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Old 03-02-2003, 09:56 PM
rickyjo rickyjo is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: southeastern PA
Posts: 5
Question convert woodcutting bandsaw to metal

Greetings out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am just getting into knifemaking, and have a question for you toolfreaks.

I have an old Sears 12" woodcutting bandsaw that I want to convert to metal-cutting. To slow down the blade speed enough, it seems to me that I really need to add two sets of intermediate pulleys and belts between the motor and the saw. I can't use just one set of intermediate pulleys, as the available pulley sizes just won't slow the blade down enough, or I'd have to use pulleys about the size of tractor tires! So, two sets of step-down pulleys seems necessary.

I really want to use this particular bandsaw, and not buy a metal cutting saw. I already have a better woodcutting bandsaw that I want to keep for only use with wood. And Sears does not carry any kind of speed reducer for this old saw.

So, anyone have ideas or similar experience that might help?
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Old 03-02-2003, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Satellite Beach, Fl.
Posts: 1,119
Rickyjo, first off welcome to the CKD.You will find tons of info here.Two problems as I see it. One is the blade size as you may not find any blades that size and have to have them made to length.Second is the cost of modifying your saw versus buying a new saw from Harbor Freight.Many of us have these saws and I have had mine for over ten years.They only cost around $150 with an additional $15 for a good blade and your set.Buying pulleys and the time fabricating could cost you more.Something to think about.I am very big on building your own tools but cost versus time sometimes just don't add up.Hope this helps,and enjoy your stay here.Dave
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:14 AM
Rob Frink Rob Frink is offline
Steel Addict
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 283

Here is how I did my saw, I used 2 jack shafts to get it slowed down enough. Then, due to the torque available from this massive speed reduction, I found that I needed to add stiffeners to keep the whole thing from folding up. I used it for many years and finally sold it on Ebay.


Robert Frink
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Old 03-03-2003, 10:55 PM
allan lanigan allan lanigan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver island b.c.
Posts: 83
I converted a woodcutting bandsaw by using a reduction unit 30-1 that i picked up at a salvage yard, i silver braze my own blades no problem i have it running about 180 feet per min and am happy with its performance..I like to build things and i already had the saw and equipment to do the conversion..otherwise a new one could prove to be cheaper in the long run.....
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Old 03-03-2003, 11:58 PM
rickyjo rickyjo is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: southeastern PA
Posts: 5
Dave, Rob, Allan:

Thanks for your replies. All good ideas. I have this extra old bandsaw, want to use it for cutting metal for making knives, and I just hate to buy a new bandsaw when I can hopefully modify a tool I already have.

By the way, what's the fastest speed I can get away with on a bandsaw for cutting blade material?
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blade, knife, knives

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