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Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Soon To Be New Toy

I had planned on waiting until this project was complete before posting. I noticed it had been a while though. So I thought I should update you all.
It's been a long winter folks. I'm sorry this project has taken so long. I've had more bad days than good as of late and it seems I just can't get enough done to even satisfy myself.
This is my soon to be new toy though that I've been working on every chance I get since early in January.
It is a wooden band saw.
I needed a good band saw for resawing wood into thin stock. I have been taking three quarter inch boards and running them over and over again through the planer until they were milled down to the thickness I needed them. This is very wasteful though. I usually take over two thirds of a three quarter inch board and turn it to shavings in order to get one single usable piece. With this band saw, I'll be able to take that same board and get at least two usable pieces instead of the one.
A band saw of this size made in a factory somewhere in the world, is very expensive. When it's all said and done, the one I've built will have cost me about a hundred and twenty dollars.
In the photo above, and the next one below, the photos were snapped with the saw running.

Here is the saw, sitting on it's stand. I still have more work to do on the stand. I also still have to build the guards and such that go around it. It hasn't got too much more to go. The length of time it takes to complete now will just depend on my health. I will be sure to post the finished saw though when I'm done.

I know he question in everyone's mind is, will it work?

Well this last photo shows the first test cut. Keep in mind that I have not fine tuned anything on it yet. I just kissed the fence up against the blade and then backed it off a hair. Then I sliced this ten inch wide board.

The slice measures only a sixteenth of an inch thick, which is actually thinner than the eight of an inch I'm aiming for making for portraits. It cut this straight, with no tuning yet, like a sharp knife through hot butter.


I have been needing a saw like this for some time. I have always just worked around it and worked with what I had though. When a good friend of mine approached me with the idea of me building a wooden band saw, I was to say the least a little skeptical. I didn't think there was any way for this to be done safely and with any kind of accuracy. Then he sent me the plans for it. I looked them over. I studied up about the man who designed it. After all this, I can't say I was yet certain, but I decided that it might be doable.


The man who designed this is named Mathias Wandel. He has a website here where you can see some of his work. As far as I'm concerned, the guy is a genius. When it's all said and done, this saw is superior to anything you could buy factory made in my opinion. It has better fine tuning adjustability than my old Craftsman band saw. From his tests, his own saw, made of spruce, is actually stronger in the frame than a metal band saw. Mine is made of oak, which is even stronger than the spruce.


If you want to read more about it, you can go here and do that. If you'd like to order the plans, you can go here and do that. If you study it over and see all the hard work Mr. Wandel has put into designing this, the twenty one dollar price tag is a steal.





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