Thanks to the wonder that is Craigslist I picked up a 1940s 12″ Craftsman bandsaw last year. It’s a model number 103.0103. I was able to see it run before purchasing it so that was a plus. Still I tore it down and fixed it up. Here’s the post on tearing it down. It’s mostly going to be pics instead of a step by step so as not to bore you. I don’t have all the pictures I’d like to have for this post but hopefully you’ll get the idea.
Here’s the bandsaw as I picked it up. Not much to look at but it was solid. Note that it came with a pretty cool Century motor. It’s only 1/2 hp but it’s pretty massive. It’ll get it’s own post later.
You can faintly see the outline of the Craftsman sticker that it used to wear. Wish I could find a replacement.
Here’s a view from under the table. It’s a little rusty but all the parts for the tilting mechanism (pictured here) and the lower guide (on opposide side).
Here’s a picture of the top of the table and upper guide. The table had a nice coat of rust on it but it was pretty even with only light pitting.
Here’s the inside of the saw. It’s much more massive than what you’d find today in the small bandsaw class of machines. The tube is 1/8″ walled steel while the arms and wheels are cast iron. Heavy wheels are desirable because they have a lot of momentum and keep the wheels from stalling if you hit a tough spot in the wood.
After removing the tension adjustment knob and a lot of screws the stamped metal cover can be removed. Four bolts hold the table to the adjustment mechanism allowing you to remove it as well. Both wheels are press fit to bearings which ride on metal axle shafts. They’re removed using a puller or by hammer depending how much space/luck you have.
Here’s a view of the back. While four bolts mechanically held on each cast iron year of rust had pretty much glued them together. A lot of penetrant and a large mallet convinced them to separate after a while.
From here it’s just removing the feet and some of the sub assemblies. Here’s a view of the lower guide and table tilt subassembly. The “wheel” seen face on in the picture is the thrust bearing for the blade. The bandsaw blade contacts the face of the “wheel” off center and spins the bearing when the blade is pushed against it during use. Below it are two slotted set screws. They hold two pieces of brass which control lateral deflection of the blade.
This is the upper axle assembly. Another should be on the right edge of this picture but is not shown. The wheel is sandwiched between the two bearings which are pressed onto the axle shaft. The shaft is then pressed into the bracket on the left. A bolt fits through the two holes in the bracket allowing the wheel to be tilted to adjust the way the blade tracks.
Being a 70 year old machine there were a few issues encountered. The picture shown below is the pulley end of the lower axle. The lower axle has a pulley on it (you can barely see it in pic 3) that connects to the motor with a V-belt. Unfortunately, the set screws in the pulley had loosened over time and ate away at the axle shaft.
Here’s the inside of the pulley. It was damaged as well by being loose.
This is the upper blade guide. It works like the lower one but is unfortunately broken. There should be set screws on both sides but the area around one is missing. The Phillips screw to the right was a poor attempt to fix the problem by the previous owner.
At this point everything was disassembled and ready for cleanup and painting. Another couple of posts on the motor and putting it back together will be out next…