HomeMade Bandsaw #2: Construction and Design

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Blog entry by ChrisCarr posted 08-17-2010 06:27 AM 10815 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How the journey started Part 2 of HomeMade Bandsaw series no next part

Construction of the bandsaw So far has been going on for about a month.

The main frame consists of a 4×4 treated post and 2 particle board panels (top and bottom). The panels are grooved into the back of the post. I assembled the bottom of it very quickly.

Everything sits on an old end table and wider sub-table to hold the bandsaw. I use a 1/3 hp induction motor, which has a 2 inch v-pulley fixed to its spindle. A v-belt then connects the motor pulley to the bandsaw’s bottom assembly, which sits on a plywood box. The box is right behind the bottom panel. The box is made from 3/4 inch pine plywood and the hidden inside features torsion box like re-enforcement. The box is fastened to the bottom panel and table. On top of the box the belt connects to the bandsaw’s 6 inch drive pulley. The drive pulley sits on a 5/8 shaft and is fixed to this spinning shaft. The shaft is held by 2 pillow block bearings. A hole is cut in the bottom panel where the shaft protrudes and will hold the bottom bandsaw wheel.

The top features a carriage which slides up and down and holds the upper wheel. It slides to provide tension to the bandsaw blade. A 1 1/2 thick grooved block straddles the top of the panel and holds a crown bolt which connects to the carriage and pulls it up with a spring to provide tension on the blade.The carriage originally (in the photos) slid in slot mortises but I have since (not photoed) changed that to aluminum T-track. Also I had the carriage’s shaft bearings slide side to side to align (and the tension straddle block) the top wheel with the bottom, however since I took that photo I did away with that feature. I As I said in the last few sentences photos differ from what I have since done.

The bandsaw wheels are made up of 12 inch v-pulleys with rubber belts cut and glued in the groove. The rubber does not clear the pulley’s edge. The pulley’s edge guides the blade. The blade tracks on the edge, not the center, my method works just as good as if the wheels were crowned and it tracked in the center.

Recently I have ran the saw with the blade, it runs fine(without trying to cut anything). Now I just have to enclose the panels, build blade guides, and make a table. If anyone has questions feel free to ask. I will post a video next time.

6 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4364 days

#1 posted 08-17-2010 06:50 AM

sure start to look good that saw
and I can see in the you have seen Mathias´s on
are you awere of that he has build a new one

one question thow ain´t your post a little skinny and why havn´t you used plywood instead


View GregP's profile


154 posts in 4126 days

#2 posted 08-17-2010 08:09 AM

I’m very intrigued by this, my father built one of these 30 years ago but I never saw what went in to it. I’ll be very keen to see this come together. thanks for letting us take a peek.

-- Greg P, Washington State,

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 4147 days

#3 posted 08-17-2010 03:09 PM


Yes I am aware he built a new one. I believe my post is fine, it can handle the weight and won’t expand or warp since its treated. The panels are particle board because I had that lying around and figured on putting it to use. I plan on reinforcing the panels (especially the top) to reduce vibration which is very bad at the moment since I got the saw bladed and runnning (without cutting). Also you might not see it from the pictures but the post has 2 huge grooves in the back which the panels fit into, this secures it a lot.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4091 days

#4 posted 08-17-2010 05:00 PM

I truly admire these shop made tools I see people making on here. I think I need to start a new file on my computer for photos and plans and ideas for the day when I say the hay with paying projects and start building my shop tools. I’d love to rebuild all my major tools with my own hands.
I do a lot of scroll work. I’ve been considering ordering the plans for a pedal powered scroll saw I found online. I think it would be a great conversation piece to cut something on that while a customer is browsing my work.

Now that I’m finished lying to myself about what I’ll ever have time to do, the saw looks like its coming along great. I can’t wait to see the finished saw.


View a1Jim's profile


118267 posts in 4826 days

#5 posted 08-17-2010 05:03 PM

Very cool Chris good job


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4583 days

#6 posted 08-17-2010 09:11 PM

Interesting project. It will be fun to watch build.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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