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Thread: The humble Port-A-Band

  1. #1
    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    The humble Port-A-Band

    A couple of us on here love our milwaukee Portabands. I
    I know Kevin and I do.

    I've used these since my early apprentice days and have loved them ever since. The portability offers numerous advantages without sacrificing quality of work capacity.

    I figured I'd post this for those looking for a bandsaw but lack room. Portabands are durable and blades are cheap. They run at a low RPM and cut serious metal......accurately once you get used to it.

    I'm building a table, basically a replica of the one pictured below on my 1940's Sears bandsaw.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The table is for my profile belt sander. I like the simplicity and rawness of my old bandsaw table, so that's my project.

    Below shows how nice it is to use a portaband. Look carefully, the portaband is cutting a miter at 45 1/8" think steel. With a steady hand it cuts it flat and straight.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Because it's portable you can cut on clamped parts anywhere.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you look closely above the saw is cutting a nice miter on that 1/8" steel.

    And it's accurate in my welding jig. You can see the cut-offs, all this from a stout portable saw.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here in the jig mitered, clamped and ready for welding.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    When it comes to homebuilding airplanes and equipping a shop with tools, I wouldn't even do it unless I have one. My standard bandsaw really doesn't get used much.

    Scrap

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Sorry about the rotated photo.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Better shot of the miter cut. Although it's portable the machine is so incredibly stout that as long as you hold it right and let the saw cut on its own terms..... she'll be accurate for you. In the right hands you can literally shave a 1/16" off.
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    Registered User don january's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Scrapper View Post
    Better shot of the miter cut. Although it's portable the machine is so incredibly stout that as long as you hold it right and let the saw cut on its own terms..... she'll be accurate for you. In the right hands you can literally shave a 1/16" off.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sweet saw, I bet it would be great to cut up my wifes frozen roast beef also. I wonder how it would do on spar tappers? probably great with a fence for guide.
    KR-2, Taylor Mono,

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    I don't think I'd get it near a spar. Lol

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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Agreed
    I love mine. I've even converted the guide bar to a plate for "non-portable" use.

    Amazing the things I use this for.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Very nice, Bill. Any close ups of that would be great. Did you just bolt a plate on the shoe?

    Throw it in a vice and good to go. Very nice indeed.

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Got her tacked up and mocked up. Thinking about mounting a grinder on the side.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Does that bandsaw work on thin steel tube? Or does it break the blade?

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson View Post
    Does that bandsaw work on thin steel tube? Or does it break the blade?
    Works excellent on thin tube because it cuts slow and you can use fine tooth blades.

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    Registered User Mark Z's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    I've been jonesin' for one of those for too long.

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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    The Milwaukee brand lasts forever,

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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    Replace the normal guide with this plate with countersunk holes and a blade slot cut by the saw.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Scrapper View Post
    Very nice, Bill. Any close ups of that would be great. Did you just bolt a plate on the shoe?

    Throw it in a vice and good to go. Very nice indeed.

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    I have a stand I got a number of years ago but it was horrible so never used it again. Clamping it up in a vise old school works pretty well.

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    Re: The humble Port-A-Band

    They are pretty stout saws.I have a friend who does a lot of towers,railings and arch work on boats and he swears by his.They have to cut all sorts of stuff on site,mainly aluminium tubing but it sure sees plenty of stainless too.They have an old one that they use in a fixture that he made to plug into his hitch and he can feed tubing etc right from the truck bed the fence he made and also a newer portable.The fixture is just fancy clamp that allows him to set angles and it has a fence similar to the one posted here.
    I dont know if I'd use his setup to make cuts with aircraft precision from his truck but he manages to make parts fit good enough for million dollar boats from it.But I'd say if someone wanted they could easily make a similar setup for cutting stuff at home and easily get things as precise as needed.
    They really are a great tool and once you have one most times you wonder how you managed without one.

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