Simple modifications for sawing tough parts

Sept. 21, 2007
Here are a few simple modifications that make horizontal bandsaws easier to use, especially when it comes to cutting angles and dealing with tough-to-hold parts.

The first modification is to drill and tap several holes in the area of the machine’s base between the jaws while they are opened all the way. Then parts can be secured using standard milling machine clamps and step blocks with threaded studs screwed into the tapped base holes. This setup eliminates having to manually push smaller blocks of metal against the machine’s blades using push sticks.

If you don’t want to drill holes in your bandsaw’s base casting, you can use a 0.500-in.-thick metal plate measuring about 4-in. wide and 6-in. long instead. In this plate, drill and tap three rows of five holes for 3/8-16 threads. Then clamp the plate in place where the stock would normally go and use milling machine toe clamps to hold down workpieces. This is an extremely handy accessory, especially when combined with V-blocks. You can also increase the size of the steel plate to accommodate even more tapped holes.

Another bandsaw modification involves a 0.500-in. Acme screw rod and a nut. Weld the nut to a small piece of 0.125- in.-thick plate that is then mounted on the back side of the saw’s fixed jaw using a couple of screws. Align the plate so that the Acme screw protrudes through and catches the edge of the saw’s moving jaw farthest from the blade.

Install a 2-in. or 3-in. knob on the end of the screw for adjusting it out to the desired length. You can also add a hydraulic downfeed to the saw using a stock air cylinder.

From the pages of Practical