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Thread: Bandsaw stand

  1. #1

    Default Bandsaw stand

    I don't have any photos of the build in-progress, but here's a stand that I made for my good old Harbor Freight bandsaw. You may have heard that the included stand is worthless. I made the stand the same height as my work tables so that long material could be supported by the table while the bandsaw cut it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I could have done the top using miters, but just for fun, I coped the angle iron instead. It came out really good and square. There's no question that the coping method does a better job of avoiding warpage than mitering. By the time the face weld goes in, which is the one that could really twist things, there are two other welds in at right-angles holding the whole thing square and flat.

    The only thing I would change if I did it all again would be to not use angle iron for the legs. They're functionally fine, but they do have some flex, and I kind of wish they didn't.

  2. #2

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    How do you like the bandsaw itself? I have given some thought into ordering one but have not looked too hard yet to see what I wanted.
    Jason
    Everlast 255EXT - Perfection
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    How do you like the bandsaw itself? I have given some thought into ordering one but have not looked too hard yet to see what I wanted.
    You know, there is a lot that you could criticize about it, but I think it's pretty worth the money, especially if you can get one used or use a 20% off HF coupon. For example, one thing that somebody would complain about is it's basically impossible to get the blade tracking perfect on mine. They say when you align a bandsaw, the blade should track true just based on the main wheels, and the guide wheels should just be for that last nth percent, but there's just not enough adjustment in my main wheels to accomplish that, so the guide wheels are always pulling on the blade. It still cuts just fine, though! Once I got it adjusted, it cuts pretty square and plumb, so I don't mind.

    The number one thing that you MUST do if you get one is buy a quality bimetal blade. The blades you get at HF or TSC are just garbage. I mean, they'll get you by if you're in a pinch, but you just cannot imagine how quickly they wore out and broke. I bought a Lenox blade online, and it is still going strong. It cost like three times as much, but it has lasted more than three times as long, so there you go. Also, by ordering online, I was able to order a 10/14 tooth pitch, I think it was, which is much coarser than they had on the shelf at TSC, and is much more appropriate for the stock I typically cut, which is in the 1/8" and up range. Technically, 14 tpi is too coarse for 1/8", but since I'm always cutting angle and tube stock, there's always at least 1/4" of material to cut through.

    The thing is, no matter how much of a POS this bandsaw might be, in an objective sense, it is so much better than anything else I have. Abrasive chop-saw? Yeah, it's okay, but for accurate cuts? No way! It is so much easier to get accurate length and angle on a bandsaw, and I don't mind the extra time if the tradeoff is a nice quiet cut that takes care of itself when I'm doing some other kind of prep. When you consider you're likely to get in for about $200 (plus the cost of a good blade, of course), it seems like it's a no-brainer. If you have the money for a bigger saw, like a 7x12, go for it. If you have the money for a swivel-head saw, go for it. If you have the money for a saw with a oil bath system, go for it. But if you're on a budget, I don't think you'll be disappointed with the HF 4x6, as long as you have reasonable expectations. It cuts things, reasonably accurately, with a little bit of fussing to get it set up right.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    not use angle iron for the legs. They're functionally fine, but they do have some flex, and I kind of wish they didn't.
    I'm not following you on this one- I wouldn't expect flex in angle iron, either. What is causing it?

    Good commentary on the saw, btw!
    DaveO
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveO View Post
    I'm not following you on this one- I wouldn't expect flex in angle iron, either. What is causing it?
    Angle iron is only rigid in two planes, not three so you have to design for that. Just like sheet metal is only rigid in one plane, but with proper design, you can build very stiff structures using it.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveO View Post
    I'm not following you on this one- I wouldn't expect flex in angle iron, either. What is causing it?
    I guess "twist" is a better description than "flex". And when I say, "legs," I mean the horizontal pieces that hold the feet and wheels. Especially the long one in front. If you wiggle the unit side to side, the feet will twist and flex a little.

  7. #7
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    Gotcha- "twist" I get.
    DaveO
    Oxweld oxy acet gear
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    I guess "twist" is a better description than "flex". And when I say, "legs," I mean the horizontal pieces that hold the feet and wheels. Especially the long one in front. If you wiggle the unit side to side, the feet will twist and flex a little.
    Live and learn. The whole stand looked pretty beefy at first glance and then I read about the angle iron and saw those and where they were. If it really bothers you, you can always modify.

  9. #9

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    I've owned one of these for about 3 years. My only complaint is the stand. Once you get it adjusted it will cut pretty good. I would like to get another one and build a stand so it remains vertical all the time. I think a vertical band saw is one of the most handy shop tools.
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  10. #10

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    The stand that comes with them is made for really short people. Click image for larger version. 

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    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  11. #11

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    Speaking of vertical, another thing to keep in mind is that they make a small vertical shelf that can be left on when the machine is horizontal, so you don't have to switch it on and off. But mine didn't appear to come with it.
    Last edited by joshuab; 08-03-2013 at 02:33 AM.

  12. #12

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    I see you reused the original wheels! :p

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    Speaking of vertical, another thing to keep in mind is that they make a small vertical shelf that can be left on when the machine is horizontal, so you don't have to switch it in and off. But mine didn't appear to come with it.
    Did you get one of the new red ones with a 1 hp motor ?
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    I see you reused the original wheels! :p
    They look small on there but I was just going for functionality. It rolls fine from the tool room to the work area.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    Did you get one of the new red ones with a 1 hp motor ?
    I actually am not sure about that. I could go check, I guess. It's out in the barn.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    Speaking of vertical, another thing to keep in mind is that they make a small vertical shelf that can be left on when the machine is horizontal, so you don't have to switch it on and off. But mine didn't appear to come with it.
    BTW, I have vague plans to just cut down the big shelf that did come with it to a smaller size and leave it on. The thing is useless, because every time you switch from horizontal to vertical, you have to remove and replace like three or four screws, and then back again when you go back. Silly!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuab View Post
    BTW, I have vague plans to just cut down the big shelf that did come with it to a smaller size and leave it on. The thing is useless, because every time you switch from horizontal to vertical, you have to remove and replace like three or four screws, and then back again when you go back. Silly!
    Mine only has two screws for the table. I like it full size so that I can clamp a straight edge to it for clean straight cuts. I bought the saw around eight years ago... the 1/3 hp motor is a little under powered.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  18. #18

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    hmmm tempting but i think i need to finish some projects before buying more tools that need projects themselves.
    Jason
    Everlast 255EXT - Perfection
    Everlast PowerPro 256 - UPS Demolished
    Everlast MTS200s
    12 Ton Shop Press
    DeWalt Hand Tools/ChopSaw

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    hmmm tempting but i think i need to finish some projects before buying more tools that need projects themselves.
    Yah, no kidding. Sometimes I think I spend more time building carts and tables and jigs and stands and tools than I do actually building anything with the tools.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama585 View Post
    Mine only has two screws for the table. I like it full size so that I can clamp a straight edge to it for clean straight cuts. I bought the saw around eight years ago... the 1/3 hp motor is a little under powered.
    You know, I never thought about the ability to clamp a straightedge to the table. Usually when I'm operating vertical, I'm just trying to follow a line.

    The "four screws" might only be three. Two for the table itself and one for the angle-brace that supports it. You can get away without the brace, though, but two screws is still annoying.

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