Tinkering With The Band Saw Again

I just can’t leave well enough alone.

The other night I was doing the usual after I got home from work in the middle of the night and scouring Youtube.

There are some pretty clever bastards out there.

It turns out there are a ton of modifications one can do to mitigate some of the shortcomings on these cheap horizontal band saws like the one I got from Harbor Freight.

After the piss poor design of the chintzy sheet metal stand, the clamping system/vise is one of the biggest drawbacks on these things.

The sliding jaw is too short, you can’t cut small parts as is and the hand wheel is a complete pain in the ass to try and use when the saw is all the way down.

There are several modifications one can undertake to overcome these issues and you can literally spend hours watching a multitude of videos from other people who have already tackled these issues.

One quick and dirty way to enable the cutting of small parts is to bolt a mini vise to a plate of steel and slide it up next to the blade. This doesn’t require any actual modifications to the saw its self.


It just so happens that I have a small vise that looks almost identical to this one, except it’s bigger.

I bought it off of Fleabay a year or so ago for a decent price and it has just been laying around. The damn screw mechanism turns backwards which is kind of weird so it would be a good way to actually get some use out of the thing.

Clearance there seems to be an issue though.

So I think I am going to go on the other side of the blade.


That is as close as I can get. If you look closely on the left hand side you can see where the knob at the end of the handle just barely clears the guide rollers.

There isn’t enough adjustment on those to clear it completely.

This is one option.

Another is to take the existing jaws off, drill holes in them and then bolt 3/8’s plate extensions to them and then put a Jack Screw across the back side to keep them straight when clamping small stuff. I bought enough steel to do that also but that little project can come around later. There is also a modification for making a bigger plate for when you stand the thing up and use it vertically.

So many projects, so little time, ya know?

It doesn’t help matters that it is colder than a well diggers ass out in that garage.

I have an old space heater that warms it up pretty good but the cord gets pretty hot too when you run it a long time, even on it’s lowest setting.

Watching what they jokingly call the news around here, I see we are maybe going to get some snow on the night before Thanksgiving.

Of course we are, the timing couldn’t be any more perfect.

What The Fuck Ever.

At least it’s my Friday.



13 thoughts on “Tinkering With The Band Saw Again

  1. Helpful hint replace the heater cord with a 10 or 12 gauge wire. If your wire is hot you’re not getting the full use of the heater. have a good Thanksgiving!


  2. I think Notwende is speaking from some hard earned experience. Snow, I can tell you about snow, about frost so think on your wind shied ya have to start a half hour earlier to scrap the shit off. When the Greater Depression hits and a damn ice age gets us as a one-two punch, Florida may sound like paradise, I am betting ya get snow then Bob!


  3. I saw that bandsaw trick over 10 years ago, and started looking for one of those drill press vises (the name I saw). And I never found one that looked like a good size and that was affordable.

    Most of the time I can get by with using another piece of stock to hold the end of the short jaw at the same distance from the long jaw as the end I’m cutting. You mostly have to keep the short jaw from going into some funky angle and not putting pressure on the work.

    This idea looks like it could really be handy some day:

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a GREAT idea!
      It would give me a way to use that 1/2 clamp set I bought that is too big for the drill press. OH BTW, thanks for the rabbit hole.
      LOL! I hit that link from my Email and off I went…..


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