Homemade Band Saw #7: Wheels

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Blog entry by dakremer posted 08-13-2013 02:41 AM 6437 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: finished frame and some odds and ends Part 7 of Homemade Band Saw series Part 8: It's Alive!! »

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I have been working on the band saw off-and-on for a while now. Its time to get this thing finished! Here are some pics of how I made the wheels.

I ended up making 3 wheels. My first wheel turned out nicely, except there is a little wobble to it (might have to redo it). The second wheel I made seemed fine, but as I was gluing the bearings to it, I realized it was badly warped. Not sure if it became warped after I glued it up, or just that I didn’t glue it up flat enough – either way, it was not usable, so had to make the 3rd wheel.

To make sure this 3rd wheel was not warped, I edged some boards on the jointer to run in a cross pattern on each side of the wheel so it’d be nice and flat…

After I glued the three plywood circles together, I started drilling the holes around the wheel. I center punched where the holes were to be drilled, set the drill bit, placed the guide (drilled out on the drill press) around the drill bit, then clamped the guide in place. This allowed me to drill nice straight holes.

I realized I could have just done this all on the drill press after I had it all done, but oh well. However, the wheel is too big to drill out the center hole (for the bearings) on the drill press, so I had to use this method for the hole in the center anyways.

Once all the holes are cut, the next step is to glue the bearings on. I friction fit the bearings in some flanges made of 3/4” plywood and glued a flange on one side of the wheel…

Once one flange is glued on, the next step is to run the shaft through the first bearing and glue/clamp the second bearing on the other side, nudging it around until the wheel turns with minimal wobble…

I think because I took a lot of time getting the wheel nice and flat during glue up, I ended up with almost no wobble, with very little effort… (thank god)...It looks a little wobbly since I did not turn the radius to a perfect circle yet – if you look at the side of the wheel, you wont notice any wobble.

The next step is to cut the wheel to the right size and into a perfect circle. This is done with a temporary lathe setup using the motor that will be used for the bandsaw itself. Also a crown is put on it to so the blade will track in the middle of the wheel. Here is the set up on the first wheel I made…

Once both wheels are turned, i’ll have to balance the wheels. This is done by place the bearings on smaller bearings and allowing the wheel to freely spin – this will cause the heaviest part of the wheel to settle at the bottom. You can then drill some small holes to hog out some wood to decrease the weight in the spot.

I also have the top wheel mount completed. I do not have too many pictures of it, but here is what I have…

Thats all I have for now! More to come soon!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

7 comments so far

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 2343 days

#1 posted 08-13-2013 02:44 AM

That’s very very cool!

View sras's profile


4806 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 08-13-2013 03:27 AM

Good to see you’re still at this one! It’s coming along nicely.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3211 days

#3 posted 08-13-2013 09:27 AM

Very cool nice progress!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20589 posts in 3128 days

#4 posted 08-13-2013 10:14 AM

Hi Doug. sounds like you are getting back in the shop. Nice job so far. It looks to be a real sturdy machine in the making. Too bad you don’t have a lathe where you can swing the head out and turn that big wheel, but you did fine with your set up. Necessity is the mother of invention and it works every time.

For balancing your wheels, you can add screws in the light area. We used to do that with propellers on our hovercrafts.

I wonder if the crown is a good idea on the drive wheel. They will have to be perfectly aligned to have the blade on the very tops of both of them and you will need a rubber tread of some kind for driving the blade without having the blade eat up your wooden wheel. The rubber treads usually go on a flat wheel.

Will it be a 14” when you get it done?

Can’t wait to see it finished!!
cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3588 days

#5 posted 08-13-2013 11:41 AM

Nice to see PROGRESS! and no wobble in the wheel.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Woodbridge's profile


3548 posts in 2441 days

#6 posted 08-13-2013 12:25 PM

Thanks for sharing your progress on the bandsaw. It looks like those wheels turn very smoothly with no wobble. Very cool project!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View NormG's profile


6137 posts in 3026 days

#7 posted 08-19-2013 02:59 AM

Wow, great piece of equipment, congrats

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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