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Make your own Band Saw Riser Block?

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 03-02-2011 05:33 PM 5809 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


03-02-2011 05:33 PM

Like a lot of you, I enjoy the challenge of creating a solution rather than buying one. Well, I have a 14” band saw that needs a riser block. Why spend $100+ when I could make one? Any ideas on how to do it?

First of all, I don’t weld well, so iron plate is out. And hiring a machine shop is out, I may as well just buy a commercial one if I’m going to do that. What about wood?

And what about the extended bar for the blade guides? a piece of pipe would be perfect, but it fits loosely in the cast iron hole. Any ideas on that? I know I can get 7/8” steel rod stock, but it’s very hard to find around here and PRICEY. If I can take the wobble out of the pipe…

Anybody make their own Carter style bearing guides?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com


26 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1686 days


#1 posted 03-02-2011 07:25 PM

You could make a riser block out of wood. It would be a bad idea. Wood and cast iron both move. That is fine. The problem is that they move differently. It would work part of the time and the rest of the time, it would get out of alignment. Also, the cast iron and wood transmit force differently. The change in materials would make for really bad differences in stress transmission and would break things at inconvenient times.

You can order drill rod at the right size. Online Metals as an example.

You could make the guides. Pretty basic machine shop drilling and tapping.

If you are going to go to all this trouble, it would be more interesting to make one. www.woodgears.ca has some plans for making a really nice saw. I bought the plans and they look real easy to build from. Of course if I could get my other projects out of the way, I would get to them.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


#2 posted 03-02-2011 07:36 PM

I built the Woodgears bandsaw, it’s a great design. getting the bearings aligned on the wheels is a HUGE challenge, it’s not as simple as it looks and it has to be perfect or the wheels will wobble.

If you can buld an entire bandsaw out of wood and not have trouble with it being out of alignment when the wood moves, why would a riser block out of wood not work. Especially if the grain rins straight up and down so any movement will be slight swelling in the diameter and not length?

Also, don’t miss the point. The idea is to do it with as much wood as possible because we are woodworkers. It’s the fun of the challenge! I could buy one, or I could machine guides out of metal (If I had a machine shop, which I don’t), but that defeats the purpose.

I believe it CAN be done, mostly our of wood. The bar for the blade gaurds has to be super stiff, so it must be metal. A pipe is slightly smaller than 7/8”, so it would require modification. (Any ideas?) But the block assembly that holds the bearings can be made out of wood. Carter makes theirs out of a simple block of aluminum. Why not cut the same shap froma block of super dense wood?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1763 days


#3 posted 03-02-2011 08:35 PM

If you fully tension a wider blade (1/2” or more) you are putting a LOT of stress on the frame of a bandsaw.

I’ve been hesitant about using regular riser blocks because I theorize that a frame built explicitly for the height would be stronger than one modified for the height. That’s why I bought an 18” bandsaw instead of a 14” with riser blocks.

I would be even more reluctant to try some kind of rigged up riser blocks, especially made of wood.

Just my opinion.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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Pop

419 posts in 2634 days


#4 posted 03-02-2011 09:15 PM

Hey Stumpy, You missed David’s point. Your wood bandsaw works because it’s ALL wood. When you mix wood and cast iron you run into stress, humidity & temperature problems. The iron moves with temperature and the wood doesn’t. The wood moves with humidity and the iron doesn’t. The stress differences between cast iron & wood is big, If you use a 3/8 or 1/2 inch blade and tension it right the wood may hold it but IMPO not for long. Buying a riser block will save you pain & sorrow.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


#5 posted 03-02-2011 11:08 PM

I can see your point, Pop. But is this theory or does it really happen in practice? I mean, if wood moves contrary to iron enough to be noticeable (assuming the block is straight grained, running in the same direction as the cast iron frame), why wouldn’t a purely wood frame which has grain running in several directions, or a purely cast iron frame also move enough to throw itself off? My understanding of wood movement is it swells along the grain, so the block would get slightly thicker, but not twist, bend or otherwise distort the frame any more than iron would.

