Homemade Bandsaw by DIY Enthusiast [PART 1 of 2]

Hey, if you don’t know me, I am an all-around
DIY enthusiast that makes all kinds of projects. But making DIY tools is something special
for me. The process of figuring out how it should
work, designing, building, and seeing them in action is what makes me love this so much. So this time, I designed and will be making
a bandsaw with variable speed control, soft-start function, tiltable table to 45-degree angle
with a very rigid clamping system, and finally direct and adjustable dust collection port. There will be two parts in total. If you are interested in and not subscribed
yet make sure to do that now to not miss the next part of the build. So without further ado, let start making it! This is quite a big project. Not because of the scale, but because of how
many parts need to come together and fit perfectly as in the sketch. If you like me and never made something like
this before I suggest taking it slow. This isn’t a speed building contest, take
your time and make every cut as precise as you can.

This will eliminate all the fitting problems
later that usually cause a lot of headaches. As you already saw, I started with the frame. I trimmed the spot where the motor will be,
as it has a short shaft and I need more space for the chain. But more on this later. Making all these cuts is just a breeze on
the jigsaw table. One thing to note here is that I always use
the orbital setting on the jigsaw. It makes the blade go forward and backward
allowing for a faster cut, but then the blade cuts at an angle.

So when I am near the end of the cut, I switch
to the regular setting to get a straight end cut. And to make a more complex inside cut, I drill
a few holes alongside the edge with my made 90-degree drill guide. Then I connect them with a drill bit like
this. To make the inside cutout I am taking the
easy route as it won’t be visible anyway. In the base, I made one 20mm hole for the
12mm thick bottom wheel shaft and one 35mm for the motor. I had only 100mm length calibrated stainless
steel shafts, so I had to make a slot for the bearing. This will make more sense later as there will
be more parts at the back, which will increase the thickness. Next, I cut more parts for the frame and started
gluing them.

I can position them exactly how I need and
later additionally secure them with wood screws. It looks good, but I forgot to cut out this
tiny part. Thankthufylly I still could do it the hard
way. The thicker the frame of a bandsaw the less
flex it will be, so a piece like this won’t hurt. Now it is time to attach the frame to the
base, which I made from two glued plywood sheets. I glued more pieces together and this part
will reinforce the bottom wheel shaft and overall rigidity from the frame to the base. And after the glue dried out, I additionally
secured the frame to the base with big wood screws. Before attaching bearings to the frame, I
had to make the wheels of the bandsaw. I used an 18mm thick MDF sheet and routed
210mm diameter circles with four passes. Making the hole for the rod on a wheel, in
my experience, are quite tricky to do absolutely perfectly.

Because even the slightest degree offset will
be extremely amplified when it will spin. In my experience, the easiest way is to drill
or sand an existing hole that it would be slightly larger. This way you will be able to set it at a perfect
angle later. (12mm rod 12.2mm hole)
Make sure to countersink inside holes and roughen the rod for better bonding. I used a cold-weld bonding compound, it has
extremely high and bad odor, but it great for this job. I used it when making my sander and it holds
without any problems to this day. With larger holes, you can adjust it to the
perfect angle. But of course, this was the first try and
the holes weren't larger. The rod didn’t want to go in the needed
direction and I had to force it.

Thankfully, the second wheel came out perfectly
as I made the holes larger and used a better technique to alight the rod at the perfect
angle. The next, day I added more of the compound
around the rods, as I couldn't add it before. Now let’s get back to the parts that will
power the bandsaw. I used a sprocket and chain system with the
24V 250W DC motor. I went this way because I already had the
motor and it had the mounted sprocket. More about this in the PART 2 video. Now, to mount the sprocket perfectly in the
center would be very difficult on the first try.

But if you have a 3D printer, you can quickly
make a basic centering ring. And now it is perfectly in the middle. Uses like these make me so satisfied that
I finally enterer into 3D printing. Well, more work needs to be done. I made the holes with a smaller chuck as the
regular one is too wide… And to secure the sprocket – a few bolts washers
and nuts.

We have a very important decision to make. Do we make the wheels with a groove for the blade or with a crown? It seems that the groove is the right answer. The blade will be in that groove and won’t
fall off, right? But actually, the right answer is the crown. But wouldn’t the blade just fall off to
the lower point? Well, no. To keep it short, the blade will ride on the
highest point on a wheel. There is a written article and demonstration
by the one and only Matthias Wandel, who made a lot of great bandsaws. I will leave the link if you are interested
in why it happens, he explains it very well. So to make some crowns on the wheels I quickly
assembled a jig. For now, to power the motor I used my made
variable voltage power supply as my speed controller didn’t arrive in time.

