4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    67

    4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Here is my second welding project (first one was my welding table).

    I have had this HF 4x6 probably since 2007 or so. Right when I got it, I discarded the flimsy folding "legs", and made a wood base for it. I later added a hydraulic piston to replace the spring, and for the most part that has been it until last fall (2013). But now that I am starting to do/learn more welding, and cutting metal more often, I decided to "attack" the many weak points, including the over-heating motor (which is obviously too small for the job - some of these actually catch on fire!). I also wanted to add cooling to it, so I decided to do a complete overhaul of the bandsaw. This took about 3 months (on and off), and several purchases spread over the 3 months (I am on a budget, like most people), but now that it is 99% complete, I wanted to share my project.

    I of course over-built the base/stand, but I figured I can fairly easily re-use the base with another bandsaw if this one totally needs a replacement later on. I used 1-1/4" (1/8" wall) squared hot rolled steel, and 1-1/4" (1/4" wall) angle iron for the top. Everything was MIG welded with my MIG200 using 0.035" solid wire with about 25cfpm of 75%/35% shielding gas.

    I literally have over 100 pictures, so over the next few days I will pick-n-choose some of them to show the progression towards the end product you see below.

    Here is the "before" picture - I am checking the size of the new top (notice size of stock motor):



    Here is the "raw" new welded base:



    Previous wood base next to new base:



    Preliminary picture showing the hydraulic piston in place:



    Finished bandsaw after all mods:
    - new steel base (2 coats of flat black paint)
    - replaced 1/3 HP (Chinese rating!) SP motor with USA-made, Baldor 3/4HP 3P motor (using TECO VFD for variable speed and safety switch)
    - new clamping "system" (more on that later)
    - making new "arm" for hydraulic system
    - adjustable coolant system (running








    Will

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Central Indiana
    Posts
    4,355

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Nice mods and construction. Anxious to see the rest of you build pics
    I've been everywhere but the electric chair, seen everything but the wind...the only two things I can't weld is the crack of dawn and a broken heart!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    218

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Definitely interested to know more about that hydraulic setup.

    Bruce

  4. #4
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    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama
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    1,490

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    That's a nice post. A lot of us have the old jet 4x6 or northern tool , or harbor freight saw. Please send more details about the hydraulic cylinder. I like your stand /table for the saw along with the coolent system. Great Job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Gällivare, Sweden
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    33

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Niiice i too want to see more of this.

    Skickat frĺn min SM-N9005 via Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska
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    559

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Looks great, anxious to see how you improved the clamp.
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    The stock bandsaw comes with this stupid spring, which is meant to "try" to counterbalance the weight of the horizontal mass, in order to "try" to control how fast that mass (and thus the blade) moves down. You basically have a screw that you move in and out to change the tension on the spring against the moving mass. The problem is that it is nearly impossible to get the spring to perfectly balance the weight AND control how fast the whole assembly moves down. Bottom line: the spring does not allow fine-tuning the speed to accommodate a variety of materials.

    The hydraulic piston controls how fast the whole assembly moves down, by letting hydraulic fluid slowly escape via the adjustment valve. You can also completely stop the movement at any position along the travel angle, which comes handy to align the cut with the blade. This adjustment made available by the valve is "very" wide, thus you have almost infinite control on how fast the blade moves down into the work, so that you can adjust to the material type, thickness, number of pieces being cut, etc.. This flexibility is why ALL of the larger bandsaws have a hydraulic piston on them. The 4x6 don't have one (and have the stupid spring) not because it is not needed, but because cost - it is the only way to keep the saw cheap and available to the hobby machinist. Here are two Grizzly bandsaws showing a hydraulic piston on them:





    These videos I took 3-years ago, but clearly show the adjustment range I have in my bandsaw:
    - Video 1: This is the fastest down travel, fully opening the valve very fast. It you watch closely, you can clearly see the speed increasing as I open the valve:



    - Video 2: This is a slightly slower down travel speed. You could probably cut wood this fast, or a thin walled metal part:



    - Video 3: This is an example of a very slow, controlled downward speed obtainable with the hydraulic piston. This range of speed (or a tad faster) is typically what I use when cutting most metals:



    If you look at the 4x6 Yahoo group, you will see that this hydraulic conversion is one of the most popular upgrades. Lots of ingenuity in how folks have added a hydraulic piston to their 4x6 bandsaw, and it was from that group that I got the idea to do mine back 3 years ago.

