Friday, August 8, 2014

Handy Bandy's vise, a long trip.

The saga of Handy Bandy's conversion into a cutoff saw continues. In this episode we relate that we were unable to find a suitable commercial vise for him; we were obliged to make out own. One of the hardest metalworking projects I have ever undertaken. At first I tried just clamping down the work and hoping for the best.

 Alas, this does not work. The bandsaw blade pulls left to right as you view the picture. It exerts enormous torque on the clamps. The work is pulled crosswise and the blade jams. This needs a proper vise. I looked all over the place and could not find a proper one. So I decided to make my own.

Long ago I found a couple of bedsteads thrown out by the wayside. With my trusty angle grinder I deconstructed the bedsteads and provided myself with a lifetime supply of angle iron, I am here to tell you, bedstead steel is super-excellent. I could make tools out of it, and will in the future. So the idea is this: we have a fixed jaw on a vise (angle iron). We have a movable jaw. Angle iron too. Finally we have an end block. For this I used 13 mm (1/2") square bar. I bought 10 foot of ths stuff for $7 from Fastnall in Wasilla. Now the whole megilla has to be lined up, clamped, and drilled in the proper place. It was quite difficult to keep the whole aligned as I drilled it:

 Now over to the lathe. We need some steel rod. I used hardware store stuff 12+ mm, not the best. I turned down the ends in the lathe to accept hardware store 10-32 screws and threaded then with a die:

 Now we put the whole thing together. We will have to tap the end block for a 1/4-20 (about M6x1) holdit-down screw, which I did, a real pain because I really don't have the proper size drills. I had the holdit screw nade up from a previous abandoned project.

And there is my vise. Now we have to countersink screw holes to take wood screws so I can hold down to the wooden block. Then use wood screws to hold it down. Then realize you need a shim under the movable jaw. Adapt a pice of aluminum. Then you have a vise.
And here is the end result. We have a little piece cut off on the bandsaw. Stiiting on the Al shim. It works. We need a bit of tuning but I have a working cutoff saw.

More to come.

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