As you may or may not know I am in the process of hot rodding as it were, my Harbor Freight 32208 14” band saw. The work so far has been..
#1. Harbor Freight Universal Mobile Base. #2. Craftsman Professional Universal Band Saw Fence. (functional, but certainly NOT great, planning on picking up some small HF C clamps to help it out. The clamps this thing somes with are garbage.) #3. Harbor Freight riser block kit. Priceless add on for this saw. #4. Accura Micro Adjustable Roller Bearing Blade guides. #5. Acculink link belts. #6. Timberwolf blades.
These mods have been done for quite a while now, and I have been picking up the design ideas, bits and pieces to move forward with bigger mods. The biggest is my Grizzly tension release lever.
Due to some comments in the Grizzly Tension Release on a HF bandsaw thread, there has been some confusion to which parts to order for the tension release. I have double and triple checked the part #s against the Grizzly G0555 parts list.
33 P0555033A 1 Blade Adj. Screw Assy 7”
131A P0555131A 1 Fixed Spacer A.
131B P0555131B 1 Fixed Spacer B.
133 P0555133 1 Lever Rod
135 P0555135 1 Bushing
137 P0555137 1 Bracket
140 P0555140 2 Support Plate
141 P0555141 1 Fixed Base
Now the rest of this stuff SHOULD be findable at your local hardware store for a LOT less money than Grizzly sells it.
If you are wanting to go with the Metric to be 100% up to speed with Grizzly, the parts are…
130A PSS05M 1 Setscrew M5-.8×10. (Required to get this size, the Grizz parts are threaded for it!)
130B PSS07M 1 Setscrew M5-.8×5. (Required to get this size, the Grizz parts are threaded for it!)
132 PW04M 1 Flat Washer 10mm
134, PW01M 6 Flat Washer 8MM
136, PSB82M 1 Button Cap Screw M8-1.25×20
138, PB15M 2 Hex Bolt M8-1.25×40
139, P0555139 2 Nylon Nut M8-1.25
142, PLW04M 2 Lock Washer 8MM
143, PB09M 1 Hex Bolt M8-1.25×20
Per the original instructions, if you have SAE tap / die set, you can substitute SAE hardware for the metric stuff. Those components are…
5/16-18 bolts 1 1/2" 5/15-18 bolts 3/4”
5/16-18 button cap screw 3/4" 5/16 flat washers
5/16 lock washers 5/16-18 nylon locking nuts
All of the parts for my Grizzly tension release lever from Grizzly are in. I figure since I will be into the bandsaw for this conversion, I am making a couple of other mods at the same time. One of them related to the conversion.
#1. Replace the OEM tension spring with a Carter Cobra Coil. (On order from Woodcraft). Woodcraft item #14497. #2. Return OEM guide assemblies fitted with cool blocks. The micro adjust on the roller guides is nice and all, but has been a hassle adjustment wise over time. I am wishing I hadn’t done this particular mod. Cool Blocks Woodcraft Item #49H02. #3. “Enhanced lower blade guide dust port” made from 4” S&D, pine, screws, and adhesive sealant. The DC will come into a 4×4x2.5 wye, the 2.5” will go up to the upper blade guide. I have tested the idea by bungee cording the hoses where I want them, and it works GREAT, I just want to set up a more proper mounting / hood system.
Not coming in quite yet, but planned for the next round of upgrades. #1. Add Harbor Freight #90766 75 Watt Magnetic Base Light. (This will be moved from tool to tool as needed. I rarely need it for the bandsaw, but find lighting around the lathe to be pretty lousy…) #2. Carter Urethane bandsaw tires. Woodcraft item #144969. #3. Carter Clean Sweep wheel brush. Yes I can shop build one, but for the cost, I would be more money and LOTS more effort into a shop built brush. #4. Rockler Safety shut off switch. I have hated the OEM switch mount location of my saw. Always felt it was unsafe. I want to move the switch to the frame, AND provide a large paddle STOP mechanism for the saw. (See the Steel City 14” band saw for ideas). I am planning on not plugging in as other members here have done, but actually wiring the switch to the motor in proper fashion, and eliminating the OEM switch. This will leave a switch plate hole in the stand. No biggie. Home Depot sells metal block off plates, simply use the threaded insert of a wall box spacer to back up the block off plate. Not sure if I can color match the stand, so chances are it will get a couple of coats of gloss black paint and then a couple of coats of clear.
Now I KNOW that if I try to sell it, I will never get out of this saw what I have in it. That’s not the point. Unless something major happens to the frame, table, or trunion, I have no intention of getting rid of this saw. It’s a good cutting machine, and has been very accepting of the various mods.
For those that are going to ask why not just buy a saw like a Grizz GO555 with the mods already done in the first place. Well aside from the blade guides, fence, and of course the tension release, the Grizzly would need the same mods. Now on sale, with the 20% off coupon, the 32208 runs just under half of what the Grizz does. Not to mention in all honesty, I like tinkering with machines too.
-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com