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Friday, November 9, 2012

New Addition To The Band Saw Line Up

Some of you may remember that late last year, and into early this year, I built a band saw. Since then, I have really put it through it's paces. That thing is a beast and has taken anything I have thrown at it without so much as a grumble. In addition to that, it has proved to be more precise than the several factory made band saws I have owned.
Now, the thing is, I built this saw in conjunction with a good friend of mine. Most of the work was done at my shop. My friend took his back to his shop back around the time I completed mine. I have been considering building another one of these.
Since getting used to a larger and better saw, I have been extremely dissatisfied with the performance of my old Craftsman saw. It is a good saw for general work, but mostly I have been unhappy with the lack of precision. I use this saw mainly for curved cuts, since I do all my re sawing on my shop made saw now. I always cut outside the line though and sand up to it, simply because I don't trust the precision of it.
So, when I mentioned this to my friend, he offered to bring the saw back to me. For various reasons, he has decided that any large work that he can't do with what he has, he'll just bring to my shop. I jumped at the chance to get this saw back to my shop. Since I know it is built identical to the other shop built saw I've been using for a long time, I know it is a great saw.
The first thing I had to do was build a stand for it. I made the stand you see in the first photo of this saw. It is just a simple square cabinet with three drawers. There's nothing really special about it. I made it quickly out of cottonwood.
Next I added a guard to it. I decided to do this one a little different than the other saw. On the other saw, I wanted overly safe guards. Because of my sometimes re sawing long or large wood, I sometimes need help on that saw, which is usually one of my sons.
On this saw, I will be using it for curved cuts and I'll be able to manage everything on it by myself. Therefore, I wasn't quite as careful with the guards. For this one, I wanted something simple that protects the operator, while still allowing easy blade changes. This is because, depending on what I'm cuttings, I'll be using more than one blade on this one, unlike the other saw that keeps a half inch re saw blade on it at all times.
So, I made this guard a hinged model with latches on the front to hold it closed when using the saw. This makes for easy blade changes. The saw is ready to use now. I just have to get a smaller blade. For the time being, it has the same half inch blade as the other saw.
As soon as I get the smaller blade, so I'll have a saw to cut curves, and as soon as a different friend can make it to Vicksburg, I've found a new home for the old Craftsman. I hope my friend gets as many miles out of it as I have.  Maybe one day I'll be able to talk him into letting me help him build a shop built saw as well.

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