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Ok, ive got an old sears craftsman 12" bandsaw on a floor stand. It gets used the most of my power tools. My upgrades are added wheels so I can roll it out of my harage to use. Now lets here your advice on bandsaws. 

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What is the most useful width blade on a bandsaw for general knife / handle work? I see many saws ship with a 3/8" blade - with 1/8 and 1/4 blades commonly available? I'm assuming the 1/8 is most useful on smaller work with heavier duty cutting being better with wider blades? Depending on curves and small cuts of course ...

I think my blade is 1/4 inch, good for most cuts. You are correct, thinner better for curves, wider for long straight cuts. Grizzly tools has a huge variety of blades and a chart of suggested uses that may be helpful.

Great Chart D ale!

Portaband Saw Conversion

Bandsaw 1 – general view mounted in vice.

Blade Guard – Bent sheet metal to protect fingers/arms

Bracket A -  Upright is short section of “T” iron from old garage door chain track, welded to “C” channel from old exercise equipment that fit nicely over a cutoff of 2”x6” board. Fit nicely to frame of saw with a little creative metal removal. Holes drilled through T and saw frame in meaty area with threaded rod and jam nuts to hold in place. Studs left long to facilitate mounting and holding guard in place.

Bracket B – Different angle shot of “T” upright and bracket.

Clearance – Here is why I recommend a deep cut saw – can only cut short chunks and thin slivers of steel (1” or so wide) if I need length.

Table – 1” thick chunk of aluminum (what I had sitting around) most any stiff chunk of metal will do. Suggest slightly larger foot print on this. I just used the existing stop bracket holes to mount the table with longer bolts.

Note: These are the pics and text I have on file - please ask if you need further clarification

Carl Rex

Thats pretty cool Carl. 

Very nice, Carl

.

!!! .. Thank You .. !!!

This is useful - especially interesting the 1/2" guidance for resawing


D ale said:

I might have to do something like that too, good ideas Carl - thanks for showing your design.

I've looked at those saws and wondered how they could be used for much more than cutting pipes and similar. This upright, table design extends the use substantially.



Carl Rechsteiner said:

Portaband Saw Conversion

Bandsaw 1 – general view mounted in vice.

Blade Guard – Bent sheet metal to protect fingers/arms

Bracket A -  Upright is short section of “T” iron from old garage door chain track, welded to “C” channel from old exercise equipment that fit nicely over a cutoff of 2”x6” board. Fit nicely to frame of saw with a little creative metal removal. Holes drilled through T and saw frame in meaty area with threaded rod and jam nuts to hold in place. Studs left long to facilitate mounting and holding guard in place.

Bracket B – Different angle shot of “T” upright and bracket.

Clearance – Here is why I recommend a deep cut saw – can only cut short chunks and thin slivers of steel (1” or so wide) if I need length.

Table – 1” thick chunk of aluminum (what I had sitting around) most any stiff chunk of metal will do. Suggest slightly larger foot print on this. I just used the existing stop bracket holes to mount the table with longer bolts.

Note: These are the pics and text I have on file - please ask if you need further clarification

Carl Rex

LOL, Thanks Carl!  I think now I am on the hunt for a port a band this year

Hey Jan, just watch CL, they pop up all the time. Not sure how a Harbor Freight one would hold up, but they've had a deep cut one on sale for <$100 with cupon lately.

Mine is just one of those "recycle" things I do. Picked it up at a yard sale for $20 - cord was chewed off, handle cracked and "On" switch hold device broken (hence sliding wire tie). Motor solid as are bearings and friction belt on drive wheel will eventually have to be replaced, but overall a solid machine with easily accessible parts. I use it all the time.

Now I'm making confessions around other areas - I'll make a confession here too. :-) I listen to all advice, but decided to take a chance, and if necessary, I could return very easily. I ended up buying a WEN 9" 2.8 amp table top band saw from Home Depot. I gave it a try, and on basic cuts, and even some fairly tight curves with the standard, supplied 3/8" blade, it worked well.

I attached the simple, lightweight aluminum fence supplied with it, and took a piece of oak hardwood floor sample about 6 inches long, 3/4" thick and split it into 1 1/2 - 2" strips. Then I shifted the fence in, and resawed the strips into two pieces, just under 3/8" thick each, and removed the upper, coated surface so I now have raw wood again, suitable for scales. It worked very well for that, I just went fairly slowly (but fast enough) so as not to stress the motor and no problem at all. Nice and straight, smooth cuts.

It's quiet enough to use inside the house if I want to, light enough to lift and move from the shed, and does not blow saw dust around much so my wife was the one suggesting I use it inside - whether in the kitchen, or on the dining room table with suitable table protection.

So while 2.8 is only a little stronger than 2.5 amps, and not as strong as a 3.5 or 5 amp saw - for my needs, for small jobs and scales cutting, and small resawing - so far I am very happy. 60 inch blade, 9 inch throat, 3 5/8" cut depth, 40 lb, all steel or aluminum other than the knobs and power switch.

I also bought a set of Bosch blades - 3/8, 1/4 and 1/8" for just over $20 I think.

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