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The DoAll 16" LHF Bandsaw, Part 1:
I got a line on something I've been wanting for a while, and so one weekend
I bribed a buddy with a truck (that is, a buddy who owns a truck- I didn't use
a truck to bribe the buddy, 'kay?) and we lit out North in search of iron.
After four hours on the road, we arrived and found this:
A 1948 16" variable-speed DoAll LHF bandsaw. Pretty much the last big machine I've been looking for.
It's in fine shape, clean, with virtually no damage. There's some wear from use, of course, but the
motor is already single phase (and 110V, oddly enough for an ex-military machine) and runs like a champ.
The table is rusty but not broken, the tires are in good shape, there's virtually no sheetmetal damage.
First I used a bit of lacquer thinner to remove some of the grafitti and sticker
leftovers, and a few of the scuffs and rubs in the paint. Cleaned it up nicely.
Then I went after the rusty table.
The bulk of it scrapes right off with a razor blade. Or rather,
razor blades, as they go dull in a hurry this way.
But after that, some WD-40 and a couple chunks of Scotchbrite pad applied with a little
elbow grease, and a quick pass with a stone to knock down the nicks and dings...
And the rust is pretty much gone.
After a light scrub with some 600-grit wet-or-dry, she's pretty much ready to go.
The next thing I needed to attend to was the "Job Selector" dial- it's a pair of large
aluminum discs mounted on a central pivot, bolted to the upper half of the wheel-cover door.
In the case of this saw, the original bolt and bushing were lost at some point, and just a
1/4"-20 screw was holding the dials on. I first had to do some light straightening and slight
dent removal to the discs, but thankfully they were in pretty good shape. The inner movable disc
had a black Bakelite knob on the rim, which may not be original, and was
held on by a definitely non-original roughly ground-down brass screw.
The screw had been ground down because the mounting hole in the disc is very thinly socketed
to take the rim of the screw. I suspect the original was simply countersunk. As a replacement,
I turned down a 5/16" socket-head screw to have a very thin flange for a head.
I hit that with a cut-off wheel in a Dremel tool to give me a rudimentary screwdriver slot.
And was then able to securely reinstall the knob.
Now, the outer wheel is a cover, and stays stationary- it doesn't rotate.
The inner wheel, on the other hand, is supposed to rotate, but with a little drag
so it doesn't "flop around". DoAll has a manual for this machine, and it shows a
bushing in between the two- no dimensions, but it was easy to extrapolate.
I whipped a new bushing up from a scrap of white Delrin, using a simple cut-and-try method.
It fits through the center of the inner wheel, but has a step that's slightly thicker than the
wheel itself, so when it's tightened, the wheel can still pivot on the axle. The door cover has
small felt pads to stabilize the wheel, and add that bit of friction it needs.
The outer wheel, in the meantime, makes contact with the bushing, and is clamped to it by the bolt.
That allows the inner dial to be turned, while the outer dial stays in place.
And what's it for? It tells you what blade to choose for a certain material,
how fast to run the blade depending on how thick the workpiece is, and other
information you need to get a certain job done.
The outer rim of the dial lists a wide variety of materials one might cut- from phenolic
and rubber, to manganese steel, Swedish cast iron, or naval bronze. You turn the dial 'til
the material appears at the very bottom of the window, and it'll tell you how coarse or fine
a blade you need for the thickness of the part, and how fast you need to set the blade speed.
All text, photos and graphics
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Information contained in
these pages is for reference and entertainment
purposes only. Our methods are not always the best,
quickest, safest, or even the correct ones. It's up to you to know how
to use your own machines and tools.
Keep your fingers away from the spinny blades o' death and you should
be all right.