Kysor/Johnson Horizontal Bandsaw: Part 6

Now that my bandsaw is up and running I can start adding some things to it.

First though… Group “large” saw shot.  I’m planning to sell the hacksaw to a friend and figured I’d get the group shot while I can.

As you probably noticed in the picture above, I made a mobile base for the saw.  I used the hacksaw to cut the metal for it since I didn’t have space to fit it into the bandsaw.

I made a wooden stand in for the saw so I could properly size and layout the metal for the base.  Most of the base will be made of  3″ angle iron I had as well as some 1-1/4″ for the back side.  I used the 1-1/4″ because I ran out of 3″ and there is a bracket on the saw that would hit the 3″.I welded on three casters that were rated for above the weight of the saw.  The back two are fixed and the front swivels.  I’ve found that using fixed casters makes it easier to move stuff around in a straight line (as you’d expect).  I also added a bracket on the front of the base with a hole in it to allow me to move the base with a rod if needed.Here’s the base welded up and ready for paint.While waiting for paint to dry, the next change I made was upgrading the brush.  If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll remember that I temporarily mounted a brush on the underside of the blade.  I liked the brush since it’s brass and cheap…especially if you buy them in bulk on Ebay.  After doing a little bit of thinking, I decided for a design that would pinch the blade and allow for the clamping pressure to be adjustable.  The picture below shows what I ended up with.  The main part is a piece of 3/4″ square tubing and there is a bolt with spring for adjusting the clamping pressure.  It mounts with a hole in the middle and the design allows the whole assembly to tilt a little bit if needed.   Apologies for the poor pic.After testing the brush assembly I painted it and trimmed the ends of the brushes down. I also put a few pieces of thick leather on to act as wipers.  I mounted one on both arms to catch any bits of metal that make it past the brushes.With the base finished I lifted the entire saw with the engine crane and set it onto the base.  The base allows the saw to be easily moved as I hoped. The next thing I wanted to do was add an oiler to the blade.  The oiler applies a small amount of oil and is adjustable with a small valve from an aquarium.  Take a look below.  Looks great right?  Oh well then you’ll be glad to hear this is just the prototype.The bottom bit of the oiler is made up of some brake line tubing which is easily bendable.  The ends of the tubing is cut at and angle is positioned so it sits next to the blade but doesn’t contact it.  They’re also positioned sightly above the teeth so that the teeth will get oil instead of just the top of the blade.This view better shows the positioning of the ends of the tubing.I’m sure the thing plastic bottle would probably work but it doesn’t look so great.  To replace it I found a Nalgene bottle online that was closer to what I had in mine.  Yes, to my shock, they make more than just the Nalgene bottle you’re thinking of.  This one was rectangular and made for a lab from what I saw.  To hold the bottle I bent and welded a holder for it out of steel.  I used a washer for the bottle cap to sit on which was just the right size.    Here’s the bottle and bracket in place.  The bracket sits in the slot that the arms move in which allows the oiler to be repositioned if needed.  I also drilled a small vent hole in the bottom (now top) of the bottle.To get the oil out, I attached a brass tubing barb to a hole in the cap and sealed the edges with some RTV.

Here’s a pic of the aquarium valve I mentioned earlier.  Each side of the oiler can be adjusted independently though I’m not 100% sure it is required.

As I was working on all this I noticed that the saw was starting to slowly drop down when I had the valve on the hydraulic cylinder closed. I did some testing and am pretty sure oil was seeping past the piston.  I thought about rebuilding it but decided to switch to some heavier weight hydraulic oil (46 wt) oil first.  Happily it seems to be working but I’ll have to keep an eye on it. It also has the added benefit of making the valve less sensitive as you’d expect.

Now the only thing I have left is to make a pan to catch all of the metal bits from sawing. That’ll have to be in another post though.

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Kysor/Johnson Horizontal Bandsaw: Part 5

The next step towards getting the bandsaw running was finding a motor for it.  I remembered that I had a GE 1hp motor around with no base.  In fact, it was the motor I went through on an earlier blog post.

