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  1. #1
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Iíve been working on some projects recently that my GMC chop saw was too loud and messy to bear after a while. Iíve been on the hunt for a bandsaw for a while when this Rockwell popped up.

    Iím a real fan of older equipment (I have a 1946 Hercus Lathe) as I feel the heft and mass of them is purely unmatched with modern equipment and as I hoped to covert it to cut metal, that extra sturdiness would hopefully help.



    It says itís an F01:





    I have the saw stripped for cleaning and replacing old work out parts (and a few upgrades) and need some help. I canít remove the wheels to clean behind them, replace the bearings and do some remedial work. Are they just stuck on there as I would assume they would pull off. I do not have a flywheel puller but lols like Iíd need one if they should pull off:



    The tires have really deteriorated so Iíll be replacing them. Is there an option that will work better with metal and can I find ones that donít require glue (urethane maybe)?

    Also I have a crack in the top cover. This isnít really a stressed part of the saw but if I can repair I will do. Could I silicone TIG braze it or even TIG weld it?



    My plan is to add a 36:1 reduction jack shaft to the machine to reduce it down to 100 odd SFPM for steel cutting but Iím keen to get it running first.

    It has a 3ph Motor too, so that will be getting a VFD.

  2. #2
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    Eric (Lamestllama) has some bandsaw wheels re-tyred in this thread. There should be someone in Sydney who does something similar
    https://metalworkforums.com/f65/t202...bandsaw/page-2

    It looks a bit like a Grizzly unit that I had a small part in repairing
    https://metalworkforums.com/f303/t20...15#post1946815
    There, a bracket was pot metal, so be careful of trying to weld up that cover in case it is not Al

    Check for grubscrews holding the wheel on. I remember from previous bandsaw explorations that sometimes they have 2 at 90 degrees to each other. Another old machine trick is to have 2 grubscrews in one hole with the second one acting as a locking screw. A flywheel puller would be the gentlest way to get that wheel off though and worth thinking about as replacement wheels would not be easy to find...

    Michael

  3. #3
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    Thanks very much. I checked the top wheel and cleaned the backside of it... no grub screws. Looks like this old saw is solid on the bearing surface so a puller is the best option I think to gently but forcefully remove it.

    Good point re the casting. Itís not the best material. Iíll likely fill the crack with JB Weld as that should more than stabilise the crack enough to not worsen through vibration.

  4. #4
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Perhaps consider stop drilling the ends of the crack before filling with JB Weld. Hopefully that will stop it propagating.

    Edit: just had a better look at the crack photo. That's a substantial crack and I'd be wanting to repair it in some way.

    With the wheel, check if it's possible to remove the shaft and wheel as an unit - i.e. Does the shaft perhaps go all the way through the housing. Would then give you other options for removing the wheel from the shaft once you had it on the bench.

    Steve

  5. #5
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by neevo View Post
    I’m a real fan of older equipment (I have a 1946 Hercus Lathe) as I feel the heft and mass of them is purely unmatched with modern equipment and as I hoped to covert it to cut metal, that extra sturdiness would hopefully help.
    My experience is that unless the bandsaw is an old cast iron type wood working bandsaws, these older (alloy) wood working bandsaws are unfortunately not as "sturdy" as even budget level current day metal working bandsaws.

    At our mens shed we have a (~55 years) old SteelFast (also mainly alloy) upright bandsaw which was specifically made for cutting metal. It has a 5 speed intermediate pulley pair arrangement that gets the band to the right speeds for metal and is slightly more sturdy than allot based wood working bandsaws of that vintage. Even so I prefer using either an old power hacksaw or any horizontal metal work bandsaw. Metal work bandsaw bands have to be really tight to achieve decent cutting speeds in thick stock and although the Steelfast can achieve this I still worry about the degree of flexing of the outboard column as well as the ordinary band guides provided. As a result we don't run the band all that tight and the main thing it gets used for is thin plate.

