|Project by oldstarter||posted 10-05-2016 03:54 PM||935 views||4 times favorited||9 comments|
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)