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Porter cable porta-band 725

Discussion in 'Milling, Drilling, & Cutting' started by dancom, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I found this on Kijiji and picked it up for a song. These things are build like tanks and this particular one is lightly used.

    [​IMG]

    The blades are common 44-7/8" and also fit the DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita portable band saws. There is one little problem with this particular design...These blasted angled blade guides!

    [​IMG]
    These guides will prevent any single cuts longer than about 4" as the stock will run into the saw body.
    Their purpose is legitimate in the hand held use as they keep the blade vertical when holding the saw by its handles. As you can see, they force the blade on a 30° tilt and that angle makes whatever you are cutting ultimately head towards the saw body.

    If I could remove this angle, long stock wouldn't have to hit the saw body. After some tinkering, and a hardwood prototype, I came up with these: 1/2" steel "angle correction blocks." :)
    [​IMG]

    The blocks are drilled and tapped in four places to 10-32:

    [​IMG]



    Here they are installed.
    [​IMG]

    Ok, not perfect, but there's a lot more clearance now.

    So next I can set up a table and a stand for it and I'm off and running.

    I'll add more as I go.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  2. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    Dan, you truly are the McGyver of the knifemaking community. Pretty impressive! Where do you find the time?
     
  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Thanks Jim, I am trying to keep this thing under $120. Let's see where it goes. I have some steel for the table, just trying to decide whether I use two pieces and space them about 1/16" apart or a single piece where I make a cut in it.

    Dan
     
  4. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Update on the Porta-Band.

    For a table, I bought some surplus 3/16" plate from Metal Supermarket and cut a slot with the big 7" band saw at work.
    The blade on the big saw is thicker than the thin 0.020" blades on the portables. I fit and marked the position of the cleat and welded in a few places.
    I didn't want to apply too much heat so as to warp the table. The guide fits okay (not perfect), but there is some wiggle room as the holes are oversized.

    [​IMG]

    For the base I got another piece of plate, this time about 8 x 12". I welded some angle and strut to it to form a frame to hold the saw.
    The screw on the left strut allows for adjustable fit, so I can put some neoprene in after painting.
    The back section of angle uses the saw's handle to apply forward force and hold the saw in. Works great!
    The little mitred C channel is to allow the blade to be removed.
    A few 5/16" holes in the corners will let me mount it to the bench.

    [​IMG]

    And here it is before paint.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Total build cost was $125.

    As with most designs, there are trade-offs. The angle blocks allow me to cut long pieces up to 4" on the left of the blade, but limit the cross-cutting capacity.
    My reckoning was that cross-cutting is relatively easy and I could make do with a hacksaw if necessary. The detail and longer contouring jobs will be handled better with this setup.
    Only a few last things to do. Make a switched receptacle for powering it on and off, and tying the trigger closed.

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    Dan
     
    krash-bang likes this.
  5. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    that is awesome. I was thinking that the portables were limited because of the angle guides. so the solution, obviously, make new angle guides. Just fantastic. I still may look for a "deep" cutting model (all of 5" i think) but i will definitely look at making a new guide. I love it.
    Once again, awesome idea Dan.
     
  6. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    I had a thought when i was looking at the original angle guide on your saw. Would it be viable to use the original guide as is only "flip it" over so that the 30" is going in the other direction? that would mean everything would steer away from the body.
    I may be missing something obvious. What do you think?
     
  7. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    That could work if you could figure out how to fasten the original guide. The slot in the table would have to be cut at 30°off square.

    I find that straight is a good compromise. I can cross-cut most long stock "close enough" the square it on the grinder or make a final square cut on the band saw. If the blade was -30 more° I don't know how the cross cutting would work, especially on deeper pieces.

    Dan
     
  8. krash-bang

    krash-bang Active Member

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    Nice setup Dan!
     
    dancom likes this.
  9. bobbybirds

    bobbybirds Best New Maker

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    Rad Dan!! On my Kijiji watch list is a metal bandsaw as well... The hacksaw just grows old!
     
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Yes it's tough to hacksaw long cuts. This is probably the most used tool in my shop. It's slow and fairly safe; compared to the wood cutting band saw which could take a finger off in 1/4 second. The wife and kid use it all the time for cutting little things.

    It wheeeeel cut! This is 7/8" plate steel.
    [​IMG]
     
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