Homemade Benchtop Bandsaw

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About: I like to make stuff. All kinds of stuff! ZepLabs HandCrafted Nikos Zepidis tonginos@gmail.com

Hello all! Glad to see you again. It is Zep here, and this time we are building a bandsaw!

Well fellas, I always thought a bandsaw is a magic thing. You can rip, you can cross-cut, you can resaw, you can make your own veneers and fancy bandsaw boxes. In general, you just have to flip a switch,and you are pretty much ready to make all sorts of fancy cuts. But there is also one big problem regarding bandsaws.... I never had one!

But those days are now over. Today we are making us one! And since I am a bit tight in my tiny workshop, I'm gonna go with a small- benchtop version. But the idea here is pretty much the same, regardless the size of the machine. So how about we now get to it, and hopefully when we are done I 'll have convinced you to build one for yourself, at a size of your liking?

Let's have a look!

Step 1: Configuring the Specs

My understanding is that, when talking bandsaws, there are pretty much two things that define them. Size and power! And since the relate in a proportional way, let's start with size..

Ok, we agreed that this is gonna be a small saw. But how small? Possibilities here are endless, and the final size is completely up to you, but we gotta start somewhere. So I went to my local hardware store to get a better taste on cosumables.The blade! Long story short, I found out that where I live the most common blade size, which I can find in pretty much every hardware store and for pretty cheap, is 1.4 meters in circumference. This is tiny, Just what we wanted! So, we are gonna go with that...

Now, having the blade size sorted, let's talk a bit about the size of the saw, the actual machine I mean. Usually, a bandsaw's size is defined by the diameter of it's wheels. So when you hear about a "16-inch" bandsaw, this usually means that each one of it's wheels is 16 inches in diameter. And if you think of it, this pretty much translates that the distance between the blade (the spot you use to make the cut) and the column of the machine is no greater than 16 inches! So there is that, also..

Last thing we would like to have in mind is the resaw capacity. The maximum height of a cut you can make with you bandsaw. This is the distance between the lowest spot of your upper wheel and the top of your bandsaw's table.It is the maximum lenght of the blade that travels between thin air, which you are actually using to make your cut!

So with those in mind I grabed a pencil and a piece of paper and a couple of minutes later I was stuck with this conclusion:

Having a 140 cm long blade, I would make my wheels 19 cm in diameter each, which would give me both a maximum resaw capacity and a column-to-blade distance of around 18 cm. This is a crazy-big resaw capacity for such a small bandsaw, given that ready-made bandsaws using this size of a blade have a maximum resaw capacity of arround 9 cm! I went this way cause I intend on trying to use all of that capacity one day, making veneers or something. Just keep in mind that by doing that, you sacrifice some also precious capacity, between your blade and your column. I'm not that smarter from all the toolmaking industry! I just have my priorities differently sorted!

Ok, now we are getting somewhere! And since we are talking numbers, lets talk a bit about the motor...

Step 2: The M-O-T-O-R!

Ok, you know that already! We need something to spin our blade. Then you just push some stock against in and voila...it's cut! Not a single drop of sweat needed..

So you could use steam-power, a river, a hamster and a wheel. But you know what proves to be very handy and efficient these days?? Motors!

Now, I made a video specifically on this subject, which you can find embeded above, but let's talk a bit about that real quick, in case you are more of a reading person!

I originally had in mind using a tiny in size, quite impressive in power DC motor salvaged from an old cooking machine (it was a blender of some sort). The little thing produced 400 Watts which could make my little bandsaw quite a mean machine! But it turned out there is a problem with that idea....that little thingy runs crazy fast! Which got me thinking....

I went online and did some research. Found out that a good average speed to run a woodworking bandsaw is 3000 feet per minute, blade travel. Of course this number can differ, depending on the material you are gonna cut, the size of your saw maybe, the nature of the job you are gonna execute, your blade's tpi , the rate that you feel most comfortable feeding your stock to your blade etc. But we can pretty much safely assume that 3000 feet/minute blade travel is gonna work for you. Just make sure you are not cutting metal!