First I trimmed the wheel that the balance
of it would more decent, with less wobble it will be fewer vibrations, which is always
better. I shaped the wheels that they would have a
crown inside and outside wall to protect the blade from slipping off the wheel. This is a DIY project after all, so extra
safety won’t hurt, that’s my thinking. But maybe there is a catch somewhere because
commercially made bandsaws have just a crown and I didn’t find any information about
the reasoning for it. Probably the main reason is that it will be
able to run wider blades, that’s my best guess. To protect the MDF wheels I used polyurethane
based wood floor varnish. It creates a hard and durable coat of protection. And it is very satisfying to see how the color
changes after the first coat.

With the wheels done, I secured the front bearing with two big wood screws and routed
a slot for the back bearing. Using two spacing blocks of plywood I secured
the bearing that the wheel would be parallel to the frame. At this point I noticed that one of the wheels
was heavy on a side. Usually, MDF is a very even density material
and this is a non-issue. Well, whatever. It is easily fixable by taking away some of
that weight. Next – attaching the motor. Using combination squares I marked and made
holes for the bolts. It’s a good idea to make larger holes for
adjustability for optimal chain tension. That means bolts won’t be flush to the bottom.

But four rubber feet solves that problem and
also gives more grip, and reduces vibration transfer. With the bottom wheel mounted, it is time
to make a top wheel tensioning mechanism. Like before I needed to trim the plywood as
my used shaft is not long enough. At the top of the wheel-tensioning part, I
made a hole for this unusual bolt. To align the top wheel perpendicular to the
base I glued a temporary sheet of plywood and used a few squares and a ruler. Just don’t forget to sand the parts that
they would slide smoothly. Before mounting the blade I added two layers
of electrical tape that the blade wouldn’t slip. And to finally see for the first time that
the blade perfectly tracks in the middle is an extremely exciting and relieving moment. And if it is not, you can change the angle
of the wheels by slightly repositioning the back bearings. The blade should right in the middle and be
perpendicular to the base, there is some wiggle room so you can easily do that. The reason I ditched the top wheel angle adjustment
that all of the commercial bandsaws have is that intend to use this bandsaw only with
few types of blades.

So once I adjust the tracking for them I won’t
need to change it anymore. So far the tracking of the blade looks great. No matter how much I tension the blade it
stays mostly around the middle. That indicates that the frame is rigid and
has very little flex. It is exciting to see the tracking, but before
we will be able to cut anything, we need a few blade guides. So I 3D printed my custom design guides and
attached the bottom one. It has an infill ratio of 100%, which means
that inside of the object is fully filled with plastic. That makes this part very rigid. And as it is also made from PETG filament
is very hard to break. To make the base, I cut more parts. I routed grooves on the bottom and the top
part of the table, that hinges would sit perfectly inside. To temporarily secure the hinges on the top
part of the table I used some double side tape. The motion feels excellent – no unnecessary
play at all and very smooth.

But now is the part that annoyed me the most
– making the insert hole. Setting up this was a nightmare, I really
need to make a jig for this kinda work… Well, at least it turned out quite decent. With few passes, I routed a groove for the
aluminum profile and cut an opening for placing the blade. The aluminum profile can be secured with several
small screws. To secure the table to the frame, I needed
to make additional supports. Like the wheels, I coated the top of the table
with a polyurethane-based wood floor finish. Then I made a part with threaded inserts that
will hold the blade cover. It will be held with two 3D printed brackets
and secured with two bolts.

Next, the table securing to the frame. I didn’t want to permanently attach it to
the base, so I used threaded inserts. To do that you will need some sort of angled
extension and short drill bit as there is no room for anything else, well at least in
my case as this is a pretty small bandsaw. To know where to make holes on the bottom
table part, you can place a template and punch holes and then transfer them to the part. And like before we should make wider holes
for adjustment purposes. As these threads must be strong, I additionally
glued them with 30-minute epoxy and when it cured – attached the part. This already feels and looks great! But we need somehow to fix the table at a
certain angle. To do that, I will need to make a part like
this… I glued the template, drilled the holes, and
used this bit again to connect them. This took way too long, so next time when
I am making something like this – I know that a router is a way to go.

Actually, not next time. I used it this time, just because I somewhere
made a mistake and the channel was too short. Bizzare mistakes like this usually can happen
when you work tired. So try to avoid that. Finally, to lock it in place, I made a hole
for a bolt and a slot for a nut that it would sit flush. To clamp it in place – washer and a knob. This is a very basic system but it holds the
table very firmly in place.

So far, a lot has been done, but even more
to come. This was PART 1 of the build. In the second and the final part, I will be
finishing the build and giving my thoughts about it. If you watched till this point, make sure
to subscribe that you won’t miss the next part. It will be a gorgeous view when all the parts
finally come together and there will be important final touches of the build..

As found on YouTube

Related Posts