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VaughnT

BD1 Bandsaw Clamp

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BD1 is the fellow over on the welding forum that turned me on to this neat little trick, so I thought it only right that he be immortalized for his efforts.

The clamp is just a 1" slice taken off some heavy-wall pipe I had.  In this case, 3/8", but you could use anything you might have.  I was thinking you could even forge a flat bar into a curve and use it rather than wait to find a piece of pipe the right size.

The clamp bridges the gap, so to speak, so you can cut a short piece from a short piece.  If the OEM table clamp on your bandsaw doesn't reach, or the piece is too short to get a good grab, the BD1BC comes in really handy!

I needed to make up a rune pendant for a nice lady, but didn't have a long bar of the weathered metal handy.  Rather than forge some new bar, I opted to make a BD1BC first thing this morning and give it a go.  Worked like a champ allowing me to cut 1-3/8" off a 5" bar.

 

Action shot!

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After Action, with the cut piece.  Not much to the "construction" of these things.  I didn't use a full half-circle, opting to leave the rest of the tube for a circle jig that'll look good hanging on the wall.  Just cut a slice, ease the edges with a file, and you're done.  I do recommend you stamp in the name like I did just so you don't accidentally throw this thing away.  I'll likely end up painting the whole thing red just so I can find it easily and don't think it's scrap for the scrap yard!

IMG_6803.thumb.JPG.67cd8f052528201f0350743f0b8125f0.JPG

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Nice idea.  It looks like half an outer race from a large bearing might work well there too.

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Vaughn: Is this a vise jaw extension or what? It's not like you can use it to hold both sides of the blade besides being no backing to clamp to. I don't see how what it does or how.

I use my cut off band saw all the time and have to shim stock to fit in the vise frequently, I'm always looking for ideas to make it better, easier. I'm interested for sure I just don't get it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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This is an awesome idea. I will be making one at work tomorrow for sure!  It seems much more handy than shimming up stock because a guy wouldn't need to look for the right size shim every time.  This tool will do the trick no matter what thickness material you are cutting.  I agree with Buzzkill that a bearing race would work well.  I feel like if you are really cranking down the vice mild steel from a chunk of pipe would spread out over time, where a race would last longer.

a guy could also neural the ends if slipping was ever an issue.

On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 10:35 AM, VaughnT said:

I'll likely end up painting the whole thing red just so I can find it easily and don't think it's scrap for the scrap yard!

I like to paint things safety orange.  Red seems to be a common color in manufacturing so red things often get thrown into the scrap bin at work. 

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2 hours ago, Frosty said:

I don't see how what it does or how.

Frosty, it’s for holding pieces that are too short to reach the movable jaw of the vise. It’s a third class lever: one end rests on the workpiece (load), the other rests on the immovable jaw (fulcrum), and the movable jaw presses against the center (effort). 

1 hour ago, Cannon Cocker said:

a guy could also neural the ends 

That would take a lot of nerve. 

(Knurling, on the other hand....)

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7 minutes ago, JHCC said:

That would take a lot of nerve. 

(Knurling, on the other hand....)

Hahahahahahaha! My wife and I just had a good laugh about that! I couldn't think of how to spell it and that's one of the words my stupid phone suggested...... Talk about a mind of its own. 

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DOH! So long to the shims?

In my simple way of looking at things, high tech isn't about the fanciest machine that can do a job, it's the simplest. This is elegantly simple in it's effectiveness. (I hope so, I haven't tried it yet but I'm no my way out to the shop in a few minutes.)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Sure that works, but what is the difference from that and just a flat block of steel? 

I usually place a thick flat bar section in the jaw and pinch the little part at one end and pack the other end with the same stock size in my cold saw. Works every time. 

Sure yours is more elegant but limited in how much pressure it can take. 

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17 hours ago, Marc1 said:

Sure that works, but what is the difference from that and just a flat block of steel? 

I usually place a thick flat bar section in the jaw and pinch the little part at one end and pack the other end with the same stock size in my cold saw. Works every time. 

Sure yours is more elegant but limited in how much pressure it can take. 

The flat block requires that you have a section of similar stock to fill the void.  As you note, you have to "pack the other end with the same stock size".  

