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Old 03-28-2016, 04:36 PM   #1
glatt
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Building a bandsaw on the cheap from mostly scrap wood

This is a placeholder.
I plan to come back and update this thread from the start to show the process of me building a band saw.

But for now, here's a picture of bearings being glued to the unfinished wheels.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:08 PM   #2
Gravdigr
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Popdigr just bought a pawn shop table-top bandsaw for $30.

That man can find some deals, he can...
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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The #1 secret of getting deals is having cash, with you, right there in your pocket. Driving a vehicle you can take it home on the spot is #2.
I've had too many people back out given time to think about it, or a buddy tell them they could have gotten more, while I went to the bank or borrow a truck.
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:29 PM   #4
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Damn, I just took a peek at Craigslist. $125 for a beautiful old Craftsman.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:43 AM   #5
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I had been looking at craigslist around here for a while and there are no tool deals at all. Tools can be found, but good ones are rare, and they are overpriced. I think it's because there is almost no industry in this town, so you don't get that critical mass you need to support that market. Plus I don't have a truck to run out and pick up a tool within hours of seeing it posted online.

This band saw will hopefully wind up costing about $200, including the brand new motor, bearings, and steel shaft from Ebay. The wood is mostly scrounged scrap wood, but I did need to buy about $50 of new pine boards for the frame. I'm at about $200 right now and I still need to buy some bolts and knobs and stuff, so tt might be $20-$50 more. I've gone through most of a gallon jug of glue already.

What I'll end up with is a 16" bandsaw, which would cost at least three times what I will spend. But this isn't about saving money. If I add the value of my time into the equation, I come out way behind. This is about having fun making something that should hopefully be pretty good when I'm done. In theory, I can make this tool be better than one I could buy. I won't know until I'm done, how good it is, but I'm hopeful.

And it's a big project. My goal is to finish in 2016. If I can keep up my current pace, I should be done by summer.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:32 AM   #6
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Shit, the braggin' rights alone is worth at least grand.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
Griff
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This will allow you to level up significantly on the DIYS cred. I love that you're giving your kid this experience.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:54 AM   #8
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What's your game plan for balancing the wheels?
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:11 PM   #9
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I'm going to spin them on their shafts and turn them down to size with a chisel, just like on a lathe, and then balance them by putting them on little roller blade ball bearings on a screwdriver, and just remove wood as needed with a forstner bit until they are balanced. They will look a little ugly with holes drilled in them, but they will work well.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
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This project is building a band saw based on plans by Matthias Wandel. I wish I could take credit for designing this band saw, but that would be a considerably more time consuming undertaking. I paid $21 to Matthias for the plans, and despite numerous spelling errors throughout, the plans are very detailed and helpful. I’ve deviated from the plans in a few places, but only in the techniques I use to do the same thing.

I share some of the same concerns as UT in wondering if it’s a bit self-centered of me to post a diary style thread, but I figure people can skip it if it bores them. This is a big part of my life now, and it’s important to me now, so I’m sharing it.

OK. Let’s get this thread started for real.

Sunday, 2/14/16
I come back from Home Depot with a gallon jug of glue and a bunch of boards. I spent a lot of time scratching my head in HD trying to figure out what boards to buy. They didn’t have the sizes I expected, so I did a lot of rough calculations standing in the aisle. Turns out I bought too much.
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Monday, 2/15/16 Presidents Day!
I spent all day cutting everything for the frame to the correct size and width. I made a lot of sawdust. The frame is sandwiched lumber of varying sizes so that the joints overlap as you build up the frame. Great idea, but it means every piece is pretty much a custom piece. It’s getting complicated, so I label every part.
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This is the plan on top of some of the boards I haven’t cut up yet. The plan prints out over multiple pages and my son and I used a glue stick to glue this together at the dining room table.
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Sunday, 2/21/16
You can see that I’ve taken a few of the pieces and cut them into triangles. Seems simple, but I have to pay attention to make the grain go the same direction as the hypotenuse in the triangle. This makes the frame stronger and requires that I cut the other two legs. I want a frame with tight fitting joints, so I take my time and try to cut the triangles as accurately as possible.
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Last edited by glatt; 03-31-2016 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:24 PM   #11
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Saturday 2/27/16
Itís the next weekend and time to start gluing these pieces together into a frame. I decide that instead of clamping all these layers together, Iím going to screw them together as the glue dries. This is a utilitarian machine and I donít need a furniture quality finish to the thing. Itís much more important that this frame is nice and flat and square, and by using screws, I can just build the frame up from a flat bottom layer. To ensure itís pretty flat I use the cast iron table saw top as the glue up table. I lay everything down on the full sized frame plan to make sure everything lines up correctly. Here you can see the table saw in the background with the frame starting to be laid out, and all the pieces lying on my workbench waiting for their turn. Some in the middle have slightly complicated notches cut in to them
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Laying the first layer out on the table saw. Making sure itís lined up just right. You can see the light colored board is just slightly thinner than the darker boards. I hadnít really noticed this yet, and itís going to be a pain later.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:27 PM   #12
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Sunday 2/28/16

