Col Burge's bandsaw

I no longer publish pictures of every bandsaw people send me, but the story of how somebody built their's is always interesting. Plus I really liked the colour of this one - first time I have seen one in bright red!

Col Burge writes:

Hi Mathias,

I have finally finished my bandsaw from your plans (after a few hiccups), and I thought I would share some photos with you. I didn't have a lot of experience with woodworking before making it, although I have built a stitch and glue canoe and a small boat. I decided to build the bandsaw because I wanted to have a go at building acoustic guitars. I originally had a budget of $1200 to spend on buying one, but decided the money would be better spent on a low end cabinet saw and drill press because this would enable me to build the bandsaw, I even had a bit of money left to buy an old 5 inch jointer.

I had to learn as I went along. I tried to make everything the same as the plans but had trouble finding certain fittings like knock down screws so I used standard bolts and nuts. The frame is built from 19mm pine and the covers and other bits were made from the crate the table saw came in (the worst ply in the world), and the wheels were made from MDF. I managed to get a drill press off eBay for $70 without the base, which gave me a 3/4 HP motor, a few pulleys and a switch. I had to modify the covers to fit the longer pulleys. I made lots of mistakes including not making the trunnions wide enough, but they seem to work OK for now ( I also just glued them on and through doweled them). I still have to find a coupler nut for the tensioner. I think I will just tap a thread into some hex bar, and I also need to make a handle for the tracking adjustor. I couldn't get 14inch inner tubes so I used 12 inch tubes which were difficult to get on.

The hardest part was getting the wheels to run true, I still didn't get them as true as I wanted and am surprised that the blade runs straight with a bit of wobble on the top wheel. I didn't want to pay $100/meter for 25mm shafting so went the $8/metre route for 24mm. I struggled to get the shafts shimmed etc but I think I would have had just as much trouble getting the bearings onto a 25mm shaft as they are usually a press fit, and I didn't have a lathe to get it right.

The blade was not easy to get but I had a 6mm 6TPI blade made for $18 which I thought was reasonable. The saw cut beautifully and the blade didn't wander at all until I hit a screw that I had left in a bit of scrap I was playing with, I was very pissed off. The saw was very noisy until I replaced the bearings in the motor (full of rust). The motor stopped spinning shortly after that and needed a push to get going (just like in your video). Turned out to be the start/run condenser which I replaced for $7. It is also smooth, I can place a coin on the table like you did without it falling.

I don't own a router yet so couldn't do the zero clearance insert for the table but I will fix that when I eventually get one. I know it isn't the best example you will see but I am very happy with the saw and appreciate the time that must have gone into designing it as well as photography and video. I really enjoyed making it and I have my eye on some other plans of yours.

I have attached some small photos or you can see the bigger versions on flicker -

All the best

Col Burge
Brisbane, Australia

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