Carolina Bandsaw modifications

A couple of months ago I posted some questions about Carolina
Bandsaws. I was trying to figure out why my saw (HD-10, I think?--It
is dark blue-green and old) would not complete the cut unless I set
the saw head to pivot beyond the horizontal position at the end of the
cut. I also had to set the lower blade guide at an extreme angle in
the slots to push the blade far enough down. I was also trying to
figure out why my maximum cutting depth was only 7.75".
I now have the saw working pretty well. I have posted pictures of my
modifications at:
Here is what I did, for those who may be interested:
1. I lengthened the rear pivot arm by about 1/2". (I am referring to
the longer of the two arms that connect the saw head to the table.)
The saw head now sits 45 degrees from the table (as seen from the
end). It was 41 degrees.
2. I cut the end off of the lower blade guide arm and re-welded it
about 1/4" lower (closer to the table when the saw is in the
horizontal position). That positions the blade guide 1/4" lower and
means that the blade guide arm does not need to be angled in its slots
to push the blade low enough to finish the cut.
The combination of these two modifications allows my saw to properly
complete the cut and end up in a horizontal position. Now my maximum
cutting depth is 8 1/4".
In measuring the maximum cutting depth I noticed that the safety
guard, which runs along the square column, reduces the cutting depth
by about 1/2". It appears to me that it could be bent to allow a
deeper cut without interfering with the blade or diminishing its
effectiveness as a safety device. Has anyone tried that?
I have also done a few other modifications to my saw:
1. I attached two 10" wheels (from an old roto-tiller) to the base at
the pivoting end and I attached a 4" swivel caster in the middle of
the other end of the base. That makes it pretty easy to maneuver
around the shop. I also added a lever that can be engaged as a leg to
take the place of the caster when the saw is in position so that it
will not roll.
2. I bent a piece of 1/2" rod to make a handle, which I welded on the
end of the square column. It is helpful in raising and lowering the
head.
3. I spent quite a bit of time messing around with the spring and
ended up with an arrangement that is somewhat different from the
original set-up. As the saw came, I found that the head descended at
an uneven rate--increasing speed/pressure as the swing progressed. I
couldn't correct it with the adjuster eyebolt. I tried the spring in
different positions and eventually ended up adding a hinge and two
additional small springs. Now, with the hydraulic cylinder
disengaged, as I lower the head with a scale attached to the end, the
weight ranges from 5 to 9 pounds. It is a much more even swing than
it was when I bought the saw. With the cylinder engaged, the drop
speed is very consistent. I am not sure if that is an issue for
others.
And speaking of the hydraulic cylinder, I am aggravated with mine. I
bought it new from American Fab (the parts supplier for Carolina and
Ramco bandsaws) for $60. I thought it was a good deal, but when it
arrived I was surprised how different it looked from cylinders I have
seen on other bandsaws. When I put it on the saw I found that there
were air pockets in the line. As I used it, the fluid leaked a little
and the air pockets seemed to get worse. I attempted to purge the air
and made a big oily mess. After re-filling with hydraulic jack oil
(which seems to be the same viscosity) it still has air pockets. Ugh.
The cylinder works, but it would be better without the air pockets.
Any suggestions?
--Harry
Reply to
Harry McDaniel
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