Converting wood bandsaw to cut metal.

I have this old bandsaw that I picked up for next to nothing, it had a broken mount for the upper wheel.

I was able to buy a replacement mount, but while a wood bandsaw is nice I really needed one that would cut steel. This bandsaw had a multiple belt reduction already but it was not slow enough to cut steel.

I switched it to a 3-phase motor and added a VFD. The VFD not only allows me to run it 3-phase from single phase but also allows speed control from zero to what ever your motor will allow. Mine works from 0 to 120Hz, so I can run it faster than usual or slow enough to cut metal, all without changing the belt.

Bigger picture of vfd

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rford Posted at: 2021-03-09T16:35:17Z

I think if you have the space a dedicated metal cutting band saw is better. I don't have the space for both a metal and wood band saw so I had to make one that does both.


Side draw chimney

I am using a little 10 gallon steel drum as my side draw forge chimney. I rescued the drum and the grain bin steel siding from a near-by dump.

The forge I have been using in the local museum is side-draft as are most of the smith's in the area. I like the side draft style as it leaves the fire unobstructed and actually pulls the smoke in much better than most overhead hoods.

I went cheap inspired by shady grove and really like how the round forge and round hood look together.

Large Image forge


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Siding starting to go on.

Looking more like a house siding is going on. The mismatch between the grey and the florescent yellow will have to be fixed later when we can afford to reside the bottom.

We used a cement board called hardie board The colour here is night grey We decided to breakup the walls a little by use of batten boards and some white transitions.


Major construction done.

Walls and roof are done.. Shingled and Insulated.

Second Story

reconstruction begins.

The walls were pre-assembled on the ground and craned into place. The trusses were placed on top. That is as far as the crew got that day, so of course it snowed about 10cm.

The next day they started on the trusses. Now it starting to look like a house again.

The roof sheeting is going up, but it will have to wait until Monday.