Craftsman 14" Bandsaw Modifications

Over a year ago, I purchased a Craftsman 14″ bandsaw for about $350. For the price I paid for a brand new bandsaw, that was actually a pretty solid deal. Since this was sold as a “stationary” bandsaw (not mobile whatsoever), I snagged a universal mobile base off Amazon.

It’s not the most rigid mobile base, but it does the trick. I’m all about mobility and the ability to move my equipment around if I need to, since my working space is limited. Some reviews complain about the orange levers on the base that have tabs that tend to break off when the casters are engaged, but I haven’t had that experience in the past with this base on my other equipment.

I will admit, one annoying takeaway, and this is common for any base with 2.5″-3″ casters, is that a cable or cord lying on the ground will snag up the casters, and pushing the mobile base becomes a pain in the butt. All the more to keep your work space clean from debris and try to keep the cords off the ground!

And then there was light!

Since I don’t have a lot of great lighting at my workshop, I wanted to add a work light to the bandsaw. I found a flexible single LED lamp lying around (aka FREE!), so I tested it. Fortunately, it was in working condition, although a bit scuffed up, but the light worked. I grabbed an exterior metal single gang box, drilled a hole for the LED lamp to mount to, and fed it through. I also saved the 2-prong wall wart as well. Bought myself a fancy “Zombie Lights” 12V switch on eBay as well (I thought it’d be unique).

So the 12V switch is basically inline with the 120VAC wall wart. At the bandsaw, I decided to mount the electric gang box on the back of the bandsaw. Lined up where I wanted to mount the gang box and drilled out a 3/4″ hole to feed wires into the main vertical post. Also tapped 2 holes for securing the gang box to the post.

I also used a rubber grommet to protect the wires from chafing/rubbing against the hole I cut, since I was feeding wires through that hole.

Next, I took off the ON/OFF paddle switch on the front of the bandsaw, and spliced some wires to the 120VAC main. I fed those through the hole I made, and connected the other end to the wall wart. Fortunately, this wall wart doesn’t care about polarity or a grounding wire, so figuring out which prong to connect to the hot and neutral lines is whatever.

I also cut a rectangular hole on the front to mount my switch. I made sure I mounted the switch well below the top door for the top wheel of the bandsaw, so that the top door could open as far as it could without interfering with the switch.

Here’s a view of how everything looks in the gang box. I made sure that the gang box was large enough to hold the wall wart so that everything could be concealed. Might not be exactly to code, but it works.

Here’s the view of the 12V illuminated “Zombie Lights” switch. I love the look of it because the black switch looks almost OEM on the bandsaw…with the exception of the “Zombie Lights” silkscreen text.

Overall, I think this brings much added value to the bandsaw. Some people may cringe at the thought of buying a brand new piece of equipment and then shortly modifying it. But from an engineering standpoint, I’m always thinking of how to improve on a product. In this case, I spent an additional $20 for the weatherproof electrical single gang box, some spade connectors, grommets, and the 12V “Zombie Lights” switch off of eBay. The LED light was free, since I found that lying around in a garbage heap. Compare this to the Pro Light system for the Laguna bandsaw, which costs $99 and the HTC A100-16 add-on (which include a built-in blade guard), which are both fixed position light systems.