Big bandsaw 2: The frame
Preparing the stockI started with a lot of reclaimed wood - futon frames from the garbage, parts of bed frames, whatever I came across. These all needed to be jointed and planed.
Cutting the piecesCutting the pieces to length and width.
I actually made a sort of "cut list" this time, which helped track how many of each part I needed to make.
Note how the grain is parallel to the long edge of the triangles.
Note that I have all three boards that have these notches for the legs cut into them on the sled at once, held together with a clamp.
I used the same approach for cutting the notches in the top horizontal parts for the prongs for the upper wheel mount.
At this point, I had an idea for a design change. In my last two bandsaw builds, the prongs at the top are towards the back of the frame, with two L-brackets attached to the front to hold the upper wheel mount and let it slide up and down (see image at right). I always wanted to make these prongs a bit thicker because they have a lot of force applied to them, but there was no room.
But if I make the L-bracket an integral part of the prongs, then I could make the whole prong deeper. I changed the front three layers to hardwood to make for a better sliding surface.
Gluing up the frame sandwichAfter this, I took the stack apart again, putting each layer in a separate pile and labeling each pile.
Then I joined an upright to a top horizontal, again being careful to get it square.
After that I glued in the other two horizontal pieces for the layers and started gluing in the vertical leg pieces and the prongs at the top. I had to flip what I had over a few times to glue all the pieces on.
Lots and lots of clamps. If you don't have a lot of clamps, you will have to glue up each layer in stages, or use a lot of wood screws to hold the layers together while the glue dries. If you do use screws, I'd recommend waiting for each layer to dry, then taking out the screws before adding the next layer.
The reason the frame is so massive is for stiffness, and screws add nothing to the stiffness compared to glue.
Finally gluing on the last partial layer on the back. The back-most layers are on the bottom only, while the front-most layers are on the top side only. The bottom of the frame is further back to better accommodate the drive pulley.
I'm sometimes asked what glue I use for wood. I use wood glue. (For some reason, some people find that answer insulting). I buy the yellow carpenters glue in large bottles, then fill smaller containers. For this glue-up, I filled and emptied the small bottle on the right twice.
Trimming the frameAfter finishing the glue-up, I clean up the bigger glue drops with a chisel
I also cut off the corners of the frame. This is strictly for looks. The hand held circular saw doesn't reach half way through the wood. I could have cut from the other side as well and then finished it with a hand saw...
I already built wheels for this bandsaw.