So as you unsderstood, a bit more math is needed here. Just a tiny bit and we are back in having fun, I promise! My bottom wheel is where the motor is gonna be mounted somehow, and therefore, is what is gonna be driving my blade. This wheel as we said is gonna be 19 cm in diameter, which if you multiply by pi gives a 59,7 cm circumference. The blade rides against that circumference, which means for a full rotation of that wheel, my blade will be moved by 0,597 meters. So if I need that blade moving 3000 feet/minute which translates to 914,4 meters/minute, i need to turn it for 914,4/0,597= 1532 rotations per minute. Let's call it 1500 rpm!

Not even close! The motor I intended to use runs 15 thousand rpm in the slowest speed! Now that's a huge gap to fill with pulleys n' belts (we are looking for a 10 to 1 reduction here. Even for the smallest pulley possible on my motors shaft, I would need one bigger than my 19cm wheel on the other side of that belt. And using two step reduction would make things way too complicated for such a simple project!) So I had to come up with a better way..

I used a hand drill! Cordless!

I have already seen such bandsaws made to run on drills online, and it seems like a descent idea! There is a thing that makes them questionable in my head though... Fellow makers, usually go for corded drills. These are great if you want to put a large hole on a concrete wall or something but there is also one thing they suck at...maintaining speed! It is not a bad thing to have, but those tools are more maintaining-power oriented.

On the contrary, think a moment about your little battery powered handrill. You press the trigger, and boom! It's up to speed. You start throwing some load on it, and it starts drawing more current from your batteries. If it could draw 300 Amps, believe me it would. And then it' d burst into flames! So the little thing is working hard for you. And working smart. Let's take advantage of that!

I went to the junk pile and found me an old 14.4 V hand drill. Used to use Ni-CD batteries back in the day, which were of course dead by now. Hooked it to a 12V 16 Amp power supply, pressed the trigger all the way and reached for my tachometer. 780 rpm. Only half of what we wanted!

Ok it is slow. But it also has some bright sides. I can mount that directly on my shaft (mounted to the bottom bandsaw wheel) and I can do that easily. There's already a chuck on that thingy! The other bright thing about that approach is that I don't need to go out bying motors. Those things can get pricey, especially if you are in a hurry!

So, even though I didn't love the idea( it's a bit on the slow side and it requires power supplys that many of you may not have), I'm gonna stick with that until I find me a better solution..

And now he have it all sorted. Let's build the thingy!

Step 3: The Build

You know what they say. You have to make sawdust in order to make more sawdust! So let's get to work...

For the main part of this machine I'm gonna use some plywood I had laying arround. To be accurate, I'll be using a funny structure that I picked up from the side of the road and was living in the trunk of my car for quite a while now! It consists of 20 and 25 mm thick pieces of poplar plywood. Poplar is not my thing, especially if I go bying stock, but if found someplace while also having an empty trunk, it's not something that I would be too picky about! You'll need about a quarter of a sheet..

First thing here is to turn our wheels. And to do that, you also need to decide what size shafts and bearings you will be using. I went for a 12 mm shaft and the according bearings, which I also had laying arround. They should offer more than enough stifness for that small of a blade.

For the wheels I used some of the 25 mm plywood, just to be a bit heavier. Gives you momentum. I cut two square pieces roughly in size and after picking a center on each one, I used a divider to make a circle with a circumference of 19 centimeters. I happen to have a lathe (or two!) but if you don't, you can use a corded drill to turn them round. Yes, one of those that I was complaining about earlier.....!

At this point you want to be as accurate as you can get! Getting your wheels round and balanced is the single most critical thing about this whole make. Everything else you can also do wrong! Ok, don't freak out, we 'll maybe fine tune them later, while they are in place, but doing your best to get the center hole and the OD aligned, will be saving you a lot of labor later.

The bottom wheel is gonna have just a 12 hole on the center, since it's gonna be turning with the shaft. (this hole you wan't to make as vertical as you can get it. Square to the face of the wheel) While the upper wheel is gonna turn arround it's shaft, meaning that we need to fit a couple of bearings in there!

