Stretching myself to the limit.

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Project by oldstarter posted 10-05-2016 03:54 PM 1289 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I’ve been looking at Matthias Wandel’s 16” band saw for some while now and noted that he says not to attempt this project if you’re a beginner to carpentry, well I’m not quite a beginner, but I’ve only ever had 6 months real carpentry training and whatever other skills I’ve acquired I’ve gained from looking and listening to the guys on Lumberjocks and watching YouTube videos. But one way or the other I certainly couldn’t afford the £1000 plus to purchase one retail, so on the 10th of July 2016 and with some trepidation I purchased Matthias’s plans. Loads of photos and also drawings on Sketchup, took me a while to find my way around but great instructions. I spent the next few days stocking up on any materials that I didn’t have, which was mainly the Spruce for the main frame. All the hard wood and most of the hardware I already had.
It’s been a sharp learning curve for me but I’ve really enjoyed every minute of it, even when I got myself in trouble trying to work out some of the parts, it’s still great when you crack the problem and move on.
I looked at other people’s videos who had made the same band saw and gleaned the odd tips from them, one being to cut the inner tube for the wheels just the width of the wheels, not coming over the sides, I did it not to stop the dust getting caught in them but just because it looked a lot neater. Another thing with the wheels that I didn’t like was that everyone was cutting out circles of timber all around areas of the wheels to balance them which again looked a bit off. Having just had a flat tyre on my car sorted I remembered that to balance car wheels the mechanics added metal weights, so I ploughed through a lot of my drawers and came up with some clips that had been used in the hanging of venetian blinds and decided to use them. After spinning the wheels and putting these clips in various places I discovered that I only needed 2 on one wheel and two and a screw on the other and they looked quite neat, so I was well pleased with that (you can see them on one of the pics). One other thing with the wheels that I learned watching videos is not to use clamps to hold the inner tubes while you stretch them on, as this apparently causes the tubes to fail after a while on the spots where the clamps are used, but instead to use bits of old rag just to lightly hold them, I’ve included a pic of this.
I purchased an old 1.5hp motor off eBay but realised when I got it that it didn’t have any pulleys with it. Have you ever needed to purchase a pulley? It would have cost me as much as the second hand motor. So I thought well if the main wheels are turned then surly I could turn a pulley, although my turning skills are practically zero but I thought I’d give it a go, and decided that I’d better look up a video on You Tube first just to see if it can be done as the speed on the actual motor would be quite fast, I imagined the pulley flying off in bits all over the place. It took me ages to find one but eventually came across one by John Heisz, It was a double and made out of ply which suited me all round as I had plenty of ply scraps from the build and also I didn’t know what speed I would end up with. I made mine 2½” and 3” and ended up using the 2 ½”.
The total build including plans cost me just over £200 and the largest part of that was the blade I decided I would spend out on that as I had saved so much in making it myself. It’s an M42, ½”, 3tpi blade, which cost £33, they’re supposed to last 5 to 10 times as long as an ordinary blade we’ll see. I did see someone say that they couldn’t find any really good blades here in the U.K. but you can get these blades plus any other type you want, metal cutting, meat cutting etc from Tuff Saws, and any size you want, they’ll make up odd sizes if you need them.
I finished the build two days ago, having taken 2 weeks off with visitors so 2nd of October, that’s a total of just less than 2 ½ months and that included making the base. I wasn’t in a race or anything it’s just that I’m retired and at 77 I’ve all day most days, some youngsters of 15 and 16 have made the saw and it’s taken them 1 to 2 years, but that’s because they’re at college and only have evenings and weekends. So I’m definitely not the youngest to make this band saw but I might be the oldest, it works great by the way.
I have another band saw that I’ve had for ages it’s a 12” so I’ll keep that for jobs requiring a ¼” blade and use the 16” for re-sawing in the main.

Well that’s it thanks for looking,

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

9 comments so far

View RICOCO's profile


47 posts in 2758 days

#1 posted 10-05-2016 06:29 PM

You’ve built yourself a great bandsaw at a very reasonable price.
I’m sure it will bring you many years of joy working on your wood projects.
Many of which we’ll no doubt see here.


-- Paul

View oldstarter's profile


118 posts in 1667 days

#2 posted 10-05-2016 08:11 PM

Thank you Paul! It was certainly a challenge for me, but by breaking it down into separate components or mini projects it worked out really well. I’ve already used it in starting to make a box joint jig and had to cut through 6” of material on edge and it just sailed through. It’s certainly boosted my confidence.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View SignWave's profile


451 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 10-06-2016 02:38 AM

Looks good. I build the same saw, although I still haven’t finished it. I just use a flat board for the table and haven’t built the trunion yet. It’s a good design once you get it dialed in correctly.

-- Barry,

View Lazyman's profile


2561 posts in 1564 days

#4 posted 10-06-2016 04:21 AM

There is something very gratifying about building your own power tools. Very nicely done.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View oldstarter's profile


118 posts in 1667 days

#5 posted 10-06-2016 05:50 AM

Thanks Barry! The first job i did on the saw I had to make use of the trunnions and it worked great, I didn’t use Matthias’s method of using compasses etc to make them, just used the pattern glued to the oak that I used and ran it through the smaller bandsaw that I have and finished on the sander, worked just fine.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View oldstarter's profile


118 posts in 1667 days

#6 posted 10-06-2016 05:57 AM

Thanks Nathan! There certainly is and as I said I really enjoyed making it, not sure my wife did lol.
My daughter chopped down a Cherry tree in her garden and gave me the proceeds, so I’m looking forward to cutting that up, I’ll have to make a jig for that first though (any more jigs and I’ll need a larger workshop).

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View TheWoodfather's profile


113 posts in 1863 days

#7 posted 10-06-2016 01:32 PM

Dave, what a great job! It looks amazing.
Great to hear that it cuts nicely, I bought those plans so long ago and am yet to make a start.
For the tenth time, I’ll say I’m going to start that soon!

-- - A daddy that loves playing with his kiddies and his tools!

View oldstarter's profile


118 posts in 1667 days

#8 posted 10-06-2016 01:54 PM

Thank you WF! Hahaa! Yes it’s a bit daunting, but I used up a lot of scrap oak, mahogany etc in the process, lots of laminating all round, that’s why in the pic with the components laid out, several of the bits are different colours. So good for getting rid of those odd bits you just can’t throw away. Enjoy it when you do get started. Maybe it’ll be tenth time lucky.

-- Oldstarter (Dave Ashby)

View DocHamm's profile


103 posts in 2867 days

#9 posted 11-15-2016 04:10 PM

Indeed a great job! It looks terrific. I hope you get many years of use from it.

I’ve watched a number of Matthias Wandel’s videos, including his bandsaw build. I give him credit for making things instead of buying things. I believe in salvage and restoration and, when I can, try to get my tools that way. Now I am starting to build some of my own when I can as best I can. It really changes the way you feel about the things you make, at least for me.

Thanks for sharing your project and do keep us in the loop on how it holds up.

-- "The Noblest Art is that of making others happy." ~ P.T. Barnum

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