    Will

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    For the new base and clamping "system", I wanted to be able to hold stock at 45 deg on both sides of the blade. The stock system/clamp of course can't do this, so I gave up on it, and went to a simple model where (similar to welding) I just clamp the piece to the base. It is more work, and much slower, but I can now do things I could not do easily before. So not an "improvement", just a different way of holding stuff being cut. In fact, I did this first, and cut every single piece for the new stand using the new "system".

    The new base started life as a scrap piece, 3/8" thick:



    After removing some of the high points in the mill:



    I started cutting it to "fit" - the idea being that it had to extend past the current "base" in order to allow me to clamp pieces to be cut to this new base:



    Fast forward to having everything drilled and tapped:



    I then started work on the first of two fences (one for each side of the blade):



    After some more work, and drilling and tapping, I now have one of the two fences ready:



    I then cut the fence flush, and allow the blade to go through the surface of the base, without going completely through it:






    Now, to align that fence, I align it to the cut/groove on the base:






    (hit the max of 10 photos per post)

  9. #9
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    So now to cut something, I camp the piece to the base, using the fence for alignment:






    Or use another piece of angle iron to clamp the piece to be cut to the rigid fence (similar to the stock clamping system):



    I then worked on the other fix fence, for the other side, which will only be used to make 45 deg cuts:




    With the hydraulic piston, I can get the blade to within a small distance of the piece, and measure accurately:

  10. #10
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    So using the new "system", I cut the pieces, and checked the basic design by stacking the pieces - surprisingly it could stand on its own!



    Since the casters were going to be offset, I added re-reinforcements to the design:





    Since the design I came up with had the weight of the bandsaw not aligned with the main support, I also added reinforcements there:



    And since I can now cut accurate 45 deg, I prepared all of the pieces:



  11. #11
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    So I then started to clean up, prepare, bevel, etc. all of the LEGO pieces:









  12. #12
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    As with my prior project, I practiced and fine-tuned the MIG200 settings with the same size pieces I was going to be welding:









    I actually measured the approx. wire speed to have an idea on where to start:

  13. #13
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    I then started to weld (finally!):









  14. #14
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    After grinding (to allow welding of other parts, casters, etc..








    That LED light that I made, that I showed earlier works great. Here is the before and after photos, with and without it:



  15. #15
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    More welding:











    Basic frame is complete:

  16. #16
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    Sep 2013
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    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    I then started work on the two "arms" that hold the bandsaw above the drain:











  17. #17
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    Sep 2013
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    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    So now I have the two arms ready:



    After grinding:



    This is why I have that bevel cut on the bottom (facing the angle iron):



    To weld them, I added some "weight" I had laying around, which keeps them aligned and flat:







  18. #18
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    I then made (from scrap pieces) the "ears" which will bolt to the actual bandsaw. If I ever have to replace the bandsaw, these would be the ones to cut away and make new ones to fit the "new" bandsaw, thus reusing most of the base/stand:







    And after grinding:





    Test fit:

  19. #19
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Then drill the holes in the ears:



  20. #20
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Then I moved to "make" an arm, that would tie the upper bandsaw assembly to the base/stand. But I wanted something stronger, since it has to be offset a couple of inches outward. In order to make sure I would not crack the arm, I came up with an additional bolting point:





    I also wanted this new arm to be removable, so it is offset backwards a little:



    This was all done with basically scrap pieces:









  21. #21
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    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    I then welded the extended piece which ties to the hydraulic piston:











    Final "arm":





    I will next post more on the VFD and motor conversion.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sweet Home Alabama
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    1,490

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    This is a great post. We have an old Jet 4x6 we are enjoying this post. Look forward to seeing more.

  23. #23
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
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    8,460

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    Nice, I like the modifications. That's a cool light too.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    For the VFD, following my mentor's advice, I put it away from swarf, but I also wanted an external enclosure to protect the unit and wiring. I found a scrap metal box in my "shop", which was almost the right size:





    I then made a steel support for it:







    The box bolts to the support "T" with two bolts (and silicone in between), and the VFD bolts to the box at 4x places:





    This whole assembly is then welded under the pan, ensuring that the VFD/electronics will remain free of debris and coolant:



  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    67

    Re: 4x6 metal bandsaw stand/base and mods ...

    I then gave everything two coats of flat black paint:





    For the pan, I used galvanized steel, which I cut to size, to fit inside the angle iron top:



    I then applied silicone to the whole thing, to ensure a good seal - no screws needed - the surface tension along that much surface area is more than plenty:



    I then applied weight in the middle, to bow down the metal, thus ensuring coolant will flow towards the middle:



    After the top dried, I went back and applied another thick bead of silicone to make sure everything was plenty well sealed. I then moved to work on the bottom "shelf". Again, used galvanized steel, and epoxy:







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