The motor is supposed to have a cradle base but it was long gone.  I looked around online for a replacement base but the few options I found were around $40.  I thought that was ridiculous for some stamped steel.  So, I decided to make my own base.  I decided to weld the base to the motor casing.  I don’t think this is normally recommended since you could overheat the wires in the stator which would junk the motor.   I welded the base together and painted it before attaching it to the motor since I wouldn’t be able to easily paint the inside of the base afterwards.  Next, I ground some of the paint off so I could weld it to the motor.  I used a piece of flashing as a shield to keep any splatter away from the stator wires.

I welded the base on in short lengths to keep the heat down in the casing.  That and my poor mig welding skills are what causes the weld to look as it does.  I’m happy to report that I didn’t junk the motor!

I needed a bracket to attach the motor to the bracket on the saw and copied the one on the saw.  The bracket was welded since I was unable to get it hot enough to bend without cracking.  It was painted after the picture.After painting everything, I was able to finally put the motor on the saw.  The motor hangs and its weight provides tension on the belt.  Yes, I have a cover for the motor.

I also needed a pulley for the motor.  I ran the numbers for some step pulleys available online.  I settled on one that results in blade speeds of 45, 90, and 170 fpm which are similar to the ones in the manual.  I could also get other speeds if I need them by putting the belt on steps that don’t line up if needed. I was also missing the handle for lifting the saw and figured I’d fab something up as opposed to purchasing a replacement handle.  I bent a piece of 3/8″ steel rod and made the flanges on the lathe.  I welded the pieces together and then sanded them to the final shape.  The ends of the handle were threaded for nuts that hold it in place.I ran the power through a start/stop switch I bought online.  I would have liked to find one that matched the styling of the machine but the eBay prices were crazy.  The switch is mounted so that the aluminum tab will switch the saw off after the cut is finished.  As I was aligning the stationary jaw I realized that the hole for the hold down clamp had been stripped out.  Luckily, it’s not a big problem.  I tapped it for the next size up bolt which is a 9/16 inch.  I also drilled the hold down for the larger bolt.

I rigged up a brush to clean the blade while I was testing the saw.  There was a hole in the bracket already and I threw this together for temporary use.   Clearly, I grabbed this pic after using the saw. With all this completed I can finally cut something with the saw! Yay!!  Here’s a pic of the saw ready to go. Here’s a short video showing the saw cutting some aluminum.

Here’s another video that’s a little closer up and with some slow motion.

Even though the saw runs, I have a few more things I want to do to it.  First, I need to come up with a better brush and I’d also like to find a way to automatically lubricate the blade when cutting steel.  I’d also like to make a pan to go in the middle and catch the shower of chips this thing makes.





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Prentiss Vise Nut Removal

I’ve received a few questions about how I got the lead screw out of my vise.  I figured I’d throw up a quick post with a few pics.

I dug back in to some old pics and found one showing the ring or nut.  I’ll call it a ring for now.  The ring fits on the lead screw and its purpose is to carry the moving jaw when you open the vise.  The ring on the vise is a special kind of ring with what I’ll call fingers on it.

The lead screw has a small depression in it which is shown below.  The ring is held in position by hammering one of the fingers into the depression.  This keeps the ring from sliding or rotating with the lead screw.  To remove the ring requires cutting off the finger that is bent down into the depression.  I used a Dremel tool with a cutoff disk but I’d imagine a cold chisel or burr would work as well.  Once the finger has been removed the ring will slide down the lead screw which allows the lead screw to be removed from the moving vise jaw.  Its possible other vises may have more than one finger hammered down.  So, look carefully.

When you’re ready to put the ring back on you’ll need to hammer one of the other fingers down into the depression using a pin punch.

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Kysor/Johnson Horizontal Bandsaw: Part 4

I’ve finally reached the point where I can start putting the saw back together.  Most of the parts were rusty with the occasional bits of paint flaking off.  I’ll spare you pics of me derusting and painting things.  For rust removal I used wire wheels most of the time with the occasional electrolysis use for parts that were hard to get to.

On the last post, I’d finished putting the gear box back together.  With it finished I could start to reassemble the parts attached to one of the saw halves.  Below is the driven wheel all put back together.