To be honest, my upper wheel I made two times. The first one I started by turning the wheel round and later drilling a center hole which I enlarged on both sides to accomodate my bearings. But I got the center hole of center! (I don't own a tailstock chuck for my lathe!) So I roughly cut another one, and this time I started with the center hole(s). Then I mounted on a corded drill, using an M12 screw and some washers, which I used as a lathe and turned my wheel true arround the centerhole this time. Already told ya, this is quite critical!

Having now our wheels sorted, I cut two identical pieces, out of the 20 mm thick plywood, for the body of the bandsaw, which I laminated (more like screwed for now!) together. This structure you want to be taller than your wheel-blade assembly, and a fair bit wider to leave you some room for a stiff enough column. Something like 70cm by 30cm in my case. Then you place your wheels aproximately where they have to go, you put your blade around them and push them apart, to tension your blade a bit. This whole thing you move arround and you eyeball where it is gonna be mounted on the body. You want your wheels almost flush to the right side of your body piece (leave a cm or two offset there for various things we may need later) and your wheels' centerholes on a line that is sqaure to the base of your body stock. You need your wheels vertical in order for your blade to run vertical! You just make a mark for each center hole and you relax for a bit!

On the mark for the bottom wheel's centerhole, you make a hole slightly bigger that the shaft you are gonna use (you don't want it rubbing in there!) and later, you enlarge this whole on both sides to fit a bearing. Again, you want your bearings to sit in there as perpendicular to the face of the body as you can get them (holes need to be vertical!) in order for your blade to track straight when you are done. I had a total of five bearing in hand, and my upper wheel would not fit more than two on it, so I decided to use all the remaining three of them down there. I placed two of them on the back side (the side where the drill is gonna be) and I glued them in place using some epoxy, a square and a shaft placed inside them to give me refference point. They came out square enough! Once the glue dried,and with the shaft still in place, I went on the front side and fitted my third bearing, which I pushed all the way back to touch the body. I marked it's outline and using a handheld router, I routed a hole slightly larger than my bearing. Then, using also some epoxy, I glued the bearing inside that hole, while still riding on the shaft, making sure it 'll come out perfectly alligned with the other two bearings on the back side (known to be square already).

Hold on, we are getting there I promise!

Now for the upper wheel, a mark and a hole are not gonna cut it! You need a way to move that wheel, either away or closer to your other wheel, to tension/ untension your blade. Ok, here is what we are gonna do!

For starters you just make a huge square hole arround your mark for the center of the upper wheel. I'm not talking with numbers here cause, again, you might want to make a bigger bandsaw! Also the size of this hole is not too significant. You can check out the photos above to get an estimate on roughly how big you want it!

Now, this hole needs to be square to the body of the machine, but dont sweat too much about that. More significantly, it needs to be square itself! The left and right side need to be perpendicular, since in there is gonna slide another piece. You dont want it stuck on one side and loose on the other. Top and bottom sides, they dont matter too much. I used a router,some guides and a lot of measurement and I got it just right. You can do that too!

Since you have that ready, you now need to make the slider we talked about. Using some of the same material ( 20mm thick plywood) you cut two square pieces, shorter than your hole in height, but exactly up to size in width. Take your time, cut them slighlty bigger and then recut them a little bit at a time. Since you have them ready, fitting in there and being able to slide up and down the socket, you need to find a way to keep them in there.

I used some aluminum bar I had laying arround. It is 3 cm wide, 3mm thick, and I cut two pieces at lenght , same as the height of my slider. Then I unscrewed the pieces forming my bandsaw's body, and at the inner side of one of them I made a rabbet on each side of that square socket (left and right) 3mm deep and around 1 cm wide. I also made a same rabbet on one of my slider pieces but this time it was 2 cm wide. Screwed my aluminum profile pieces in there,and placed the aluminum parts sticking out on the body's rabbet. Then I assembled the whole body again, and I glued my second slider on the other one (the one with the aluminum in it). Then I drilled a hole in my slider, where the centerhole of my uper wheel needs to be. This time the hole needs to be tight fit with the shaft holding the wheel in place. Remember this shaft is not gonna spin..

