Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 37

Thread: Bandsaw ... worth the effort?

  1. #1

    Bandsaw ... worth the effort?

    Well, for better or worse, I'm now the owner of a 1950's Atlas 14" Bandsaw. Tools are not in the budget at the moment, but since the price seemed right and I don't have a bandsaw, purchased it. The paint appears to be original and it seems to be intact, unless there is supposed to be a fence system. It needs a motor, which I have. If I choose to put this in my shop, I'll put new wheel bearings and tires on it. Since I only paid $30.00 for it, would this be a reasonable expediture? TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    5,907
    To me, yes it's worth the effort.
    If a person has the ability to do the bulk of the restoration themselves, a lot of money can be saved, and a nice vintage machine can be returned to service. If all you need to do it punch out some bearings and replace tires, that's easy and relatively imexpemsive.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  3. #3
    Yes, Mike, I'll absolutely do any restoration work myself. I have or have access to any tools I'll need. Even if something turns out to be badly worn, I work in a machine shop and can make replacement parts, if need be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    Posts
    8,951
    Are you sure it is a 14"? I have never seen a Atlas 14" only the 10" and the model 912 12" which has the same look as a Delta cast 14" saw.
    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

  5. #5
    The 912 was my suspicion also. If it is a 912, it can be made into one of the best 12" saws ever made if not the best. Its way overbuilt for a saw of that size.

    Go to OWWM.org and put in the search box: Atlas 912

    912 - 1.jpg

    912 a.jpg

  6. #6
    Yes. It is worth doing!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    Yes, when I got home to today, I took another look at the saw. It is indeed a 912, so not a 14" saw after all.
    So are there modifications I should consider to make it "one of the best 12" saws ever made"? Or is it just a good saw in the first place. Apparently, if it is truly in working order, I got a good saw.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    Posts
    8,951
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    Yes, when I got home to today, I took another look at the saw. It is indeed a 912, so not a 14" saw after all.
    So are there modifications I should consider to make it "one of the best 12" saws ever made"? Or is it just a good saw in the first place. Apparently, if it is truly in working order, I got a good saw.
    I generally wouldn't change anything that didn't need to be changed. If you are doing a full restoration, easy with that saw, I would replace the wheel bearings, tires, guide blocks and thrust bearings. The guide blocks are the same as a Delta 14" saw (1/2" blocks with the one angled one), you could simply dress the originals (oilite bronze) or replace them with Coolbocks, ceramic from Spaceage or an oily or oil soak hardwood.

    They are neat little saws and the trunnion design is stronger than on the bigger Deltas.
    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    Are you sure it is a 14"? I have never seen a Atlas 14" only the 10" and the model 912 12" which has the same look as a Delta cast 14" saw.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    Yes, when I got home to today, I took another look at the saw. It is indeed a 912, so not a 14" saw after all.
    Another notch in the 'ole bandsaw tire for Van. And Bob V as well. Man, you guys are good!

  10. #10
    I immediately trashed the bronze side guides and made some out of 1/2" HSS tool bits. They'll last far longer. Phule blocks or any other non ferrous side guide blocks are a waste of time. They wear far too fast. Yes, the other blocks are far more forgiving if you're a total klutz in setting up a bandsaw correctly, but I don't sense that is the case here. The angled block isn't 3/8" x 1/2" like the Delta blocks. It is a full 1/2" x 1/2". If you want to experiment with other materials, just cut some 1/2" square hard wood and try that.

    That USA-made saw was as heavily built as the USA-made Delta 14" saws of that era, and light years better than the Asian import stuff made today. The saw I pictured was rebuilt in 2004 and it is still running today with no problems.

    912b - 1.jpg

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Vaughan View Post
    If you want to experiment with other materials, just cut some 1/2" square hard wood and try that.
    Interesting that you would say that! That is exactly what I have done with both of my Delta 14" bandsaws. I thought what I used was lignum vitae but now I believe it is actually Greenheart. Either way, it's crazy hard and seems to work very well.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    Posts
    8,951
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Vaughan View Post
    I immediately trashed the bronze side guides and made some out of 1/2" HSS tool bits. They'll last far longer. Phule blocks or any other non ferrous side guide blocks are a waste of time. They wear far too fast. Yes, the other blocks are far more forgiving if you're a total klutz in setting up a bandsaw correctly, but I don't sense that is the case here. The angled block isn't 3/8" x 1/2" like the Delta blocks. It is a full 1/2" x 1/2". If you want to experiment with other materials, just cut some 1/2" square hard wood and try that.

    I am going to have to disagree with you on the guide material. Low tension + small blades = softer guides. The reason the softer than steel guides are wise here is the increased chance of contact with the teeth, even set up properly. While I am beginning to think different alloys of bearing bronze are the absolute best choice for bandsaws using small blades the original bronze guides are pretty darn good and an average user shouldn't need to dress them more than maybe once a year.

    In the end, each guide material for block guides has its pros and cons and in a perfect work one would have at least 2 materials to switch between.
    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    in a perfect work.
    Perfect world, I'm going to assume?

    My perfect world would be to have this thread continue...

    Which would be best- seriously hard wood guides or brass guides?

    Seems like hardwood guides would be more gentle on a blade than metal guides.

    With my wood guides, I push them right up tight to the blade when I re-set them. Is that bad?

    Oh crap. Upon re-reading I see that Van already answered that each has its pros and cons. I need to slow down.
    Last edited by Dave Zellers; 09-20-2018 at 12:36 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    5,907
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    I work in a machine shop and can make replacement parts, if need be.
    It's definitely a "go" for you.
    Your skill set, and access to a machine shop, are a huge benefit. I see a lot of "vintage iron" in your future.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 09-20-2018 at 4:42 AM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  15. #15
    Side guide material choice is a petty issue when someone is attempting to restore a used band saw. There are details that are a whole lot more important to satisfactory bad saw performance. The sample used machine I had was given to me along with several other machines that had been slated for the scrap heap. It seems that restoration for use again had too much of an 'icky-poo' factor to the owner.

    The 912 I got had lots of issues that needed addressing. The switch, cord and motor were horrible. The stand was a cobbled together wood make-do mess. There was lots of rust that had to be removed. After 50 years of use, the tires were worn out and the bearings needed replacement.

    The good news is that the 912 used regular bearings rather than the much more expensive felt seal type that the usual 14" Delta saws had. IIRC the bottom bearings were 6204 size and the top wheel and guide back up bearings were 6202 size, but that needs to be verified since my saw isn't with me now.

    The tires on my saw would actually work to a minor degree since they were glued on but they were cracked and the crown worn away. I had to scrape them off with a chisel and clean the wheel rims before I could glue on a new set of rubber tires. Once installed, the new tires were then recrowned to remove those little bumps that always occur with new tires.

    I put on a good 1/2 HP motor, installed a new switch and cord using a 20 amp rated switch. A metal stand was found and and adapted to have the motor mounted under the saw to reduce the footprint. A wood dust chute keeps the dust off the motor.

    After 50 or so years of use and abuse, no two machines will be in the same condition so it will vary as to what actually needs to be done. On used band saws, figuring tires, tire crowning and bearings should be a given.

    A band saw of the quality level of a 912 is well worth the effort.

    912 c - 1.jpg

    912 c - 1 (1).jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •