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Thread: Harbor Freight 4x6 Bandsaw Mods?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    LaPorte County, Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    997

    Default Harbor Freight 4x6 Bandsaw Mods?

    The stars semi aligned last night and the wife bought me a Horrible Freight 4"x6" bandsaw (the girl's a keeper). Anyway, I'm aware that these little red units need a fair amount of help to do any real (read accurate) work, and I've seen some threads here for modding the things. However, I am having little success with the search function about it. Anyone know what might be some of the buzz words I should be using in the search box?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    N W La.
    Posts
    1,809

    Default

    There is indeed many mods/improvements for this wonderful little shop tool (probably the best buy in the Chinese tool lineup!)

    A good starting point is probably the yahoo site dedicated to them...

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4x6bandsaw/

    But there are many other, try googling, it should add to the list - probably even pick up the posts here on HSM
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    297

    Default

    The best mod is to use bimetal blades. The regular blade that comes with them is the pits and won't last long.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Southwestern Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    At a minimum you need to reinforce the legs or build a new stand. The legs as they come are a bit flimsy but a bit of angle iron along the bottom works wonders.

    Remove the spring based lowering gear and replace it with a hydraulic one. I put a small cylinder on mine ($12.00 at the time, surplus, nothing fancy) plus a needle valve and some tubing and fittings. Makes a big difference.

    Make sure the ball bearing guides are adjusted properly. If not the blade will always cut a curve and may break the blade. Guides are mounted on eccentric pins so you just loosen, adjust and tighten.

    You could mount some kind of cutting oil dispenser but a can of WD 49 works as good, just remember to lubricate as you cut or the work will jam and knock the blade off of the wheels.

    These saws are about the best bang for your buck you can get in a home shop
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Jonesborough, TN
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I second the yahoo 4x6 group. Plans for several stands, a great tuneup/allignment guidde and bunches of other mods.

    Chuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    367

    Default

    Checkout the Houston Home Metal Shop Club website. Great stand.
    John Burchett
    in Byng OK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    LaPorte County, Northwest Indiana
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    997

    Default

    The bi-metallic blade is already in hand. Wouldn't even consider the carbon steel thing it came with. I've been a porta-band user for many years.

    If the bearing guides are decent to begin with, I'll be able to tune them in OK

    Want to know more about a down feed cylinder. Any references anyone has would help. I can see that the spring deal won't be terribly accurate with feed speeds.

    New stand seems to be a universal given. Will start that project tonight.

    Bill, thanks. There are indeed many sites devoted to these little saws. I have gotten a few very good, very easy ideas from some of them. It never occurred to me that this machine was so popular.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Southwestern Ontario, Canada
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    I'll post a picture of mine later tonight, it pretty basic.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ashburton, near Christchurch New Zealand
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    Default

    Be careful with your stand modifications as there are so many out there that will easily kick up if you lift the saw quickly into the vertical position.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Southwestern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,536

    Default

    Here are couple of pics of a Hydraulic controlled lowering system. Ignore the mess, the saws been getting a work out this week.

    A simple cylinder, air actually, valve and tubing. Easy, peasy. The chunk by the top of the cylinder is a tee with a plug in the top for adding the hydraulic oil or trarny/brake fluid. Getting it full is important for it to work right so having a filler hole up high makes it easier. If you want to be able to leave the rate of descent set then a second ball valve can be add in parallel to the needle valve. One hole had to be drilled to mount the semi-fixed end the other end is attached to where the spring mounts on the saw itself.






    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

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