Or am I wrong?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


#6 posted 03-02-2011 11:39 PM

bentlyj- You miss the point. If I had to turn down a ”$500 job” to “put food on the table” in order to find time to make my own bandsaw riser block, I’d agree. But some people have some “TV time” they’d rather spend tinkering in the shop, and they joy making their own tools. I realize you are not one of those people, but telling me not to waste my time is only valid if I consider it a waste of time- which I don’t.

I suppose it also ticks me off that they charge as much for a hunk of cheaply cast metal as they do for a lot of much more complex tools. So I see this as my little protest…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View dlmckirdy's profile

dlmckirdy

195 posts in 1821 days


#7 posted 03-03-2011 12:44 AM

StumpyNubs (that’s a cool handle) If they can build bridges, airplanes, multi-story buildings, etc. out of wood, why can’t you build a bandsaw extension block out of it? It would just be a matter of finding a piece of wood that has similar expansion/tension characteristics as cast iron. The blade guide shaft is only made out of cold rolled steel, so a dowel of a stiff, hard wood should work there also. As for the actual carraige for the blade guides, use the same wood as the extension block, and mill it to fit the bearing holders.

One point, though, the guide bar is a metric size, about .007” smaller than 7/8”. I had to have one milled for the guide slot, and it was easier/cheaper to use 7/8” stock and drill (ream) the hole in the frame to 7/8”. Interestingly, the cup in the guide carraige was about 1” with a long set screw.

If you decide to buy the kit, check out Harbor Freight. Theirs absolutely matched PM’s except for the color (my machinist compared my HF parts to his PM parts – Same-same. Mine was about $75, his was about $130.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


#8 posted 03-03-2011 12:47 AM

bentlyj- I was referring to the end where you told me to “Go spend the 130 bucks on a kit and use the time it would have taken you to make your own to make 500 bucks on a project that would pay for the new riser and put some dinner on the table.”

Sounded like you were telling me not to waste my time. And since I consider the project a good use of my time, I pointed that out.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

616 posts in 1955 days


#9 posted 03-03-2011 02:15 AM

i think a chunk of aluminum would be a better material but i dont see why it wouldnt work with a really dense hard wood

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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


#10 posted 03-03-2011 03:48 AM

What you’ve dug up in that photo from my old shop layout (which isn’t on LJ’s anymore) is a bandsaw with a piece of 3” iron pipe inserted as a temporary solution. Problem with the pipe is there isn’t much surface on the top and bottom so it won’t hold the frame parts flat and tight at the seams.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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StumpyNubs

6239 posts in 1489 days


#11 posted 03-03-2011 04:22 AM

Just having a little fun, Bentlyj, nothing personal.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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bunkie

411 posts in 1835 days


#12 posted 03-03-2011 06:01 AM

Sounds like this is an opportunity to learn how to weld. Some flanges on that iron pipe should do it…

BTW, Grizzley sells the riser kit for around $65 and, I’m told, it fits most of the 14” saws out there.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1686 days


#13 posted 03-03-2011 02:16 PM

StumpyNubs:

Normally i would be all for saying wood is strong enough for most stuff. In this case, you are already getting way close to the “bad things happening” kind of stresses. I have a riser block on mine. I already have trouble keeping the blade tensioned enough with a cast iron riser block. I had to switch to a stronger spring. Some people start getting things like stripped tensioners and cracked frames.It does not track as well as it did without the riser. I will probably take it out once I run out of the 105” blades.

When you have mixed materials with differing properties, you get weird stress concentrations that make things break well under their theoretical maximum strength.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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BigTiny

1664 posts in 1576 days


#14 posted 03-04-2011 02:54 AM

If you’re determined to do this, might I suggest Lignum Vitae? No worries there about humidity changes.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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Dusty56

11663 posts in 2376 days


#15 posted 03-06-2011 08:39 AM

StumpyNubs , I’d hate to see your nickname become fact while trying to save a hundred bucks : (
Were you also going to make a wooden bolt and nuts and blade guards to go along with the riser block and bearing holders ?

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

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