Model Engineering In Thailand and South East Asia

Makita 2107F Portable Bandsaw Review

A Review Of The 2107F Makita Bandsaw For The Model Engineer In Thailand

Small bandsaws suitable for the model engineer in Thailand are very hard (impossible?) to find here in Thailand. I knew that Makita made a vertical bandsaw because I saw it in a shop but that was for cutting wood and I wanted one to cut metals, primarily steel. So a quick look through a few Makita catalogues online threw up this portable machine, the Makita BPB 180 Bandsaw. As a  battery powered tool it it didn’t seem up to the job although I didn’t dismiss it out of hand and I was amazed at the quoted capacity of 120 mm or 4-3/4″.

Photo of Makita 2107F Portable Band Saw View 001

Makita 2107F Portable Band Saw View 001

Anyway I went to check at one of our local tool and hardware merchants in Pak Chong so see if they could get one and what the price was. The answer was that in Thailand, the  battery powered Makita BPB 180 bandsaw is not available but a mains powered Makita 2107F Bandsaw is available to order.It is identical to the  Makita BPB 180 bandsaw but is mains powered, not battery powered. At the Peuan Kaiset shop in Pak Chong the Makita 2107F Bandsaw is on abouty 2 days delivery from Bangkok. The price at the Peuan Kaiset shop is 15,500 Thai Baht. That’s about US$ 493 or GB£307. So I paid a deposit and awaited delivery from Bangkok.

My Makita 2017F Bandsaw

Well, my Makita bandsaw arrived a few days later together with a few spare blades I had ordered. I tried it out on a piece of brass bar about 0.5″ diameter fixed in a bench vice and it cut very well holding the saw by hand.

Direction Of Blade Travel

One thing surprised me though was the direction of cut (blade travel direction).

A normal hacksaw cuts on the forward stroke. The blade on the Makita portable bandsaw travels towards you so that the saw is pulling away from you – the opposite to what I’m used to.

This has repercussions when we come to make the Vertical and Horizontal Holders as described below.

Making Vertical and Horizontal Holders for the 2017F Bandsaw

So now I had a bandsaw that worked and it would be fine to use as a powered hand-held hacksaw. But I wanted more than that. I wanted the bandsaw to be held in some kind of frame (or frames) so that I could use it as a normal horizontal cut-off machine and also to have it held with the blade vertical with a machine table so that I could push metal into the blade. This is a movie showing how to make a fixed table and convert the portable Makita 2107F Bandsaw into a bench-mounted vertical bandsaw:

That’s not me in the movie, by the way. I’ll get round to making one of those frames shortly, but my pressing need is for a horizontal cut-off type holder.

Making A Horizontal Cut-Off Type Holder For The Makita 2107F Band Saw

So I set to and very quickly lashed up a very rough and ready prototype holder for the bandsaw to test the principle of what I wanted to achieve. Here are some photos and a video of it:-

Video Of The First (Long-Arm) Makita 2107F Bandsaw Frame

Yes, I know it’s a bit flimsy and Heath-Robinson, but it works. The next version will be a bit beefed up with a shorter horizontal arm. The final version will have it’s own stand and vice and not simply be clamped to the bench like this prototype.

Here is version 1A with a shorter rm and cutting a bigger piece of steel:-

Development Of A Frame To Hold The Makita 2107F Portable Bandsaw For Horizontal Cut-Off Use

I am developing a frame to hold the Makita 2107F portable bandsaw in a horizontal position to allow easy cutting off of bars.

On the Makita 2107F Horizontal Bandsaw Frame Design page you can see the design as it develops and some of the issues that have arisen and how I’m dealing with them.


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8 Responses to Makita Bandsaw Review

  • Just a quick thought could you drop the pivot point by half but put a bend in the swing arm to keep the saw horizontal.

  • Good morning Alan
    Best of luck with the mods to the band saw.
    As you say an arc welding set will make life a lot easier and you get a much stronger job. Elding rods are very cheap to buy in Thailand. I will be interested to see the finished design as I still need to get some kind of mechanical saw.
    Good to know that you have found some time to progress the steam engine. I hope to get some work done on mine when I get home on the 18th December. I am still at work in Baku and it is cold.
    I have received the back copy of Engineering in Miniature with the write up of the Newcomen pumping engine. So I will be collecting materials to make a start building sometime in the future.
    Regards George

    • Good afternoon George,

      Bandsaw Frame Design

      I have been working on developing the Makita 2107F bandsaw frame design all day. I have reached a stage where an issue has arisen that needs a resolution.

      Perhaps you have some idea what to do? It’s all explained on the Makita 2107F Horizontal Bandsaw Frame Design page.

      I’m designing the bandsaw from on the basis of an arc welded construction. There is plenty of choice of welders in Pakchong (Pak Chong) and the thing is that once you have arc welding capabilities you suddenly find many more uses for it.

      Making The Victoria Steam Mill Engine

      I just drilled the hole in the piston rod crosshead taking great care to get it in the right position using a drilling bush. It’s in the correct position on one side but a few thou out on the other. In other words it isn’t square! I’m going to open it up and fit a brass bush then drill it square. I’m making a jig to to that.

      Visit to All Arm Shop 19th December

      I’m planning to go to the All Arm Shop in Bangkok on 19th December, the day after you arrive.

      I want to buy a tool and cutter grinder like the one you have. Essential here in Thailand the way I ruin end mills and twist drills.

      Also I want to talk to Sam about the bigger lathes and milling machines suitable for making my traction engine.

      Best Regards

      Alan Brown

  • Good everning Alan
    I have just managed to watch the vidio on the band saw and the jig saw. Both very intresting.
    Beats the old Hack saw. When I get time I hope to have a look round Pattaya for supplier.
    Look forward to seeing the drawings for your bench set up.
    How is the work shop coming along?
    Regards George

    • Hi George and thanks for the comment.

      I’m making (planning actually) a beefed up version of the Makita 2107F bandsaw holder for cutting-off before I make the vertical bench type holder.

      I have just started making the drawings. It’s all worked out in my head but I need the drawings primarily to get a shopping list for the materials. (Steel, bolts etc)

      I’m thinking about buying an arc welder and welding it together – that gas brazing set isn’t much good on 1/4″ steel. Can be done (as you saw on the website) but it’s very slow and wasteful of gas.

      I have recently been making a few pieces for the Victoria Steam engine. Piston, piston rod and piston crosshead.

      Had a devil of a job with the piston rod and broke a 5BA die trying to cut the piston thread. Awaiting a new die from UK.

      Best Regards

      Alan Brown

  • Good morning Alan
    Good to see the new web site up and running.
    When I return to Pattaya in about twelve days I will have a look round to see if I can find a saw locally.
    I will view the video of the modification to fit a table. When I return home I am unable to view it while at work. I look forward to other helpful tips and hints about equipment that we need to carry on our hobby.  
    Regards George

    • Hi George and thanks for the comment.

      I should think that by the time you get to Pattayah I will have built my own frame to hold the Makita bandsaw and should some more photos and drawings to show on the website.

      Best Regards

      Alan Brown

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