One of the most useful shop items is the cutoff bandsaw. The imports, selling for about $200, are common, but many owners complain of their poor quality. Now you can make your own bandsaw that's bigger, more accurate, and you can probably build it for less than the import version.
Dave Gingery, known for his metalworking project books that include making your own lathe, mill, drill press and accessories, has just published Designing and Building a Metal Cutting Bandsaw. Written and illustrated by his son Vincent R. Gingery, this 168-page, 5 1/2x8 1/2-inch book takes you through the construction of the saw in typical Gingery detail. An improvement over earlier volumes is the use of typeset copy and CAD drawings, including 3-D assembly views. The saw has a 12" -width capacity and a 6"-depth and uses a 94"-blade. Like its import cousins, it will cut both horizontally and vertically. Common angle and strap iron is used for its construction as well as hardware store items. Power comes from a standard 1725 RPM 1/2-HP motor, which produces a blade speed of 159 FPM.
Some welding is required, and a lathe is needed to turn the blade wheels. Construction is broken down into sections, starting with the base and legs, followed by the vertical frame, drive system and blade guides.
While not a simple weekend project, this appears to be a solid, accurate machine capable of serious work. Anyone needing a bandsaw would do well to take a look at this book. Designing and Building a Metal Cutting Bandsaw is available from:
I have prepared a Bill of Materials showing total lengths of various steel items needed for building the Gingery Saw.
Email: Greg Lewis
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