The curve of the BD1 Bandsaw Clamp does away with the need for any filler packing.  It reaches from the fence to the end of the piece, right before the gap where the blade passes through, and fits any size stock you have. In this case, I was cutting 3/16"x3/4"  bar, but the one clamp would work on anything from 1/16" up to, well, whatever size the curvature will accommodate.  No filler packing needed, so you don't have to hunt down a piece the right size for what you're needing to cut.

Not being a screw vise, there's only so much pressure the bandsaw's vise can apply.  While my BD1 did deform a bit when I threw the lever on the vise, it bounced right back when I let off the pressure.  At 3/8"x1", it's pretty stout and I don't think it'd be a problem to forge it back to shape if it ever took a permanent set.

22 hours ago, Frosty said:

Vaughn: Is this a vise jaw extension or what? It's not like you can use it to hold both sides of the blade besides being no backing to clamp to. I don't see how what it does or how.

I use my cut off band saw all the time and have to shim stock to fit in the vise frequently, I'm always looking for ideas to make it better, easier. I'm interested for sure I just don't get it.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Frosty, here's a better picture -- the original BD1 Bandsaw Clamp in action!

attachment.php?attachmentid=1689772&d=15

As you can see, the piece being cut is far too short for the OEM vise to grab solidly.  With the arc of the BD1 clamp, though, the vise can apply pressure right up to the edge of the gap in the fence.  Because the pressure of the clamp is distributed over those two little points of contact, it's a very strong grip and you don't have to worry about slippage.

 

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Thanks Vaughn, I got it when you added a couple details earlier. No  more shims. I wish my cut off bandsaw had a base jaw that ran both sides of the blade. To make up for it I can swing it up and but the large rest on it for a vertical bandsaw and cut shapes.

I LOVE bandsaws, it's the ONLY machine I'll set, turn on and walk away from. The worst that can happen is snap a blade unless you shove a body part into it of course but that's on the operator.

I have a couple sizes of pipe I'll be making up my own BD1 or two.

Great accessory for a cut off saw. Thanks!

Frosty The Lucky.

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Now that I think of it, forging a 3"-4" arc out of spring steel or the like would be a nice addition to the post vise, for when I have to hold something at one end of the jaw....

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Traditional method is to have a series of short lengths of sq stock of various sizes with one end slit and then bent out forming a "T" that can be dropped in place on the other end of the vise to keep it from twisting in use. (I stamp the tops with the size for my students who can't tell just by looking at them...)

A more recent way was shown here IIRC was to have a series of sheet metal pieces on a ring and then you just select the right amount to equal the needed width and slide them into place.  You can get a closer approximation for forged stock using this method!

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Ol' Terry over on the welding forum liked the BD1 so much, he made up a selection and welded some handles on them.  Gotta love a good idea!

 

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Never thought about using them on such thin stock, but I'm always keen for a way to do thin stock better!  

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On 8/5/2018 at 4:10 PM, Cannon Cocker said:

It seems much more handy than shimming up stock because a guy wouldn't need to look for the right size shim every time.  This tool will do the trick no matter what thickness material you are cutting.  I agree with Buzzkill that a bearing race would work well.  I feel like if you are really cranking down the vice mild steel from a chunk of pipe would spread out over time, where a race would last longer.

 

It completely does away with the need for shims.  As you note, that's a huge aggravation any time, so doing away with it is a real joy.

Just back from the shop where I did some testing.  The BD1BC as I made it will securely hold from 1/8" all the way up to 2" square tube I had.  I didn't try anything larger since I didn't have any small pieces to try, but I don't foresee any problems as long as the arc of the BD1BC is sufficient to clear the piece being cut.

Where I goofed was only cutting my BD1BC from a 1" slice of the pipe.  This means I can hold square and flat stock of any reasonable size.... but I can't hold round stock that's more than 1.5" in diameter.  Going too large on the diameter means my 1" BD1BC tops out below the centerline of the round stock.

If I'd cut my original slice 2" or 3" long, like in Terry's handled versions above, I'd be able to reach the centerline on any round stock I'd likely ever encounter in my shop.  Not a huge problem as it stands, but something to think about if you work with a lot of tubing or bar. 

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