Ok, you probably lost me by now! I know. Truth is , there is nothing too scientific about it! Just have a look on the photos of the make provided above and you 'll get it straight in no time!

Now we need a way to move and lock that slider in place. We gotta tenion that blade!

I moved the slider on the highest spot ( furthest spot possible from our lower wheel) and using a 10 mm diameter drill bit I drilled from the top of my machine through both the body and the slider, towards the base of it. On the bottom end of this hole on my slider I mounted a T-nut, which I secured in place using some epoxy. Then I used an M8 threaded rod which slided through the 10 mm whole on the top of my machine, and srewed on the T-nut mounted on the slider. Once in place I secured this bolt there using a nut at the top part of my slider's socket, on which I drilled a tiny hole and broke a pin. And voila! By turning that threaded rod, you can move your slider up and down!

We are now ready to mount our upper wheel! I used a carriage bolt (with a 12 mm shaft and an M12 tread) which I pushed through: a washer- my upper wheel - a washer - another washer - my slider's centerhole - a couple more washers and a nut which I used to tighten the whole assembly a bit. The washers on the front side need to be smaller than the outer ring of our bearing and they are to provide clearence for it to spin. The ones behind the wheel are also to give it some clearence from the body of the machine, so it can spin freely and the ones I used in the back of the slider are just because my carriage bolt didn't have a thread long enough to get my nut against the slider and tighten everything!

You can try cutting a bit more thread on an M12 bolt using a die, but I wouldn't recomend that! I only managed to make one or two turns up there,before I broke my vise. A cast iron vise!

Step 4: Building Some More...

Ok, I was writing for way too long now, and I thought a big bold tittle would freshen you up a bit!

We are not there yet, but the most of the work is done already. A few more stuff and you 'll be cutting stuff on your new bandsaw like a pro!

Having your wheels mounted and a way to drag them apart, feel free to throw up there your blade and tension it. Now we are gonna cut the body to make us a work area!

With the blade in place and under tension, we are gonna decide how much of the body we are gonna cut away. You want to mark the lowest spot of your upper wheel, the highest one of your lower wheel and you also want a line underneath of where your blade is tracking, left and right. And that's all! Now you can remove both your wheels and blade.

The mark you made for your upper wheel, you want to move it for about a centimeter to the bottom. And the one you made for your lower wheel, also move that for the same distance towards the top. That's becuuse you need you body overhanging the end of your wheels a bit, so it gives you some space to buid a wheel cover arround them.

Also the line where your blade is tracking to the left side ( the side you got no use for) you should move it a bit towards the right (towards the side of the blade you are gonna use when cutting). That's beacuse the left side of the blade you want to run above the column of the machine, which also makes it easier for you to enclose it inside a cover, when you make one.

Done already? Ok. Now you grab you best square and draw a line for each mark (the ones you offset before, top and bottom) all the way from the very right side of you body stock to the line you offset (the left track of the blade). You should have a square now, around the middle of your machine's body (heightwise), and all the way to the right ( widthwise). And if you were accurate with your measurements during this whole project,it should also be square to the body! If not, no worries, that's an easy fix... Either way, cut this out! We no longer need that square there...

Starting to look more like a bandsaw, isn't it?!

At this point you need to make a base for it, if haven't already. I did't have enough plywood left in a single piece , so I cut and butt-joined two pieces together to form me a baseboard. The front part of the base will overhang the bandsaw's body for around 10 cm and the back one will be as long as my drill is. Again, the size is not critical as long as it provides a good hold and your saw will not tip over while using it!

I placed my bandsaw body vertical where it had to go on the base, and drew a line around it. Using my router I made a rabbet 10 mm deep inside that line, where I would push fit my bandsaw, to provide a better hold and cut the vibrations down a bit. After I hammered that in place I used some L brackets to secure it in place in a vertical position. On the side behind my column I used a rather large, reinforced bracket that I got from the hardware store , which stiffened my machine a whole lot!

