A wood bandsaw you say? What in the world are you thinking? Well this is not something that hasn’t been done before! Check out woodgears.ca for complete plans and sketchup drawings. I needed a bandsaw to resaw some maple for some night stands I wanted to build. I have a tight attic space to work in and a standard metal one seemed to heavy and unwieldy to use or fit into my tiny shop. So what better than a custom wood bandsaw that is light enough to take apart by one person. The only metal parts are the shafts, bearings and motor. I have replaced the light switch with a proper safety switch with a start stop.
I used the Festool TS55 track saw for most of the work along with a Bosch contractor saw, benchtop drill press, ryobi bench top bandsaw, a Delta surface planer and various hand tools. This project is something a reasonably handy person with some time and ok tools can build. Accuracy is good but most things can be shimmed for alignment in the end so don’t fret if things are off by a few millimeters here and there during glue up, etc.
All the wood here is 3/4″ pine purchased from the big box store and milled down with my old delta surface planer to the recommended thickness. If you don’t mill it you will just have a wider saw frame which is no big deal.
The glue up begins! You can never have too many clamps. I used a Festool table so I could clamp it flat.
Frame is all glued up and quite light! Matthias did a test between his metal band saw and his wood bandsaw and had less flex on the wood. All the laminations make it extremely strong.
Next up is the top bracket to hold the wheel and tensioner. This was done on the table saw where I rigged up what is essentially a tenon jig to cut the slots for reinforcements. Glued in the oak and that frame is rock solid. A few other cuts for rabbets, etc and you end up with the picture on the right. The shafts are stationery and do not rotate.
The wheels I used spare baltic birch that I laminated together. I have seen many made out of regular ply and if I didn’t have the baltic birch I probably would have used it. You can see the bearing glued to the wheel and my non OSHA approved lathe to add the crown to the wheels.
Wheels mounted with a blade. Followed by the table attachments and we have a bandsaw! Though the support leg is clamped to it as there is no base and well no guards :).
Base and guards. You’ll notice the construction grade plywood drawers built with the box-joint jig from woodgears.ca which made for a super tight fit. Note, I made the drawers after the bandsaw was built so I could use the bandsaw for making the box-joint gears. I also used the bandsaw without the base to construct the bandsaw cut dovetail base out of 2x stock.
Painted Matthias green :). Complete. Note: this switch is gone as you’ll see. I realized it could be bumped on accidentally.
Resawing some maple with my blades from timberwolfblades.com. These have been great blades for me (even for my old ryobi benchtop).
Works great and can even make tiny reindeer, plans available on woodgears.ca
A year out from the build and the saw still works great. I had to replace a tire but that is it. Great experience building it from scratch. Its always nice to make mistakes on something that is more forgiving than a piece of fine furniture. This was not terribly hard to do and I built it in just a few weeks. Just over a month from start to final paint but I took some time off in between sections. It worked great resawing my maple I need for the nightstands that you will see in a future post.