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Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight Bandsaw. #2: All the pieces parts for the tension assembly are in, almost...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 10-21-2009 04:43 AM 6158 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Background, and ideas. Part 2 of Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight Bandsaw. series Part 3: The tension release, tension spring, and cool blocks are on! »

My order from Grizzly is in, and like an idiot I was following the parts list from Grizzly. The parts list shows an INCORRECT number of the following part…

143, PB09M 1 Hex Bolt M8-1.25×20

The actual quantity should be 2. These are the bolts that hold the main assembly to the band saw frame…

Fasteners wise, I was able to source everything from my local Ace Hardware store in their Hillman Fastener bins with no problem. Yes Metric is more expensive than SAE hardware, but since this is an import saw that currently uses metric fasteners, I did not want to switch measurement units in the middle of a project.

Other upgrades that are happening at the same time are…

#1. Cobra Coil tension spring. Since I will have the tension assembly apart, I might as well replace the spring with a better one. #2. I am pulling the roller blade guides out, and installing cool blocks instead.

If LOML doesn’t have other plans for me, I will do the conversion this weekend…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com



23 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#1 posted 10-21-2009 04:52 AM

Good luck. Where are the pictures??

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112860 posts in 2324 days


#2 posted 10-21-2009 07:34 AM

Photos?

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1978 days


#3 posted 10-21-2009 03:48 PM

You wanna see a box of parts?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1978 days


#4 posted 10-22-2009 04:38 AM

All the parts.

The nuts, bolts, washers came from Ace Hardware. The cool blocks and cobra coil are from Woodcraft, and everything else is from Grizzly..

You may notice that there is now one extra M8-1.25×20 bolt in the batch. I was getting annoyed with the parts count.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2632 days


#5 posted 10-22-2009 05:18 AM

Thanks for the post.
I’d be very interested to see how the blade release works out.
Do you have a part number for the riser kit from Harbor Freight and how much did it cost??

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1978 days


#6 posted 10-22-2009 05:30 AM

The riser block kit part # is 24536-0ZZA, and it is NOT available through the stores. You must obtain it through Harbor Freight Parts.

I did a write up report and review on BT3Central when I first installed it. (NOTE TO MODS: If I am overstepping my bounds by linking my posts on other forums, please let me know. I just didn’t want to have all that copy / paste stuff to do…)

I do not recall exactly the price, but I know it was a couple of bucks cheaper than the Grizzly riser block kit.

FWIW, the response would be the same for almost every band saw / riser block. The blade they ship with is JUNK. Don’t even bother installing the thing. Just order a good blade or variety of blades and start off with good ones. You will HATE this saw with the OE blade, and the blade with the riser kit is worse than the OE blade…

Hope that helps!

The saw with riser block.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1795 days


#7 posted 02-19-2010 05:05 PM

I bought one of this band saw last week for $100.00!

” I am pulling the roller blade guides out, and installing cool blocks instead”
Why?

What’s wrong with the original tension spring?
Thanks

-- Bert

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2632 days


#8 posted 02-19-2010 05:26 PM

b2rtch, I have the same saw and the cool blocks work well for me, as well as their price compared to the rollers, because they will work with narrower blade and not hurt their teeth.
And the stock spring works well for me, I think the spring is just a gimmick to sell and make a few extra bucks, and the original will work well unless it is fully collapsed.

MY 2 CENTS

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1978 days


#9 posted 02-19-2010 05:51 PM

My original tension spring did NOT like the riser block. I could never get enough tension on the blade. This is honestly one area that the HF saw missed the mark, then again, from what I have read so do the Deltas, and Ridgids and… You get the idea. Some guys do well with them, mostly they are great if you aren’t using a riser block…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View dewald's profile

dewald

6 posts in 848 days


#10 posted 08-25-2012 01:28 AM

I called HFT about the riser block and they want $118. I can get the Grizzly version for $80. And, someone is selling the Powermatic version on craigslist.

Is there any reason why I shouldn’t buy the cheapest one?

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1978 days


#11 posted 08-25-2012 02:13 AM

There are only 2 reasons I can think of to buy the HFT over the others.

#1. No doubt about fit. There are several different sizes. The low end grizz riser is reported to fit perfect, I am not sure. #2. Cosmetics. Only the HFT Riser will be painted a matching green.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1795 days


#12 posted 08-25-2012 12:27 PM

“I called HFT about the riser block and they want $118”
try to call them again to speak to someone else.
I paid far less than that for my kit

-- Bert

View dewald's profile

dewald

6 posts in 848 days


#13 posted 08-25-2012 05:06 PM

I already ordered the Grizzly version from Amazon but I will call HFT again on Monday for the heck of it.

I called HFT on Wednesday, gave them the part number and she said, “that’s a 6” riser block,” I said yes. Then she said $118. I can’t tell you if that was plus freight or freight included because I just shut down and said no thanks when she said $118.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1795 days


#14 posted 08-25-2012 06:07 PM

I believe that I paid around $40 two year ago

-- Bert

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1978 days


#15 posted 08-25-2012 08:20 PM

Check again with HF, that price tag seems terribly high. I paid about $50.00 3 or so years ago with shipping. There is no good reason it would have more than doubled in price… Something is wrong.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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