Wooden Band Saw Fears Its Wood-Cutting Brethren

DIY Wooden Bandsaw

What is cooler than building a band saw out of wood? Building two, of course! And that is exactly what [Pekka] did. The first was a small bench top model while the second was a much larger version with the saw blade strung between big 13-3/4 inch wheels. For those who are unfamiliar with band saws, they are tools that have a long thin blade that is routed around rotating wheels. The wheels are spread apart to make the blade taut. Unlike the reciprocating action of a jigsaw, saws-all or scroll saw, the band saw blade continually rotates in one direction. These blades are typically thin making it easy to cut irregular and curved shapes.

The frame of [Pekka's] larger machine is made from 35mm (~1-3/8″) plywood. This proved to be a sturdy frame material. The previously mentioned wheels were made by gluing pieces of oak together, mounting the assembly on a wood lathe and turning the outer diameter down to size. By using multiple piece of wood to construct the wheels allows the grain direction of each portion to be parallel with the blade. This method of construction ensures any expansion/contraction of the wood is uniform around the wheel. A strip of rubber around the blade’s outer diameter provides the friction required to prevent the blade from slipping.

[Pekka's] friend was nice enough to turn the flanged axle shafts on his metal lathe. These shafts support the wooded wheels and are mounted in pillow block bearings. The upper pillow blocks are mounted to a sliding support that allows adjusting the tension of the saw blade. [Pekka] was not going to be satisfied with a one-speed band saw so he grabbed a motor he had kicking around that originally came from a wood lathe and already had 4 different sized pulleys mounted on the shaft.

This is a great project that shows what can be done with a little desire and ingenuity.

Comments

  1. Addidis says:

    Be sure to seal it or it will warp quickly.

  2. nixieguy says:

    I would have used metal pulleys from washing machines, but apart from that, excellent build!

  3. Paul says:

    Thank you Matthias for the excellent translation!

  4. DigiGram says:

    “A strip of rubber around the blade’s outer diameter provides the friction required to prevent the blade from slipping.” -> around the wheel’s diameter maybe?

    Nice build!

    • nixieguy says:

      Traction basically.

    • Rob says:

      Well I’d prefer the rubber strip was around the OD… putting it around the ID would interfere with the shaft fitment and generally make a mess of things! While it’s likely that no one was confused by the OD/ID distinction, that doesn’t make it any less proper to state specifically which diameter was having a rubber layer affixed to it.

      • Erin says:

        Admittedly without having looked at the build, are you sure y’all aren’t talking about the inner and outer circumference? I don’t see how putting a strip across the outer diameter of anything will help with traction.

  5. Ben says:

    My dad built a wooden bandsaw exactly like that from a kit when he was a teenager. We still use it.

    • xeracy says:

      Cleaning out my great uncles garage, I took one of these DIY bandsaws apart. I was amazed at how simple it was. I’ve kept all the metal parts so i can rebuild it at another time if i have a chance.

  6. Rob says:

    This is a fantastic project! Seeing the idea of building your own power tools coming back into vogue warms my thrifty Yankee heart!

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