    The main reason I don't like using upright bandsaws for metal work is that the operator has to stand there and apply considerable continuous pressure to the workpieces whereas with the hacksaw or horizontal bandsaw it can be set cutting and I can go an do something else. Upright saws are also much more difficult to use with coolant/lube.

    I guess it depends what you intend to cut, if it's just thin sheet metal, then the level of band tightness is not that important bit if it's largish rod or bar then a tight band really makes a difference.

    FWIW I have a largish (19") WW bandsaw with a 3HP 3Phase motor and VFD and I cut a lot of Al plate (and curves) on that saw with a 6mm wide wood working band. In most cases I don't bother to slow it down with the VFD but I do use hard wax as a lube when cutting. To cut larger Al rod and bar I usually use my table saw with a composite material blade, its the main thing I use my TS for. Steel gets cut on my ancient 40+ year old horizontal metal working bandsaw.

    Despite all of the above I will be still be very interested to hear how you get on.

  6. #6
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Would JB Weld be a suitable fix for the crack or would TIG brazing it with silicone bronze work? Iíve been meaning to try brazing with the TIG anyway. Whilst the crack is substantial, the crack is only on the top wheel cover which isnít part of the frame. It just bolts on to the top part to cover the wheel. Even the top wheel alignment part doesnít attach to the cover. So worst case Iíll try drilling the ends and using JB Weld as a starting point.

    Re shaft removal. I tried that but unfortunately the whole rear assembly is one and I cannot remove it without having the guard in between which is really unhelpful.

    Points noted re the sturdiness. Shame as I hoped it would be a suitable candidate (it has to be 250kg). However I rarely cut anything beyond 3-5mm anyway and for anything heavier than that I still have the chop saw or might look in to a plasma cutter.

    I assume I can put a magnet against the machine to confirm whether itís cast Alloy or Iron? Itís very grey material so my money is on alloy.

  7. #7
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by neevo View Post
    Points noted re the sturdiness. Shame as I hoped it would be a suitable candidate (it has to be 250kg). However I rarely cut anything beyond 3-5mm anyway and for anything heavier than that I still have the chop saw or might look in to a plasma cutter.

    I assume I can put a magnet against the machine to confirm whether it’s cast Alloy or Iron? It’s very grey material so my money is on alloy.
    If it is 250kg then it could indeed be cast iron. I had a closer look at the crack in the photo and note it goes a long way, again indicative of a lack of strength. The fact that it propagates from a point where the band has rubbed on the casing is also a concern.

    I'm a regularly JB weld user but my experience is that JBweld might not sufficiently penetrate into such a fine crack without being able to open it up a little so it can be cleaned properly. JB weld works really well provided the surfaces are scrupulously clean ie: no oil, dust, dirt or solvent left behind in the crack. Using compressed air might just blow dirt further into the crack. Heating or mechanically try to opening up the crack to access is likely to propagate the crack further.

    Give the position/length of the crack it could indicate that that region of the housing may be a weak point and it might even need additional strengthening of some kind although that might be more trouble than its worth.

  8. #8
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Typical! Got home and put a magnet on the bandsaw and was pleasantly surprised to find itís almost entirely cast iron

    I say almost because the only part that is not magnetic is... the top wheel cover!

    The cover (red) mounts to the main frame via the two bolts in yellow. I suspect not a great design but itís also been amplified by the fact there are washers for large openings which are quite deformed. Iíll likely turn up some proper spacers.



    Clearly this has put more strain on the cover than ideal but luckily (as Iíve mentioned before), it is only floating and just used to cover the wheel (you can see the main support here behind the cover):



    I might find someone with an AC/DC TIG and see if they can help to add some strength back.

  9. #9
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    The join between the top wheel support and the main frame has me puzzled. Almost looks like a weld bead but the support looks cast.

