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Thread: 18" Bandsaw lubrication and fence questions

  1. #1
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    18" Bandsaw lubrication and fence questions

    In the ongoing but dull saga of the Parks 18" bandsaw I am happy to say that I installed the urethane tires and got it running on 115v on Tuesday. I used a 20a 125v toggle switch that I think I bought from Surplus Center years ago as a spare. Anyway it was in the parts drawer, so I used it. The saw runs well and seems to have plenty of power for my intended uses. I was able to resaw a 10" wide walnut offcut using a 4x4 clamped to the table as a test fence. Today I welded a piece of light angle iron onto the bracket on the upper guides to cover the blade above the guides, the original guard was missing and it made me nervous.

    This saw has several grease zerks, one on the upper shaft by the wheel, one on each thrust bearing, and I imagine there ought to be one on the lower shaft but I haven't found it yet. Do these get regular gun grease or something special, and how often and how heavily should they be greased? I'm used to these fittings on farm equipment and some car chassis components, but have not seem them on wood shop tools before.

    Before I can put this saw on the riser block and move my current saw out I need to get a rip fence for it, as I use the rip fence a lot for banjo parts and such. I have found a Kreg aftermarket fence that seems to be in the $120 range, and Shop Fox has one that looks like it will be about $150 with shipping. Maybe there are others I should look at, or maybe I could find an old one somewhere, I don't know what the options are. If anyone has a recommendation I'd appreciate it. I have been using the factory fence on my Jet 18" and have been happy with it, once I bent the lock tab so it held, years ago. I think that because of the way this table is sunk into the sheet metal of the saw I may need a fence that only uses a front rail, which would seem to point to the Kreg. The table on this saw is 18" deep and 20" wide, and weighed 53 pounds when I took it off the saw for transport.

  2. #2
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    Zach, think about where your blade slot is located when considering which fence to install. Your table has the slot straight back ,so something will need to be figured out to allow blade changes.

  3. #3
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    I’ve got a fence off an 18” Laguna that’s been in the shop for several years, too burly for my 14”. I’d sell it for pretty cheap but guessing to ship might be salty. It will be Sunday before I could get measurements and pictures, let me know if you want details. I’ve got a Kreg on a little 14” Ridgid…decent on that, it’s what it’s made for. But it wouldn’t have been a good match for my 14” steel spined Laguna (Bulgarian version).
    edit—I agree on the blade slot, but whatever you put on it will probably have to come off for blade changes.
    earl

  4. #4
    What about a Driftmaster? That was a pretty common mod for folks who bought used Italian bandsaws that were missing fences.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    What about a Driftmaster? That was a pretty common mod for folks who bought used Italian bandsaws that were missing fences.

    Erik
    That’s a chunk of change for the Driftmaster.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    That’s a chunk of change for the Driftmaster.
    Yeah, but they're way beefier than the Kreg. At least the ones I saw. I guess it just depends on what the priorities are.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  7. #7
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    Thank you all very much for your advice. I hadn't looked at the Driftmaster before, but $399 is more than I paid for the saw, so I would feel a little silly paying that much. I ordered a Kreg last night and will give it a try. I don't need a lot of strength, just a fence that's reliably parallel and fast to set. I expect to have to remove the fence to change the blade, but I only do that if I am going from brass cutting to wood or vice versa, and I try to do all my brass cutting in batches every few months. Otherwise I just keep a 1/2" 3 TPI blade in my big saw, and a 1/4" 6 TPI in the 10" Rikon, and they do all I need.

    Earl McLain, thank you very much. I would be interested in buying your fence it if can be made to fit on this saw. It seems to me from looking at the saw that I can't get clearance to mount a rail on the back of the table, the metal shroud is just below the miter slots. I don't know what the Laguna fence is like or how it mounts.

  8. #8
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    I figured I should post an update to this thread. I put the new saw up on the 10" wooden base two or three weeks ago, after getting the Kreg fence installed. The fence is good, the only thing I don't like is the ruler. It is graduated in 32nds and all the lines are almost the same length, so I have to peer pretty hard at it to read the 8ths from among them. The saw runs nicely and seems to have as much power as my old Jet, which I was able to sell for $700 with no negotiation required. I haven't needed the higher resaw yet, but when I do it'll be there, ready to go. I feel comfortable with this saw now, it took a couple of days at first to get used to how it felt after cutting on the other one almost every day for 7 years. Thank you all very much for your help.

  9. #9
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    The zerks on the wheels will need grease about once every decade. These bearings have a very easy life. The guides, much more often.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, that's helpful to know. The manual I was able to find online specified oil for the guide bearings, and "alemite grease" for the wheels. I am thinking of trying corn head grease on the guide bearings, it is a thinner flowable grease but less likely to leak out than oil. I've used it before in farm machinery gearboxes that were designed for oil when new but too leaky now, and it works quite well for that.

  11. #11
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    My tractor supply does not carry corn head grease but they do have cotton picker grease. AFAIK they are the same idea. Grease at room temp and more like oil when warmed up. It may have to do with the climate here. Never below freezing and up to 110 in the shade. Hotter on metal in the sun.
    It may also be that corn is chopped for silage or hand picked for eating on the cob. I have never seen it harvested dry for seeds? I believe California is still the #1 cotton growing state.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 10-06-2021 at 8:25 PM.

  12. #12
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    Around here sweet corn is hand picked for fresh eating, field corn is chopped green for silage or else dried out on the stalk and then picked, husked and shelled by a combine type harvester. I had to go to the John Deere dealer to get corn head grease, and I am sure cotton picker grease is not a concept in these parts given our climate.

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