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Thread: Using a misfitting bandsaw riser block

  1. #1

    Using a misfitting bandsaw riser block

    I have a Hitachi CB13F. The next project I have lined up from my wife is a bed, which includes some pretty hefty resawing to do some bookmatched panels. I'd love to use this as an excuse to upgrade to something like a Laguna 1214, but realistically, I'd rather hold off (for now) and get my hands on a lathe first (wife has expressed interest in turning and she doesn't have to tell me twice if she wants to hangout in the shop).

    So that leads me to just putting in a riser block. Problem is the bandsaw has been discontinued for so long I can't find anywhere that has a riser block for it. My thoughts are to buy a G0555 riser block and modify it to fit. I was thinking of one alignment pin hole drilled to size and one a bit oversize so I can get it aligned (I'm sure my holes will be off enough if I try to do 2 exact sized holes) or just using one pin, depending on how the pins line up. The blade guard should fit with some drilling/filing, and I've seen people modify the return blade guard by cutting in half and regluing with some jb weld and maybe a little reinforcement.

    So, does anyone see any issue with this? My biggest concern is once I get it aligned, will I be able to keep the wheels aligned as I torque down the frame bolt and will that one bolt be enough to hold them in alignment long term?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Myles, I have this bandsaw too. Dont know about the riser block, but I would be concerned about being able to tension the size of blade you would need to re-saw. I've tried a 3/8" blade (w/o a riser), and it seems impossible to get it to track right. I'm going down to 1/4" but not sure thats a good size for resawing. Maybe somebody has some good input on that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Myles there is one more thing that you have overlooked , the blade guide rod needs to be replaced with a longer one . I have a Delta in my shop with a riser on it. After spending a bunch of money on it, New motor,riser,belts and pulleys it was still a lightweight saw with a 12'' resaw capacity.There is more to resawing than the extra height capacity that your current saw does not have. If you go this route I would just fabricate a piece of steel tubing of the right size with end caps welded on. Then figure out the guide rod. To be honest,I feel the effort expended and the money spent would not be worth it in this case. Do you know anyone who could help you cut these pieces ? Just trying to help someone else avoid a costly detour that I took in my own woodworking 'journey '.

  4. #4
    Yea, I know my motor by far will be a weak link. I have had a 1/2" blade on it with great performance. I've run some 5" resawing and dried logs through it to get lumber with minimal issues as long as I didn't push the saw hard, but if I tried to run it like a big saw I'd stall the blade so quickly. I'm not looking for any big increase in resaw capacity, I'd be able to work with 8". I just thought a resaw kit would be easier than trying to fab up a 3" riser and associated accessories.

    Unfortunately I don't know anyone that would have the equipment to use for this. If it requires more work than a $100 kit and a few hours of my time, I definitely wouldn't want to invest it into this saw. But a $100 riser block is a whole lot more appetizing to the wife after having talked my way into a sawstop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    I put a Powermatic riser on my 14" Delta. The pins/holes didn't line up so I cut off the pins meaning it's held together by friction only. It's never moved. Let me point out that you need to tighten that bolt really well, not just tight but really tight because it has to not only hold the frame pieces together but also resist the spring load when you tension a blade.

    As for blades, if you are happy with a 1/2" before adding a riser it will run just as well after you add it. I regularly sliced 10" veneer with my 14" Delta with a 1/2" x 3 tpi blade. It was slow, even with a 1-1/2 hp motor, but the quality was good.

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post

    As for blades, if you are happy with a 1/2" before adding a riser it will run just as well after you add it. I regularly sliced 10" veneer with my 14" Delta with a 1/2" x 3 tpi blade. It was slow, even with a 1-1/2 hp motor, but the quality was good.
    My experience with a 14" Delta with riser was the same, and with thee same blade - I resawed 12" thick stock and a lot of green log sections until I got a bigger saw - just couldn't get in a big hurry with the smaller motor! The ability to tension properly was the real key to success.

