I recently got a (very) used W.F. Wells L-9 horizontal cutoff bandsaw. This is a
larger saw than I'd previously owned. I got the saw and got it running (it cuts
really nicely) and only then ordered the manual. The manual shows that the
downfeed mechanism that the saw originally came with was more complex than what
it is currently fitted with.
The stock downfeed mechanism has 3 controls - two needle valves and a flip
lever. I believe the needle valves are in parallel so you operate the one you're
closest to. They work as I expect i.e. you open the valve some, the saw head
goes down faster; you close it all the way, it stops. The flip lever however
apparently selects between 4 orifices, putting exactly one of them in series
with the needle valves. The way it's supposed to work is you crack open the
needle valve and ease the saw down into the work, then open it 1/4 turn at which
point opening it further doesn't do anything - the feed is then limited by the
orifice you've chosen. If the saw is only rubbing you click it to a bigger
orifice for a faster feed.
Right now my saw just has one needle valve, period. It works fine, but I like
the idea of the 4 preset feeds to pick from. I'm curious about it, never having
run across a setup like this. It may be prohibitively expensive to return the
saw to stock, so it may be moot.
Anyone seen a setup like this? Any comment on whether it may be better than just
needle valve alone?