Our bandsaw isn’t what it used to be

Our band saw is really old now. It is a cheap Chinese brand horizontal bandsaw that had I think something around a 32” belt. We also have a Milwaukee handheld bandsaw we would like to use more, but don’t know how we can utilize it more like something permanent on a table or something. Any suggestions on how we could utilize the Milwaukee bandsaw in this way?

Are you talking about something like this?

https://www.trick-tools.com/EZ-CUT-Jig-for-Portable-Band-Saw-ezcut-jig-9360

Although $319 is pretty steep.

I have seen teams use something similar to this in their pits before and I’m sure it could be used in a shop setting as well.

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I strongly dislike that setup. A quality vertical bandsaw will have bearings and a blade guard you lower down that helps the straightness of your cut and also protects you from the unused blade. Making these portable bandsaws into “vertical” saws removes that protection. Cheap horizontal bandsaws may come with small screw-on tables, but most don’t have this safety feature either. Expensive horizontal bandsaws tend to have the ability to lower down the bearings+guard to the work piece size if you are using them vertically.

I’ve personally got the scar on my thumb where a “cheap” vertical bandsaw grabbed the work piece and flipped it and my finger up into the uncovered blade. It’s partially my fault for not keeping my hands well clear - and it’s the rest of my fault for not using a tool in the absolute correct manner. It was a scary lesson.

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Something like this is nice, but probably not that expensive. We don’t really need the hinge. It just needs to stay vertical really.

Our team saw something like this, but I might just try to make the thing in CAD and just ship it to out manufacturers to make. 140$ for 3 sheets of steel and a switch is a bit steep. Don’t you think?

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Definitely. I’ve seen similar setups that were just welded out of steel plate and worked just fine. It’s not all that hard to do if you can weld. I’m probably making one in the off-season for our team, since our current porta-band had the switch break in the on position. I’ll rewire it with a switch on the new table and turn it into a table-top vertical saw.

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One of our local teams brought one of the Swag setups to Channelview. They plugged the saw into a foot switch from Harbor Freight for even more control.

Replacing your blade or motor could increase its quality based on what seems to be wrong with it, also make shure its clean with no chips inside of it

Get Lenox bi-metal blades. On some of the metalworking forums, they recommend throwing away the blade that comes with the inexpensive horizontal/vertical bandsaws right away and replacing it.

We replace our bandsaw blades 1-2 times per season - blades do wear out! They aren’t that expensive, and it keeps the cuts clean and easy. A few drops of Tap Magic can also make a world of difference. If you haven’t been keeping up with regular maintenance, it’s worth opening it up and cleaning it out too. Make sure the bearings are all still properly aligned and everything is tensioned properly.

Personally, I do NOT like converting portable bandsaws into table top vertical ones. A portable bandsaw is designed to be used with both hands on the saw in specific locations to keep yourself safe. When you mount it, you end up with a lot of exposed blade and lose out on safety features you have in actual vertical bandsaws. I saw a few of the Swag conversions this season, I’m actually a little surprised the UL Safety guys didn’t say anything about them… I don’t consider them safe, especially in crowded pits.

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