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A new bench for my bandsaw

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SteL

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I've not posted for a while so I thought I'd throw something up on my last project. I wanted something I could do quickly and I also wanted to learn SketchUp so I followed a great guide at Sketchup for Woodworkers and after a few hours I felt comfortable with it and went about designing a bench for my bandsaw. I have finally gone to the dark side and got a machine - Albeit a tiny cheap effort!

I had in mind something that would have a small footprint but weigh as much as possible - similar to me! I'd be using mainly leftover material I had about so that was 4x4, 6x2, 4x4 redwood. With those constraints, I came up with the design and produced it on SketchUp. I wanted to try laminating a top as this was not something I'd attempted before and I thought that'd be a way of adding weight. I especially wanted to try cutting notches into the top to accommodate the legs before glueing up. That seemed like a great way to get a clean and square mortise for the tenons on the legs

sketchup.PNG


I bought a set of 6 sash clamps from Rutlands for the laminating, so let this be a cautionary tale for anyone buying them. You know they price them where you pay an extra few pounds for the next size up, then you think hold on, for just a few quid more I can go even bigger - bigger has to be better. I ended up with 1.5m sash clamps to clamp up a 16" top - not a clever move on my part.

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While building the bench I had to change the stretchers to be M&T rather than a half lap joint because one of the 4x4 lengths needed cleaning up quite a bit so ended up thinner than the rest.

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Also, not sure if anyone has a tip for this. When I laminated the top I left the lengths random and that made squaring up the top afterwards a pain...

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I tried to treat the top as any other component with a face and edge to get a line all the way around before cutting. Just feels like I was missing a trick on this bit!

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I used drawbores for all the M&T joints.

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and then painted the legs and oiled the top. I wish I just oiled everything because painting showed up every little hole or imperfection that then needed filling.

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As a novice designer, I didn't think about the centre of gravity only the ergonomics of it to fit me. Once the bandsaw is bolted on top you can rock the bench with a bit of force. If I was to do it again I'd space the legs out more front-to-back. Oh well - you live and learn!

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On another note, the amount of time I spent fettling that little bandsaw to get it cutting straight was maddening. At first, I thought I'd wasted £50 on it but eventually, after lots of research, adjustment, trial and error and a new blade, I was happy with it.

The best I can get it to cut consistently is about 0.021 inches thick slither +/- 0.002 at each end. I'm not sure if that is any good but it's a hell of a lot better than it started!

IMG_0571.jpg


Cheers.
 

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Jameshow

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Good job!

How about anchoring it to the floor that way it cannot move or be pinched!

Cheers James
 

MARK.B.

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Looks plenty chunky enough although you could have issues with long boards and a tendency to want to tip,splayed legs on ready made frames are the norm to help reduce this:)
 

LJM

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“I tried to treat the top as any other component with a face and edge to get a line all the way around before cutting. Just feels like I was missing a trick on this bit!”

Saw only what you can see; work through one face and edge at a time, them flip the work over and saw the other face and edge. Or use your bandsaw!
 

SteL

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Good job!

How about anchoring it to the floor that way it cannot move or be pinched!

Cheers James
That's what I was thinking. I might anchor it on one leg so I can pivot it if needed to put longer lengths through it.

Looks plenty chunky enough although you could have issues with long boards and a tendency to want to tip,splayed legs on ready made frames are the norm to help reduce this:)
Splayed legs would be ideal. I don't think my skill level could pull off the angled joints that would create, though!

“I tried to treat the top as any other component with a face and edge to get a line all the way around before cutting. Just feels like I was missing a trick on this bit!”

Saw only what you can see; work through one face and edge at a time, them flip the work over and saw the other face and edge. Or use your bandsaw!
I would've loved to throw that through the bandsaw but it'll only take 4".
 

Stevekane

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I keep thinking of buying a bandsaw and your table is really very smart indeed, but why does it have to be so heavy,,wouldnt an mdf cabnet be just as good,,maybe on wheels too?
Steve
 

SteL

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I keep thinking of buying a bandsaw and your table is really very smart indeed, but why does it have to be so heavy,,wouldnt an mdf cabnet be just as good,,maybe on wheels too?
Steve
Hi Steve, I found having the bandsaw tightly secured to my heavy workbench made it work much nicer as it reduced the amount of vibration. That was the idea behind getting some weight into the bench. I'm probably going to secure the bench to the floor now, though, so the weight won't really matter. I did plan to put wheels on my bench but there's not much point if I bolt it down.
 

Stevekane

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Hi Steve, I found having the bandsaw tightly secured to my heavy workbench made it work much nicer as it reduced the amount of vibration. That was the idea behind getting some weight into the bench. I'm probably going to secure the bench to the floor now, though, so the weight won't really matter. I did plan to put wheels on my bench but there's not much point if I bolt it down.
Ah I see, I can imagine it would make it all feel more solid,,if you fix it down will you have to be mindful about restricting the size of timber you can put through it? Im really just thinking out loud in case I do end up getting one myself.
Steve.
 

SteL

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Ah I see, I can imagine it would make it all feel more solid,,if you fix it down will you have to be mindful about restricting the size of timber you can put through it? Im really just thinking out loud in case I do end up getting one myself.
Steve.
Yeah, that's why I never planned on doing it. I'm thinking of fixing it down on one leg that can be loosened so the whole thing can pivot around that. As you say, at the moment I'd be limited to about 3ft lengths before I hit the wall. Being able to rotate 90 degrees would allow me to poke it out of the door.
 

Ttrees

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Nice stout little bench there.
What about making something like Carl Holmgren's designs on youtube, doesn't have to be complicated, and storing something metal on the shelf afterwards to keep it stable?
Tom
Edit: This is only one video of his...
 
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Sporky McGuffin

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I keep thinking of buying a bandsaw and your table is really very smart indeed, but why does it have to be so heavy,
A heavy table brings the centre of gravity down, which makes everything more stable. My floorstanding bandsaw has a huge cast iron plate in the base to add stability, as a comparison.
 

gcusick

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Paving slab(s) near the base, or a big lump of metal bolted underneath the bottom cross-members. And possibly lighten the top.

In an earlier life, I built (prototype) medical equipment that had to comply with EN60601-1. That required a stability test that involved placing the device (think of eg a patient monitor mounted on a tall stand) on a plane inclined at 15 degrees, and ensuring that it did not tip. Often, the only way to achieve the required stability was to make the base of the stand REALLY heavy. Steel, cast iron, lead, tungsten if you have it, depleted uranium.
 

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A lasting lighter machines works well. I filled the lower half of a metabo adh260 planer thicknesser which help with stability and noise whilst still allowing me to easily move the machine.
 

Stevekane

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Many thanks everyone, I suppose the narrow height of a small bandsaw is always going to result in it being a bit top heavy, and given that your possibly pushing material through it it certainly makes good sense to add weight lower down. Well worth knowing about and thanks once again.
Steve.
 

Terry - Somerset

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A couple of thoughts - albeit after the event:
  • there must be a trade off in stability between more weight in the base or a bigger footprint.
  • a bigger footprint would make a cupboard underneath feasible - use for spare blades etc
  • fitting castors would allow it to be easily moved so longer lengths can be managed.
I only mention these things as I have an Axminster bandsaw mounted on a small steel cabinet base. Its big shortcoming is no castors - so longer lengths foul the pillar drill on one side and the lathe on the other. Sometimes I simply have to drag it out of position!
 

JSW

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Here's the link to the Bandsaw Stand I built a couple of years ago, Just to throw another option into the mix.
Nothings changed since then, apart from adding a roller stand to the outfeed (I'll post pics if anyone's interested)
The base drawers have spare blades etc in them, the rear cupboard is full of timber preservative, decking oil tins etc etc.
The entire thing is HEAVY, but manouvres easily enough when needed, and there is absolutely no stability, or top heavy issues whatsoever.
 

MikeK

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Here's the link to the Bandsaw Stand I built a couple of years ago, Just to throw another option into the mix.
Nothings changed since then, apart from adding a roller stand to the outfeed (I'll post pics if anyone's interested)
The base drawers have spare blades etc in them, the rear cupboard is full of timber preservative, decking oil tins etc etc.
The entire thing is HEAVY, but manouvres easily enough when needed, and there is absolutely no stability, or top heavy issues whatsoever.
I like your stand, and the OSB gives it a bit of character! I wish I had seen your stand before I built mine because I like the doors on the other side of the drawers. Here is the link to the stand I built for my Record Power BS350S after I decided the RP mobility stand had to go.
 

Allen Quay

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Its been really interesting looking at these different stands, some great ideas there. When making one of these, what sort of height should the bandsaw table be from the floor? I guess it depends on the height of the person who uses it?
 

SteL

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Paving slab(s) near the base, or a big lump of metal bolted underneath the bottom cross-members. And possibly lighten the top.

In an earlier life, I built (prototype) medical equipment that had to comply with EN60601-1. That required a stability test that involved placing the device (think of eg a patient monitor mounted on a tall stand) on a plane inclined at 15 degrees, and ensuring that it did not tip. Often, the only way to achieve the required stability was to make the base of the stand REALLY heavy. Steel, cast iron, lead, tungsten if you have it, depleted uranium.
Unfortunately the lorry driver shortage, Brexit or COVID seems to have impacted the supply of depleted uranium. Axminster and Rutlands are both completely out of stock! Come to think of it I do have some weightlifting plates knocking about that aren't used for anything.

Its been really interesting looking at these different stands, some great ideas there. When making one of these, what sort of height should the bandsaw table be from the floor? I guess it depends on the height of the person who uses it?
That's one thing I did get right. I was initially using it on my workbench and I felt like my arms were unnaturally high using it so I used a lower table and kept boosting the bandsaw up until it felt right. I'm only 5' 6" so someone else would probably have to kneel to use it!
 

Sporky McGuffin

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A couple of thoughts - albeit after the event:
  • there must be a trade off in stability between more weight in the base or a bigger footprint.
As I recall (it's been decades since I did anything structural) basically a structure will fall over if the vertical projection of the centre of mass moves outside the footprint of the base. Therefore the higher up the centre of gravity is, the fewer degrees you have to tilt the structure before it'll fall over, and the wider the base, the more degrees you have to tilt it.

I think that splayed legs help because as the structure tilts the centre of gravity rises, so you have to put more energy in to achieve the same tilt, but I'm not 100% on that.

Short answer - yes.
 

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