Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

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Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby azdrj » 07 Aug 2010, 08:32

I have a Milwaukee Porta-band saw and wanted a way to convert it to a stationary vertical band saw. I didn’t want to buy a horizontal 4x6 band saw and the abrasive chop saw is noisy and I don’t think the neighbors appreciate me working in the garage at 10:00 at night.
My goal was to design and build a table that I could then mount the portable saw into my vice and also incorporate a miter slot which would help to cut square cuts and of course angled cuts.
First was throwing together some scrap steel to even see if the concept would work. Here is a shot of the prototype welded up.
The holes are where the table bolts to the saw.
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And, by using the inverted “T” style miter slots which trap the miter gauge, I could then use the miter gauge as a third hand to clamp material to, and not worry about it falling away from the table (hope that makes sense). To build out the miter slot, I welded some flat bar set back from the edge, then spanned the miter slot with another piece of scrap flat bar. Somewhat similar in effect to cutting a dado groove.

Here is a shot of from below the table to illustarte the miter slot. Another piece of tube was welded to the underside to serve as a way to mount it in the vice.
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Action shots ! - cutting a 90*
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Also clamped some square tube to the table to make-shift rip fence to see how that would work.
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At this point it looks like placing th miter groove on the right hand side of the table would provide more clearance.
Next step was to work on a more refined finish (and lighter) version.
-Dan.
05 LJ, Nth TT, York OBA, Warn XP, 4" SA RE lift w/ Airock bags......
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Re: Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby azdrj » 07 Aug 2010, 08:52

Chapter two.
I wanted to build the main table out of Aluminum & that could easily detach from the saw, after all it is a “Porta-band”.
I replaced the mfg shoe with a larger version which would allow the table top to bolt and unbolted/
Here is a shot of the new shoe and the original mfg part for comparison. The threaded holes in the new shoe are where the table top will bolt to the shoe.
If you look closely, the protruding screws in the original mfg shoe is how the shoe connects to the saw (more on that later).
Image

Here is the aluminum prototype, the new steel shoe, and the support block that serves as a way to mount the entire thing in a vice. The support block is milled to fit underneath one of the flanges on the saw itself to help support the weight of the saw. Otherwise, you are supporting the wait of the saw at where the show bolts to the saw itself.
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Partially assembled on the saw. The longer screws for the support block aren’t entirely cinched up for illustration. To the right you can see the flange on the saw where this support block will be supporting the saw
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Finished product. I intentionally pulled the miter gauge out to illustrate how the “T” slot captures the miter gauge. It will work with a regular miter gauge, but I prefer the “T” slot version, especially after having a few miter gauges fall on my feet. :mrgreen:
Image
-Dan.
05 LJ, Nth TT, York OBA, Warn XP, 4" SA RE lift w/ Airock bags......
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Re: Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby azdrj » 07 Aug 2010, 09:35

And lastly, a couple action shots. :)
A piece clamped to the miter fence – helps for longer items that would otherwise tilt away from the table (again why the “T” style miter gauge is helpful).
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And here I was testing to see how small of a piece I could “shave” off the end without the blade drifting. Ignore the blue painter’s tape – I thought it would help protect the table from excess scratches…..
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Working on a project and needed several pieces cut to the same length.
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Last Christmas I gave my father a porta-band as a gift. Once I knew that the final version was working as expected, I cranked out another “porta-band table” and shipped it to him. It even works in Arizona !
Here is his set-up.
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Since the vice will swivel, I can swing it out of the way if needed which makes it a little more out of the way when needed to walk around parked cars in the garage – always a plus for a smaller garage. It is pretty much flush with the work bench in this pic. HF sells the foot pedal in the pic so which allows for a more "hands free" operation, just simply zip tie (or use a mini-clamp) the trigger and use the foot pedal to turn the saw on and off. The saw has a seperate dial to adjust the speed of the saw.
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:D :D
It is a lot quieter than the abrasive chop saw, doesn’t heat up the metal as much, leaves a clean straight cut, can still be portable, and with the miter gauge you can make consistent angled cuts and also clamp larger pieces to the fence and with a “T” slot style of miter gauge it will keep the piece secured to the table.
-dan.
:blob:
05 LJ, Nth TT, York OBA, Warn XP, 4" SA RE lift w/ Airock bags......
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Re: Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby Jeephacker » 09 Aug 2010, 14:38

Very cool, nice job :notworthy:
When you hear Hard's sheet metal grinding on rocks, sit back and smile :twisted:
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Re: Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby kaygee » 09 May 2011, 14:26

Hi there. Do you sell the aluminum version of this awesome thing that you created? I'm interested. Thanks.
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Re: Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby azdrj » 10 May 2011, 22:01

Hi Kaygee,
I may still have the first aluminum prototype laying around. It has some extra holes drilled into it but is functional (it's the picture above with the paper towel in the pic). I'll see if I can find it. If you want a fancy shiny one, we can discuss and I can get another one cranked out.
I didnt intend on making these in mass production to sell, but it has served me very well and I would be glad to help you out.
If you are in the Boise area you can swing by and try it out to see what you think.
-Dan.
05 LJ, Nth TT, York OBA, Warn XP, 4" SA RE lift w/ Airock bags......
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Re: Converting a Porta-band saw to vertical band saw

Postby Morphine » 11 May 2011, 11:04

Pretty sweet! Reminds me of the Swag Offroad Milwaukee/Dewalt Portaband Modular Mounting System.....except cooler, and its built, not bought! :lol:
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