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darryl
03-07-2015, 04:06 PM
For some time now I have been considering building a metal cutting bandsaw. I have a 4x6 and it works fine, but I want to upgrade my ability to cut freehand which I do a lot. I've changed the table on the 4x6 to a much smaller one to allow both horizontal and vertical cutting without having to remove the table- improving the accuracy in the process- but now want to have a machine dedicated to vertical operation, like a wood bandsaw.

I have downgraded my plans for such a machine to the point where it will be easily buildable and have a small footprint- a prime consideration in my already crowded shop. I had planned for a combination vertical/horizontal machine with moving table with gravity feed, infeed and outfeed vises, etc, but now will make this new one a very basic but solid machine.

To the question (or proposal)- I would like the wheels to be about 13 1/2 inches in diameter. I will build the hubs to use tapered roller bearings on stub shafts so I can easily make the control arms, etc. For the wheels themselves I've had multiple ideas- make plywood discs and surface the edge with a steel band- use the steel band but use a steel spoke design using 1/2 inch round bar for the spokes, use channel iron for the spokes, attaching them to both sides of a plywood disc, or use the channel iron spoke design without the plywood disc or discs. Another option which I entertained is to use maple spokes and build the wheels very much like the covered wagon wheels of old. The steel strap rim would be used in every case, and I have no problem making the OD of the wheels to achieve virtually zero runout. I'd probably use guide bearings to control the back edge of the blade, rather than have a flange on the wheels themselves. I'm uncertain at this point whether I'd rubberize the OD or leave it bare steel- leaning towards just leaving it bare steel and making sure I accommodate the set of the teeth amongst other requirements.

Willing to consider other ideas-

PixMan
03-07-2015, 04:30 PM
Use rubber tires on the wheels you make. Keep this website bookmarked for when you need them. Lots of choices!

http://bandsawparts.com/index.cfm

sasquatch
03-07-2015, 06:50 PM
Darryl, Check scrap yards for cast spoked wheels off of large piston water pumps. The ones i have are up to 14in dia., x 1 1/4 wide face on the wheels. Strong wheels, may take some searching but have found a few over the years, and always grabbed them for the someday project shelf. Very common, (at least i see a number of them )are the 10inch dia cast wheels also off piston pumps, i have a pair on a wood cutting bandsaw i built over 25 years ago. Face width on these is about 3/4 inch.

velocette
03-07-2015, 06:55 PM
Hi Darryl
Many years ago I built a vertical bandsaw and used 12 inch "A" section pulleys and used a "B' section belt cut and glued to the idler pulley.
For the drive the bottom pulley was driven from a jackshaft with a 2.5 inch pulley and mounted inside the blade line.
The blade ran on the back of the "B" section belt this helped to keep stuff sticking to the belt as it was flung off as the belt went around the small pulley.
With a Bi metal blade and geared down for metal cutting it was used to cut cast iron up to 2.5 inch thick or steel up to 1.5 inch thick.
It was converted back to wood cutting and did a number of years service.
Then it was swapped away to a friend who still uses it in his wood working.

A good alternative is to convert a vertical wood band saw just gear it down and use a Bi Metal blade.

Eric

darryl
03-07-2015, 07:48 PM
A 'trick' I have in mind is to not use the column to take the bending pressure from the band tension- instead I'll use a turnbuckle to rock the control arms. The column will then be strictly in compression. I can then use common steel materials to make the column, and use it to control the table and the blade guides. Because there's no bending moment with the column, the accurate positioning of the table and guides can be achieved, then will remain. I have the option to make the table and blade guides as one assembly which could then be skewed to give the normal type of column clearance that bandsaws use to allow cutting of long materials. For the most part though I'll be getting a depth of throat large enough to allow virtually all the cutting I'd be doing in sheet goods, without needing to impart a twist to the blade.

A small amount of blade twist might be advantageous as it would allow the guides to control the blade without the guide clearance having to be too tight. I'll probably opt to do this, and then I will be able to do cutoffs on long materials if I choose to freehand that. I still have the option to use guide slots and make a 90 degree fence with clamps- at least I have that option if I want it.

