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Wood to Metal Bandsaw Conversion

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JimDawson

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This comes up often, so I'll post what I did. It was a quick job, not pretty but it works. Not much to this project, maybe took a half day to complete.

I picked this saw up at auction for $25, it needed a little love to in addition to the conversion. I had to build a new lower blade guide assembly, and repair the keyway in the main wheel drive shaft.

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In this case I just used parts I had on the shelf rather than buying anything. Not ideal but it has been working for years. Cuts anything from tool steel to wood. I do buy good bi-metal M42 cobalt blades fo it, have a local vendor make them up for me.

I replaced the original 3/4 hp motor with a 1/2 hp, 2 speed motor and 30:1 right angle gearbox, a 15:1 gearbox might be a better choice. The rod on right is the belt tensioner, I had a spring on it, but it turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.

Must have a spider living in there, a few cobwebs in the corner :)
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The motor mount plate is hinged with a couple of heavy cabinet hinges, allows the motor assembly to swing to easily do speed changes.
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The motor belt drives this original countershaft assembly. I may have purchased the wheel drive pulley, I think the keyway was completely gone in the original as I recall.
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1 1/4 thick 4150
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If I ever break this one maybe I'll get a DoAll :)
 
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Dabbler

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Very nice - easy and it works - what else is there?
 

Winegrower

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I have a 14” Delta wood saw that i’d Like to do this to. Would Jim or anyone have a source for the gearbox?
Thanks!
 

JimDawson

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I use Automation Direct gearboxes https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/shopping/catalog/power_transmission_(mechanical)/general_purpose_cast_iron_worm_gearboxes

I would recommend a 10:1 or 15:1 depending on the wheel size of the particular saw, rated at the input HP you plan on using.

The ideal system would use a 1725 RPM (4 pole), 3 phase motor and a sensorless vector VFD for speed control, and along with that, a step pulley for different speed ranges. Ideal would be about 40 - 1000 FPM to cut any material.
 
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Dabbler

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Winegrower, our version of Harbor Fright, called Princess Auto is selling a gearbox for their Horizontal Bandsaw, so the reduction would be perfect, for $25 Canadian... It might be an option if the other ones are too much money (although shipping would be a killer)
 

Aukai

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That works nicely.
 

Winegrower

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Thanks, Jim and Dabbler. I will check HF here, and now I know there is a $160 upper bound. That is reasonable for the utility I’d get. Oh boy!
 
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