And now that I talked about stiffness. I noticed that there was a bit of flex in my saw's column, which I really didn't like. Reason for that may be that my two layers of plywood were not laminated together, they are still hold together with screws, or even 40 mm thickness of questionable quality poplar plywood are not enough for the job! So I decided to reinforce my column a bit with a piece of 19 mm thick spruce board, which I rip cut to fit the width of my column and then glued on the back side of my machine's body. This stiffened things a whole lot!

After that I made a holder for my driving handrill to be kept in place (photos above) and I mounted that where it needed to go. A bit of extra attention deserves to be given here, so that the center of the drill's chuck is at the same height as the center of the bottom wheel's axis. Also you wan't that axis completely alligned with the fictionary axis that goes through the center of your drill (picture your drill motor's shaft). Again, take your time here, cause if not, you can end up with a mess of vibration!

And we are nearly there!

I glued the axis on the bottom wheel using some epoxy and a large washer (gave me some extra gluing surface) and the other end of that shaft I secured inside the drill chuck. Hooked a power supply to power my drill with ( I am using a 12 V /16 Amp power supply, which at max trigger spins my 14,4 V rated handrill at arround 780 rpm) and I slowly pressed the trigger. Well people......the blade tracks!

It tracks even at maximum revs, but not where I 'd want it to! Thing is that, when making your wheels round, you also want to put a crown in them. A slight bulge let's call it, which will make your blade track right in the midle of your wheel's thickness. Tensioning the blade had pulled my wheel down a bit, which made the blade track at the veru tip of it. Which made you think it would come out any time and made you nervous for no good reason! We gotta fix that....

And to do that we need a tracking adjustment. Something that would slighlty move our upper wheel, and fix that ridgidly in place. And I have an idea on that!

I turned two round plugs on the lathe, which I mounted on the back of my bandsaw, left and right to the slider's socket and on the bottom part of it. I removed the nut tightening my upper wheel on the slider assembly, and on the back side of the carriage bolt, where the nut used to be, I placed one of those bolts that instead of a bolt head have a ring. I placed that ring around my bolt and tightened again with a nut, leaving the rest of the bolt hanging towards the bottom and on the back side of the machine. Then I drilled a hole on a bar of cold rolled steel , let that hanging bolt go past that hole, and use an according nut to tighten on the lower side, until it dragged my cold rolled towards the upper wheels shaft and against the plugs I mounted earlier on the body. This way, tightening further the nut arround the hanging bolt, it pulled the back part of my upper wheel's axis towards the bottom, making it pivot a bit inside my slider. It's just a tiny bit of movement, but it's all we wanted to call it a "tracking adjustment"!

Now with the saw running and the blade tracking, all you need is a table!

I grabed a 35cm by 35 cm piece of 18 mm plywood, and made a rather large square whole on the center of it, with an 8 mm deep rabbet arround it. Then I picked a side, drew a straight line joining the side of it with the square hole at the middle of it, powered up my new bandsaw and made a cut where that line used to be!

Just be cautious, for the first two or three centimeters of that cut, where your stock is unsupported. Always keep a negative rake so that the blade won't throw the piece right back at you! After those first centimeters, you can place your piece against the body of the machine and cut safely until your blade sits someplace inside that square hole you made earlier. Now you unplug the bandsaw! You turn the table so that the slot you just cut runs towards the column of your saw, you match that slot with the center of the thickness of your body, and you screw your table in place! This way, it makes it sturdier, compared to scenario where you let the slot for the blade hanging on any other side of the table (this way also makes it impossible to remove your blade without first removing the table though..Your choice!)

Now if you paid attention to where you draw those lines earlier, you should have a table square to the track of your blade and a saw ready to run! You just grab an 8mm thick piece of plywood and you use that to make a cover for that huge square hole arround your blade. Once in size, you power up your saw again, and carefully you put that cover in place with the saw running, to make a slot for it to travel in place. Now you also have a zero-clearence cover!

At this point, your bandsaw is a bandsaw! You can certainly cut with that. But you shouldn't!

We have some stuff to make first to improve both safety and quality...

