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Shopmade 20" Bandsaw #1: The Frame

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Blog entry by William Shelley posted 05-24-2014 07:36 PM 1034 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shopmade 20" Bandsaw series Part 2: The Motor and Driver »

This is a project I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, ever since I saw the great videos by Matthias Wandel ( http://woodgears.ca/ ) of his shop-made bandsaw. A bandsaw is a tool that I don’t yet possess and my budget is far too small to afford “enough” bandsaw to make me satisfied. I enjoy veneer work and finishing, and working with figured wood is a lot of fun. Being able to resaw my own veneer slices is a capability I would really like to have, however the commercial bandsaws that fit within my budget have abysmal resaw capacity, in the 4-6” range for most cast iron 12” to 14” units.

So I set out on a journey… Well, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Some of them are slightly out of chronological order. Building the frame took about two weeks of working for a few hours each night after I got home from my day job (as a software engineer).

Please make fun of me for my messy shop… I clearly need some serious motivation to do something about it.

The plans

I designed the entire thing in Solidworks. I’m not sure if I will try to sell the plans or not, they are quite comprehensive but are customized for the materials and parts that I was able to acquire inexpensively.

Prepping stock

Surfaced, cut to length, and labeled

Beginning the glue-up



When I did the initial glue-up I was using Titebond II but I quickly switched to a urea-formaldehyde glue after the first two laminations were glued together. (DAP Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue).

Partially done

Stabilizing a few knots with some extra glue

Frame is complete sans two pieces I forgot to attach earlier

It’s big


The frame as it is now weighs about 80-90lbs, perhaps more. I’m not a body builder or anything so it takes a not insignificant amount of exertion to even rotate the frame from lying down to standing on it’s back. It might even be more than 90lbs, I’m using that figure based on what Solidworks told me that it should weigh but I had plugged in red oak to solidworks and got about 84lbs. This is somewhat tight grain doug fir, and some poplar and it may be denser than red oak. Or maybe I’m just a wimp.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective



7 comments so far

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1787 days


#1 posted 05-24-2014 10:20 PM

It looks like you’re making good progres on your bandsaw. This is something I’d like build too. I was wondering the frame can be built of laminated plywood (of decent quality). Thanks for sharing.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

109 posts in 213 days


#2 posted 05-24-2014 11:11 PM

The amount of delamination issues that most people have with plywood makes me think it would perform poorly. I went with 5/8” plies made of solid wood because that’s what I could get out of the wood I had on hand. Whatever material you use, yellow glue or any other polymer-based adhesive (gorilla glue, construction adhesive, etc) is the worst choice possible due to creep issues. Urea Formaldehyde sets up hard and stiff, “like glass”, some people say. The core problem I tried to address with the design of my frame was stiffness. The stiffer the frame, the more you can tension the blade. Plywood that is good quality and well-bonded (like baltic birch), may be a good choice for this.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Gassit's profile

Gassit

33 posts in 981 days


#3 posted 05-25-2014 06:53 AM

I’ll be watching your posts with great interest.

BTW have you thought of building the frame as a kind of torsion box? A bloke in the US did this a couple of years ago with a 22” bandsaw (a photo appeared in Fine Homebuilding I think).

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

109 posts in 213 days


#4 posted 05-26-2014 12:28 AM

@Gassit, I did consider some other designs like making an I-beam shape or just a really big hollow box but I felt like the extra mass from all the wood I used would help reduce vibration and increase the overall stability of the tool. But I don’t doubt that a better design could achieve the same stiffness with less material.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Gassit's profile

Gassit

33 posts in 981 days


#5 posted 05-27-2014 07:00 AM

William, thanks for your reply. Here’s the photo I was talking about:

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

109 posts in 213 days


#6 posted 06-01-2014 07:22 AM

@Gassit – that looks like a good design. It probably required a lot less sweat and blood than was required for my design. :)

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 692 days


#7 posted 06-01-2014 07:01 PM

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