Gilliom Gil-Bilt 12" Band Saw - Lompoc CA

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Forum topic by TheOtherMrRogers posted 03-11-2014 03:30 PM 3014 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 2387 days

03-11-2014 03:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: band saw bandsaw gilliom gil-bilt 12 shop built

I came across this old Gil-Bilt 12” band saw. Build date, unknown.

It looks like a good saw, and even though it has tracking problems, I don’t think that that should be a problem.

... and the price is right. This kit price for the parts alone from Gilliom Manufacturing is a lot more than the CL price.

Is it worth my time?

Any thoughts?

-- For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

3 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3853 days

#1 posted 03-11-2014 04:09 PM

I think if you enjoy the idea of the saw you’ll enjoy
fiddling with it. Band saws all have their quirks
and chances are the seller just doesn’t know band
saws well enough to figure it out, or doesn’t
care to.

There’s a lot of stuff on home-built band saws

View runswithscissors's profile


2897 posts in 2230 days

#2 posted 03-11-2014 11:37 PM

I built one of their 18” saws many years ago. The main issue I had with it was lack of rigidity, which limited the ability to tension blades, amongst other things. Right from the beginning, I modified the plans to stiffen the main column, which improved it, but it was always a light duty saw.

I started having trouble with blade tracking, which required way too much fiddling to correct. Eventually I figured out that the lower wheel (the non-adjustable one) was creating the problem. A little shimming corrected that satisfactorily.

At one point, I was commissioned to build an ambitious ceiling light shaped like an overhead sun, around 3’ in diameter. I cut up an old bronze water tank for this (not a woodworking project I realize), and used a jack shaft and step pulleys to reduce blade speed so I could use a bimetal blade to cut out the parts. Worked well for this, much better than using a saber saw..

Though I believe Gilliom does not have a website, supposedly the company still exists. They had kits for cabinet saws, lathes, drum sanders, etc. The kits consisted of plans, plus aluminum castings for the metal parts. Cabs were built out of plywood. They used to advertise in all the handyman/woodworking magazines. Everybody was so poor in those days that home-built was the only way for many people to have serviceable tools.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MrUnix's profile


7053 posts in 2404 days

#3 posted 03-11-2014 11:54 PM

Not a bad price for the motor, and they throw in some other stuff for free :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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