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Homemade bandsaw advice needed

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I've got it in my head that I'm going to make a wooden bandsaw this year. I'm completely out of my depth when it comes to the engineering but I'm going to try anyway, he who dares :-). I'm certainly not the first to do this and I could just buy plans online but I've decided to walk up hill backwards and do my own design (I'll be releasing the plans for free afterwards). I'm sure I'll have a few questions during the build but right now I have just two...

I've settled on using a 25mm shaft as that seems to work well in other builds but I'm not sure what shaft material to buy. For example I can buy 25mm linear ground shaft like this. I'm fairly sure that will be a good fit for bearings but I think that's very hard so I'll have trouble working it - I have no metal working equipment beyond files and a pillar drill. I can get steel round bar (for example Steel Round Bar Bright EN3B from here) which would be cheaper and I assume softer but I'm concerned about it's suitability, would it fit the bearings and would it be strong enough? I could even get just mild steel bar which seems really cheap (for example).

The other question is how do I firmly fix the wheel to the shaft? Other builds just drill a tight fitting hole through the wheel and glue it on. They also often angle grind a V in the shaft and force in a screw. This certainly works but I'd like a less permanent fixing between the wheel and the shaft. About the closest thing I can find is a rigid flange shaft coupler (example) but they only seem to go up to 14mm shaft diameters. The only thing I could find with a larger bore diameter was this but it's from the states and would cost a fortune. One promising idea was go kart wheel hubs but I couldn't really find anything suitable, they cost a lot and all had fairly small flanges. I've even looked for taper lock parts but I can't find anything suitable. I've really struggled with this part.

Thanks for any help.

Hi & Welcome DWC.

A visit to a local scrap yard should turn up (no pun intended) a car half shaft with a suitable flange on one end and maybe even still have a bearing fitted.

What size wheels are you going for?


Hi Phil, that's not a bad idea thanks I'll investigate. Cars are something I leave up to the experts so I know nothing about what's available.

The wheels will be 350mm with a centre to centre separation of 725mm for a blade length of 1552mm.


350mm is a good size. Mine is only 305mm and a bit limiting. Are you hoping for 200mm cut?

A mate of mine used the big pulleys from washing machines for his wheels. I can't remember if he added tyres or not. The wheels were crowned. He used steel box section for his frame but clad it all in plywood.


If I can get 200mm depth of cut I'll be pleased, I'm aiming for 150mm and anything extra is a bonus. While I intend to use this bandsaw I'm treating it as a learning experience to maybe build a larger machine in the future for some serious resawing. In terms of specs I'm following this Axminster saw.

I took our old washing machine apart last year and it crossed my mind to try and use the wheel from that but the hub on it was was pretty small so it went in the scrap metal pile. I'm planning on plywood wheels for this saw with rubber tires. I've got a decent sized wood lathe and a pile of other woodworking equipment so I'm on firm ground there, crowning the wheels should be easy enough.

Any thoughts on the shaft material and coupling if I don't go down the half axle route?


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