Step 5: Safety First! (a.k.a Bladeguides..)

Ok, as we said, your saw is now working and you can use it to cut stuff, but you shouldn't! A blade spinning on some wheels, is not a safe thing, and you are a grown person (probably!) . I shouldn't be writing you those stuff!

Now, theory says that, when your bandsaw is finished and while using it, the only part of the blade that will be exposed will be the same lenght as the thickness of the board you are cutting, plus a little something to make it a bit easier on you. In other words, you need a cover and some blade guides! And since it would be awesome if we already had our bladeguides when making our cover, so that we can take them into account, let's start there..

So, regarding bladeguides. You need two of them, top and bottom! Think of it this way. You were about to use your saw, as we left it, and you grab a piece of timber, you throw that up on your table and you push that against your blade. What is gonna happen?

Well, probably nothing, since it is your first time using this machine and you 'd most likely be extra cautious! But what if you had to make 100 pieces of that thing you are making? What about if you even had 100 identical pieces to make?? They can get a bit boring after a while..And you could easily end up pushing your stock against your blade at a rate that the only support it has, which is from it's tension on the wheels, cannot handle. And then, the situation could go pear-shaped! The very least is that, doing that you put a bow into your blade, puting tension into the back part of it and getting it away from the front (where the teeth are). This would make your blade drifting, and make it hard on you to cut along a straight line.The worst case scenario is that you make your blade jump out of one of your wheels and injure yourself. So you need something supporting your blade on the back side, keepin' it steady against your incoming timber.

Now picture that you wanted to make a tight-curved cut with that saw. Having your blade running inside that kerf it made on your piece of timber, you'd start twisting that, therefore also twisting your blade. And you don't want that either! What could we do about that? We could also support the blade sideways, left and right...

Now those things I just mentioned, are exaclty what a blade guide is meant to do! It supports your blade from both the back and the sides, to provide you a better result, while keeping you safe. And you could make them in a whole lot of different ways, but there are is a thing that remains in common. The lower blade guide is stationary, while the upper one is adjustable in height.

Now I won't get too much into the details, cause like I said, there are a ton of ways to do that, and they are all right if they can provide you the support needed. But you can find a video here on how I made mine, and who knows, maybe you also go that way! They are working like a charm..

Step 6: Finallizing! Some Paint and a Cover...

Last thing before we give it a paintjob, is to make a cover for all the moving parts that we are not gonna use. That means the whole saw, except those 18 cm of your resaw height!

I mostly used scrap plywood pieces of 8 mm thickness, and a little piece of (also scrap) 19 mm thick pine board. I used my table saw (which is an inverted circular saw) to rip cut them at a widht of arround 4.5 cm, which is just enough to clear my wheels and their shafts. Then, placing each piece where it had to go around the body of my bandsaw, I measured that and cut it to lenght using the bandsaw itself. This went pretty fast!

Also on some pieces I had to make notches for clearing my blade, my bladeguides and the brackets that I used to mount the body on the base, which I also did using the bandsaw. After I had all my pieces ready, I applied glue and clamped them in place, two or three of them at a time. I don't own as many F-clamps as I'd like! A while later I had the whole structure ready, on which I applied glue on the outer side, and threw up there a piece of 4 mm plywood board. Once dried, I used my trim router, with a flush cut endmill (the one that is flush with the bearing on the bottom) to trim any piece of that plywood sticking out of my cover's structure, and that was all! Mounted that in place, shimming it with some folded paper on the lower side ( so it won't rub), found two big enough hinges and screwed them in place. You could also use a piano hinge for that, or whatever you have in hand. Don't sweat it!

And now for the paint! But before we go there...

As you make have noticed, I also make youtube videos regarding some of my makes. This bandsaw we are talking about here, is one of those makes. And it took rather long! To be accurate it ended up being a four-part video series, and by the time I was about to paint this thing, I had already released some of those parts. On one of those videos, a viewer of mine, mr John, wrote a saying in the comments that went like this:

"Rust never sleeps, gravity is always waiting, blades are watching your eyes".

