Just for Fun... #14: An Adventure in Bandsawing...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 05-12-2010 08:02 PM 1732 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Nothing much going on... might as well make some hinges... :) Part 14 of Just for Fun... series Part 15: A Quick Assembly and the inevitable Finishing Slow Down... »

Last night, after dinner, I went out in my Parent’s yard to have a smoke, on one of my favorite benches in the world…The Old Bench at my Folk's...
It’s an old-timer I found at the dump about 40 years ago… I brought it home, and my Dad put new slats on it to replace the old broken ones… a fresh coat of paint and it’s been “in-service” for many years…
You may ask, “What does that have to do with Band Sawing?!” Well, I’m glad you asked!!
I looked up from my reverie and saw this:A birdhouse that has seen better days...
This poor old Birdhouse swaying in the breeze had gotten so bad the birds won’t build in it anymore, so I resolved to make a replacement.
My first thought was to do it down in my own shop, but then it occurred to me that there is no lack of tools or wood right at my Folk’s!! This also went hand in hand with my desire to see how Dad’s old Band Saw is running…
After cleaning the general area around it, and giving it a quick wipe-down, with nothing more than a couple paper towels, I found this:Dad's Powermatic Band Saw
It’s a terrible picture, but the machine looks great!!
Dad gave me a Wood Cutting Blade for Christmas in 1976 and I had never even taken it out of the box!! When I was cleaning the cellar of their house a couple months ago, I came across it, all dust covered but none the worse for age…An old gift from my Father
Inside what looks like a pizza box, is a 3/8” X .025 X 4 X Skip Band Saw Blade, original price $9.95!!! Dad had instructed me on the changing of these blades 30+ years ago and, amazingly, his admonishments and instructions still resonate in my ears… right down to casting it on the floor, teeth up, to “open” it…
View of open band saw
With that effected, and after drawing the design to be replaced, in about a half hour I had the parts cut for a Brand New Birdhouse.Parts for a new Birdhouse
The most suitable piece of wood I found kicking around was an old scrap of White Oak. I began to think while cutting, that this would be awfully heavy, so I decided to re-saw the sides. (Did I just say re-saw?! Hoo Boy, that opens up a whole new world of possibilities!!!)
I brought the pieces home today. I still need to cut the hole with the Scroll Saw… I’m going to pin it together with wooden dowel, because nails and Oak don’t agree, and then it’s off to the Finishing Department, where it will get a paint job for the outside of it…
It doesn’t seem like much, but I was and am pretty excited using the old Powermatic. It brought back a lot of memories… Dad, at times, had me do some of the rough cut-out work in his machine shop on this saw, so I’m not unfamiliar with it… It’s almost like welcoming back an old Friend!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

20 comments so far

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 05-12-2010 08:23 PM

LC; Excellent story and build! I just realized that birdhouses are a type of box…doh! What size bird uses a BH with a hole that big?

View lew's profile


12018 posts in 3721 days

#2 posted 05-12-2010 08:48 PM

Great story, Mike. I am certain your Dad was watching over your shoulder and had a huge smile on his face.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3468 days

#3 posted 05-12-2010 08:55 PM

Ratchet: Thanks!! I just measured off the ones already there. They’re an 1 1/2” opening and the sparrows seem to find them commodious…(as a matter of fact, they usually fight over them!! LOL!!) Lew: Thank You too, Lew!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#4 posted 05-12-2010 09:18 PM

Mike I was drooling as soon as I saw the name Powermatic on it. I understand very well how thrilled you were to be able to resaw. The perfect tool for box making. I have a 12” Delta. It can only resaw 6” wide material. this is a severe limitation to meaningful resawing. I really want to buy a bigger capacity bandsaw and I am saving up for one. It will probably take me another two years before I can afford it, but it gives me something to look forward to.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane and the details of your new project. Waiting for the next installment.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3320 days

#5 posted 05-12-2010 09:27 PM

Looking forward to the next chapter.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3398 days

#6 posted 05-12-2010 10:16 PM

What a lucky find!!! The bird house, that is! If you hadn’t seen it, you may not have been motivated to look for the old band saw… now that is a find!
Your dad would be proud of you.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3269 days

#7 posted 05-12-2010 10:23 PM

you sure know how to tell a story , its all saying that i would wanna do that myself..knowing about your dad and knowing just a inkling of how much you love him…hearing this story sure feels right…..thanks mike…you made my day…..grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3733 days

#8 posted 05-12-2010 10:51 PM

Mike, thanks for reminding us to take a break in our lives and look up. We never know when we might find an old friend in the process.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3468 days

#9 posted 05-12-2010 11:02 PM

Thanks Everybody!!
I was off in the other room making the birdhouse and completely forgot that I was still logged in…
It’s a beautiful saw… Though my Dad used this extensively, and for metal work, it’s in fantastic shape. I had a suspicion that the tires might be worn on it, but they look great too…
It’s now mine, of course, and at first I was wondering how to bring the saw to me… but, at least for the time being, I’m going to bring the wood to the saw…
Being that a birdhouse is actually a type of box (more or less), should I call this my first Bandsaw Box??? :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3002 days

#10 posted 05-12-2010 11:24 PM

Boxing clever, Mike. A thoroughly spledid project to welcome the saw and the birds nesting back. Lovely blog. finished the day off nicely.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3411 days

#11 posted 05-13-2010 12:06 AM

Very nice story Mike. I love that bench.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3654 days

#12 posted 05-13-2010 12:27 AM

Story well told : ) Thanks for sharing that with us !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3493 days

#13 posted 05-13-2010 02:27 AM

Great post Mike. Thank you for sharing it with us. For the lucky ones, like us, that special relationship with our Dad is priceless. You did him well Mike and the use of his bandsaw and the wood from his home shows that he did you well too.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#14 posted 05-13-2010 02:31 AM

Thanks for a great story

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 2996 days

#15 posted 05-13-2010 02:45 AM

Mike, I’ll say the same as everyone else. Very nice story. Most of us can relate to it in some manner. Want to see the finished bird house.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

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