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14" vertical bandsaw mods

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  • 14" vertical bandsaw mods

    I am in the process of buying an older Taiwanese 14" vert. wood/metal cutting bandsaw off eBay. I will be picking it up Saturday. I am looking for any mods guys have done to theirs to improve the metal cutting process. I will be using this saw primarily for that purpose.
    Of course, I can't answer any questions about it until I pick it up, but would like to get the process going if there is any knowledge out there. Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Depends on how it's built. Before I got my horizontal bandsaw (Craftsman from the 60s..a beast!) I used an old vertical bandsaw with a jackshaft for speed reduction. Did the job and did it well once I got it tweaked.

    Big thing to look at is wheel alignment, closely followed by blade tensioning and the blade guides. All of this applies for either wood or metal, BTW.

    Make sure the wheels are in alignment in all appropriate axes - if not when you tewnsion the blade it will run off or simply track badly. i've seen import bandsaws where the wheels were actually out of alignment in all three axes (lateral, twist and vertically). That saw took some work to get running right.

    Guides if ball-bearing need to be adjusted to just ride the blade (thickness of a dollar bill for a rough guide). Ditto with the edge of the thrust bearing, and the lower guides as well. If it uses solid guides I personally used to run maple blocks pushed in to touch the blade - they wore in quickly and polished nicely. Self-lubricating materials are available, but on that saw I was doing a lot of fine woods and didn't want any contamination in case of finish issues.

    Blade tension is something that people never set up right - most folks run them too loose so the blade twists. Make sure it's at its proper tension.

    I remember seeing an article on blade tensioning based on the musical note produced when the back of the blade was plucked. it was based on the unsupported length of the blade between the pulley, thickness and width. Always thought that was a neat way to do things...didn't work for me...I'm basically tone-deaf.

    As far as using it, make sure you observe the proper speeds and feeds for the blade (I assume you're cutting dry or applying lube manually)

    As far as additions/mods I might suggest wipers below the table to get the crap off the blade before the chips and such get to the lowr guides. I don't have them on my horizontal (should, I guess) but stiff brushes of some sort to knock off the big chunks 8^) would be a good idea. The problem is worse on vertical saws because of the direct drop to the guides, in my opinion.

    Hope this drivel is of some help... -ajr


    • #3
      We had a guy at work that took one of these and put two 4 speed tranny's from Vegas in series to gear it down for metal
      Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.