I put the half without all the stuff inside back in place with my engine crane and luckily found that it could be held in place with the saw’s axle.  Then I was able to put the other half on and get it bolted together.  I saved painting the outsides until this point as I figured I’d probably mess up the paint during lifting.The next thing to fix were the blade guides.  There’s two of them and both had an arm broken off of the upper part.  This is a close up view of the location with the break.  I made up some small pieces out of mild steel to replace the missing sections.  I beveled the edges of both pieces and slowly welded them back together using some 55% Nickel rod.Once I’d finished welding, I sanded the parts down and got them close to the original size.  I also cross drilled and taped them for some set screws.  As you can see, one of the parts was previously broken and repaired.  After the repair was finished, everything was painted, and put back together.  The bolts that hold the larger bearings on were specially made cam bolts.  The threads weren’t in the greatest condition but still worked fine.  On one of the guides, one of the tabs that holds the bearing had been welded back on but at an angle. This resulted in the two bearings not being parallel.  I milled it back flat without having to remove much metal.

Up next is the saw’s hydraulic cylinder.  The cylinder controls the descent of the saw.  At some point, the valve was broken off.  Luckily, the break was in the brass nipple and I was able to remove it without much trouble. 

I disassembled the cylinder and cleaned everything up.  I replaced all of the seals except for the cup seal in the cylinder.  It’s made of leather and was still in good condition.  The inside of the cylinder also looked good which was something I’d worried about due to the condition of the saw.

I reassembled the cylinder and got it installed without much trouble.  After filling it with oil, I opened the valve all the way and proceeded to get my exercise lifting the saw up and down to bleed the cylinder.  Once bled, I tightened the valve down and found that the saw he’d it’s position.  Yay!  I slightly loosened the valve and the saw slowly descended.  Oddly, to me at least, the saw then stopped until I opened the valve up a little more.  Then it lowered a little more and stopped.  So, I repeated the process until it was down.  I didn’t really expect the valve to operate like this and still confused by it.  I don’t have the spring or motor counterweighting the saw though.  I’m hoping the stopping on the way down won’t be an issue once it put that stuff back on which will required opening the valve more. 

I took care of a couple other small things as well.  I used the lathe to rotate the vise lead screw so I could clean it. 

I also cleaned up the data plate.  I stripped the paint off, cleaned it well, and then hit it with black spray paint.  Once the paint dried, I used a block and sand paper to remove the paint from all the raised surfaces.  This simple method I read about on works great!Here’s where the saw is currently.  As you can see, I’ve got the sides painted, vise installed, and guides back in place.  I’m almost done with the saw.  Next up will be putting a motor on it, wiring it up, and making some chips!

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Kysor/Johnson Horizontal Bandsaw: Part 3 – The Gearbox

I’m back with the third installment on fixing the KJ horizontal bandsaw.  This time I’m addressing the gearbox that drives the back wheel.  The gearbox has a few problems that I have to fix.

The gearbox is above the backwheel and requires a good bit of disassembly to remove.  I’m taking it all apart so it’s not a big deal for me.  It’s the boxy looking thing in the following pic.

