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Thread: Davis and Wells 20" Bandsaw Restoration

  1. #1

    Cool Davis and Wells 20" Bandsaw Restoration

    Hello everyone! Please see my first thread to bring you up to speed.

    So it's taken a few months to get back around to restoring this old boy. I still don't quite have the funds I'd like, but I think I'm going to go for it. I'm going to be moving at the end of this month and figure it's a good excuse to take the saw apart. .

    Here's what I'm thinking (and in the order that I'm thinking it):

    - Wheels off. Send for volcanizing/balancing
    - Take saw apart. Consider repainting. If so, sandblast (have never done this).
    - Order all replacement parts. Definitely need new guide blocks and bearings.
    - Repair hole below table (see pics above). Hopefully my metalworker buddy can do this for me.
    - Possibly regrind/flatten table and repair pitting in mitre slot.
    - Paint (have a spray gun, but never used it. My compressor is small but should suffice)
    - Moving. Re-assemble saw at new garage.
    - 3hp 3ph motor and VFD. Unsure about matching frame types and shaft diameters. Also not sure if motor RPM is a concern if I'll be using a VFD. Also considering a 5hp setup as per Dan at D&W recommends. Can't seem to find these things as cheap as people say. . .
    - Driftmaster fence system, or an original if I can find one.
    - Carbide blade(s)
    - Make much dust!

    PLEASE let me know what you guys think! This will be my first full restoration and I've got a commission to start building mid-May, so this has to happen quickly. Your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    Last edited by Jeff Carmi; 04-08-2013 at 3:57 PM.
    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  2. #2

    Exclamation NEED MOTOR ADVISE - NEMA Insulation Classes - SALE AUCTION ENDING SOON

    I'm concerned about the CLASS B rating on a new 5 HP Baldor 3 PH. Could be a good deal, but is it worth waiting for a CLASS F? I'm definitely going with a VFD and am hoping that the overload protection will keep me safe from overheating. I realize it's also about longevity but I think 10's of 1000's of hours, when kept at proper temps, should be enough
    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  3. #3
    I would check on the price of a VFD that is rated for 5hp before you choose a motor. VFD's up to 3hp are cheap if you are running single phase input. IF you want to run a VFD for a 5hp with single phase input the price goes way up.

    Start with bearings and tires and go from there. Everything else can be done at a later time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Hi, the class B insulation is an indication that it's a cool running motor, as the insulation is chosen to match the temperatures expected.

    Class F is higher, however the motor will probably be a hotter running motor.

    With a VFD, motor overheating is possible even if the motor doesn't run at more than rated current, if the motor is run at low speeds for a significant time period. This is because the amount of air the fan forces over/through the motor for cooling is significantly reduced.

    For a bandsaw, you're probably just using the VFD as a single to three phase converter and will run the motor at rated speed, so no cooling issues.

    3HP is a lot of power for a bandsaw, I would stick with the existing 3 HP motor and gain some experience as to whether it's enough.

    Regards, Rod.

    P.s. Last year I made a bandsaw mill with an electric motor, 3 HP was plenty for up to 20 inch deep cuts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    5 hp is likely more than you need. I've got an older Laguna LT16HD with a 2 hp motor. The resaw height is 12". I use it a lot, in hardwood, and it has never bogged down. I resaw with carbide blades, which make kerfs that are .05" wide or less. You're just not removing much material with a kerf that thin, so big power isn't necessary.

  6. #6

    Wink 5HP Motor

    Thanks for the replies!

    So I sealed the deal on a brand new 5 HP Baldor for $150. After several conversations with Dan at D&W I started leaning towards a more hefty motor. I know it's overkill but I'll be happy knowing my saw will never bog down.

    The Teco VFD's are well priced. ( Considering the difference in price between a 3 HP and 10 HP VFD (which I would need to run 1 phase in/3 phase out) is fairly proportionate to their respective power ratings, I don't think the power jump is unreasonably expensive.