Some good ideas posted here so far- thanks for those.

elf
03-07-2015, 10:46 PM
I'd watch this video before finalizing your design: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

Puckdropper
03-08-2015, 12:12 AM
For some time now I have been considering building a metal cutting bandsaw. I have a 4x6 and it works fine, but I want to upgrade my ability to cut freehand which I do a lot. I've changed the table on the 4x6 to a much smaller one to allow both horizontal and vertical cutting without having to remove the table- improving the accuracy in the process- but now want to have a machine dedicated to vertical operation, like a wood bandsaw.

I have downgraded my plans for such a machine to the point where it will be easily buildable and have a small footprint- a prime consideration in my already crowded shop. I had planned for a combination vertical/horizontal machine with moving table with gravity feed, infeed and outfeed vises, etc, but now will make this new one a very basic but solid machine.

To the question (or proposal)- I would like the wheels to be about 13 1/2 inches in diameter. I will build the hubs to use tapered roller bearings on stub shafts so I can easily make the control arms, etc. For the wheels themselves I've had multiple ideas- make plywood discs and surface the edge with a steel band- use the steel band but use a steel spoke design using 1/2 inch round bar for the spokes, use channel iron for the spokes, attaching them to both sides of a plywood disc, or use the channel iron spoke design without the plywood disc or discs. Another option which I entertained is to use maple spokes and build the wheels very much like the covered wagon wheels of old. The steel strap rim would be used in every case, and I have no problem making the OD of the wheels to achieve virtually zero runout. I'd probably use guide bearings to control the back edge of the blade, rather than have a flange on the wheels themselves. I'm uncertain at this point whether I'd rubberize the OD or leave it bare steel- leaning towards just leaving it bare steel and making sure I accommodate the set of the teeth amongst other requirements.

Willing to consider other ideas-

Why 13 1/2" when a 14" is so common on wood bandsaws? Even if you do build your own wheels, using the common size may make it easier to do things like fit tires.

Puckdropper

darryl
03-08-2015, 12:15 AM
No real reason for 13 1/2- just to give enough depth to pass 12 inches through easily. 14 inch would be fine.

Noitoen
03-08-2015, 05:15 AM
Washing machine pulleys are flat now and quite sturdy. Maybe you should look at them.

Lew Hartswick
03-08-2015, 10:10 AM
I've been woodworking for over 50 years and metal for only about 20 so FWIW : Stay away from WOOD for any wheel on such a machine. :-)
...lew...

RWO
03-08-2015, 01:52 PM
Another good supplier for bandsaw parts: http://www.carterproducts.com/band-saw-products

RWO

darryl
03-08-2015, 02:00 PM
'stay away from wood'- I have had some misgivings about that. I'll go with my gut feeling and avoid it- thanks Lew. I may use a wood disc as part of a setup if I build the wheels myself, but then remove the wood and complete the wheels in steel only. I will be looking at the various suggestions before deciding on a final procedure.

One thing I originally thought to do is use the stub axle type trailer hub assemblies as a starting point. Not all that expensive, about $40 each, and is ready to roll, greasable etc. Could possibly use a brake rotor disc for the wheel and it would direct mount. I could also visit a wrecking yard and pull a front end from a small car- maybe end up with the whole shebang requiring only minor modifications.

No fixed plans yet.

Breze
03-08-2015, 02:14 PM
I'm in the process of restoring a Powermatic 143 bandsaw. It's basically what you describe. 14" wheels and the basis of the structure is a web casting. It's a very stout 14" bandsaw. It has a 2 speed gear box and the capability of very low speed ranges. I think 40 fpm is the slowest and the next is 80 and then 180. If a good functional bandsaw is what you're after you might well do better finding a similar saw and doing a resto in lieu of inventing the wheel, so to speak. If creating a project is your goal then go for it. It'll be interesting to see what you come up with.

Ron

darryl
03-08-2015, 02:53 PM
I do have a strong tendency to create my own projects, so some of the time and expenditures to do this build can be rationalized. I do still intend to look into various other avenues. I have looked at two bandsaws lately- one is a homebuilt affair which might be best used as firewood, and the other is a commercially built wood bandsaw- but to me is not a rigid enough design. I know there are more solidly built machines out there, but I don't see them often.