The first step of the bandsaw build is building the frame. It’s made up of 6 layers of 3/4” pine, with overlapping joints in each layer. This essentially creates a mortise and tenon joint for each board in the frame and results in a very strong frame. My biggest concern with the frame was keeping it flat and square with no twists. For me to be able to use this tool for clean reliable and square cuts it all starts with the frame.
My first step was to build a platform large and flat enough to do the whole glue up. I had a piece of OSB laying around, and used 2×4’s to brace the back and to keep it flat and level. I don’t have enough clamps to clamp up each layer of the frame at once. So my strategy was dry fit everything together then I’d glue and clamp each piece and secure it with screws to hold it while it dried. I’d work my way through each layer one board at a time, gluing, clamping and screwing and then moving onto the next… there were A LOT of boards in the frame; 72 in all!
You’ll notice my benchtop jointer in the background of the first picture. I made every attempt to cleanup all the edges and thickness where there were inconsistencies (the drawback of big box store pine…).
This last picture is the final frame with the top and bottom wheel brackets in place which I’ll get to in the next blog entry.
After a little cleanup with my block plane and the sander everything came out square and with no twists! I’ve seen a few other people who’ve built this saw with much more elaborate glue-up templates and that probably would have saved me some cleanup work, but overall the frame came out great!
Next steps are the wheels and wheel mounts.