:
- Two wheels from a Harbor Freight store: 10 In. Worry Free Tire With Polyurethane Hub
- One 5/8" metal rod to use as an axle for the two wheels, cut to 20" length
- One locking caster from a Home Depot store: 5 in. Red TPU Heavy-Duty Swivel Plate Caster with Brake
- Miscellaneous hardware: 2 cotter pins, washers, handful of 1/4" bolts and nuts, piece of 1" scrap pipe, stack of weights from thrift store
All of the metal was cut primarily using a metal cutting bandsaw (shown in this other instructable Portable Bandsaw Metal Stand) or an angle grinder with cutoff wheel when needed. It's critical that cuts are square so be sure to measure and cut accurately.
Step 3: Weld Lower T Section
For all welding I'm using a 110v mig welder with argon/CO2 gas mix.
The 22" tubing piece is welded to the middle of the 14" piece, although propped up 1/2" as shown in the photo.
This placement was figured based on the height where the axle rod needed to be, in order to result in a level stand once the differently-sized wheels are attached.
Depending on what size wheels you use, you may have to make adjustments to account for your specific wheels.
Step 4: Weld Upper Support Section
The four support brackets are welded to the 16-inch piece of tubing as shown to create the top support portion of the stand.
My internal welds aren't terribly pretty, but they're hidden so no one will ever know! ;)
Step 5: Add Legs
The two 20-inch tubing pieces are welded to the underside of the upper support section as shown.
These are initially tacked in place and then full weld beads are added.
Step 6: Attach Lower T Section
The upper section and lower T section are now welded together.
The front, single wheel location extends 4 inches beyond the nearest leg of the upper section, which keeps the three wheels spread out for a balanced stance.
The upper section is tacked in place, and then full beads are welded.
Step 7: Mount Locking Caster
The front single locking caster wheels is bolted in place.
Locations for bolts are marked and drilled using a step drill bit, and four 1/4" bolts are used to fasten the caster in place with washers and lock nuts.
Step 8: Weld Rear Axle in Place
The 5/8" metal axle rod is welded in place on the underside of the back part of the T portion of the stand.
I thought I needed just a little more height on this side of the stand to make the top level, so I added some shims to stand it off from the frame just a little using a pair of sample Formica (laminate) chips from the hardware store.
Step 9: Add Rear Wheels
The rear wheels are held in place by cotter pins, placed into holes drilled through the axle ends.
Large washers are used on either side of the wheels.
Step 10: Additional Weight
A small piece of scrap 1" metal pipe was welded to the inside of the stand to hold additional weights.
I initially put a stack of four 10 lb weights in the stand, and I felt this was pretty stable. However I came across four used 25 lb weights for sale, so I bought these and swapped them in and now the stand is incredibly bottom-heavy - more than stable enough for typical safe and reasonable use of the saw.
Step 11: Clean Up Spatter and Mount Bandsaw
Any weld spatter was knocked off with an old chisel. I decided to not paint the stand, as I kind of like it just plain and honest.
Holes were marked and drilled into the top support portion of the stand, and the bandsaw was bolted to the stand using 1/4" bolts, washers and lock nuts, along with some shims made from Formica chips to dial in the level-ness of everything.
Step 12: Put a Name on It
This is silly, but I'm a silly fella.
The original name plate on this saw said "RIKON" but I pulled that off.
I had this plastic "CRAFTSMAN" badge, so I cut it up and glued magnets to the back of each letter.
My kids rearranged the letters till we found the silliest name we could come up with.
Personally, I like "FARMNCATS" but they felt "FARTSMAN" was especially apt..
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Thanks for checking this out, and if you've got any suggestions for alternate bandsaw names be sure to leave them in the comments!