V-Block Bandsaw Cutoff Slide
© Frank Ford, 2006; Photos by FF

This is one of those projects I've put off for years - a simple cutoff slide for my Delta 14" band saw. So, I finally took a 1.5" x 2" x 14" hunk of aluminum and made myself a nice long V-block.
I'd need a clamp for holding round items, so I found a volunteer - an old Sears 4" C-clamp, and I cut off its bottom.
I milled a flat on its surface, and cleaned up the end cut.
Then I brazed on a piece of 1" thick cold rolled steel to act as a spacer.
Back on the mill, I cleaned up my messy brazing, and squared up the spacer.
I cut off the handle end, gripped the screw in a collet, and turned down a section for a new handle.
After a quick paint job, the clamp looked pretty good.
Next, I turned a section of some scrap aluminum and knurled it to make a nice big knob.
After drilling, I made a few passes with a small boring bar to get a good fit on the turned section of the clamp screw.
Rummaging around, I found a 1/8" roll pin that would penetrate the shaft and give me a good grip on the shaft.
As soon as I tried to drill the knurled knob, I realized I'd never be able to get the drill to go straight.  It immediately wandered into the diamond pattern and took off to the side.  So, I used a 1/8" end mill with a 3/8" shank to start the hole nice and straight, and followed with a regular drill bit.
There were lots more operations to this project, but I didn't photgraph them all.  Most were simple drilling, tapping, etc. Here's the final unit, with the clamp bolted in place, the V-block bolted to the slide (3/4" X 3/8" cold rolled bar) and, to the right of the clamp, a 3/8" thick steel stiffening plate.
To set up for cutting, I simply ran the slide forward and cut the V-block to fit the blade on the band saw, stopping before I hit the steel reinforcing plate.
I figured it would be a good idea to have a positive stop to avoid accidentally cutting too far into my rig, so I made this simple adjustable slide stop.  It's just a series of threaded holes at the end of the slide, so when I push forward a socket head cap screw bumps the table.
I have two 14" Delta saws, one for metal and one for wood cutting. So, I ran the slide through my wood cutting saw to set it up for use on either saw.  Here you can see why I chose to have the stop on the side of the bar - to clear the wood saw's rip fence guide.
Now I can cut round bar up to two inches in diameter with ease and safety.
This slide works even better than my old miter gauge because it supports the work on both sides of the cut, so there's no need to use a King Kong grip to hold it as I cut. . .
To hold small items I can simply stick a hardwood scrap in the V-block as a surrogate finger.

Update 2007: I added a gravity feed and a few other refinements: Gravity Feed

Update 2009: It's a separate sled for cutting large diameter round stock. In this case, I removed the upper blade guide assembly so I could cut a diameter slightly over six inches:

The shot bag keeps the sled from tipping when I cut such a short section. Cutting goes slow, but since it runs well unattended, that's not a problem for a home shop guy like me.

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