    For the time being though, I may try to build a rotary converter and live without the VFD for a while. That way, when the time comes, I can get a 5 HP VFD and have 3 PH power available for other machines. If anyone knows good resources for building a rotary phase converter please let me know!

    Will be breaking the saw down today and making a trip to see Dan at D&W. He's really helpful and has offered to give me a "lesson" on this saw. I'm having him vulcanize and balance the wheels, so he's also offered to lend me his puller.

    Stay tuned for pics and updates. STOKED!

    Last edited by Keith Outten; 08-26-2013 at 6:26 AM.
    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  7. #7
    For the Factorymation VFD anything over 3hp requires three phase input. Just an Fyi. There is another company that will sell a higher hp single phase input VFD and the information is in the Moak bandsaw thread I believe.

    The cool thing is you have Dan to help you out if you have any questions.

  8. #8

    Unhappy One Step forward. . . Guess not. . .

    So many phone calls. . .

    AC Tech makes a 1/3 PH IN, 5 HP VFD for about $520 (SCF250Y). Not too bad. However. . .

    After talking with Don at Lenze Americas I am convinced that the Class B rating of this 5 HP Baldor is not a good choice when run through an inverter (VFD or other). I also spoke with tech support at Baldor and they said the same thing. The Class B won't tolerate voltage spikes and variances in RPM that a Class F will when using a VFD, even if I keep it at constant speed, but especially when slowing it down.

    I won't' be buying that motor now, but I may still stick with 5 HP. I guess it's back to craigslist/ebay for me. . .
    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  9. #9

    If you have time visit for pictures in the photo index. Another option is to join and place in add in the Boyd section for a 5hp motor.

  10. #10
    Thanks, Robert!

    Those sites have been in my bookmarks for a while now, but never used them for trade. I'll give it a shot.
    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  11. #11
    Dear Jeff: I have the same saw as you, I never thought 3hp was not enough. What are you cutting that you think you need more?
    As for the org. fence, my saw came with one and I sold it last year, just wasn't what I was looking for, plus you had to remove the rail to change the blade. The Laguna might be a good choice.


  12. #12
    Hi Steve,

    At this point I'm sort-of letting fate decide what motor I go with. 5HP is overkill and almost cost-prohibitive (because of the VFD), so I'll probably end up with 3HP. I'm having trouble finding 3 phase motors for cheap. I was under the impression that industrial shops let these thing go for practically free. . .

    As far as the fence goes I'm still leaning towards the Laguna, despite their reputation. What fence system are you using, and how happy are you with it?

    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  13. #13
    If you are not planning to use the variable speed; why go to 3ph and VFD? A single phase motor may do what you want. I recently did a band-saw rebuild and wound up with a 5hp single phase motor (I have been unable to bog it down even when I tried). 3 hp would probably be plenty. I had planned to use 3hp and a VFD but found a good deal on a Baldor 5hp single phase motor.
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  14. #14
    Hey Dennis,

    This saw is the biggest machine in my shop. I've got a Powermatic 1500vs drill press and an RBI 26 Scroll saw, as well as an array of Festool power tools. (I get by with a lot of handwork). All of these are variable speed and I've come to appreciate this feature for different operations and woods. Even if the speed adjustment is subtle I can completely eliminate burning and improve cut quality. I also like the VFD for its efficiency and other features.

    Admittedly, I'm stuck on the idea but am not sure I can afford the 5 HP w/ VFD arrangement and will probably go with 3 HP and a VFD. I've looked at many other similar sized saw currently available on the new market and most are closer to 5 HP than 3 HP. Like I said previously, chance will play a big part in making this decision for me. Like you, I could see myself settling for a 5 HP/1 PH if a good deal came along.

    When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. - Thoreau

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Middleton, Idaho
    Hi Jeff,

    Good luck on your motor search. You have talked about HP, but what about RPM's. What RPM range are you going to get? Did Dan at Davis and Wells recommend one over the other? I guess with the VHD you have variable speed. If you get a single phase, will it be 1700, or 3500 RPM?


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