Wooden Bandsaw Build - Anyone done it?

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Forum topic by JamesVavra posted 10-30-2012 03:29 PM 4452 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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304 posts in 3489 days

10-30-2012 03:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw question homemade tools

I’ve got one of the old, 1980’s model 12” craftsman bandsaws that were very popular. It’s underpowered, undersized, and just kind of useless. I’ve been looking for a larger one on craigslist for over a year, and never seem to respond in time to the handful that get posted. I’d love to get a new Laguna, Rikon, Grizzley, etc. in the 16-18” category, but that’s just too much to spend right now.

I’m mostly a turner, so roughing out bowl blanks would be a primary use (and one that my current bandsaw fails at).

Matthias Wandel has a really nice set of plans on his website for a 16” model with about 10” or resaw capacity. I’ve got a spare 1HP TEFC motor, and it looks like the materials would be well under a couple of hundred dollars. I watch the video series of his 14” bandsaw build last night, and it doesn’t seem too complicated. The below images are from his website.

I’ve built one of the wooden bead making machines that have been fairly popular here, but this seems like a slightly more complicated animal, with a lot more room for failure.

Has anyone attempted a wooden bandsaw? Got any advice/pitfalls, etc?


10 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2848 days

#1 posted 10-30-2012 04:18 PM

There is one on here somewhere. I think the guy that built it was in Mexico or mayber further south. Look around for it and see if you can find it. It was not this exact plan. I think he just imagined it and let it happen. Put in home made bandsaw int he upper right of this screen and do a search. There are dozens of threads.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2227 days

#2 posted 10-30-2012 04:19 PM

search lumberjocks, quite a few built it, i’m building the 14” one now slowly when i want a break from a furniture project.

-- Joel

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3144 days

#3 posted 10-30-2012 04:39 PM
Here is a modified version of the 14” from Matthias Wandel that was posted just a couple days ago.
There have been several others as well.

I bought the plans for the 16” and I intend to add 2 or 3 inches to the height to get the re-saw capacity up over 12”. Exact amount to add will be determined by standard available blade lengths.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3482 days

#4 posted 10-30-2012 05:04 PM

If you use the search box at the top of the page you can find almost any info you want. here is one i just found.

View MrRon's profile


5136 posts in 3417 days

#5 posted 10-31-2012 09:26 PM

There used to be a company called Gilliam that sold parts and plans to build bandsaws and other tools. Not sure if it is still around.

View poopiekat's profile


4384 posts in 3907 days

#6 posted 10-31-2012 09:36 PM

Is your Sears 12” the ‘tilting head’ model? Those things will do a great left-leaning angle cut, not achievable by any other bandsaw I know of. A bandsaw is indeed one excellent tool project, but can’t you find a great buy on a high-quality used one?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Finisher's profile


31 posts in 2311 days

#7 posted 10-31-2012 10:37 PM

I haven’t built one myself, but have looked at every site on line that featured any home or shop built band saw. I was pretty excited about the prospect of building my own until I started putting cost lists together. If I used a new 1 hp motor and chose premium materials, I was over four hundred dollars. It seems to me that many of the builders of these things liked to boast about how little it cost. But put a minimul premium on your time and it isn’t so cheap anymore. Also, these wooden band saws are subject to humidity which means swelling and shrinking, warping and cracking although the chance is slim it still exists. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try it, it actually sounds fun and the job satisfaction ratio must go right through the rough. But if you are interested in just a good band saw with a great warrenty, check out Grizzly’s 14” Deluxe band saw with the one horse power motor. Just $445.00

-- James, Michigan

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132 posts in 2333 days

#8 posted 11-01-2012 05:41 PM

I’m in the same boat; I want to build one. BUT…I’m going to tackle his 12” jointer first. I ordered the plans yesterday: They’re VERY well drawn and clear. I have a 14” Delta band saw, so there’s no “need” for another. I have a 6” Jet jointer that is annoyingly too narrow, but an 8 or 10” jointer is too expensive and long for my shop (car garage).

If I can find the time to finish the jointer over the winter (doubtful), I’ll start a band saw in the spring, though I’d like to see if I can adjust it out to 18” over the 16”.

-- Semper fi, Brad

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3489 days

#9 posted 11-01-2012 05:57 PM

Thanks for the comments all. I pulled the trigger on the plans and have already ordered many of the parts that I could have trouble finding locally.

@Brad – Based on the plans, it would be very easy to change to an 18”. Although I think if I were going to modify it, I’d just give it more resaw capacity and not change the throat depth/wheel size.

@James – I’ve got a spare motor and half of the lumber already laying around. The rest of the materials and hardware will probably be around $100. The G0555LX is over $500 delivered and only has 6” of resaw. You really have to move up to a $1000 saw to get comparable specs. Yes, seasonal movement could be an issue, but I really don’t see that causing too much of a problem with the construction method and a proper finish.

@poopie – Unfortunately, it’s the 12” combo bandsaw/sander (it will handle 1” sanding belts) with the smaller table that doesn’t tilt. I’ve been looking for a big, used saw for over a year with no success.

I did finally find another blog series on building this saw. It’s a pretty funny read, but a lot of the details are in the comments, so you have to run through all of that as well. I’ll be sure to keep good photos and notes so I can share the project as I make progress.


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17715 posts in 3179 days

#10 posted 11-01-2012 05:59 PM

im pretty sure LJ William built one.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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