A journey into the workshop. #14: Mail ordering shop projects...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 10-03-2009 05:55 AM 1567 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Got the tool stacking system in place. Part 14 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 15: More storage improvements. »

Anyone that has tensioned and de-tensioned the blade on a Harbor Freight, or Ridgid 14” band saw has had the experience of trying to turn the tension knob while it is right next to the back side of the upper wheel guard. Not much of a problem for someone with dainty hands, but if you are built with beefy paws like some of us… getting the knob turned while trying to keep from trapping your fingers between the knob and the wheel guard.

While there are aftermarket products, specifically the Carter Accuright Ratchet Rod, that replaces the OEM tension rod, knob, and nut assembly with a taller assembly, there are other factors to consider…

Like what do you do when you set your band saw tension and like it right there, and want to be able to quickly and easily get to and from the tension you set?

Carter again has a solution to the problem in the form of the Carter Quick Release Bandsaw Tension Toggle…

Now at $49.00 and $179.00 respectively, a prudent shopper might notice that the cost of these two upgrades is reaching the cost of a Central Machinery 14” Band Saw when you hit the sales and coupons just right…

What other options are there?

Have you noticed that the majority of the 14” band saws are almost identical, at least frame / table wise? Well this is far from coincidental… And while not intended for this purpose, the fine folks at Grizzly offer the replacement components to build the entire tension / lever assembly which can, with some very rudimentary mechanical ability, be adapted to the Central Machinery 32208 bandsaw…
The inspiration for my project!

The necessary parts for my conversion have been ordered, and will be installed when they come in…

The items ordered were…

Part#, Quantity, Description
P0555033A 1 Blade Adj. Screw Assy 7”
P0555133 1 Lever Rod
P0555135 1 Bushing
P0555137 1 Bracket
P0555140 2 Support Plate
P0555141 1 Fixed Base

Parts to be sourced from my local Ace Hardware are…
QTY, Description
2) 5/16-18 bolts 1 1/2”
2) 5/15-18 bolts 3/4”
1) 5/16-18 button cap screw 3/4”
7) 5/16 flat washers
2) 5/16 lock washers
2) 5/16-18 nylon locking nuts
1) 10 mm flat washer or what ever fits

I would suggest though that if you do not already have a tap & die set, steer clear of the ones Harbor Freight sells. Tap & Dies sets are pretty useless when they cannot cut metal…

Tools you will need for the conversion. #1. Center Punch. #2. Hammer to drive center punch. #3. 17/64” Ti twist drill bit #4. Accurate measuring device. Tape, ruler, caliper, whatever… #5. Fine Point Sharpie. #6. Hand held power drill. #7. Safety Glasses. #8. 5/16-18 tap & tap handle. #9. 3/8” drive ratchet. #10. 1/2” 3/8” drive socket. #11. #2 Phillips head screwdriver.

The project procedure I will be going through is documented in this photo album / slide show…

Wish me luck! The results should be pretty cool…

What can I say? I’m really a Hot Rodder at heart…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

1 comment so far

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18339 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 10-03-2009 06:07 AM

Interesting modification and the process is well documented. Thanks.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

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