Homemade Metal Band Saw

As the channel name implies, [Workshop From Scratch] is building a growing list of tools and machines from scratch. His latest edition is a heavy-duty metal band saw.

As with all his tools, the frame consists of thick welded steel components. The blade runs on a pair of modified belt pulleys and is driven by a motor with a worm gearbox. The blade tension is adjustable, and so are the pair of blade guides. To slowly lower the blade while cutting, [Workshop From Scratch] added a hydraulic piston with an adjustable valve to limit the lowering speed. When it reaches the bottom, a limit switch turns off the motor. The saw is mounted on a heavy steel table and can rotate at the base to cut at different angles. A heavy-duty vise, also built from scratch holds the workpieces securely in place.

Judging by the amount of steel he cuts for his projects, we imagine this saw will be a welcome addition to the shop. It’s impressive what he is able to build with just a drill, angle grinder, and welder. Many of the other tools used in the video, like the magnetic drill press and hydraulic vise are also his handiwork. Continue reading “Homemade Metal Band Saw”

Building A Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

While you can always buy the tools you need, there’s something to be said for the satisfaction gained when you pick up a tool you built yourself. [Workshop From Scratch] has built a following out of building his own gear, the latest of which involved putting together a gas-powered pressure washer.

The key to the build was to keep things completely self-contained. All the consumables – water, soap, and wax – are kept onboard the washer to avoid having to run hoses and so on. A small gas engine is the heart of the build, hooked up to a high-pressure water pump. It even comes complete with a starter motor, making it a certified luxury garden tool. It’s also hooked up to two tanks holding cleaning solutions for car washing purposes, which feed into the pump via an auxiliary port for mixing. It’s all assembled on a custom steel frame welded together from rectangular hollow sections.

It’s a build that demonstrates how you can use your skills to build tools that suit your workflow, rather than just putting up with whatever is available off-the-shelf. We’ve seen his work before, too – building other tools like this motorised plasma cutter. Video after the break.

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Magnetic Motorized Plasma Cutter Track

Affordable plasma cutters are becoming a popular step up from an angle grinder for cutting sheet metal in the home workshop, but cutting long straight lines can be laborious and less than accurate. [Workshop From Scratch] was faced with this problem, so he built a motorized magnetic track for his plasma cutter.

Thanks to a pair of repurposed electromagnetic door looks and adjustable base width, the track can be mounted on any piece of magnetic steel. The track itself consists of a pair of linear rods, with the torch mounts sliding along on linear bearings. A lead screw sits between the two linear rods, and is powered by an old cordless drill with the handle cut off. Its trigger switch was replaced by a speed controller and two-way switch for direction control, and a power supply took the place of the battery. The mounting bracket for the plasma torch is adjustable, allowing the edge of the steel to be cut at an angle if required.

While limit switches on the end of the track might be a preferable option to prevent sliding base to hit the ends of the tracks, the clutch in the electric drill should be good enough to prevent damage if the operator is distracted.

[Workshop From Scratch] is really living up to the name of his YouTube channel, having built many of the other tools used in the video himself. Just a few examples are the XY-table, hydraulic adjustable workbench and  hydraulic shop crane. Continue reading “Magnetic Motorized Plasma Cutter Track”

A Motorized Rotary Shop Table From Scratch

As we’ve seen over the years, it’s possible to bootstrap your own metalworking shop using little more than a pile of scrap steel, a welder, and an angle grinder. With time and dedication, you can build increasingly complex shop tools until you’ve got yourself a nice little post-apocalyptic workshop. It’s the whole idea behind the [Workshop From Scratch] channel, and we never get bored of seeing his incredible backyard engineering.

But eventually, you’ll have built all the basic stuff. What then? Well, as [Workshop From Scratch] shows in a recent video, you can start working on the luxuries. Do you need a motorized table that will let you spin the workpiece and position it an at arbitrary angle? No, probably not. But as the video after the break shows, it’s certainly a handy thing to have around the shop. We especially like how he uses it to quickly and easily produce nearly perfect circular welds.

Note the welded standoffs used to hold on the lid.

From a technical standpoint, this is perhaps one of his more straightforward builds. But at the same time, the attention to detail that he puts into even this “simple” design is phenomenal. Nothing is wasted, and cutoff pieces from one section are often used in imaginative ways elsewhere.

[Workshop From Scratch] is truly a master of working with what you have, and this project is a perfect example. We especially like the tilt mechanism, which uses a massive leadscrew spun by a wiper motor salvaged from an Audi A8 B4. It looks like a fair amount of new hardware went into the control electronics, but even still, we have no doubt that the cost of this build is well below the purchase price of a commercial alternative.

Much like his hydraulic lifting table or motorized plasma cutter, not everyone is going to need something this elaborate in their home shop. But his magnetic vise and mobile drill press cart are far more approachable for the home gamer. Of course even if you don’t follow along and build your own versions of his tools, it’s always worth tuning in just to see him work.

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Scratch-Built XY Table Gets The Job Done

Unless you have one large pile of cash to burn through, properly equipping a workshop can take years of burning through little piles of cash. Whether to save a bit of cash or simply for the challenge, [Workshop from Scratch] is doing exactly what his channel name suggests, and his latest project is a XY table. (Video, embedded below.)

A XY table, or cross table, allows a workpiece to be translated in two dimensions, usually on a drill press or milling machine. On a drill press they make repetitive task like drilling a series of holes simpler and quicker. [Workshop from Scratch] built most of the frame with steel flat bar, and the moving parts run on ground steel rods with linear bearings. Lead screws with hand wheels are used to translate the table.

A machine like this requires the opposing plates of each table to be perfectly aligned, which [Workshop from Scratch] achieved by spot welding the matching plates together and drilling them in one operation. He also added T-slot top surface, created by welding wide flat bar on top of narrower flat bar.

With the lack of dials, it doesn’t look like it’s meant for precision work, but we would still be interested to know how repeatable the lead screw positioning is. Regardless, it’s still a useful addition to the shop.

[Workshop from Scratch] is building a rather impressive collection of DIY tools, including a magnetic vise (that he already used with the XY table), magnetic drill press and a hydraulic lift table. We look forward to seeing what’s next on the list. Continue reading “Scratch-Built XY Table Gets The Job Done”

Hydraulic Lifting Workbench To Save Your Back

Working on heavy mechanical machines at awkward heights can be a real back breaker. [Workshop From Scratch] knows this all to well, so he built himself a very clean hydraulic lifting workbench to use around the workshop.

As we’ve come to expect from this aptly named channel, everything on the device has been built from scratch. Though he did use an off-the-shelf manually operated hydraulic piston. The lifting mechanism consists of a parallel bar linkage which allows the benchtop to stay parallel through its entire range of motion. The hand lever of the hydraulic piston was converted to a foot pedal for comfort, and the base has some sturdy trolley wheels to move it around the workshop. Raising the table is admittedly quite slow due to the manual pumping required, but it gets the job done eventually.

Making your own tools and equipment provides a lot of satisfaction, especially if you end up using it a lot. [Workshop From Scratch] builds some excellent tools, like this magnetic drill press, magnetic vice and a workshop crane. We hope to see many more.

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