Here’s a view from bottom of the wheel.  The input shaft of the gearbox is driven by the motor and the output shaft has a small gear on it that turns the large ring gear bolted to the wheel. You might be wondering what the giant blob is on the end of the small gear.  It’s welding filler metal.  A giant blob of filler metal.  The gearbox is held on by three screws.  These screws thread into three bosses on the gearbox.  As you can see, something bad has happened to two of the bosses.    The other boss is not pictured and is fine.  The boss on the far left is not used.  The gearbox has a back plate that can be removed to access the inside. I wasn’t really sure how to disassemble the gearbox but eventually determined that the short shaft has to be removed first through the open back which requires moving the small gear.  I wasn’t sure if the small shaft stuck up beyond the surface of the gear.  Since I didn’t want to damage the shaft, I took shallow passes on the the mill to remove the filler metal.  Once I got down to the surface of the gear I could still see filler metal in the middle.  I tapped the center with a ball peen hammer and broke the last little bit of filler metal out.  Once I got the small gear off I could see the damage to shaft.  I’m guessing the saw blade jammed and this was the weak point.  Someone attempted to fix it by welding the gear back on.  What they actually did was put a “cap” of weld over the end that didn’t touch the shaft at all.   I guess that was good for me as it made getting the gear off easier.  There was some damage to the large brass gear but I was able to file away most of the burrs.Next, the large shaft could be removed.  Both shafts had a plastic and rubber oil seal that had to be removed from the protruding side.  Then there’s a snap ring to be removed.  The other end of each shaft had a plate that covered another snap ring.  Finally, with all the snap rings removed, the long shaft can be pressed out.  There was a mix of shielded, sealed, and open ball bearings in the gear box which makes me think someone else might have been in here before.To fix the broken threaded bosses I decided to mill them flat and turn some spaces to take up the space.  The boss on the right ended up being taller and I was able to tap the hole a little deeper.  The one on the left required drilling through the casing in order to get enough threads to hold a bolt well.  I plan to use RTV on this bolt so it won’t leak.I decided to weld the broken end of the shaft as opposed to remaking the shaft entirely.  To start I ground the end of the shaft to clean it up as shown below.  I then welded on the end of the shaft to build the surface back up.  Next, it was over to the lathe to clean it up.  I repeated these steps over several times until I was happy with the results.  To finish it off, I milled a new key way.  Here’s the repaired shaft.  Hopefully, it’ll hold up.  The gear fits tightly on it and I used some green Locktite upon reassembly.With all the problems fixed I started reassembling the gear box.  I decided to use sealed bearings when reassembling in hopes that it would help some with leaks.Here’s a pic of the insides of the gearbox before closing it up.Instead of paper gaskets I used RTV to seal up the gear box.  I also bought a new small gear to replace the broken one.  The new gear is taller than the old one and would interfere with spokes on the wheel.  So, I took my brand new gear to the mill and removed part of it. 

Here’s the finished gear.Next up starting to reassemble the saw.

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Kysor/Johnson Horizontal Bandsaw: Part 2

I’m finally back with another update.  For a while it was too cold to paint and I’d been busy with some other things around the house.  Once again, I’m making progress on the KJ saw.

As you might imagine, de-rusting has ended up being a large part of this project.  For most of the big parts I’m using a wire cup on an angle grinder.

I thought about how to fix the crack in the leg and eventually decided on stick welding it cold in short runs.  After each short run I peened the weld while it cooled to help prevent cracks. I don’t have the ability to heat something this large up which ruled out brazing and stick welding it in one pass.  Before welding though I Veed out the front and back of the crack with a carbide burr.It’s not the prettiest weld I’ve done but I think it worked out ok.  I used some 55% Nickel rod which was a first for me.  There’s a bit of undercutting but there’s no more crack.  As this isn’t a highly loaded part I think it is a successful repair.  I started thinking about paint and Chris pushed me to go with something other than grayscale.  After looking around for a bit I settled on Rustoleum’s Royal Blue.  I started painting with it but found it was too bright for my liking.  It was brighter than what was on the can which wasn’t what I was looking for.  I mixed in black paint and finally ended up with a shade that I liked.  In the picture below you can see the darker paint on the lower bit of the leg in the foreground.  Eventually, I was able to start painting.  The paint looks a little brighter on the big leg for some reason but it’s all the darker blue.  I hand brushed these and the center section below.Here’s the center section getting its coat of paint.  Don’t worry, the blue inside the hinge holes is just masking tape.  Originally, I painted the wheels blue but changed my mind and went with black.  I spray painted these which was much easier than trying to brush them.The pans that came with the machine were torn up and had been cut down.  I don’t have the machines to remake the pans but a guy I know works in a machine shop.  I talked to him about it and he offered to help.  He was able to water jet the pans out and we were able to get them bent on his machines.  Below is my pan getting bent on a 400 ton press brake.  Cool!Here’s one of them in place and the other is hiding in the background.The next step in the project was to replace the bearings on the wheels.  From some online research I found that the bearings are standard wheel bearings that can be picked up at a local autoparts store.  That’s a positive.   There’s also some dust covers on the outside of each bearing that are hard to find.  I eventually came up with a method to remove the dust covers without tearing them up.

