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Project Spotlight

Putting Your Bandsaw on Wheels

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Adding mobility to any large, stationary tool increases its usefulness, because it won’t be tethered to a particular spot in the workshop. In this project, craftsman and maker Jimmy DiResta adds a wheeled base to his shop’s bandsaw so he can more easily place it to accommodate a project. 

Bandsaws come in different sizes and configurations, so you’ll need to adjust your measurements and cuts to accommodate your unit and workspace. Likewise, if you’re thinking of putting other power tools on wheels, you can use this basic plan by modifying your dimensions accordingly.

Once you’ve built the bandsaw stand, you’ll definitely see the benefits and wonder why it took so long to do this in the first place.

Download the Project Guide
1

Cut the pieces for the frame

This base will be constructed on 3/16-inch thick, two inch by two inch angle iron. The thickness allows for the metal to be drilled and tapped later in the project. Using a portable bandsaw or other cutting method, cut notches in the angle iron where the pieces overlap.

2

Tack and weld the frame

Weld these pieces together using lap joints rather than miter joints. It will allow more surface to weld and increase the rigidity of the frame.

3

Cut the wheel caddies

Using a can of spray paint to mark the angle, cut each half of one wheel caddy from 2 x 2 angle iron. Cut each piece along your mark to form one half of each of the four wheel caddies.

4

Tack weld the caddies 

Tack welding these caddies is not just a personal preference; it minimizes distortion of the base metal caused by heat. The tack welds also give the cantilevers a “riveted” appearance rather than one long bead.

5

Adding the wheels

Be sure there’s enough clearance for the wheels to freely spin 360 degrees. If you run into a problem with wheel clearance, this is the time to adjust. Once you are sure you have clearance, weld the wheels to the wheel caddies, then weld the completed subassembly to the frame.

6

Building the levers and linkage

The second phase of the project begins here — building the parts that will make up the lifting mechanism for the mobile base. Start by cutting 4 pieces of 3/8 X 2-inch thick cold rolled steel to length and drill two holes in each, one will be the carrier (pivot) hole and the other will be tapped to accept a bolt. 

7

Assembling the levers and linkage

Using two pieces of bar stock cut to length, connect the lifters together and then connect each side of the lifting mechanism using bolts. To keep the bolts from backing out during repeated use, apply CA glue, or some other thread locking compound, to the threads of each bolt.

8

Connecting the levers

Using another wider piece of flat stock, connect each half of the lifting mechanism. This lever will allow both sides to be engaged simultaneously when stepped on. The stand should move freely when the lifting mechanism is not engaged.

Once this project is completed, you can use your bandsaw to fabricate even bigger and better builds.