Anybody building a woodgears bandsaw?

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Forum topic by harriw posted 06-19-2015 03:36 AM 2672 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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129 posts in 3094 days

06-19-2015 03:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw band saw woodgears wood gears woodgearsca matthias wandel homemade home-made

Hi folks,

So I finally pulled the trigger and started work on a home-made bandsaw, courtesy of Matthias Wandel over at I haven’t gotten terribly far yet, but was just wondering if anybody else is working on one of these at the moment?

So far I have the wheel blanks glued up and rounded on the router table, have all the wheel flanges cut and drilled, and am working on pressing the wheel bearings into the flanges. 2 are seated, 2 to go. Went relatively smoothly actually (which is good, as seating those bearings was one of the things I was most concerned about).

I also threw in a picture of the motor I found to power this contraption. Craigslist hasn’t had any 3/4 – 1 HP motors lately, but I managed to scoop this up for $75. It’s a 1.5 HP Westinghouse build in 1949. It’s an absolute PIG of a motor, and weighs roughly a ton. Yes – that’s a 12” combination square sitting on top of it for reference. This saw will not be under-powered.

So anybody else working on one of these at the moment? I’ve seen some older threads on them, but was just wondering.

-- Bill - Western NY

9 replies so far

View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 3565 days

#1 posted 06-19-2015 04:11 AM

I’ve been building his screw advance box joint jig. The plans and videos haven’t left me scratching my head trying to figure it out. I don’t think you’ll have any problems.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2373 days

#2 posted 06-19-2015 04:14 AM

almost, but then I found a 20”er for dirt cheap. He uses the hell out of his homemade tools so I’d trust them. One day when I have the time I’ll pick something to build.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View harriw's profile


129 posts in 3094 days

#3 posted 06-19-2015 12:18 PM

Tenfingers58 – I actually bought the screw-advance box joint jig too while I was getting bandsaw plans anyway. I always thought that looked like a slick contraption. But I need to build the bandsaw first to be able to cut out all those gears :)

I agree TheFridge – he uses them an awful lot, and there are a LOT of people out there already who have built his designs as well and seem quite happy with them. The clincher for me is that Matthias seems to prefer his home-made saws over his Delta 14” saw.

-- Bill - Western NY

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10861 posts in 2373 days

#4 posted 06-19-2015 06:04 PM

Not only that he uses the wooden one more, but he is a practical dude who uses what works best.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View oldsloane's profile


7 posts in 1321 days

#5 posted 03-23-2018 08:19 AM

I will be starting one about a month, however, I’m going to make my frame from 3 in.² steel tube. Have a good mig welder and lots of iron working tools so I think this is going to be much easier to Build Than all that laminating. His design is excellent and I purchased his plans for all the dimensions so this should be quite a challenge.

-- DaveS, Canada

View runswithscissors's profile


3118 posts in 2912 days

#6 posted 03-24-2018 01:51 AM

Many years ago, I built an 18” bandsaw from a Gilliam kit. The other option was a 12” size. The kit included cast aluminum wheels, blade guides, wheel bearings, trunnions, and a few other metal parts. The column was a built- up box out of wood—about 4”X8”X5 1/2 feet. I reinforced the column quite a bit and added bracing to the upper arm holding the upper wheel.

In spite of the extra bracing, there was a fair amount of flex when cutting thick material, and it was hard to set the blade tension as tight as I would have liked. As I recall, 1/2” was the widest blade I could use. I cut a lot of stuff with that saw over the years (but not much resawing), and I often toyed with the idea of welding the frame up as oldsloane plans to do. I think the extra rigidity of the steel should be worthwhile, though it might make for a very heavy machine.

Sold the old Gilliam some years ago. The company was still around 6 or 8 years ago, but they never did have an on-line presence. They had ads in the woodworker’s magazines (and Pop Mechanics, etc.) at least as early as the 1950s, and probably before that. There is a Gilliam tool co. on Facebook now, but they date from 2014, and seem to specialize on metal cutting, fabricating, and machining, so I doubt if it’s the same people.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View YouthfullMind's profile


73 posts in 1039 days

#7 posted 03-24-2018 02:22 PM

I just finished mine. I made a short write up with some pics here

It was a fun project. I mostly followed the plans, but tweaked the cabinet a bit and added dust collection. On my blog I linked I have some detailed pics of the dust collection I added if you are interested. I ran into a similar motor issue and found a 2hp cheaper than anything smaller. I have 1/4”, 1/2”, and 1 1/4” blades for mine. So far it has worked well for anything from cutting tight curves to resawing logs into lumber. The cost of mine was $309, but I had a lot of the lumber on hand. The only thing I may add is a light attached to the bandsaw, but that is on my to do list. Next year I’m planning on building a resaw sled for some logs I have.

Let me know if I can answer any questions during your build.

View harriw's profile


129 posts in 3094 days

#8 posted 03-24-2018 04:54 PM

Beautiful job there Youthfull – I’ve been thinking I might piano-hinge the covers like you did as well actually.

Funny this thread should get revived right now… I actually shelved this project 2 or 3 years ago, and just resurrected it 2 weeks ago. I realized way back then that I was kind of going to need a bandsaw to build a bandsaw… And also had no turning tools to turn the wheels true (and made a mess of my bench chisels trying to use them). Then I stumbled across a killer craigslist deal on a 14” saw for $100, and figured I no longer needed to build this one.

But I now have all the tools I lacked back then, and resurrected this project in order to have a more capable re-sawing machine. I have just about all the material on-hand anyway, and several of the parts already made from my previous attempt.

-- Bill - Western NY

View Thorbjorn88's profile (online now)


181 posts in 1029 days

#9 posted 08-13-2020 09:33 PM

Did you ever finish this saw?

-- Dave

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