Machine mods, oddities, and fix-ups #1: Old Delta 20" Bandsaw

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Blog entry by Loren posted 04-11-2011 03:43 AM 2609 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Machine mods, oddities, and fix-ups series Part 2: Belsaw planer dust collection »

I’ve had the saw for a long time. It was an unappealing, original but distressed gray
and when I set out to paint it I found some white metal primer laying around
so I used that. I liked the way the white reflected light so I kept the color.

Maybe someday I’ll get around to painting it some fancy color, but for now
I like the white.

Originally the old girl was wired for 3 phase. I put 22 amp motor on her. It’s
115 volts, which is odd. My electrician put in a 30 amp circuit for the saw. If
I had to do it over again I would just wire her for 230 volt. I guess the electrician
thought adding a 30 amp RV outlet would be a good garage improvement. I
also had some 230 volt outlets put in at the same time for other machines.

The tension knob was a real knuckle-buster, so I made an extension for it that
lets me twist is kind of like a gas-tank lid. I usually tension to 6 or 7 half-turns
and then back down again when I’m done. The saw groans when the tension
comes off.

Recently I added my own self-made mobility kit cobbled from stuff I had on hand.
My system is admittedly not perfect but it doesn’t increase the footprint of the
saw much and didn’t require much metalwork and no welding. If I had a welder
handy I would have made it differently.

The saw would be more stable on the wheels if I had made the board longer
but that would have it sticking out to the front and back of the saw. Still, if
you do this yourself, especially on a smaller saw, I recommend making the board
longer and setting the wheels farther out.

The third wheel is nestled compactly in the armpit of the saw frame. While this
gets it out of the way nicely, it’s movement is restricted as it can only pivot about
100 degrees. Before I added the wooden steering handle assembly the wheel
was very difficult to control as it would cooperate when pushing the saw but
would turn unpredictably when pulling it. The handle allows me to control the
angle of the wheel, which is a pivot caster with a wheel break and a 3/8” axle
I switched out for a longer bolt to attach the handle.

With a bit of practice I’ve learned to muscle the saw around. Getting it where
I want it is kind of like those old remote control cars that would only go straight
or turn left, forward or backwards. Steering the saw would be much easier with
180 degrees of turning, but that would put the wheel sticking out where I don’t
want it. While my design is awkward, it does meet my needs as I don’t need to
move the saw often or far. I used to just push it around a few inches at a time
by putting my shoulder into it like a linebacker.

3 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2750 days

#1 posted 04-11-2011 01:48 PM

This is going to be really helpful when my saw arrives. I anticipate having to do something with the tensioner. I’m wondering if an aftermarket detensioner will fit this old girl.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3730 days

#2 posted 04-18-2011 06:51 PM

Nice looking bandsaw.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3785 days

#3 posted 04-18-2011 07:07 PM

That thing is fantastic!

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