Well, it only took forever, but tonight I finished work on my Wadkin
Bursgreen 20" bandsaw and made first dust with it!
I bought the saw for $200 (CDN) from a window factory that bought it used
from another window factory. The saw is about 30 years old, and when I
bought it, it was done, toast, it needed one of everything. The bearings
were shot, there were no tires on the rims, guides were worn out, frayed
belt, etc. One of my many friends named Mike helped my bring the saw from
the window factory to my work where it sat for almost a year as I assembled
all the various parts I would need for the rebuild.
I brought the saw home in pieces (it weights over 600 pounds) and started
rebuilding it. I did some body work, fixing dings and holes drilled in the
saw over the years. I drove the saw around the corner to a friend of mines
place, who just happens to have a full spray set up in his garage, to have
the saw painted (Nice job Mike!).
One serious problem with the saw right off the bat was a cracked trunion.
The trunion is cast iron and irreplaceable. I deal with a local welding
school through work and I was able to have one of the instructors weld the
trunion for a very small fee. Cast iron has to be welded in a very special
way, both heated and cooled in an oven to be done correctly. It had been
repaired badly once before, and this time it was done correctly.
I had HTC build a custom mobile base for the saw, it works very well, I can
move the saw around effortlessly. This helped a lot as I worked on the saw,
I could move it around with ease. I don't have 575/3ph at home, so I
replaced the stock 2hp motor with a new 220/1ph 3hp Lafert unit. This is a
metric flange mount motor and it was a bit of a challenge to find one. I
also obviously had to replace the remainder of the electrics to handle the
new voltage/higher amp draw. I put on a new Dan Foss magnetic starter and
20amp twist lock plug/cord.
The wheels are like the old Delta bandsaws, with the little groove around
the rim. Since I could not get new tires from Wadkin for this saw, I tried a
set of Delta's. Turns out my saw is not really 20", but rather the metric
equivalent of 19.5". You would think that 1/2" wouldn't be enough to make a
difference, but the Delta tires "flapped" on the rims of this saw under
power and did not work. I found a company about an hours drive away who
re-hooves (vulcanizes) bandsaw tires, so I took the tires to them for a
rebuild. They also crowned, installed the new wheel bearings and balanced
the tires as well.
The guides are a set of Carter MicroPrecsion bandsaw guides. I was able to
order new "Tefloy" blocks and thrust bearings from a local Carter dealer
without too much difficulty. Any part of these guides can be replaced or
fixed, so that they were in bad shape did not concern me. Rebuilding them
was much cheaper than having to buy a new set.
For some reason, someone had painted the cast iron table top black. This was
a good thing really, because when I scraped the paint off with a razor
blade, there was clean bright cast iron underneath. By the way, the table
alone on this saw weighs almost 150 pounds.
Rebuilding the saw was pretty easy really, the only marginally challenging
task was aligning the guides once reinstalled because off their many axis of
You can see in the photographs me resawing a 12" wide pine board, the saw
blew through it. I also did some resawing on an 8" wide hard maple board, no
matter how hard I pushed, I could not get the saw to stall or slow down one
bit. Note from my framing square that there is over 16" of clearance under
the guides of this saw.
This saw will be used exclusively for ripping and resawing. I am going to
keep a 1" blade on the Wadkin and a 1/4" on my Taiwanese 1hp 14" bandsaw.
Now I will never have to change blades for different applications again!
I figure that I have about $1000 into this saw and I would do it again in a
What a cool saw...