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Thread: My Homemade 18" Band saw

  1. #21
    mr95gst's Avatar
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    Saw still works. I have been beating on it pretty hard. I just cut up a 16" aluminum alloy car wheel into small chunks for casting material. Unfortunately, I just noticed that the main bearings on the wheels have come loose. The bearing blocks I used were made from MDF wood. The force exerted by the blade tension has caused the bearings to widen the hole they were pressed in. The hole is big enough that the flange of the bearing is inside the hole now. It looks bad but the saw seems to still be working as it should (right now). To prevent a catastrophic failure in the future, I plan to replace the bearing blocks with aluminum. I will bore a block for the bearings and then bolt that block to the MDF wheel. If I get any better at this casting thing, I might try to cast all new wheels out of aluminum. For anyone looking to make their own saw, I would suggest to use at least hardwood for the bearing blocks.

  2. #22
    The sawdust maker's Avatar
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    Matthew.
    Thank you for your reply and I figured the distance between the wheels as being the most critical and the rest I will just wing it as I go along. I have already started on my copy of your excellent version but another couple of questions if I may please.
    The diametre of the motor pulley attached to the bottom wheel looks to be about 14' dia, is that about right? I ask simply because I will be using a one and a half HP induction motor on 240 single phase and of course unlike your motor doesn't have variable speed and I have no real idea of the optimum speed for a bandsaw.
    I am or will be making 16" wheels.
    I have not been able to find a supplier of bandsaw blades here in Thailand so guess I will have to import from the states. Thank you for the size of the blades, a good reference for my wheel spacings.

    David.

  3. #23
    mr95gst's Avatar
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    14" sounds about right for the pulley connected to the back of the 18" wheels. I have purchased my blades off Amazon. The optimum bandsaw blade speed depends on what you are cutting. For wood, it can be as fast a 3000 feet per minute. For some steel and other metals, it would be as low as 100 feet per minute. I mainly run mine at slower speeds for metal, but slower speeds can also cut wood just fine. Below is a website that will calculate your blade speed based on motor RPM and wheel diameters.

    Calculate Band Saw Surface Feet per Minute (SFPM) | VintageMachinery.org

  4. #24
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    Thank you for your reply Matthew. My build is progressing slowly but just 2 points I am not sure about and that is the way you say that you hinged the top wheel bracket to enable the wheel to tilt, that has got me stumped and the top sliding blade guide.
    Sorry to be a nuisance and a real pain in the butt lol.
    Thanks for the link to that site.

    David.

  5. #25

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    What did you on the outer rim of the wheels. And those blade guides are nice. Could you show how you made those. Are they just sleeves on a bolt or ball bearings? I want to make a horizontal bandsaw and I got some good ideas from you pictures. Great job

  6. #26
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    My Homemade 18" Band saw-imag0062%5B1%5D.jpg

    I have not been back to the shop recently and I don't think I have good pictures of the tilting mechanism. See if this sketch helps. The wheel axle is on a plate that can pivot. There are 2 bolts that come through the back to adjust the amount wheel tilt. One bolt above the hinge pivot point and one below. If I want to pitch the bottom of the wheel out, I loosen the top bolt and tighten the bottom. All this moves up and down on the slide assembly that tensions the blade.

  7. #27
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    Pacheson, The blade guides are skateboard ball bearing. However, I would recommend some that are sealed on both sides. The Skateboard bearings I got are open on one side and they allow dust and metal chips to get inside. The rest of the guide was a 2" square aluminum bar that I milled to hold and adjust the bearings. The main wheels are just MDF wood. The rubber on the rim is a 16 inch diameter bicycle inner tube that was split and stretched over the 18" wheel.

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  9. #28
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    Matthew.
    Thanks for the sketch, it explains everything perfectly. I thought that it would be something along those lines but now it's full steam ahead.
    Once again thank you for your patience in replying to my questions.
    Much appreciated. David.

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    Nice work Matthew. I would be concerned about the blade wheels. MDF is basically compressed cardboard

  11. #30
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    MDF might not be the best choice, but it works. I have been running the saw for 2 years now and the wheels have held up fine with the exception of the bearing blocks. I would definitely recommend making that portion from hardwood or metal. I recently replaced my original MDF bearing blocks with a piece of 1/2" aluminum plate. The bearings are pressed into the plate and then screwed into the old MDF wheels. It is a pretty solid setup now. The original wheels have almost no wear.

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