Bandsaw Base Fabrication

I locked myself in the shop this weekend, and set about doing some housekeeping (damage control is more like it) , so I could move around the shop a little. I had some metal stock that needed to be put away, so I dragged out my Clarke (Chinee) bandsaw to cut some stuff down to size. I’ve been cursing the dismal wheels on this saw since I bought it a couple of years ago. Anyone that owns one of these saws knows what I’m talking about. Its the first thing that new buyers fix when they buy them, and is a hot topic on the Yahoo 4X6 website. I was too busy using mine to fix the problem. Well, I stumbled across a 9 1/2 foot length of 4140 stainless 2 1/2 inch diameter round stock at work in the scrap dumpster (Yeah, in the dumpster), and needed to cut it. I work at a water treatment plant, and have free reign at the metal dumpster, its like Christmas every day! Anyway, I had to support a 300 pound hunk of SS, and wrestle the saw under it to make the cut. The wheels on the saw really showed their stuff, what junk. I finally got tired of hearing myself complain about the Chinee junk and decided to grab some 2 1/2″ angle iron (from the dumpster) and make up a rolling stand for the saw. I had two sets of casters off some Craftsman tool boxes that now support my steel workbench. I probably shoulda gotten some pics of the build, but never thought about it till the paint was drying, I’ll put some shots of it on later this week. Its a world of difference. I extended the rear of the stand to stop the annoying habit it has of trying to flip over when you put the saw in the upright position, and has a much more solid feel to it. It rolls easily and is at a much better work height, about 6″ higher. I wish I had made the stand when I first got the saw.

While I was building the base I was reminded how cheezy the “wheels” on my Snap-On mig welder are. I’ve had the welder for 20+ years, and have been complaining about that for a while too. The problem is that with a big bottle of argon, theres more weight in the rear than with the “homeowner” bottle that came with the welder, and because the wheels are near the middle, the cart wants to tip to the rear when rolling. Now that I’ve made some room for myself, maybe I’ll build another cart for it. I’ve got a couple more sets of casters kicking around. Then theres the Lincon 225 arc welder. I’d kinda like to put that on casters, and have somewhere to hang the leads….

base pic 1
This is a pic of the base as described. Note the classy original base in the bottom shelf.

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BlueChip’s New Blog

Tonight is a bit of a departure for me. I have never “blogged” before. I do this at the request of my webmaster, Dale, who swears this will make me into an internet superstar. Hes been working hard to initiate the features on this website even though he knows his version is probably better than mine. Thanks for putting up with my “web design” Dale.

My name is Mick Finch, and I am a gearhead. I spent too many years as a transmission rebuilder, and recently bailed on that profession for an easier life. Over the years I’ve done alot of jobs that always seemed to involve metalworking, fabricating, and mechanical mayhem. I grew up, the son of a child of the Depression, who knew how to stretch a buck, and handed down his collection of tools to me. If there was ever a time to say “Thanks” to the Old Man, I’d say this is it. The economy is in the toilet, and any time I can make the month run out before the paycheck does is a blessing. That’s basically what this site is all about.

Over the years I’ve used the Old Man’s tools to bail my @ss out many times. I’ve stumbled into a few good deals on some great machines myself, and just can’t refuse a bargain, no matter how much the machine weighs. The shop is full of American machine tools, and that’s the way I’d like to keep it. Dad use to tell me not to buy junk unless I wanted to buy it twice. I will admit to a few “offshore” tools, but they are in the minority. I’d rather buy a solid machine, and spend the money putting it right, than buy Wang Pow a new Mercedes. In my shop you will find South Bend, Bridgeport, K.O. Lee, Kurt, Rockwell, Snap-On, Matco, Craftsman, Lincoln, etc. You won’t find many Chinese tools, but you will find some. When money allows, they will be passed on to another entrepreneur.

My machines are in a constant state of upgrade. My South Bend 13″ is getting ready for a new compound feed screw, and an “economy priced” Digital Read Out. The Bridgeport mill is going to get a Power Draw Bar installed from a kit plan from eBay. The K.O. Lee surface grinder is ready for a table and magnetic chuck regrind, and gonna be tooled up to regrind mill bits. All this stuff will get done, but is gonna get fit in between the shop re-organization that is under way right now. I started rewiring the shop, because my homemade Rotary Phase Converter was kinda hob-knobbed together. One thing led to another, and the shop got torn apart, but I’m working on it.

Right now the machines are idle, and I’m not producing anything of real consequence, but I’m gonna try to document some of the improvements to my machines with the help of my son. Photography to follow, maybe some video. We’ll see.

The store section of the site will contain items that will make the gagetizer’s life easier. Right now I have Mobil lubricants (Way and Spindle Oil), Gets Oil Hole Covers, and Lathe Way Wiper Felt for your lathe, mill, or grinder. I plan to add some specialized hardware that anyone rebuilding on old machine might need (be patient). If I have to buy a gross of something to get a decent price on them, they will probably be offered up in the store section at a substantial savings. The store needs some work right now, but I’m workin on it. Shipping will be at cost, or as close to it as I can manage. I can’t stand those clowns that offer “bargains”, and screw you on shipping. Won’t happen here. You ordered it now, I assume you want it NOW, right? I like to get stuff I order fast, I will ship anything ordered FAST. Check my feedback on Ebay under the user ID bluechipmachineshop.

I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now, but I’m stepping up the schedule. My plans are to resume making Transmission Rebuilding Tools soon, and maybe a few lathe accessories like carriage stops, T slot bases with studs for quick change tool holders, and spindle thread protectors, and maybe a few other things.

If anybody besides my kids, or Dale read this blog, and find problems with the site, I’d sure like them to let me know. The wife hates it when I talk to myself………………………………………

Look for future topics including:

  • Old lathe information
  • Machining Projects
  • Machine Maintenance
  • Workshop tips and tricks
  • Transmission Repairs

Stay in touch to see updates!

Please have a look at the and let provide your special maintenance and tool needs..