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Restoring a HF 4x6 band saw

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mzvarner

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#1
Hi all,
It has been a while since I made any posts, but I need the collective intelligence of the site for advice. Also, I could not decide if I should post here or in the band saw sub forum, so please move if necessary. I recently picked up a HF 4x6 horizontal band saw. So far I am happy with it, as it seems to cut straight, but there are 2 main issues.

1. The entire saw has been painted blue including the machined surfaces where stock rests and the inside surfaces of the vices. What is the best way to remove this paint? Soak in acetone, sandpaper, angle grinder with flap disk?

2. I do not have an angle indicator for making mitered (?) cuts. Is there an aftermarket accurate version or DIY solution?

Thanks all, and any other advice about this little beast is welcome. I see they have a very dedicated following.
 

RandyM

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#2
I suspect this thread will end up being more than a resto. so I moved to the Bandsaw section.

Any of your paint removal options will work. Some will be more aggressive than others. I'd think just some hand sanding should do the best.

I'd think you just need a little inspiration for your mitering solution. You may also want to see how often you actually need to make a miter cut. It may not be worth the effort to do a modification rather than a manual set up each time. Good luck, and yes, these saws are very capable of long lasting service. :encourage:
 

richl

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#3
I'll start with some basic answers.
Paint removal, acetone is fine, or your basic hardware variety of paint remover.I would imagine the paint will come off easy.
Typically I do not make angled cuts on my bandsaw, just too much of a pain to adjust the fence, but any analog or digital protractor should be fine. Every shop should have at least one of those. If not harbor freight and local hardware store should hook you up.
Also, if you have used the saw for any time you will notice that the knobs for blade tightening, the vise and opening the blade cover are all prime suspects for modification. The vise itself is often modified, some make modifications to the repeatability of the machine cuts and improve the stock holder.

Plenty of info here and on YouTube.

Have fun
 

Dave Paine

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#4
Acetone will remove many types of paint, some better than others, but it is highly flammable. I use it for cleaning surfaces, but not for removing rust.

There are many low odour paint strippers on the market, Citristrip is widely available. I have used this.

Citristrip at Home Depot

I have also used this product from Lee Valley which worked on some paints Citristrip did not clean up well.

Soy based paint remover at Lee Valley

Many of these products are slow acting, so brush on thick, leave overnight. Read instructions. Some require scraping off in a certain time interval.

Keith Rucker stripped the paint on some machine restorations with either Citristrip or a similar product.
 

markba633csi

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#5
Hi mz: Depending on what you'll be cutting you may need additional blades with different tooth counts. Keep the blade tight, it should make a guitar-like sound when plucked. Use a faster speed for aluminum, slower for steel.
Consider reinforcing the stand and put wheels on if it doesn't have any.
A chip catcher box is a handy mod, and there are many others.
Mark
ps check the gearbox; make sure there is clean oil in there
 

Downwindtracker2

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#6
I just did an early, early '80s?, BusyBee, after my $50 CL find got to be too much work. On the TWS one the brass gear was knife edge sharp and the bolt hole in the T-nut stripped. On the $100 BusyBee I added a fill hole and plug to the gear box as the grease didn't prevent wear on the TWS. To prevent the 3/8 bolt from taking all the load on the vise I put a spacer between the top of the T-nut and the vise jaw. The other mods were a 90degree stop block for the angle jaw. I also picked up a 1/2" shaft collar for the cut end stop, if you leave it set, it can catch, so you want it to drop away.
 

Downwindtracker2

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#8
CL Craig's list, TWS, Trans World Steel, I visited their headquarters, a one man operation in a empty warehouse. It had been a better unit than the Rong Fu #115 that BusyBee sold.

Son#1 gave Son#2 a 4x6 bandsaw and a washing machine motor one year for Christmas a few years back. It runs in the family. A 4x6 Bainbridge, the original US made o 4x6 bandsaw .The Taiwanese ones are better BTW. I'll see if I can put the legs off the TWS and the motor off the BusyBee on it and get it out of the garden shed shop. He moved out about five years ago.
 

Dabbler

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#9
thanks! I agree the Rong Fu is a lower quality. It can be made into a good saw, but who needs to buy a toolkit when you can buy a better saw cheaper by buying used?
 

markba633csi

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#10
I'm finishing a restore of a TransWorldSteel bandsaw circa 1979, cuts really well, weighs a ton though.
Mark
 

Downwindtracker2

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#11
The TWS was the worn out one. It had guide posts on the outside of bow frame instead of on the inside like the more common Rong Fu style. They were also longer so you could get the guide rollers closer to the work, a good thing with metal bandsaws. The bearings were also bigger, I had replaced them before I tore it apart! so I couldn't use them on the Rong Fu. oh well.

What was better on the BusyBee/Rong Fu was the slot for the T-nut. On the backside it was machined instead of rough cast. On the TWS it had chewed up the T-nut pretty bad.

My emphasis was on the vise, on the worn out one, it was as rigid as a fish in the bottom of the boat. So I had no hope of squarish cut. As well as the spacer on top of the T-nut, I added a thrust bearing to the rod. To but against something square, I JB welded a brass washer 90degrees to the rod. Instead of a thrust bearing another 7/16" brass washer would have worked. The rod is a 5/8" LH thread Acme and the handle section is machined down to 1/2"

The Rong Fu cuts square when I put a .040" x 1/2" shim beside the blade. chuckle. I'll call that project machine is finished.
 
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tq60

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#12
One of our "projects to do someday" is a set of "band saw vice helpers" that will include sets for both the "post tool" small band saw and the larger Wilson one.

Cutting miter or 45 is a pain as you need to swing the vice then reset after finished.

Second issue is due to the way the back jaw swivels for angle cuts it is some distance from the blade which makes cutting short parts a problem.

The moving jaw swivels but it is at distance from the blade.

We have used scrap for backer and it works so we are looking making an angle block that would have an edge that fits over the fixed jaw and either be adjustable or fixed at 45 degrees.

The end would be real close to the blade.

At same time we can make an extender for the back jaw so it can be normally next to the blade.

Then we need to make same for the moving jaw so it can apply pressure next to the blade.

That is a someday project for us but you could do same if you need to cut a 45 angles.

Other issue is the cuts never come out perfect so we clean up with the mill.
 

mzvarner

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#13
So I decided to use my wire wheel on an angle grinder to remove the paint from the machined flat section and each of the mating surfaces for the clamps. I opted this route over a flap disk. My experience is that flap discs remove metal very quickly, so it should be easier to control a wire wheel. I am also to impatient to let citristrip sit over night. Seems like everything is relatively flat and true (for my needs). Still thinking if i want to drill and tap a hole at 90 and 45. It really isnt that big of an issue to use a speed square on the edge of the grove the blade runs through. I have not made cuts to test how accurate this set up would be, but it is on my to do list next week I am out in the shop.
 

Silverbullet

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#14
Sounds like your getting there, I've had good luck with the same type saw . Many years ago I had the Sears equivalent size saw it lifted from the opposite end but it was used and priced right. I ordered new tires and guide rollers . After the initial adjustments it cut well for years , another item I wish I hadn't sold. Once you learn how to read your saw it will tell you what it needs. Sounds funny but it's true . It'll squeal or cut crooked even pop the blade . Just watch and listen. There not hard to figure out.
 
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