Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bandsaw Table Clamping Pads

If your Taiwanese copy of the Delta 14" bandsaw is anything like my Taiwanese copy of the Delta 14" bandsaw, you've surely discovered how difficult it is to clamp things to the table. The lip around the edge makes it awkward to get a clamp positioned in the first place, and when you do, chances are good that one of the funny webs in the casting is right where you want to put the clamp. So you jury rig something, finish what you were doing, and mumble to yourself, "I've got to fix that someday."

Well, someday for me came a week or so ago, only five or so mumble-filled years after I first got the saw. I grabbed some 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" poplar and made the pieces shown in the picture by hacking away at each one as needed to provide clearance for all the obstacles on the underside of the table. The resulting pieces might have passed for some exotic Japanese joinery had they actually fit together in some exotic Japanese way.

I attached them to the bottom of the bandsaw table using hot melt glue, then reinstalled the table on the saw. A day or two into the "and everyone lived happily ever after" phase, one of the pieces fell off onto the floor. After more hot melt glue and a couple more days, two of the other pieces fell off. Time for Plan B, which was some double-sided foam tape that 3M calls "Mounting Tape".

The coolest thing about the 3M tape (besides the fact that it works) is a little note on the package that says, "Not recommended for use on hard-to-stick surfaces." That can only mean one thing, and that is: "This stuff won't stick to anything that it won't stick to."

I guess we can't say they didn't warn us.


Ian said...

Good idea. Why can't they just make the tables solid... I've got to do this to my drill press.

rmac said...

Nah. For a drill press you want to build a nice table with a fence and some T-track and such.

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