The gluing is really going forward this next day. I used screws that are designed for pocket holes. They have almost ĺ of an inch of unthreaded shank and then about ĺ of an inch of thread. And they are flat headed with a sort of built in washer. Perfect for pulling the top layer down onto the lower layer. These screws are self tapping, but I drilled pilot holes because I was shifting the boards around when I tried to just use the self tapping feature. It required too much force.
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This is when I added the third layer later in the day. It took a couple hours for the first layer of glue to dry enough to take all those screws out and reuse them to glue down that third layer with a second glue joint.
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I used a lot of glue because I was noticing little gaps here and there between layers and I wanted the joints to be strong. So there was a lot of squeeze out of glue. This is why I put plastic down onto the tablesaw surface first.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:34 PM   #13
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Saturday 3/5/16
I got a straight edge out to see what was happening and realized that I’d have even stronger joints if I planed down the high spots after each layer had been glued on. So I started planning down high spots and testing the fit on the next layer. After this, the layers fit each other much better.
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I glued down a fourth layer.
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And after it dried and I took out the screws, I planed that surface down to prepare for a fifth layer.
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I glued down another layer or two, but didn’t take pictures of those.

Last edited by glatt; 09-09-2016 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:02 PM   #14
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Sunday, 3/13/16

I was basically done with the frame and used scrapers and planes to clean up glue squeeze out and make sure the frame surfaces were level, plumb, and/or square as needed.

Then it was time to make the wheels. I had tons of scrap quarter inch luan plywood that was 25 years old or more. I had pulled it off the poorly finished basement ceiling when we bought the house and just stacked it in the corner. I used several sheets to build a kayak 15 years ago, and now I’m making a band saw with some more of it.

I took a pair of dividers and taped a pencil to one leg to make a large compass. I drew a bunch of slightly large circles on a scrap of plywood.
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Then I used a nice compass to draw a smaller circle that will be the same diameter as a flange for lining stuff up later. And I drew a medium sized circle to locate the 4 clamp holes later.
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I cut these circles out square and glued them up, alternating the grain direction of the outside surface of plywood. I used lots of glue again. I want these to be glued well, and I’ve got a gallon of glue.
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Maybe I used too much glue. Better too much than too little here. What a mess!
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Last edited by glatt; 03-31-2016 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:05 PM   #15
glatt
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Wednesday 3/16/16

Itís a Wednesday, but in an unprecedented move, the DC Metro system decided to give me a day off. Thanks, guys!

Iím getting better at the amount of glue I use. Iím still deliberately using too much, but at least itís not ridiculous any more. Here, Iím working on what will be the other wheel. I used layers of quarter inch birch plywood for this one. I donít remember where this plywood came from, but itís cleaner looking. I think I was more careful with the glue this time so I could keep the pretty wood pretty.
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Saturday 3/19/16
I double checked the plans, and my wheel blanks arenít thick enough. So I glue another quarter inch of plywood to each one.
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Thursday 3/24/16
Itís spring break, and Iím back from college tours with the family.
I use a handheld saber saw to cut a rough wheel for the bandsaw. I cut it slightly oversized so I can fine tune it later on its axis.
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Thereís sawdust blocking the view, but check out that edge. Gluing these thin sheets of plywood really resulted in a nice end product. These wheels will be nice.
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