Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bandsaw Upgrade


I have a cheap, small bandsaw. It's not the greatest bandsaw ever made, but it's not the worst either.

The worst thing about it has always been its platen.

It came with a cast aluminium platen (which you can see in this photo discarded on the shelf beneath the saw) which was never even remotely flat. Nor was the surface very slippery, so it resisted pushing the work through the blade a bit. Not much, but perceptibly.

I've replaced that cast aluminium piece with a piece of nice smooth, slippery, and most importantly, FLAT melamine. It's also a tad bigger than the old platen, which is all to the good — though that's not saying much; there's only about 250mm between the blade and the pillar anyway.

It wasn't quite as straightforward as cutting a bit of melamine and slapping it on the bracket — it needed a couple of packers to fit. But it wasn't a difficult upgrade at all, and it will make the bandsaw so much better and easier to use.

There's a possibility that it might need a joist underneath to help keep the front-right corner from flexing under the weight of a wide work piece, but I'll wait and see about that. It may well not be necessary.