I’ll describe what I did even though it might not be useful to anyone.  There are two dust covers, two cone bearings, and two races in each wheel.  The assemblies are mirrored and there’s a snap ring in the middle of the bore.  Due to the snap ring, you can’t just push it all out from one side.  I ended up cutting a 1/2″ fender washer into three pieces and slipping them in between the two races.    Next, I used a 1/2″ bolt, other washers, and a nut to hold the three washer pieces .  You want to hold them as close to the edge of the bearing bore as you can so they don’t bend.  I then used a 3 jaw puller to push the cone bearing and dust cover out. One bit out.I now have more room to work on getting the other assembly out.  I used a fender washer again but cut into two pieces.  Once again I held the washer pieces with a bolt and pushed the other race, cone bearing, and dust cover out.Finally, I turned a piece on the lathe to push the first race out.

Here’s all the pieces I used to remove the bearing and dust cover assemblies.  I ended up with a few dust covers that were a little bent but was able to straighten them back out.

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Kysor/Johnson Horizontal Bandsaw

Thanks to Gill I have yet another tool to restore and put into use.   This is a good thing of course because I still had a little bit of empty space in my garage.  This time, it’s an old industrial horizontal band saw.  I believe this saw was made sometime between 1973-1985.  It’s a bit rusty but appears to be in good shape.  The motor mount is missing but it shouldn’t be much trouble to make are replacement.

The motor is connected to the gear box via a belt.  The gear box drives a gear connected to the drive wheel.  The other wheel (idle wheel) is used for tensioning the blade and is supposed to spin freely.  Below is a pic of the idle wheel and tensioning knob.  There’s a small piece of the rim on the wheel missing but I don’t think it will cause an issue.

Here’s the drive wheel.  There’s supposed to be a mechanical lubrication pump on the  bracket but it is long gone.  You can also see the gearbox and big internal gear.

The blade guides also appear to be in good shape.  One of them was broken and has been repaired.  Despite what it looks like everything still moves.  Here’s another view of the drive wheel and the hydraulic cylinder.  The saw cuts due to its own weight and the hydraulic cylinder slows its descent.

I started disassembling the saw and was pleasantly surprised that everything came loose easily.  I sprayed on some PB Blaster a few days before starting which may have helped.  The first repair was to straighten the tension knob with the arbor press.  I’m not 100% sure how it got bent but the instructions do say to tension the blade as tight as you can.  Maybe someone took it to heart.

To remove the cutting section of the saw you have to separate the frame halves.  I was hoping to remove the axle and lift the entire cutting section off but it didn’t work out.  Instead, I supported the half that holds everything with the engine crane and removed the other side half by hand.  After that I laid the half in the picture down to continue disassembling it.

  I couldn’t get the drive wheel and gearbox out with the halves together.  As you can see the little gear from the gearbox runs on the inside of the larger internal gear bolted to the drive wheel.

The main axle has shoulders that keep it from being driven out with the side halves on.  There’s a grove in the axle that the little tab fits into.  I think this can be used to move the entire cutting section of the saw side to side.  It is a bit crude but I guess it works.  This pic also shows the mangled pans on the saw.  I don’t think they’ll every be straight again.  The legs are held on by a few nuts and bolts.  I supported the lower half of the saw with the engine crane to allow removal of the legs and then sat the bed down.

Here’s a pic of the rear leg which has so far been hard to see in the pics. 

Someone had broken a bolt off in the end of the axle shaft.  I tried vise grips on it but without luck.  I then tried the “weld a nut to it technique” and it came out easily.  I think this is one of my favorite things about owning a mig welder.

I removed the wheels from their axles and ran into what I’m guessing are the original bearings.  They feel stiff and gritty and will at least require new grease. 

Now for the some bad news.  Two of the three posts that the bolts go into on the gear box are broken.  Someone also welded the little gear onto the shaft and I can’t imagine that’s a good sign.

I also discovered a rather large crack in the main leg.  It runs most of the way across this foot and I’ll have to find a way to repair it.

People must like these saws because they’re still made today by the Dake company.  The castings have been greatly simplified because all industrial machines made today are not allowed to have character.  They’ve also made the hydraulic system easier to use and covered all the moving bits.

More later as the restoration continues…

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