Clarke Bandsaw Mods - CBS45MD


This is a great Bandsaw, and is one of the best things I have ever bought. You cannot live without one. You have to get one.

I have made a few minor mods, to make the Bandsaw more comfortable to use.

I got frustrated with continually having to hunt around for spanners, to adjust the blade guide carriers, the work stop, and other things on the Bandsaw. I did some mods to overcome that.

I store most of the equipment on the Stand, to keep everything together in one place.

Someone in a Bandsaw group aptly called the mods 'Bling for your Bandsaw'. Lol.

0. Main Parts Diagram and Overview
1. Stand and Swarf Drawer
2. Control Box
3. Secondary Vice - Construction, Use, And Storage
4. Blade Guide Carriers - Tommy Bar Screws
5. Work Stop Assembly - Tommy Bar Screws And Storage
6. Blade Cleaner - A Bit Of Wood
7. Standardising The Bolts
8. Vertical Table Storage
10. Bandsaw Bench Housing.
11. Vice Swivel Jaw Lock.
12. Cutting Very Wide Stock
13. Blades


↓ 0. Main Parts Diagram

This image is from the Clarke manual.
Some of the text on this page refer to the Item letters in this diagram (i.e E, K, L, J)
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↓ Front View
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↓ Front View
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↓ Back View
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↓ End Left
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↓ End Right
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↓ Secondary Vice
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↓ Work Stop
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↓ 1. Stand

I made a low level wooden Stand, with castors, for the Bandsaw.
The low level wooden stand allows the saw to conveniently fit under a workbench, and it takes up less volume.
The stand works well, and can be rolled around with ease.
The low stand makes the saw less top heavy, and it is all very stable indeed.

I made the stand quickly. It was going to be a proof of concept, and I used waste materials I had to hand. I used chipboard, rough sawn whitewood and plywood.
The stand performed so well that is has been in use in its 'test' state for 10 years now. It works so well, I really don't need to remake it. If I was to remake it, knowing what I know now, I would do a finer job and use better materials.

After 10 years, the stand structure is still in a very good solid condition. The two castors under the motor end have developed discernable play in their bearing plates, and will have to be replaced soon
During the Coronavirus lockdown of 2020, I decided to clean up the Stand, and take some pictures. A lot of the wood was oily and dirty from the swarf off the Bandsaw. I cleaned things up as best as I could and just painted over it all (including oily patches!) with Red Oxide Primer. Others would call that a rebuild! It's a tart up.

The components:-

1. Base - chipboard
2. Castors - 50kg each
3. Blocks - sawn whitewood
4. Uprights - plywood
5. Clamps - plywood
6. Perimeter strengtheners - sawn whitewood
7. Swarf drawer - sawn whitewood and plywood

The 2 Blocks are screwed and glued to the Base.
The 6 Uprights are screwed and glued to the Blocks.
The Perimeter Strengtheners are screwed and glued to the Uprights and Base and give a little bit of rigidity to the Base.
The Castors are secured with M6 studs and nuts, and 4 aluminium plates.

The Bandsaw rests on the top of the 6 Uprights.
The plywood Clamps ensure the Bandsaw remains located on top of the Uprights.
There are 3 plywood Clamps at each end of the stand.
The plywood Clamps are secured to the Bandsaw casting with M8 studs and nuts. I drilled the Bandsaw casting to accept the M8 studs. The Clamps are retained on the inside of the Upright supports (see picture).

The dimensions:-

1. Wood chip base - tba
2. Castors - tba
3. Blocks - tba
4. Uprights - tba
5. Clamps - tba
6. Perimeter strengtheners tba-
7. Swarf drawer tba-

↓ Underside of Base, and the Castor Wheels
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↓ Top view of the stand
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↓ Close up view of one of the end housings.
Note the massive curve on the sawn Blocks.
I planed all the critical mating surfaces, so that they were flat and square.
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↓ Clamps
There are 3 Clamps at each end of the Stand.
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↓Six 8mm holes are drilled in the Bandsaw casting, for the M8 studs.
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↓The Clamps are inserted inside the end housings.
The Clamps are secured to the inside faces of the Bandsaw base casting, using the M8 studs and nuts.
The Clamps prevent the Bandsaw slipping off the Uprights.
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↓The Swarf Drawer.

The Swarf Drawer was roughly put together with sawn timber and plywood.
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The drawer fits nicely within the Stand.
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The Drawer is pulled out a little bit, to catch the swarf while cutting.
90% of the swarf ends up in the swarf drawer, leaving minimal clear up of the surrounding floor area. I just roll out the saw, cut, and roll the saw away.
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↓ For the repaint, I made a temporary stand to store the Bandsaw on. The temporary stand is the same height as the stand and is made out of bricks and a steel plate.
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↓ 2. Control Box

When I first started to use the saw, the No-Volt-Release (NVR) switch broke within an hour. I got a free replacement from the supplier but that did not last long either.
I have not had much luck with electrical parts on Clarke equipment. A Belt and Disc sander only lasted a year (motor). A rotary tool only lasted a few months (electrical).
After spending a lot of time messing about with the two NVR switches I decided to make my own switch box, and be done with it.

