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Inspecting the Milclark bandsaw

I beat the odds and won the Ebay auction! Even though I was dead broke!

I won the Ebay auction so the next step was to get the saw back to Lionel's lab headquarters. The auction said "Won't ship, local pickup only." Well Iíve driven to Connecticut for some lathes, and 5 hours each way to New Hampshire for a milling machine. So surely I can drive the 40 minutes to Brooklyn (NYC) to get this saw!

I've never used a bandsaw before and I've never seen one this large before! It has 20" diameter wheels which means that it can cut very large pieces of material! I was strongly considering building a bandsaw from plywood and 2X4 lumber framework based on plans that can be found online, on Ebay in old popular mechanics issues, etc. But then I saw this monster on Ebay for $49.00. And it was located in Brooklyn (New York). I visit friends in Brooklyn! All I had to do is beat the odds and win the Ebay auction! That's easier said than done when you're bidding against people who actually have money in their bank accounts!

Against all odds I won the auction! The other bidders weren't even major players! The auction "sniper" -as they're called- who tried to snipe in with a winning bid in the last 10 seconds of the auction fell on his face. You might say that they weren't even in my league! I won the auction for $361.56. And beating the odds yet again I managed to wrangle up the money to pay for it! - Dec./31/2005


Go to section: | Inspection | dissasembly |

The bandsaw as received

Here is the bandsaw back at lab headquarters. It sure looks nice. There are brass chips on it indicating that it was used to do a lot of brass cutting. The guy who sold it owned a sculpture restoration business so I guess he worked with a lot of brass and bronze. The snow shovel is there for size comparison.

Click photo for a larger view.

The bandsw in the pickup truck

I managed to bring the saw back in this pickup truck. Had I not borrowed this truck it'd probably have been game over for me. This saw is probably 200 pounds heavier that I thought it would be (and I thought it'd be 400 pounds!). To load the truck the seller lifted the saw up with a chain hoist and I backed the truck up under it. It was then tilted onto it's side onto the sand bags I brought along for this purpose.

Unloading the bandsaw

At the time I hadn't yet built my lifting gantry with chain hoist so I had to rely on a clever unloading method (translation; Dangerous as he*l and relying on blind luck). I didn't even use an assistant (not even to take the pictures)! At least not a human assistant. I did have this hydraulic motorcycle jack (I love hydraulics) to help me though. I also had a hydraulic floor jack supporting the back of the truck from below.

I managed to tip the saw onto the motorcycle jack platform and lower it toward the ground.

Thick cast iron frame

They just don't build 'em like they used to. The saw's frame is an iron casting of 3/4" thickness. No wonder it's so heavy. And the frame itself is almost 5 feet tall (about 4' 8").

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The 3 phase motor

Here is the motor that came on this saw. It's a whopper at about 15" long and 12" diameter. It's 3 phase which means it can't be plugged into a regular outlet. Most home shop tools (like drill presses, table saws etc.) use single phase motors. Industrial tools like this saw are often given 3 phase motors because they are more efficient and cheaper to build.

I can either replace the motor with one of single phase or acquire (build or buy) a phase converter. In either case this motor is a heck of a lot lighter than it looks like it should be. It's about 50 pounds. Proportionally it seems like a single phase motor this size would weigh twice that.

The saw's nameplate

This nameplate and the partial sticker below it are the only forms of identification on this saw. I did an online search for Milclark and found nothing of use.

The partial sticker was probably from the company that retailed the saws. It seems to be of a guy wearing a suit holding a mallet in his right hand and some papers in his left hand while standing next to some machine and giving a sales presentation to eight other guys sitting around a table. If anyone has information about this machine I'd greatly appreciate an e-mail about it.

Click photo for a larger view.

The improvised belt guard

This photo is meant to detail the improvised belt guard. It's that thing made from perforates angle iron and tubing. The seller told me that it was installed just to satisfy O.S.H.A. (Which I think stands for; Occupational Safety and Health Association). I personally like it there to satisfy my own safety concerns! Even though it's ugly, it'll be used until something better comes along.

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The 24

The saw table is a full 24" diameter circle. I think this may be another clue to the saws age because aren't all the modern saw tables square?

The smaller central circle on the table is removable and it has a matching slot but you can't see it because I have it rotated 180 degrees. In the absolute center there is an even smaller removable circle. This table does not tilt.

The belt pulley

This flimsy die cast pulley was the only casualty during the recovery. While unloading the saw (at least that's when I think it happened) three of the spokes cracked. I managed to realign them and I may attempt to "weld" them secure again with that special aluminum welding rod that works with a propane torch. It's more like soldering aluminum.

I might just replace it with a cast iron pulley. It's 12" in diameter and turns the speed reduction gearing assembly behind that semi-oval plate.

The gear assembly

Here are the hefty speed reducing gears (two on the left and two on the right). This is definitely made for cutting metal rather than wood! The gears provide lower blade speed and higher torque.

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