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Vertical Band Saw Setup

Discussion in 'Milling, Drilling, & Cutting' started by dancom, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I have a Porter-Cable Porta-Band for miscellaneous cutting in the shop and it's great! What it's not so good at it making square cuts. Browsing the mighty interweb I noted that dozens have converted their portable band saws into vertical band saws with a bit of DIY and surplus bits and pieces.

    A while back I was ogling the Princess Auto Pro-Point Portable band saw and after calling head office I learned that they have 80 on backorder and are not expecting shipment until May 2020. Noting the geometry I saw that the exact same machine was selling under WEN's brand on Amazon.ca. The saw is capable of cutting up to 5", but I plan on 4" as the maximum.

    I took the WEN machine apart and figured how to space the saw frame away from the electronics at the top. These are for the LED light and speed control. Seems a bit overkill, but why re-invent the wheel. I will relocate the speed control and LED switch to another box later.

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    To make the hinged frame, I used 1"x 3" hollow structural and welded two piece in the shape of an L. The hinge part is drilled to 1/2" and I slipped a piece of shaped DOM tube inside. After a couple of tack welds, this has plenty of strength.

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    The hinge also has two pieces of 2" x 1/4" angle and a a 1/2" x 4" bolt with some washers, nylon spacers a a couple of jam nuts to lock things down.
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    The bed is a 12" x 30" piece of 10 ga. steel tacked to a 1"x1" HSS frame. The holes for the saw hing, vise were drilled and bolts were welded from the underside.
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    The base is some surplus 1-1/2" HSS attached to a piece of 3/4" plywood cut to 12 x 30 inches, screwed down and painted.
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    The speed control was transplanted to BC1110 box along with a 20A toggle switch and a latching pushbutton to switch the saw's LED work light on and off.
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    Here you can see where I made a "plug" from dense foam and epoxy. This was only a cosmetic thing.
    Note the screws: I had to buy longer 6 mm x 50 mm to mount the saw body. These were found in the bolt drawer at Canadian Tire. Here you can also see one of the spacers that I made from 3/8" x 3/4" steel to stand the saw body away from the hinged frame.
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    I used some regular 3 wire cab-tire (black rubber extension cord wire) to run the power and light circuits down to the switch box.
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    Using 3/8" fasteners means there room to slop the vise square to the blade after everything else is mounted.
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    Another improvement was the taller jaws on the vise. I regular 5" drill press vise has only 3/4" high jaws which isn't the best if you want to cut a piece of 3" pipe.
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    After a few test cuts were checked against the square, I locked it down.
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    Ta da! A useful tool for weekend warrior fabrication that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    Thanks for looking!

    Dan
     
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  2. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Very cool Dan! I was lazy and went the portable Milwaukee and Swag table route lol. My hat is of to you, your fabrication is top knotch.
     
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  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Thanks Griff. I forgot to mention that when the saw is resting in the "up" position it does essentially what my bench mounted portable does. Small factory rest though. I might make a modified table for it if the need arises.

    Dan
     
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  4. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    That is awesome. Way better than the scrap plywood box i made for my portaband. (I may post pics on April fool's day for a laugh..)

    But, i have to say, it's kinda irritating that your tool builds still look way better finished than my knife builds. I'm starting to think that I like this hobby a lot more than it likes me : ). Of course, making more than 4 or 5 knives a year would probably help fix that.
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Sorry Todd. It was -25°C that morning and I felt the need to get all warm and fuzzy with the photo editor. ;)

    You really should make a goal to get one knife done. Then another. In no time at all you'll be feeling great about making knives. Then it will slither into your mind like a disease. You will be thinking about making knives all the time. Out with the wife for that anniversary dinner...KNIVES. Kid's skating lessons...KNIVES. Driving home with the family after getting groceries...KNIVES. Well...then it's too late. Moooohahahaha!
     
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  6. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I hear ya Dan. A bit out of my hands lately. I've got a few done over the past few months, but they've been more carving knife size. I've picked up a new hobby that splits time with knife-making and both have taken a back seat to my regularly scheduled job and some medical issues lately. Same old sitch everybody faces I'm sure, not enough time to fit in what you wanna do with what you have to. I'm working on getting back at it this spring (also once it warms up some, my shop isn't heated ....yet). Believe it or not, I still have some stuff to finish on my Sayber. That's actually my next shop job... well, after a couple honey-do items to buy me some time.
     
  7. JohnnyTK

    JohnnyTK New Member

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    I have everything together now, I just got get off my duff and start filing. Gonna have to misplace the honey do list for a bit.
     
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