Finishing LONG overdue band saw modifications, and some dumb questions.

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  • Finishing LONG overdue band saw modifications, and some dumb questions.

    I am wanting to finish up the LONG ago started projects on upgrading my Central Machinery 14" woodworking bandsaw.

    This saw has the power switch in possibly the dumbest location possible. I have an MLCS safety paddle switch that is physically mounted to the upright C frame of the saw in kind of a Grizzly G0555 fashion.

    Now the dumb question. Before I pop this thing open, what should I expect to find here for electrical connections? Am I safe in assuming a hot, neutral,aand ground, and just make good solid connection on the motor side and on the switch side and all should be good?

    The Craftsman Universal band saw fence is attached with a couple of basically funky aluminum C clamps. I figured out how to hold the fence in position, mark the fence bolt hole locations, and that leads me to the question. I guess I can look, but are the table bolt holes on these things threaded? If not, what size bolt thread should I use? I figure bolting it on will preclude any possibility of the fence rail slipping again...

    I ordered a pair of urethane replacement tires. My OE tires always had a weird lump in the tire for the upper wheel, and now they are cracking.

    If I understand the process right. Remove the blade, remove the orignial tires, clean the living daylights out of the wheel, and then submerge the new tires in 140 - 150 deg F hot water for 4 minutes or so to get them somewhat stretchy, and then stretch the tires onto the wheel, insuring they seat nicely, once seated reinstall blade and blah blah, then run the saw and set the runout so the blade doesn't walk off of the tires...

    Lastly, I hate dust collection below the table on this saw. The OE port was something stupid like 1.25" or something horribly undersized like that. I upsized to a 4" port at the OE location, and it works better, but still not great. I am thinking about pulling the 4" port, replacing it with a 2.5" there, and a 2.5" on the lower wheel guard.

    The question is, how to I cut the hole in the lower guard and make it work right? I was thinking hole saw, then match the port tself over the opening, held in place temporarily via duble sided tape, to mark the mount holes, Drill, Probably go ahead with 3M foam mounting tape anyway as a sealant and adhesive, and then bolt down. I'd prefer to rivet, but I suspect the mount holes are too big for rivets.
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  • #2
    Just throwing vacuum into the lower guard doesn’t accomplish much dust collection when the blade guides set above it with no dust collection on it. The lower blade guide are is cramped and hard to get any fittings around it. I tested a piece of 2.5” vacuum cleaner hose attached into the bottom under the removable zero clearance to see what effect it would have. It picked up a remarkable amount of dust, but was difficult to make a fitting for this location. Currently I a have a 2” “ell” fitting wedged under the zero clearance plate for a lack of having a better idea. It does not need a lot of vacuum, as in a 4” hose, to do a good job. Design a proper fitting for this application and you could probably start a successful business making and selling them!
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    Last edited by capncarl; 11-25-2021, 08:28 PM.


    • #3
      capncarl I have a 4" port literally right where you show, that I have cut so that it more or less surrounds the blade right there, however an awful lot of sawdust gets by the port. If I remember right, necking down should cause the vacuum to increase although CFM will decrease, so theoretically if I split the 4 to 2 2.5" ports I should be able to pick up where you show, AND at the bottom of the lower wheel guard to catch missed stuff.
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      • capncarl
        capncarl commented
        Editing a comment
        If properly constructed this connection should only be pulling air from the cut in the fitting ( or hose in my photo ) for the saw blade and the vent holes and saw blade cut in the zero clearance plate. A 1” vacuum cleaner hose should provide that much,

    • #4
      Band Saws certainly do create a lot of sawdust when you forget to turn the dust collector on! At least the don’t spew it all over the room like a sliding miter saw.

      My Rikon band saw has a 4” collection port in the bottom of the lower wheel box directly under the blade. It keeps the dust buildup to nearly nothing around the wheel. I have since put a blast gate and throttled it down a lot.

      I believe that dust control needs to be built into the equipment by the Mfg, and this has not been the case in the old Delta saws and their copycats, and the less expensive saws. There is certainly a lot of room for improvement in this department.

      Click image for larger version

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      • #5
        You got that right, and mind you, especially with a wheel brush, it seems the overwhelming majority of dust in a band saw ends below the table, with the majority of that ending up in the lower wheel guard. And yes, you are right, there was no consideration given to dust collection on the old Rockwell / Dleta 14" and subsequent copies band saws. Many, like my Central Machinery include a notch at the top of the lower blade guard where a 1.25" pathetic excuse of a port gets installed that does NOTHING to actually collect dust. I overshot the mark when I removed it and went with the 4" port.

        Some, I believe the Rigid for example, included a 2.5" dust port on the bottom portion of the lower blade guard / cover.

        I am trying to improve the OEM port location pickup, AND include the lower cover pickup, the remainder can be gotten with a shop vac later...

        And you are also right, it doesn't vomit dust everywhere like a sliding miter saw does.
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        • capncarl
          capncarl commented
          Editing a comment
          The majority of the band saw dust could be captured via a collector under the blade at the zero clearance opening. Building your own is complicated because there is little room under the table, and the table tilts eliminating the possibility of building a real collection box. Any collection box would also have means to allow for changing the blade.

          I’ve taken the table off looking for some means of fastening some kind of collector box up to the underside of the table but the webs of the casting complicates that. If I can ever get caught up making Christmas presents I might take another whack at building a flexible collection box.

      • #6
        My under the table dust collector works on this principle, but is pretty makeshift. I like this version from utube. Vac housing for bandsaw

        i don’t want to have to remove the collector to change the blade or adjustable guides. ( Tool Less guide adjustments does require tools, they are just a piece of broom handle with a notch cut in the end of it )