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Thread: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

  1. #1
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    Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    Picked up a Rockwell 14" wood cutting bandsaw in good condition on CL for a reasonable price. Was planning on using it for cutting aluminum. It worked, but I didn't like the way it spit the small pieces of aluminum "sawdust" all over the place. Also, they were hot and sometimes slightly burned my hands and forearms. Figured if I slowed the blade speed down, it would work much better. Did an internet search and found a 3 speed kit that was a bolt-on for a Jet bandsaw. Thinking that most of the 14" bandsaws on the market were basically Rockwell clones, I ordered a kit. The price was reasonable at $110 or so and it seemed to be the path of least resistance compared to many homebrew setups. To my knowledge, I've not seen any reference to adapting the kit to a Rockwell and thought I would share this modification in case others would be interested.

    This is what I purchased:



    The kit comes with good instructions to install on a Jet bandsaw. Has a very side-view good diagram of the completed installation.



    Unfortunately, the Rockwell does not have a flat back. I'm assuming the Jet does.



    Needed to move the middle pulley 1 5/8" away from the back of the machine. I traced the outline of the supplied pulley bracket, copied it and made some spacers.





    Drilled and tapped 5/16" holes in the back if the Rockwell. Used coarse thread bolts. Probably should have been fine thread.



    Added the supplied motor pulley. Needed to move the motor to line up with the middle pulley.
    Fortunately, there was enough adjustment built into the factory motor mount bracket.
    Just slid the motor about an inch or so and all was well. Had to purchase an A43 V-belt.



    Works great!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    Good work, modifying wood bandsaws to cut metal has to be one of the most searched terms for us metal working folks.
    David
    Millermatic 130
    Primeweld 225
    Victor Journeymen

  3. #3
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    Re: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    your idea is pretty slick, years ago i came up with using a 3 speed riding lawnmower transmission .works pretty good , i know i mentioned it years ago on some machining sites and think guys are doing it now. but at the price of 250to300 dollars for a new transmission your setup would be the way to go.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    Nice job on the bracket modification. Was the Rockwell casting flat enough for the bracket and pulley assembly or did it need shims to align it with the top pulley?
    I bought a 14" Rockwell single speed wood model new around 1980. IIR the blade speed was about 3000 ft per min. too fast for aluminum. No such kit like you bought existed at the time so I doubled the top pulley diameter from 6" to 12" and got a suitable belt to fit. That cut the speed in half. Cut tons of aluminum with it since and to this day. Still too fast for steel but I later acquired the same saw with the speed reduction transmission and use that for the steel.
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    Built a cover for the large pulley:
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    Didn't cost much for the pulley and the belt.
    Your step pulley set up allows for more speed changes. Did you figure out what you get in each of the 3 steps?
    Ernie F.

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  7. #5
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    Re: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by metalman21 View Post
    Nice job on the bracket modification. Was the Rockwell casting flat enough for the bracket and pulley assembly or did it need shims to align it with the top pulley?

    Your step pulley set up allows for more speed changes. Did you figure out what you get in each of the 3 steps?
    Thanks for the good feedback. I really like the beltguard you made for the 12" pulley.

    I didn't need to shim the middle bracket/pulley to the back of the bandsaw. Everything was "close enough".

    I marked the sideview diagram in the original post with the approximate speeds that Jet states for the different positions: position A is 735, B is 1470 and C is 2350. Am not sure if that is accurate for the Rockwell. Position C is too fast for aluminum, imho. It cuts wood ok. Have been using Position B. It seems to be good for aluminum. Have also cut 20 gauge stainless steel at that speed. Haven't tried C. Probably should, the belt is easy enough to move.

  8. #6
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    Re: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    If your motor is fully shielded, fan cooled, it ought to do good. Also gotta consider the other areas that chips can fly.

  9. #7
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    Re: Rockwell 14" Bandsaw Speed Reduction

    That's not a worry, imho. The saw has an enclosed base with a door and stock pulley cover with a door.

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