Cummins Mack Bandsaw Cleaning and Tune Up #3: Making new upper and lower guide block assemblies.

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Blog entry by Doug posted 06-18-2012 12:48 AM 6326 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Disassembly and Discovery Part 3 of Cummins Mack Bandsaw Cleaning and Tune Up series no next part

Hello everyone,

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on this blog series. I’ve recently made some tremendous progress on the restoration of my bandsaw.

A while back I made a blog entry in which I enquired about locating some upper and lower guide block assemblies for my 14” Cummins-Mack bandsaw. I was not very successful in locating some. So, I made some new upper and lower guide block assemblies out of some ultra high weight molecular polyethylene (UHWMP).

I began, as I always do, by designing them in SketchUp.

Upper Guide Block Holder

Lower Guide Block Holder

Next, I carefully layout where the features are located on the material

Once I have the layout done I move on to the machining process. Here I am set up at the drill press with a cross-slide table and a machinists grinding vise;

Preparing to drill holes in the upper guide block holder

Machining the lower guide block holder was a bit more complex. Here are a couple of photos I took during the machining process.

Sorry for the blurry pictures

When the machining of both parts was finished I mounted them on the saw and gave them a trial run.

Here is a video of some the machining process. I also make a few cuts in a piece of white oak to see how the new guide block assemblies perform.

In the first part of the video you’ll notice that I forgot to lock the table in place. I was making a light cut so no harm done. I locked the table and finished the cut.

The machining of the holders took quite a while. I was able to maintain all of the critical dimensions within .005” (About the thickness of a piece of paper). I am very pleased with how they worked out.

I plan on doing more to make the bandsaw to make it more stable. It seems to vibrate quite a bit.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

Take care.

-- Doug

5 comments so far

View Deycart's profile


444 posts in 3139 days

#1 posted 06-18-2012 05:27 AM

If you really want to reduce vibration you should make sure the two pulleys for the belt are co-planer and try to replace the belt. I would recommend a link type belt. Harbor freight sells one for about 25 bucks… They only have one size though. The link belt is like magic if you have vibration problems.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3686 days

#2 posted 06-18-2012 12:25 PM

Could there be a worn bearing on one o the wheels? And what Deycart said

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 06-19-2012 09:12 AM

I am wondering since you were milling new assemblies why didn’t you opt for roller bearing guides?
Have you done anything else to tune up the band saw?
I ask since I will be tackling a used cheapo import model i got a while ago but have not been able to use since there are quite a few things that need to be fixed on it. I already plan/need to replace the tires and motor belt and thrust bearings, not to mention replacing/making the table trunnions.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Doug's profile


1162 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 06-19-2012 11:10 AM

Deycart, the pully alignment seems to be good. I had thought about the link-belt system and was unaware that HF had one. I’ll have to give it a shot.

Roger, when I got the saw, and performed an initial tune up I did notice that there was a slight amount of play in the bottom wheel. I believe that the bushing of the wheel has become bell-mouthed. I tried adding some .0015” shims to the effected are of the bushing but tht did not avail much. If worse comes to worse, I’ll press the old bushing out, make a new one and press it in.

OnlyJustMe, roller bearing guides would have been ideal, and I may still design some to use. These were made to get me up and running again. They work but they are not a perminent solution. WhenI first got the saw I cleaned it up a bit and did a typical tune up, nothing major.

-- Doug

View Larryrun's profile


1 post in 2188 days

#5 posted 10-28-2014 12:29 PM

I have had a cummins mack for 30 years or so and love it. The bearings are common 2002z bearings can be bought at most electric motor shops. The blade guides and roller guides I purchased at Sears as they are the same as some of the old Sears. Other than that not much to go bad on it.

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