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 Post subject: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 3, 2017, 8:22 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
A few weeks ago I realized I've been a HF bandsaw owner since January 2008 and haven't done a single thing to modify the saw. All of us have them but I never recall seeing mods discussed.

I've seen several homemade stands floating around the internet but didn't care for most of them. The concept of tilting the saw to roll it around is always going to be sketchy. If furniture dollies are good enough to roll around LBCs then the same concept should hold true for bandsaws. Four HF casters and some square tubing later and moving the saw is much easier.

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You can't see it in the picture but I ran two 1"x1/8" steel straps across the bottom and the saw is bolted to them.

The sheet metal table also joined the wheels in the trash can. A 1/4" thick piece of aluminum does a much better job and not having to loosen the guide to remove the table makes switching between horizontal and vertical a little quicker.

I copied this idea from mini-lathe.com - the standard vise is great for larger stuff but useless for making smaller cuts. Drilling and tapping holes for table clamps reduces the need to switch to vertical mode. Instead of buying an entire clamp set, I'm pretty sure you could make two on the cheap. I may go down this route and tap the clamp so there is a carriage bolt on the end instead of having to use the wedge.

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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 3, 2017, 11:46 pm 
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Joined: February 20, 2006, 11:18 am
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Location: Lexington, KY
Cool! I like the table clamp mod especially. Got pix of your vertical table mod?

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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 4, 2017, 7:43 pm 
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Joined: October 23, 2010, 2:40 am
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dhempy wrote:
Got pix of your vertical table mod?
+1 on that table mod pic.
Question: How do you adjust for setting the table surface at 90* to the saw blade. Mine is off by at least 5* and I don't see a way to square it up. The lower guide doesn't seem to have that adjustment. Shims under one of the table mounting screws?

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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 4, 2017, 8:37 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
There isn't much to the table. Its a 12"x12"x1/4" piece of aluminum with a slot cut in it for the blade. I had to get two longer screws due to the thicker table. The tighter gap between the table and the blade keeps sheet metal from getting sucked in - the cuts are much cleaner.

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Regarding the angle, I used it mainly to cut sheet metal so the not 90 degree angle hasn't mattered. I did some 1/4" thick header flanges and by the time I cleaned up the edges on the belt sander everything was square enough.

Incidentally another recent addition to the garage should be more than capable of squaring it up next time I'm replacing the blade.....

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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 5, 2017, 8:37 am 
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
I made a table top similar to Andrew's out of steel but extend the plate forward. Added two leg and a lower cross bar to support the wt on the table. The cross bar is then clamped down using the original saw vise. I had the same problem with attachment at the guide area. Had to shim under the plate to to sq everything up.
Dave W


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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 25, 2017, 4:01 pm 
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Location: central Arkansas
Is that a Precision Mathews PM30 mill?

I've been looking at the Grizzly G0795, which is basically the same mill. Grizzly is way closer to me than PM is.


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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 25, 2017, 4:46 pm 
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Location: San Tan Valley, Arizona
looks like a PMT27M, could be wrong... bad eyes and all.
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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 25, 2017, 5:59 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Walt nailed it - PM727: http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM727M.html

I didn't want to deal with running a 220v line and it was nice having the machine already come with DROs so PM won.

I was originally looking at the G0704 but was a little put off by it only weighing 300 lbs. Recognizing that benchtop machines are already at a disadvantage, I wanted something a little heavier duty and the G0795/PM727 fit the bill. I also didn't like that the G0704 couldn't only fit something 13" tall between the table and the bottom of the spindle. By the time you have a vise and drill chuck or boring head, there isn't much space left. 18" is much nicer even though you give up a few inches of X-axis table travel. I've already used the extra height - so far haven't missed the travel.

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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 28, 2017, 11:23 pm 
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Joined: July 7, 2011, 12:17 am
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Location: Sandy, OR
Love that clamp mod!

About 15 years ago I picked up one of these saws. The only thing I did to it that was worthwhile, really worthwhile, was to mount a dovetail on the table and table mount. Converting it to table use meant simply sliding the table on in a couple of seconds and reverting back in just a couple more. No more bolting/unbolting...

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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 29, 2017, 9:45 am 
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It looks like much of the difference in weight is from the beefier saddle, which provides more support for the table. Flip side, the extra width of the saddle limits X travel some.

The G0795 also has a longer base, with the column mounted on top, as opposed to bolted onto the back like the G0704. (I'm more familiar with the Grizzly designations; they're close enough to drive to, while PM is a long way)

My little X2 mill has the capacity for some of the parts I want to make, at least after the X and Y travel mods, but it's just not rigid enough for clean cuts in 4140. The budget could stretch to one of the RF45-size mills, but much as I'd like one, realistically it's more than I can move alone nowadays.


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 Post subject: Re: HF Bandsaw Mods
PostPosted: May 29, 2017, 4:50 pm 
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Always Moore!
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I've never see the two side by side but I think overall the G0795 is heavier duty (with the saddle only being one of the areas - albeit probably the most noticeable).

I went back and forth between the ~18" versus ~15". If I had 18" I figured I'd just barely have enough travel to skim A-Series cylinder heads (whether it was a good idea or not is an entirely different story). Ultimately I decided the extra stiffness could be appreciated every time I used the machine while the extra travel would only be appreciated if I had to make a pass longer than 15". So far the extra 3" has not been needed.

If I could land a good deal on a used G0704 I'd probably do it just so I could actually do side by side comparisons of both machines.

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