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[Bandsaw] Old Bandsaw

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FanMan

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#1
Just picked up this neat old 12" bandsaw at a flea market. Didn't know what it was but it looked good, the price was right and my wife didn't argue, so I paid the man, stuffed it in her car, and hauled it home. Posted a pic on OWWM.org and had an answer in three minutes... it's a 1930s vintage Blue Star. Primarily a wood cutting bandsaw, although it works as is my thought is to change out the 1929 vintage GE motor for a treadmill motor with a variable diameter pulley for speed control and use it for light metal cutting, since I already have a small bandsaw for wood. It needs a bit of attention but nothing serious. Now to put the 10" Shopmaster bandsaw on CL to free up some space...

IMG_20180114_161101392.jpg IMG_20180114_161126092.jpg
 

FOMOGO

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#2
Very solid looking piece. Great score. Mike
 

Kernbigo

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#4
here is my craftsman 3 wheel, i changed it over to a treadmill motor,works good on steel and wood, just change the blade. I silver solder my own blade for metal cutting out of doall bulk material, I had a 14" 2 wheel before this that i did the same thing to, bit took up too much floor space.
 

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FanMan

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#5
Yeah, a lot more solid than the Shopmaster.

Any advice on blades? It came with two blades, an 18 pitch and a 10 pitch, though the 18 seems rather dull. I want to use it primarily for aluminum, 1/16 to 1/2" thick. Is it unreasonable to want a single type compromise blade? Looking at Lennox Diemaster blades, which I can get in 10/14 or 14/18 variable pitch from bandsawbladesdirect.com.
 
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Kernbigo

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#6
make your own blades, have been for years, silver solder them together, google it. Do all bulk blade material
 

Eddyde

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#7
Looks like a nice score! I am currently doing a speed reduction on a vintage bandsaw, Brino kindly posted the link above. I went a different route but the treadmill motor approach sounds good.
 

francist

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#8
18 tpi blade will be a bit coarse for 1/16" aluminum, I would usually run around 24 to 32 teeth for stock that thin. On the other end of the spectrum, 6 tooth skip was my go-to for 3/8" and above, again in aluminum. A 10 or 12 tpi is also quit acceptable for the thicker range and cuts a bit smoother. So the short answer can you make one blade do the range? Yes, but not effectively nor efficiently.

Others may have different preferences, these are just what I found to work well for what I was doing. Nice saw, by the way! :encourage:

-frank
 
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FanMan

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#9
Hmmm, I can get a 24 pitch in carbon steel with a raker set... in bimetal I can get 14/18 or 10/14 variable. Probably I should get a 1/4" wide 24 for anything under 1/8" and a 3/8 or 1/2" wide in one of the coarser pitches.

Gonna have considerably more tied up in blades and tires than the $50 I paid for the saw (yeah, nice score) but that's the way it goes...
 

markba633csi

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#10
I have 4 for my horizontal: 24, 18, 14, and a 10 on the way
Mark
ps and I might also get a 32
 
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Silverbullet

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#11
Big difference over the pressed steel stuff out there now. With light castings that fall apart . Nice clean looking saw good luck with her. That's the route I'm looking to go myself. Find an old one and fix it to run for metal . If I can't find one I have an old portaban ill mount vertical. So many plans , and so screwed up physically.
 

FanMan

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#12
Guess I'll get the 1/4" 24 pitch and a 3/8" 14/18 for now. Needs tires too, I'm not convinced that the more expensive blue urethane is any better than the orange urethane, but hey, the saw is blue... and I sold the Homecraft scroll saw today and a guy's coming over for the Shopmaster bandsaw tomorrow, so I have some cash...

Got the blade guide fixed today, now all that remains is the table pivot bracket. Didn't realize when I bought it (would have bought it anyway) but the original bracket is gone, somebody improvised with a bit of steel angle iron, and not that well. But it shouldn't be too tough to make a proper pivot. Fortunately, one thing I love about old machines, is that everything is even inch dimensions so it's easy to reverse engineer.

IMG_20180117_200454230-R.jpg

IMG_20180117_200303050-R.jpg

IMG_20180117_200241995-R.jpg

table lock w.JPG
 

FanMan

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#13
Looking at a jackshaft speed reduction, then the variable speed pulley on the treadmill motor will give me 589-1060 fpm.
 

FanMan

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#14
Tonight I finished the speed reduction. I bought a 7" and 2" pulley, 12" of 5/8" round bar, and two pillow blocks from McMaster. Last night I milled keyways in the shaft. Boy, 12L14 steel is nice to machine! It cuts as easy as aluminum. Then I mounted the pillow blocks to the shelf using 2x4 wood spacers:
IMG_20180130_193731254.jpg

Tonight I mounted the treadmill motor, which has a variable pulley that goes from 1.75-4.5" OD:
IMG_20180130_193719156.jpg

The motor is mounted on its original mount from the treadmill, which allows it to pivot and vary the pulley center distance, which pulls the belt in and out on the spring loaded variable pulley. I went quick and dirty, and mounted the pivot shaft on Adel clamps (cushioned cable clamps), and a bit of threaded rod screwing into a brass trunion under the table to make the adjustment. I had the same setup on my old bandsaw; I sold it with its original motor and kept this one.
IMG_20180130_193910983.jpg

I now have a working speed range of roughly 350-1100 fpm, which is perfect for aluminum, and usable if a bit slow for wood or plastic.

Then the wiring, and the saw is usable. I still need to make a replacement for the missing motor wiring cover, and then finish the table pivot, but I can use the saw as it is to work on the pivot.
 

FanMan

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#15
Got the table pivot bracket finished tonight. Compare it with the red hack job bracket that was on the saw when I got it and the image from the catalog above:

IMG_20180205_194449592.jpg IMG_20180205_194633697.jpg IMG_20180205_194708634.jpg

Now I just need to get the new tires on, and tune it properly.
 

markba633csi

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#16
Nice job and much better looking too
Mark
ps now I know what Adel clamps are - learn something new everyday
 

elewayne

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#17
So if I ran an even bigger pully on the jack shaft it would be slower still? I am thinking right, right?
 

FanMan

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#18
Big pulley on the motor side of the jackshaft, small pulley on the saw side makes the saw slower. The speed ratio is the same as the pulley diameter ratio.
 

elewayne

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#19
I meant to say bigger than the one you show in the photos, at the jack shaft. to get the speed even lower than yours. I like the way you did yours as I can do all that easily. thanks for the post.
 
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