Restoring a Walker Turner BN730 Band Saw #1: Taking it all apart...

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Blog entry by Camper posted 02-08-2011 08:38 PM 7644 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Restoring a Walker Turner BN730 Band Saw series Part 2: progress »

Hi everyone!!

I have started a full restoration on this band saw a few weeks ago. I am getting great help from the guys/gals at OWWM forum. Figured I would provide a condensed version here as well. Restoring old machines is a new found passion for me and it helps with woodworking as well :).

Here are some pictures of the saw right after I picked it up. It dates back to 30s-early 40s. It was owned by a 101 year old “tinkerer” and his son was selling it as he was not using it at all.

Notice all the neat little things the previous owner built, the light, the on/off switch, the table and fence, and very very functional mobile base. I have removed all these even though it makes me sort of sad.

As I was disassembling it check out what the the PO did!! He used a little extension under the tensioner housing so 80” blades can be used on the saw. It originally requires a 78” which is a custom length.

So I have taken everything apart. Cleaned them with simple green and stripped the paint all the way to bare metal using Citristrip. Probably the biggest challenge was removing the old bearings and replacing them with new sealed ones. The upper wheel bearings are an odd size that are no longer available. I had to get the shaft knurled for it to accept slightly larger diameter ones. Here are some more pictures.

And what is a project without a little mishap. Cracked the tensioned housing…ouch!! Luckily I was able to find a replacement.

Of course my son was supervising every step of the way except when chemicals and fumes were around (which is most of the time in this project :))

I have started some cosmetic repairs, electrolysis and priming and painting but will save those for another day another entry.

Thanks for looking.

-- Tampa-FL

12 comments so far

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3159 days

#1 posted 02-08-2011 09:16 PM

I know you are a happy camper. lol I love the old W/T equipment. I just sold my 1952 DP to a friend here in the desert and bought a 1944W/T DP model 944.
I’m going to favorite this blog so I can keep up with you. Wish I could get my hands in there with you. lol Rand

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 02-08-2011 09:19 PM

a) this is SOOOOooo cool !!!

b) Your son …. wears high-fashion clothing … very well :-)

I can tell … from taking the first step toward rebuilding (mechanical, not cosmetic) my new 1956 DeWalt RAS … that … this is an exceptionally gratifying process.

It cemented my decision: if I DO upgrade my Bosch 4100 to a true cabinet saw … it will absolutely be via restoration of Some Old Arn’ !

Enjoy !

-- -- Neil

View Camper's profile


232 posts in 2908 days

#3 posted 02-09-2011 12:26 AM

Rand, anytime you are in the area you are more than welcome to breath in all the toxic fumes in the garage with me :) and yes I am a “happy Camper” :)

LoL Neil, glad you like his clothing line. There are a number of Unisaw restoration threads at OWWM which may be helpful and motivating. Its sort of intimidating but no doubt rewarding.

-- Tampa-FL

View Rob200's profile


313 posts in 3221 days

#4 posted 02-09-2011 04:26 AM

some time old tool are beater then new they are more fun to back in shape

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3780 days

#5 posted 02-09-2011 04:29 PM

just wondering how the tensioner broke. was it over tightened? dropped? One of the things that worries me on restores is breaking something. Just curious if there is something new I need to be wary of.

View Camper's profile


232 posts in 2908 days

#6 posted 02-10-2011 05:41 AM

ha ha hokie, the million dollar question :)

Well see that knob on the top of the tensioner housing in the picture? I wanted to get that knob off to pull out the tensioner screw. It required me to loosen the locking nut underneath it. So I wedged a piece of metal under the screw and rested it on the bottom edge of the housing. Started turning the screw which tightened the piece of metal between the bottom of the screw and the bottom edge of the housing. Unfortunately before the nut came loose, the housing cracked under the pressure pushing the metal block down. I hope that’s clear….rough way to learn not to force things too much….

-- Tampa-FL

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3725 days

#7 posted 02-10-2011 05:44 AM

Nice find on the bandsaw, is thats a 14’’?

View Camper's profile


232 posts in 2908 days

#8 posted 02-10-2011 05:48 AM

Thanks! it is a 12”...

-- Tampa-FL

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3780 days

#9 posted 02-10-2011 04:11 PM

Thanks for the response. It is really tough to tell, sometimes you really do need to force things to get them to move. Other times yo need to revisit the approach.

I was thinking of my RAS that I’m working on restoring. No matter how hard I cranked it, I could not get the locking level to unscrew from the top of the column. I soaked it with PB blaster every day for a week. Finally, my dad was visiting and got the idea to slide a pipe over the lever to give us some leverage. Thanks fully he did this, not me. He wiggled it back and forth and it started to loosen up, but then he noticed it kept getting worse as he’d try to get it off. Finally, it dawned on us that it was reverse threaded (although the threads were hidden so I felt less bad about not knowing). Fortunately we didn’t break the casting or the whole saw would have been done for.

Soryy about the break, but thanks for sharing the experience. Cast iron is strong and rigid, but unfortunately it is a little brittle too.

View wilcisia's profile


2 posts in 1655 days

#10 posted 01-05-2014 06:06 PM

Hi Camper,

I see this is a really old thread. Give it a try anyway.

I’m in the process of restoring an almost identical saw (1939 Craftsman, but made by WT). What tool did you use to remove the top wheel?

Thanks a lot.

View Camper's profile


232 posts in 2908 days

#11 posted 01-06-2014 03:28 PM

Hi Wilcisia,

I do not exactly remember but I have a more detailed and informative blog at about the restoration. I think the answer to your question and probably others that would come up can be found there.

PM me if this does not work for you and I will try dig up more info.

Good luck.

-- Tampa-FL

View wilcisia's profile


2 posts in 1655 days

#12 posted 01-07-2014 05:56 AM

Thank you Camper. I am really impressed by how meticulously you documented the process, and how welcoming this community is towards newcomers. I assume I will be able to get most if not all the answers there. I will certainly take up your offer if I do need more help.

Thanks again.

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