Conversion of 4 x 6 bandsaw for vertical use only

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May 9, 2022
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I haven't used my 35 year old 4 x 6 bandsaw since I got my Jet 7 x 12. After much thought, I decided that rather than let it sit, I would convert it to vertical use only. It seems that no-one makes a hobby sized vertical metal cutting saw. Of course there are a few older Powermatic Model 143s around, but they still sell for big bucks, and are too heavy to move into my basement shop.

Most, if not all of the hobby sized wood cutting bandsaws run way to fast, and lack the rigidity needed for satisfactorily cutting steel. The little 4 x 6 horizontal/vertical saws that are seen everywhere are made of heavy cast iron, and geared properly for cutting metal. They are inconvenient to use in the upright position, as it is necessary to straddle or sit on the base. The stamped sheetmetal table is useless, as well. The angled guides needed for cut-off work severely limit the capacity for cutting steel plate.

I made adaptors to take the twist out of the blade guides, which provides slightly over 5" of throat depth. The 1/3 hp motor that came with the saw was replaced by a 3/4 hp Baldor. The stock pulleys and belt works fine with the new set-up. The table support pulls forward to change blades., etc. The 3/4" plywood cover keeps the chips off the motor, and shields the pulleys and belt. A new Lenox bi-metal blade was installed, which seems almost indestructible.

I also have an older Milwaukee portable bandsaw set up on a Swag table, but I find myself going to the 4 x 6 almost exclusively now.

IMG_4769.JPG IMG_4770.JPG IMG_4772.JPG upper guide.jpg lower guide.jpg
I use the same saw for both horizontal and vertical using a better quality table fixed to the bottom guide. Your changes are much better for vertical use and the adaptors are a great idea. I am going to rethink the way I use mine.
I think that turned out very well. You've made a much more useful tool out of your old 4x6 and made it justify its floor space as well. I think we all need a good vertical saw from time to time and this is another option to consider.

Thank You for posting,


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