    JKJ

  7. #7
    I have an older 14 inch Delta, put on a Grizzly (as I remember) riser block - had to drill one pin hole as both holes didn’t line up - used a dowel center pin to mark the 2nd hole - tightened the bolt a bunch - and its been perfect. I use a 1/2 inch 3 tpi blade for re-sawing and have no complaints - it’s actually been pretty amazing. I had to modify the upper blade guard that came with the riser block to make sure it fit ok but that was easy
    jeff

  8. #8
    I hate to say it but if you're looking to do some "hefty" resawing a saw with a riser block is not the way to go for too many reasons to list. Something like a Laguna 14/12 is the minimum type of tool required IMHO. I know others will disagree.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    WNC
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    I started looking into that since I now have an old delta and while you can still get the risers they are very expensive.
    Using riser blocks and modify them like posted above seems to be a route a lot of people go.
    I even have seen people making their own using wood blocks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    My single biggest, and also only memorable regret that I have in putting time, and money into equipment, is all the time, and effort I put into upgrading my 14" old Delta, trying to make it something that it isn't. I don't think I left out many possible upgrades, including changing the motor to a horse, and a half Baldor.

    A few years after all that, and after I finally bought a big bandsaw for resawing, Rikon came out with the 10-326, on sale to start with, for 899, which made the regret even more painful. Even as the price has gone up, if someone came along wanting the old Delta, I'd probably sell it, and upgrade to one of the new, steel backed saws.

    Now I have four bandsaws, and for what I use the 14" for, it could just as easily served its purpose in stock form.

    Just my .02.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    I think a hardwood block would be fine. It is in compression and any slight seasonal length change will not be noticed. Make it grain vertical and it should be fine.
    To be honest any slight non parallel of the two faces does not matter. You just adjust for that with the top wheel.
    Bill D

  12. #12
    I've got an old 14" Delta modified with a Grizzly riser kit. If you're not in a hurry, you might be able to get it on sale. I got mine for ~$50. This will include everything you need, block, blade, bolt, and longer blade cover.

    I made modifications to it with a drill press similar to what you're describing, though I didn't make one unnecessarily large, instead transferring the points with some center hole markers.

    I have no regrets with mine, though as somebody pointed out, you'll need to go slow. Would a bigger band saw do a better job? Maybe, but I'd hope so, given the $800-1000 difference. I don't have any problems justifying $50 for double the resaw capacity.

    In my case I've got a small shop, and I do weekend warrior stuff. I could afford another band saw, but then I'd be asking where I would store it, and all sorts of other questions.

  13. #13
    Oops, look like I actually deleted my post. Or it's not showing up. Apparently my phone doesn't want to reload the page properly.

    Anyway, thanks guys, I'm glad my crazy idea isn't too far off. If I can get the saw to handle 8" that'll make me happy, any more than that and you're right that I'd be better just saving the money for a better saw.

    Bill, you bring up a good point with the hardwood block, I might have some scrap hard maple that might work (at the very least I know I have scrap 8/4). I'll have to take the frame apart and measure, but as long as there is enough bearing space on the two halves it should work. That might just be the ticket so I can do this for cheap, and save the riser block money for the next tool. If I do a 3" riser I'm really not losing much guide positioning, I can deal with having 2" between the guide and the table at a minimum.

    As for the compression of the wood, I'm seeing 6000psi as a minimum strength, with many having larger values. 150 ft-lbs on a 3/4 bolt puts me at 12000 lbs of clamp force at the joint in the frame. That'll be more than enough clamp force to handle 500 lbs of blade tension. So if I have at least 2 square inches of metal in that joint, preferably 4, the wood should handle the job.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    If you do other then a standard 6" riser you will never buy blades pre-made on sale.
    Bill D

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myles Moran View Post
    Bill, you bring up a good point with the hardwood block, I might have some scrap hard maple that might work (at the very least I know I have scrap 8/4). ...
    I think hard maple would work fine, even glued up. If you don't have the right piece and happen to be in East TN or coming through the area I probably have a block of some strong, dry hardwood like osage orange or black locust. I usually use lignum vitae for such things but I don't think I have a big enough piece left. Could even use the milling machine to mill the top perfectly parallel with the bottom.

    Besides the extended guide post and cover, the riser kit for my old Delta also came with a longer cover to protect you from contacting the blade as it comes from below. Should be easy to make something.

    JKJ

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