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  • Harbor Freight Bandsaw mods

    So, I picked the $170 HF horiz/vert bandsaw. I can see how everyone's first mod is to make the stand less flimsy. However, my main concern is how easy it is for the blade to derail. If I give the work a bit too much pressure, the blade comes right off. Anyone here done any mods to fix this?

  • #2
    you have to adjust the angle of the top pulley. One of the bolts that seems to not do anything can be used to **** the pulley slightly. If the pulley is leaning gtoward the cover the blade will fall off very easily. I put a 1hp 3450 motor on mine and its actually usefull now. I would hit swap meet to find a new motor, the mount is a standard style. Also the HF blades suck, you will knock the teeth off them, get one from enco or msc. .025" thick starrett is great.
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Millermatic 175
    Spectrum 375
    All kinds of Smith OA gear

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    • #3
      Laiky do you use Bimetal blades or just the normal?
      Peace,

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Laiky
        you have to adjust the angle of the top pulley. One of the bolts that seems to not do anything can be used to **** the pulley slightly. If the pulley is leaning gtoward the cover the blade will fall off very easily. I put a 1hp 3450 motor on mine and its actually usefull now. I would hit swap meet to find a new motor, the mount is a standard style. Also the HF blades suck, you will knock the teeth off them, get one from enco or msc. .025" thick starrett is great.
        Cool, thanks for the info. Interestingly enough, the motor that came with mine says 1HP. I'm going to go pick up some bi-metal blades too.

        I have a feeling the HF bandsaw will spend most of it's time cutting stock to make mods for itself. ;-)

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        • #5
          I believe i am using the Bi-metal blades, they wok well. I think any name brand will do the same. I ordered a .035" thinking .010" wouldn't be a big difference just a little thicker. I wouldn't do it again, getting the blades on requires gloves and a face sheild!!

          On the subject of the motor, the 1hp rating is very optimistic, probably based on the current draw. I can assure you the current drawn by the motor goes mostly to heat. You can cook on the motor after about 1min of cutting, very weak too. I have a old used (GE) 1hp motor i swapped on and it will run constantly without gettng hot. You can find them on e-bay or at swap meets, the mounting pad is universal. I got mine from a friend who had it just lying around.
          Dynasty 200 DX
          Millermatic 175
          Spectrum 375
          All kinds of Smith OA gear

          Comment


          • #6
            Another reason bands pop off is that they are not tight enough. After I tighten mine as much as I can bare-handed, I put on gloves and give it another tweak as tight as I can get it. It's amazing how tight is right!

            Hank
            ...from the Gadget Garage
            Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
            Handler 210 w/DP3035
            TA185TSW
            Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Laiky
              I believe i am using the Bi-metal blades, they wok well. I think any name brand will do the same. I ordered a .035" thinking .010" wouldn't be a big difference just a little thicker. I wouldn't do it again, getting the blades on requires gloves and a face sheild!!

              On the subject of the motor, the 1hp rating is very optimistic, probably based on the current draw. I can assure you the current drawn by the motor goes mostly to heat. You can cook on the motor after about 1min of cutting, very weak too. I have a old used (GE) 1hp motor i swapped on and it will run constantly without gettng hot. You can find them on e-bay or at swap meets, the mounting pad is universal. I got mine from a friend who had it just lying around.
              So, I can just do a search for any bandsaw motor?

              Time to slap some racing stickers on this thing and put a fart can muffler on this thing while I'm at it. ;-)

              Comment


              • #8
                so long as it has the same mounting flange and the same size shaft. Mine is a 3450, it works fine but that is twice as fast as the one that comes with it (1750). If i were going to pay for it i would go for the correct rpm.
                Dynasty 200 DX
                Millermatic 175
                Spectrum 375
                All kinds of Smith OA gear

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have 2 HF bandsaws that i run production on. The first thing i did was scrap the factory stand's. I made a stand fron angle iron and made it taller i hate bending over. The other i made 2 arms that come come out from my workbench and the saw sits on them. No legs underneath. I too tighten up the blades as tight as i can get them. I have cut 1 1/2" thick x 7" wide steel with the vise jaw removed and the metal clamped in with a C clamp. I always cut 3" steel bar stock and 4" aluminum for parts i sell. I have a 3/8" tapped hole at the 45 degree plane to cut steel at a 45 in a hurry without moving the rear vise. I have found on both of mine that the rear vise jaw isn't 90 degrees and the metal won't clamp tight. Just take a little off the bottom until square. I used a 12" disc sander. I also have a bunch of cutting fixtures that go in a hole on the right side of the blade for metal stops, somedays i cut 500 pieces and they are all the same length. I also use the bi metal blade in a 10 tooth for most cutting. When i cut my 3/8" sq tube i use a 12 Tooth blade. Sorry for the rambeling...Bob
                  PS i enclosed a few pics. One is the 45 degree bolt setup.
                  The other is a cutoff jig for cutting a lot of parts that don't fit in the vise.
                  Attached Files
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                  • #10
                    I had a problem with the blade coming off, I got it to only come off when it was only cutting in mid air ( I.E not cutting anything )

                    Then I ran into a problem with the blade sitting on a weird angle, here are 2 pics.





                    I fixed it by tighting the bearings down. But I know its not suppose to be like this, but its been working for about 4 months no problems. Any ideas though ? Also the main pulley bolt that angles the pulley, broke, had to reweld a nut on and use a different bolt, works good.

                    A jig I saw to make collectors
                    http://www.speed-factor.com/personal...gjig%20004.jpg

                    http://www.speed-factor.com/personal...gjig%20006.jpg

                    http://www.fab-forum.com/uploads/PSI..._Dec_9_172.jpg

                    http://www.fab-forum.com/uploads/JnJ..._2nd_angle.jpg

                    Anyone know where I can get replacement parts for it ?

                    Also getting a different blade is a must, I got one from mc-mastercarr and it works great. The bandsaw is great.
                    http://www.rcautoworks.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The bearings just need snugged up against the blade to hold it straight. Which saw do you have, i have a spare for parts. Its the one with the cast iron arms. A guy at work was throwing it out. You can get parts from Clark, i have a book and a phone number...Bob
                      Bob Wright

                      Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                      http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Picture Of Which Bolt Used To Adjust Pulley

                        Would someone put up a picture of the pulley adjustment nut or bolt.
                        Which bolt to use for setting the pulley angle.
                        A lot of us have the Harbor Freight saw.
                        It is on sale in Houston this week at Harbor Freight.
                        Home Machine Shop

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                        • #13
                          I will post a pic tomorrow when i get home from work...Bob
                          Bob Wright

                          Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Millermania,

                            Yahoo Groups has a 4x6 bandsaw message board and they have a nice links page too.

                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4x6bandsaw/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AV8OR
                              Millermania,

                              Yahoo Groups has a 4x6 bandsaw message board and they have a nice links page too.

                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4x6bandsaw/
                              Oh, that is just way too cool!

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