Retrofitting a brake on a bandsaw

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Forum topic by Nicholas Hall posted 01-26-2014 03:11 PM 5996 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2713 days

01-26-2014 03:11 PM

I just picked up a Grizzly G0514X 19” bandsaw on craigslist for $600. I wanted to get a 14” delta bandsaw, but every time they popped up on craigslist the deltas were in rough shape, and they still wanted $600. The Grizzly is a much bigger saw than I was Iooking for, but it’s in fantastic shape. It looks like it’s brand-new, I think it was only used a half a dozen times. The owner said he spent more time assembling it than he spent using it. I bought the rest of the guys tools and they all seemed unused too.

The only thing I’d change about the saw is that I wish it had a brake. On my saw the blade keeps spinning for a long, long time after its shut off. I’d love to add a footbrake. Has anyone ever done this to a bandsaw?

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

33 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19893 posts in 3281 days

#1 posted 01-26-2014 03:16 PM

Sorry, I can’t offer any insight….
But, I am very interested in the replies, or what ever else you discover in your research.
I have contemplated the same thing for my 1.5 year old Rikon 10-325!!!

I’ll be keeping my eye on this thread…
Thanks for posting the question!!!
Good luck in your quest.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3415 days

#2 posted 01-26-2014 03:26 PM

I had that same saw for a few years and it performed pretty well for me. I understand about the wind down time but what is your reasoning for needing to add a brake?

There is a brake on my delta but it is very rarely used. I have used it primarily i guess at times when i was anxious to clear small pieces from near the blade for visability purposes.


View b2rtch's profile


4915 posts in 3655 days

#3 posted 01-26-2014 03:27 PM

Contact grizzly, I am sure that you can buy the parts and install them.
I envy you a lot as I was looking for a used 17 or 19” band saw at reasonable price for months and I never found one.
I ended up buying a new Grizzly 17’ for more money that you paid for the 19”.
You are a lucky guy.

I am also a Paul Sellers’ fan,the best teacher around.

-- Bert

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2713 days

#4 posted 01-26-2014 05:59 PM

Cabmaker: The bandsaw that I learned on had a brake and I just got used to it. When my father-in-law and I were resawing 12” wide x 2.25” thick by 10’ long boards with a 2 Tpi blade, the sound of the brake engaging at the end of the cut was the most comforting sound in the world. Those are big teeth. I know the blade isn’t a necessity, but it seems like a nice feature. if I can install one for $100 or so, I figure I might as well.

B2rtch: I’m pretty thrilled with the bandsaw, although I’m not looking forward to bringing it down my basement stairs! I should post a proper tool gloat at some point :)

I’m pretty sure that Grizzly will sell me the parts, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing it. I’m wondering if it will turn into one of those projects that’s more trouble than you’d ever imagine before getting into it. I figure it’s probably best to learn from other’s experiences before shelling out greenbacks and bringing out the hacksaw!

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View b2rtch's profile


4915 posts in 3655 days

#5 posted 01-27-2014 01:34 AM

It should be fairly easy to install

-- Bert

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 2358 days

#6 posted 01-27-2014 01:27 PM

I have the 17” Grizzly saw with the foot brake option and I find it a nice feature every now and then. It is just a disc brake operated by a lever with a foot pedal. If the parts for that assembly are available from Grizzly it should be relatively easy to retrofit.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2713 days

#7 posted 01-27-2014 01:40 PM

Thanks b2rtch & Hydro. I’m going to give Grizzly a call and see what they say.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3282 days

#8 posted 01-27-2014 01:48 PM

I’ll sell you a piece of wood for 5 bucks…that works. they have adjustable speed too!

You can’t copy it though, I have a patent pending.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3457 days

#9 posted 01-27-2014 02:46 PM

Doing a little ROI study on this might help with some clarity.

How many times a week would you use this feature?
How many minutes would it save you per use?

How much out of pocket expense to add a brake?
How much time would you invest in adapting, contrapting, reinstalling?

If you really want to do it, extend this for 5 or 10 years. If you really don’t, just a year.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2713 days

#10 posted 01-27-2014 03:15 PM

I’ll give you $5.00 for the regular piece of wood, but I’ll give you $15 for that variable speed piece you have… ;)

I know a piece of wood will slow it down, but I also know I’m too lazy and forgetful to remember to keep handy for that purpose. In my experience, most successful safety devices are the ones that are habit. I’m more likely to develop the habit of always slowing down the blade with a brake if the the brake is always in the same spot. Case in point, i learned how to use a bandsaw on bandsaw with a break. I still reach for the button every time I finish a cut, even when there is no button to push. Having developed the safer habit, it seems like I might as well keep it up if it’s only $100 and a morning in the shop.

As for whether or not it’s worth it, the ROI is tough to calculate. The blade spins for a long, long tme with 19” computer balanced cast iron wheels on good bearings. When I’m resawing, there is 12” of 2Tpi blade exposed. My wife, daughter, son and neighbors frequently drop by while I’m working. After a cut, the blade spins in complete silence. The real question is what is the probability that someone will touch that 12 length of exposed blade not realizing that it will take their hand off? If I knew that probability, I could calculate ROI pretty easily. My daughter’s hand is worth $100,000,000 to me. I think there is a one in a million chance she will touch that blade. Therefore I’m willing to spend $100. If there was a 1 in 2 million chance she would touch the blade I’d only be willing to spend $50.

Different people have different risk tolerances and budgets. Some folks spend $3500 for a brand new sawstop to rip lumber on. I spent $600 for a $1800 bandsaw for the same purpose, and I’m looking to drop $100 to make it a little safer. I’m pretty sure my setup will be nearly as safe as a sawstop, but for 80% less. To me, that’s decent ROI.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3296 days

#11 posted 01-27-2014 03:25 PM

Nicholas, I don’t have a brake on my 17” Grizz and wish I did. The only injury I ever had on the BS was a LONG time after it was turned off. I just went to flick a scrap off the table and that 2 TPI grabbed me! Not serious but I had to throw those pants away!

My WoodMizer sawmill has an automatic blade brake but I can’t really see how to do the same thing with my bandsaw.

I’ll be following this thread hoping you come up with a solution.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View b2rtch's profile


4915 posts in 3655 days

#12 posted 01-27-2014 03:41 PM

I looked this morning at the parts list to retrofit a brake on the 17”.
I did not ask how much the cost would be.
I just talked to Grizzly.
Georges told me that on the 17” the conversion would be rather extensive as the lower wheel is different, the cover does not have a slot to accommodate the pedal and needs to be changed, the wire harness needs to be replaced and so on.
Rather expensive.
A home made lower blade guard would less expensive

-- Bert

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 2334 days

#13 posted 01-27-2014 03:53 PM

Just thinking out loud,
Maybe you could make a manual brake using a bicycle rotor and brake set up attached to the pulley.
Could probably find a bike on CL that has all the parts for cheap.??

View b2rtch's profile


4915 posts in 3655 days

#14 posted 01-27-2014 04:02 PM

Another idea would be to have a temporary switch to reverse the current on the motor
As you hold the paddle switch to stop the saw, you send a current to the motor in the reverse direction to stop it, with 3 phases it would easy to do.
With one phase , I do not know but I am sure that it is possible

-- Bert

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4254 days

#15 posted 01-27-2014 04:23 PM

My Hitachi resaw has a hand-operated brake. One would be not
too much trouble to rig up. The brake pad is curved like the wheel
and restrained out of position by a heavy spring that keeps it
from bouncing around when the saw is running. When one
wants to brake the saw, you just pull on the lever with your
left hand.

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

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