    Steve

  10. #10
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    I have Rockwell Delta catalogues from 1961 to 1986 and your saw looks to be much earlier.
    I put light heavyweight in google and up came Walker Turner so Rockwell May have taken them over.
    If you get onto the vintage machinery .org site you may well find info and possibly a catalogue. Being a US made item thatís the place to look.
    H.
    Jimcracks for the rich and/or wealthy. (aka GKB '88)

  11. #11
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Thanks clear out. Finding any info has been really hard so if I can find some literature that would be awesome.

    Edit: Definitely looks to be revealing some info.

    www.vintagemachinery.org/pubs/698/551.pdf

  12. #12
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    @clear out Walker Turner 18Ē Bandsaw reveals lots of info as a google search. Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Lots of thinking put in to the saw as well as a thorough clean. Iíve got it back together for the moment but waiting on a couple of pullers to get the wheels off and also take the bearings out of the motor.

    Iím on a family holiday now too which is giving me plenty of thinking time for the conversion to metal cutting. Thankfully my pencil has a rubber as Iím changing a few things as I go.

    Hereís my main idea:



    I will be keeping the initial build simple by not worrying about high speed yet (the bigger pulleys) so I can test the concept first. The plan is to run a new jack shaft in the base and the weight of the motor will be used to tension the belts. I have a lock on the motor so will use that to get the right level of tension.



    I originally was going to go with 16mm shafts (the same as the motor mount) but I struggled to find pillow blocks in that size, so instead Iíve beefed it up to 17mm. The pillow blocks are readily available and cheap, plus I get a slightly sturdier shaft. The same shaft will be used for the jack shaft pivot point and the jack shaft itself.

    Iím going to weld the jack shaft mount up out of 30mm square tube with a pivot hole in 1 end and pillow blocks at the other for the shaft.



    Also, whilst itís more expensive Iím going with a 20T smaller pulley (3M timing pulley, 15mm width). The alternative was an 18 and meant I could use a 120T bigger pulley than get the right reduction, but the 18T only come in an 8mm bore and that meant taking too much meat off the spindles. So Iíve upped it to the 20T with a 12mm bore. The downside is I now need a 150T pulley to get the right reduction which is $70!

    The additional meat is also going to be needed when (and if) I get my gearbox solution up and running. Iím thinking about the design now but wonít implement until I have the saw up and running.

    The gearbox will definitely be a nice to have addition, but Iím mainly doing it as I want to try my hand and ball detects, dog clutches and knurled handles.

  14. #14
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    Default Rockwell Bandsaw Identification, Help and Conversion

    Been refining my gearbox idea too. This is only concept stage at this point as hopefully I can live with the saw a bit before taking this next step, but I have the time to think about it, so why not.

    The easy part is the gearbox for the 2 larger wheels on the jack shaft that are driven off the motor:



    The pulley and dog gear are mounted on to a tube and Iím toying with the idea of using this setup in place of a plain bearing as it will be cheaper (bronze is mega expensive) but I also think it will deal with the loads a bit better too. The pulley and gear dog will be locked to this tube with loctite and possibly a lock screw or two. But given the dimensions of the tube I didnít want to deform it, so red loctite seemed a better option.

    The hard one is how to have the smaller pulley spinning on the shaft. Hereís my current idea:



    Still using roller bearings and a stepped tube to accomodate the smaller pulleys smaller diameter.

    The driving dog will be locked to the shaft with opposing key ways as a pseudo spline and be allowed to move along the shaft. The pulleys will be allowed to spin on the shaft but be locked axially with lock rings on the outer and inner sections.

    No idea if it will work mind you!!!!

  15. #15
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    Question for the experts. I need to fix the drive wheel of the dog clutch to the 17mm rod. The rod will be chromed so the free spinning wheels will have something to rotate on. Therefore cutting splines is out of the question.

    I was thinking of using a key (or a few) to drive the shaft with the hope that this could allow the dog to slide along the shaft and engage the pulleys either side.

    Would this work or bind? Iím assuming if the hole on the dog was a good fit and the keys had a little clearance it should be ok?

    I was thinking either 2 or 3 keys to transfer the load evenly on the shaft?

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