Now that's a cool saying, isn't it?? That's what I thought, so I also thought I should engrave it some place on this little bandsaw! I was thinking of also adding a round window above the upper wheel, on which I would draw a spiral. The thing is already turning! Let's take advantage of that and make it look cool...

So I went ahead and made a rough round whole on my saw's cover, aproximately where my upper wheel sits. Then I grabed a piece of 8 mm thick plywood and went for my CNC machine (also handmade, on which you can find an instructable here..) There I cut a ring (or two half-rings to be more accurate!) which also included John's saying we talked about. Once ready, I used the bandsaw to cut them apart from the rest of the board, and I also used that to cut a round piece of 3mm thick plexi-glass (salvaged from a screen). Using the router I made a rabbet in the inner-back part of the ring, and using some CA glue, I mounted the plexiglass in place assembling the whole window structure. Then I mounted that on the saw's cover and around the whole I made, simply by screwing it in place from the inside.

As for paint, there is really not much to talk about! It's reccomended to paint your new tool, or use some varnish in order to seal the wood, making it harder to get dirty, much easier to clean, and prevent it for absorbing moisture and warping too much. The color is up to you!

Regarding electronics, I used a switch to turn the saw on and off, which I mounted on the front side of the cover, and wired it to control the 12 Volts coming from my power supply, right before powering up my motor. I tie-wraped the hadrill's trigger pressed and I also wired some 25V 4700uF capacitors in parallel with my power supply's output, in order to make things a bit easier when powering up the bandsaw.

And now the thing is ready! And working like a charm! You can check it out on the video embeded above, or here, and if it meets your expectations, go make one for yourself!

And I believe thats all for this time folks!

Untill the next one, thank you all for being here, and if you like what you see, feel free to follow me here on istructables, or my yt channel. See you next time, with another make!

Take care, and cut safely!

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    2 Discussions

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    autocthon

    4 months ago on Step 6

    First off; I think your work is amazing. It's even more amazing considering the labor and planning that went into this. A couple of comments, however. The resaw capacity actually has nothing to do with the bottom of your top wheel, it's the bottom of your upper guides that determine it, but as you say it IS the amount of blade going through thin air.
    The size of the bandsaw is usually measured in the "throat" the distance between the blade and the front of the "column" as you term it. This is basically the diameter of the wheels but it doesn't have to be.
    Please don't get me wrong and think that I'm putting you or your project down, but in having over many decades of making sawdust and buying and using tools, cheap and expensive, it seems that you've made a wonderfully conceived and expertly crafted copy of a low quality bandsaw. There is no adjustment for tracking, no quick release for blade changing, no way to replace tires on the wheels (indeed, no tires at all) and friction blocks instead of bearings on the side guides.
    As an art project from a master, I love it; as an attempt to save $139 over the same size Chinese made saw that does it as well, it's just not worth it.

    1 reply
    1
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    ZepLabsautocthon

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hey autocthon!
    Did not get you wrong, not at all! One of the reasons for posting something online is to hear peoples' opinion about it, thoughts of improvement etc. And yours my friend, it's very nicely put! Thanks! Critisism can be a constructive little thing if you ask me!
    Fact is that, never having a bandsaw before, I thought I should start simple and find my way on what would be a usefull improvement or not. As an example, I've already found out that I maybe exagurated on the resaw capacity (which I wrote this way to keep it simple, and keep people reading this instructable!) as I would much apreciate a bigger "throat" distance..Maybe next time! As for the friction blocks, I went that way cause they are significantly quieter, from what I hear. At the moment it does not matter too much, as running it with a drill is already loud enough, but I'll get this little thing a proper motor one of these days!
    Quick release and tracking adjustment, you are right! It's nowhere near convenient, and it takes some time to set it right, but when you do, it's running good! And that's good enough for me, for now..
    As for the throat distance instead of the wheel diameter, I just didn't know that! Thanks for pointing out.
    I'm glad you like my work, and it means a lot hearing that from someone with decades on the sawdust-making trade. And I'll definitely consider your points made when I make the next one/bigger one!
    Cheers