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New life for a neglected bandsaw

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  • New life for a neglected bandsaw

    It's been crazy in my shop lately machining stuff for everybody but me. I finally came across a deal that forced me to tell everyone to leave me alone for a bit.

    I've been wanting to get a bigger band saw for a few years now & finally came across this 70's era 12" Craftsman a couple weeks ago for cheap. It's not one of the heavy cast iron models but plenty sturdy for my use. It had been neglected & left for dead in a leaky old barn for who knows how long. It was filthy & rusty plus infested with dirt-daubers, wasps & spiders but the motor & wheels turned over smoothly so it followed me home. I had planned to do the whole strip-down & shiny paint routine but decided to just scrub it down & wipe it thoroughly with WD40. A shiny machine would look funny in my shop anyway.

    I put on urethane tires, cleaned & lubed all the moving parts & had it running smoothly the 1st day. It cut wood very well but the blade speed was WAY too fast to cut steel so I rigged up a compound belt reduction to get the SFM down to 245 fpm. A few years ago I snagged an old Millers Falls polishing arbor out of the scrap box at work (the youngster that put it there didn't even know what it was!) It needed new bushings and I added grease fittings instead of oilers so it's now ready to go back to work for another 50 yrs.





    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  • #2
    Very nice! I did a sort of similar rescue of a much older (maybe 1950's) and more flimsy 12" Craftsman bandsaw a number of years ago. I got it for free from a friend and set it up with speed reduction for cutting metal. I used it for years and while it was way less rigid that what you have there, it did the job OK for my use and got used quite often. Not ideal, but workable for most of what I needed to do.

    I later got an even older but far more stout Milwaukee/Delta 14" for $100 and repeated the exercise with that. I ended up selling the Craftsman for $100, so it all washed out pretty nicely.

    Nice find. Bandsaws are super handy machines.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by alanganes View Post
      Very nice! I did a sort of similar rescue of a much older (maybe 1950's) and more flimsy 12" Craftsman bandsaw a number of years ago. I got it for free from a friend and set it up with speed reduction for cutting metal. I used it for years and while it was way less rigid that what you have there, it did the job OK for my use and got used quite often. Not ideal, but workable for most of what I needed to do.

      I later got an even older but far more stout Milwaukee/Delta 14" for $100 and repeated the exercise with that. I ended up selling the Craftsman for $100, so it all washed out pretty nicely.

      Nice find. Bandsaws are super handy machines.
      Your Milwaukee was the type I'd been searching for but all the ones I found were way too rich for my blood. You stole that one!

      I have one of the ubiquitous green 4x6 saws that before now got used a ton, mostly in the vertical position. I can't tell you the number of times I'd be cutting along & the stock banged into the back side of that narrow throat! It's gonna be so nice now to have some real American horsepower & that 12" throat!
      Milton

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD View Post
        Your Milwaukee was the type I'd been searching for but all the ones I found were way too rich for my blood. You stole that one!

        I have one of the ubiquitous green 4x6 saws that before now got used a ton, mostly in the vertical position. I can't tell you the number of times I'd be cutting along & the stock banged into the back side of that narrow throat! It's gonna be so nice now to have some real American horsepower & that 12" throat!
        Yes, I did get super lucky with that saw. The funny thing is I paid asking price for the saw and the guy selling it had a crappy much older wood lathe (flat belts and much rust) that he was sure he could get $1000+ for. He seemed a bit surprised that I didn't try to low-ball an offer on the saw. I just told him it was worth five 20's to me and left it at that.

        The serial number dates it to the early 40's but I did little but clean it up and put on urethane tires. No stand or motor but I had those and was doing the DC variable speed motor thing anyhow for metal cutting. I had posted about it here a year or so back.

        I'm sure what you got will serve you well and will seem huge compared to the 4x6 in vertical mode!

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        • #5
          I picked up one of those for $50 about a year ago, so I could stop trying to cut wood on my 4x6, which always turns the wood black with grease. Not really any option; if you want to bandsaw wood and metal you'll need two saws and never shall they meet.

          Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Nice job,that will be one of the most used machines in your shop!

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            • #7
              I have the later version of that saw. They later added a 2 speed drive, much larger table and different blade guides. I really like it. Some day I plan on swapping out the motor with a treadmill motor so I can have variable speed. I have the parts, just need to do it.
              _____________________________________________

              I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
              Oregon Coast

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              • #8
                Nice job, I was never a bandsaw kind of guy till I got one cheap, in my case a startrite 302, I was converted, it's become one of the most useful things in the shop, though I'm still learning about blades, there are so many to chose from, even carbide tipped (though I don't know if I can use those on mine yet)
                Worth the effort, nice
                Mark

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lugnut View Post
                  I have the later version of that saw. They later added a 2 speed drive, much larger table and different blade guides. I really like it. Some day I plan on swapping out the motor with a treadmill motor so I can have variable speed. I have the parts, just need to do it.
                  Interesting that Sears saw the need for cutting metal too. When I saw how fast these things run my 1st thought was to cannibalize the worm drive gearbox from my 4x6 or price the replacement part from HF to slow it down. Then I stumbled onto the 10" pulleys on Amazon Prime for $13 each. The light bulb went off over my head & that ol' polishing arbor jumped right out & said "Me, me....use ME!"
                  Milton

                  "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                  "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

                  Comment

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