Short-Stock attachment for the 4 X 6 H/V Bandsaw
Created: August 20, 2014
Last Revised: April 20, 2020
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What it is used for:
I have several coffee cans full of "shorts" (usually round) that I just can't bring myself to throw away. Many times I need
to cut a piece off of one of them for a project, like for a standoff. If I have a piece of stock that is under 2" long
and I need to cut one inch from it, no deal! Even if I space out the far end of the vise's movable jaw, it won't work
well or it won't work at all.
So this device will allow me to make those cuts with relative confidence. I realize that this is probably the one
thousandth idea for solving this problem. I have already seen some pretty neat ideas, including mounting a small vise
to a wooden board and then clamping that assembly with the main vise, but this is my current approach of choice.
It only takes a few minutes to make and it hides nicely on the floor under the saw when not in use. It has no moving parts of its own.
How to use it:
You simply clamp the attachment in the jaws, with its right edge close to but not quite touching the blade. Then lay the
stock in place and clamp it with the tooling that comes with a 1/2" Tee Slot Milling Machine Clamp Kit. Note that you may
want to move the holes a little farther inboard on the attachment if you are using a kit made for 5/8" Tee Slots.
How I made mine:
It's made from a piece of 4" X 4" by 3/8" thick angle iron. I measured the distance from the left edge of the fixed jaw to the
left edge of the blade, subtracted about 1/6" and cut it to that length In my case that turned out to be about 7 3/4".
See the white marks. Here I drilled and tapped two 3/8-16 holes for studs from the clamp kit. They are 1/2" in from the "blade" edge of the attachment.
One hole is 1/2" in from the movable jaw and the other is 2" from the movable jaw. I will probably use the 2" hole most
of the time, since I am usually cutting bars that are under 1 1/2" diameter. I already see that I should weld a 1" wide
piece of 3/8" flat stock onto the attachment to extend the room for a clamp support if I want to cut off larger stock.
But in a pinch, I can simply stack up stuff just beyond the stud that is 1/2" from the movable jaw to provide needed clamping action.
There's nothing magic about the size of angle iron you use. Two inch high material would be just fine for stock up to almost
4 inches in diameter, but you do need as much width (the "floor" dimension) as you can get
so their is room for a serrated end clamp. And, for my saw, the vise won't open much more than 4" wide anyway.
And, of course, you don't have to go out and buy a milling machine step clamp kit either. Just drill a 7/16" or 1/2" hole in a piece of bar
stock that is at least 1/4" thick and about 1" wide to use for a clamp. A piece of 3/8-16 "all thread" will do fine for the stud.
Then stack up some of your other "shorts" under the tail end as needed.
One caveat for rectangular stock:
As long as you are cutting round stock, down to about 1/2" diameter or so, this device will work just fine.
But, due to the fillet at the root of the angle, it might be hard to get rectangular stock to clamp up tightly.
I suppose one could actually mill or grind out a few inches of the fillet if one had the equipment.
But it would be a lot easier to cut or torch out the first two or three inches of the fillet area.
There would still be plenty of strength left in the 3/8" thick angle iron. No need to cut away any than a couple of inches,
because we are only working with stock that is too short to be held in the regular way, right?
Another approach would be to shim the rectangular stock up enough so it misses the fillet.
Nothin' to it!!!