The control box houses a contactor. The contactor coil is wired in the conventional way for these contactors, and the unit acts as a NVR switch if the power to the coil is removed.
For the exercise, I used the lathe to make the spring loaded switch plungers. These switch plungers have limit stops; so if the bandsaw bashes down heavily on the switch, nothing gets broken.
The plunger on the left presses a rod against the contactor; this energises the contactor coil.
The plunger on the right presses a rod onto a microswitch; this breaks the power feed to the contactor coil, and activates the NVR function.
The micro switches on the 'saw blade door' and the 'pulley cover' also form part of the feed to the contactor coil. When either microswitch is activated, the feed to the contactor coil is broken, and power to everything is cut.

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There are three neon lamps.
The orange lamp indicates Power On.
The green lamp indicates Motor Run.
The red lamp was going to be an indicator for when either of the micro switches was activated. I did not complete that idea, as it was way way over the top!.
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The aluminium stop assembly is above the right hand stop switch, and presses against that stop switch.
The assembly has an adjusting screw with a locking collar. This is used to fine tune the power cut off point, as the bandsaw arm comes to the end of its travel, and the screw presses and activates the stop switch.
The adjusting screw is set in conjunction with the Stop Bolt (L). Stop bolt (L) limits the travel of the bandsaw arm, and is found to the right of the right hand vice jaw.
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The top cable connects to the microswitch on the pulley cover.
The 2nd cable down connects to the microswitch on the large hinged cover behind the bandsaw arm.
The 3rd cable down connects to the motor.
The bottom cable is the incoming power feed, and is connected to a 3 pin plug.
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↓In case you are curious, here is a view of the inside of the control box.
The rod from the switch on the left pushes against the contactor, to turn the power on.
The rod from the switch on the right pushes against a microswitch, to turn the power off.
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↓The contactor is on the left.
Hidden behind the mass of wires on the right is a microswitch assembly.
When the rod from the switch on the right is pressed against the microswitch, the power to the coil in the contactor is interrupted, the contactor relay is switched off, and the power to the Bandsaw motor is switched off.
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↓ 3. Secondary Vice - for holding short lengths

This is another one of those things I wish I had made years ago.

It is not my idea. I saw a picture of something similar on the internet somewhere.

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There is an annoying gap between the existing adjustable vice jaw and the blade. I presume the gap is there for safety, due to the location of the swivelling vice jaw.
A lot of guys have bolted an additional piece of metal onto the existing vice jaw, to take up the gap between the vice jaw and the blade. Also, it requires a corresponding extension on the swivelling jaw. I did not fancy doing that mod as it loses a bit of room, and well, it just seems inelegant.
There have been times where I have wanted to make use of small offcut pieces of metal of around 50mm and under in length, but I was unable to hold them adequately in the existing vice.
There have been many times when the short pieces have come loose during sawing. I have damaged a few blades because of that.

Behold the wonder of the Secondary Vice.
The great thing about the Secondary Vice is that it is quickly and easily brought into use, and easily removed, because it is clamped in the existing vice. Brilliant!
The Secondary Vice enables me to to cut lengths of metal and plastic as short as 20mm long.
The Secondary Vice will hold work from around 6mm to 70mm in diameter.
The Secondary Vice can be used to hold square and flat, and hex stock.
The Secondary Vice clamp is very close to the blade.
The original machine vice can be used when the Secondary Vice is removed.

The downside of the Secondary Vice is that it raises the work up in the machine. When the cut is finished, the Bandsaw Arm has quite a way to fall before it hits the stop bolt. Because of that, I have to attend the cut. When the blade nears the end of the cut I have to take hold of the Bandsaw Arm to prevent it dropping when the cut is finished. I have seen a few broken Bandsaw Arms on the internet; they must be treated with care and caution. To be able to safely cut very short stock, the above minor inconvenience is most worthwhile.


↓ Secondary Vice - Base Plate.
The Base Plate was made from black mild steel plate.
It took quite some time to pickle and sand off the the scale layer. This exposed a rough surface underneath.
I machined the 4 edges in the mill, and made them square and true.
The 2 large faces were quite flat and parallel, so I left them rough.

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↓ Secondary Vice - VBlock.
I made the VBlock from a rusty old bar that someone gave me many years ago. Never throw anything away!
The VBlock is fixed to the Base Plate with two M8 bolts. The M8 bolts go through the untapped holes that are in the centre.

I roughed out and removed metal from the V using the Bandsaw in Vertical Table Mode.
That made the milling operation on the V a lot quicker than it would have been.

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There is a defect in the groove of the VBlock. I was machining the groove using a 4mm end mill. The 4mm end mill came loose and plunged into the groove being cut, and also veered off to one side. I did not see this because the mill nose was virtually on top of the work, and I was machining the groove by feel. I only noticed that things were not right when it became harder to feed the end mill. The damage was done!
I tidied things up with a 5mm end mill. It really needed a pass with a 6mm end mill, but I left it as it was as I did not want to take too much metal off the VBlock. The marring is only cosmetic, and the vice functions well. I will do better next time.
The defect looks much worse than it really is.
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↓ Secondary Vice - V Block Strap.
The V-Block Strap secures the work in the V-Block.
There is provision for another strap, should it be required.


