Short-Stock attachment for the 4 X 6 H/V Bandsaw

Short Stock Attachment for 4X6 Bandsaw in use

Created: August 20, 2014
Last Revised: April 20, 2020

French Creek Valley Home                    Back to Machine Shop

Back to Blacksmithing                     Contact Us

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:

Top View of Short Stock Attachment
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".

Hole Locations for Short Stock Attachment
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.
Sawing, Viewed at an angle
Nothin' to it!!!