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Woodgears Bandsaw

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Project by MrFid posted 10-31-2017 01:25 PM 1277 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi folks.

I started this bandsaw build about a 16 months ago (a month for every inch of diameter haha!). I’ll confess that once it was up and running I worked on other stuff and neglected some safety issues (like wheel enclosures, blade guards, etc), so the saw has been operational for about a year at this point. However, I recently spent a couple days finishing up the bandsaw, specifically all the little parts of the enclosure. The first picture is the finished bandsaw (although it still has a clamp attached in the photo haha).
The other pictures are of various processes in the project. I took probably over 100 pictures of the build, and they are mostly posted here:

https://bethepro.com/forums/topic/woodgears-bandsaw-blog/

There is about 18 pages of content and comments posted there, so if you’re interested enough to click over there, you’ll see a LOT more photos of my journey on that forum.

If you’re interested in making one of your own, go and buy the plans from Matthias here:

https://www.woodgears.ca/bandsaw/plans/index.html.

They are well worth the money. So much hard work went into them.

I also made some (admittedly of dubious quality) videos of the wheel-making process. See them here if you’re a glutton for punishment:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Y834XX5ebYPX8_AmpnYmw

Here are some personal tips that I found as I was building:

1. Stick to the plans, especially at the beginning. Once the saw is operational it’s easier to wing it a little bit (not that I did much winging it), but so often I found myself doing something at the beginning of the project, not really knowing why I was doing it this way, then come to find out later that my life was made a lot easier because I’d taken those preliminary steps.

2. A jointer and planer are pretty much a must for this project. If you cannot mill lumber straight and square, you’re behind the 8 ball on this project. Without a square reference surface from the frame, the saw would have turned out wonky.

3. Think a lot about when you need to work to a very tight tolerance, and when there is room for error. Some things need to be perfectly or nearly perfectly parallel/perpendicular, and others there is more leeway.

4. Work to one-sided tolerances. If erring in one direction means a catastrophe and several days wasted work, and erring in the other means just a little more work, be sure to miss to the good side.

5. Be patient. This is probably good life advice, and definitely good generic woodworking advice, but even by woodworking standards, this project requires patience.

6. Do not go out and buy all the hardware for the project at the beginning. Buy hardware only as needed throughout the project. Although his list is accurate and detailed, there were several times when I wanted to do something equivalent but just slightly different than Matthias, and I was glad not to be wed to the original hardware list.

7. Do not plan on saving much money on this project from a personal utility standpoint. Yes, a 16 inch bandsaw can be had from Grizzly for less than $1k, and I probably spent $300 on mine. Sounds great. I probably spent over 150 hours on this all together though, which means I am saving about $700/150 hours. So I effectively paid myself a little under $5/hr for the time I spent. You do this for the fun and challenge of it. If that doesn’t appeal to you, grizzly.com is a click away. However, it is bad ass to have someone tour your shop and show them the bandsaw you made from scratch.

Anyway, I’ve probably rambled on enough. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, critiques. I’m happy to answer them as best I can. Hopefully this inspired the odd duck out there to attempt this for themselves. Thanks for reading.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.





12 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

2502 posts in 2119 days


#1 posted 10-31-2017 03:02 PM

Great build, looks like it does the job, what more could one wish for.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

678 posts in 2617 days


#2 posted 10-31-2017 03:50 PM

Nice job – but where’s the green paint ?

-- Don, Somerset UK, http://www.donjohnson24.co.uk

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

3712 posts in 2102 days


#3 posted 10-31-2017 03:54 PM

FANTASTIC!

Way past both my skill and patience levels.

Grizzly is about 5 hours away (Bellingham WA) and as an OR resident; I can buy there sales tax free.
The Grizzly store for me—is like a kid in candy-land—damned near need to take a camping kit.

-- SAWDUST is THERAPY without a couch! just rjR

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

862 posts in 1740 days


#4 posted 10-31-2017 03:58 PM



Nice job – but where s the green paint ?

- Don Johnson

Haha! I actually haven’t put any finish on it yet. My wife doesn’t want me to paint it (she says it will not look homemade if I do). I need to brand it with my logo, which I also haven’t done yet. Was thinking of making a stencil from it and painting the stencil. Honestly I haven’t decided yet.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3354 posts in 3020 days


#5 posted 10-31-2017 04:49 PM

Great job, that looks really nice. Does it run smooth and track well?

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2894 posts in 1825 days


#6 posted 10-31-2017 05:55 PM

Well done…

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

862 posts in 1740 days


#7 posted 10-31-2017 06:06 PM



Great job, that looks really nice. Does it run smooth and track well?

- bobasaurus

Yeah it runs very nicely. Tracking is perfect. It has an adjustment knob to adjust tracking as well, if different tracking is needed for an odd application (not sure what that would be). I need to make a stand for it, but even with the cobbled together stand I’m using now it will still pass the nickel test.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

29158 posts in 2703 days


#8 posted 10-31-2017 06:08 PM

Say! That is a nice shop made machine. You did a great job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

862 posts in 1740 days


#9 posted 10-31-2017 06:50 PM

Thanks Charles! And everyone else, too.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

11190 posts in 2703 days


#10 posted 11-01-2017 06:23 PM

I made some maschines for myself also, but whoever built bandsaw form scraps is my idol. It looks realy good.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

968 posts in 3267 days


#11 posted 11-01-2017 11:53 PM

great build and great post with all the advice. Matthias, is a savant.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

1191 posts in 1403 days


#12 posted 11-02-2017 02:16 AM

Looks like a dandy saw. You did good congratulations.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

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