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↓ The strap is kept away from the end of the V-Block, to avoid fouling the blade.
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↓ Large diameters up to 70mm can be held.
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↓ Small diameters can be held.
Spacers and packing can be inserted under the strap, to clamp stock that is less than 20mm diameter.
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↓ Secondary Vice - Painted And In Action.

↓I gave the vice a coat of red oxide primer, and a coat of Hammerite. Probably not the best combination!
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↓The vice can be positioned very close to the blade.
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↓ An offcut is clamped in the Secondary Vice.
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↓ Safely cutting.
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↓ Safely cut.
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The Swarf Drawer doing its job.
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↓ Secondary Vice - Storage.
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↓ The Secondary Vice is stored at the end of the Bandsaw Stand.
I drilled two holes in the Stand.
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↓ The two studs on the Secondary Vice are inserted in the holes, to keep it in place on the Stand.
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↓ 4. Blade Guide Carriers - Tommy Bar Screws

I replaced the Blade Guide Carrier Lock Bolts (E and K) with homemade Tommy Bar Screws. I can now quickly loosen and tighten the Blade Guides by hand, without using any tools.
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The handles are made from tube.
Once the handles were in place on their screws, I carefully bellowed out each end by a fraction. This retains the handles in their holes.
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↓ 5. Work Stop Assembly - Tommy Bar Screws and Storage

I replaced the lock bolts that secure the mounting rod, on the Work Stop Assembly (J), with two small homemade Tommy Bar Screws.
I can quickly install, remove, and adjust the Work Stop Assembly without using any tools.

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The Work Stop Assembly is stored at the end of the Stand.
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↓ 6. Blade Cleaner

Here is a bit of wood I use to help clear the swarf off the blade as it travels towards the first wheel.
The bit of wood 'joggles' about, as the blade passes through it.
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↓ 7. Standardising some of the bolts.

I got annoyed with having to use 3 different spanner sizes when adjusting a few of the bandsaw components.
I replaced both vice bolts with M8 bolts that have 13mm heads. The originals required both a 13mm and a 12mm spanner.
I replaced the motor mounting adjuster nut and bolt with ones that only required a 13mm spanner. The original nut and bolt required a 13mm and a 14mm spanner.

The nuts on the Secondary Vice are 13mm, to keep things standardised.

↓ The essential 13mm spanner is stored on the Stand.
A woodscrew through the spanner ring and the nuts on the castor wheel plate help keep the spanner in place.
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↓ 8. Vertical Table Storage

I occasionally use the Vertical Table.
The Vertical Table and Bracket are stored on the Stand.

↓I screwed a block of wood to back side of the Stand.
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↓The rebate in the block is to accomodate the profile of the Vertical Table.
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↓ The Table is secured to the block with an M6 thumb bolt, that screws into a T-Nut.
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↓ Here is the thumb bolt and views of the T-Nut.
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↓ The Vertical Table Bracket sits nicely on top of the block, behind the Vertical Table.
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↓ 10. Bandsaw Bench Housing

Very early on in the workshop planning stage, I designed the main work bench to accomodate the Bandsaw underneath.
After a year of plannning and building the workshop, the storage idea works great. I love it when a plan comes together.

↓This old photo shows the main workbench being constructed, early on in the life of the new workshop.
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↓A more recent photo.
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↓ 11. Vice Swivel Jaw Lock

The long pillar and tommy bar allow the Vice Swivel Jaw to be snugged down, without using any tools.
The long pillar raises up the tommy bar, so that it is easy to get at.
The tommy bar is short to so it does not collide with the jaw.
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↓ 12. Cutting Wide stock

If you can orientate the work at an angle, you can cut stock that is wider than the Bandsaw limit.

Suprisingly, this lash up works really well! I have used it a few times now, and have managed to get fairly accurate cuts with it.


↓The angle block is made from old chipboard.
Three wood clamps are made.
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↓The angle block is clamped to the Bandsaw.
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↓The work is clamped to the angle block in a few places.
That is 2mm thick x 250mm wide mild steel being cut.
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↓ You can just see the line. The cut was straight!
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↓ 13. Bandsaw Blades.

I use the Clarke blades. They are fairly cheap, and I don't cry so much when they break or get worn out.

In the early days, I snapped two or three blades, because of my ignorance in using the machine, and because the machine tracking was not set up correctly.
Later on I understood how to use the machine properly and have been able to track the machine adequately. Blades can now last me a year or two.
I gently ease the blade onto the work, try to have at least 3 teeth cutting, and don't rush or force it through the work. I often nurse the blade through the work, by adjusting the pressure and the vertical speed, by supporting and lifting up the arm by hand.
I avoid cutting anything harder than mild steel.
Always use a new blade if you have to track the machine. I once spent ages chasing my tail, trying to track the machine with a worn and cracked blade.

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