An incredible Gilliom Manufacturing Gil-Bilt bandsaw
Lincoln East High School Gil-Bilt Crescent Bandsaaw, Front
At the 2015 AWFS woodworking show the power tool company "RIKON Power Tools" sponsored the display of a spectacular student-made bandsaw that was built to mimic an old Crescent bandsaw.  The beautiful saw was built utilizing a donated Gilliom Manufacturing Gil-Bilt bandsaw kit! (Click pics to Biggie-Size)

Tim Montague, a junior at Lincoln East High School in Lincoln, Nebraska entered an impressive replica 1919 Crescent band saw into the 2015 Fresh Wood student woodworking competition. “This was a first for us,” said AWFS Assistant Education Director Adria Torrez, “since we have been running the Fresh Wood competition, we have never seen a student-made woodworking tool or machine! It was a unique entry that focused on different aspects of the woodworking industry; typically we see examples of traditional or production woodworking, but this also embraced the training involved in building woodworking machinery.”
Lincoln East High School Gil-Bilt Crescent Bandsaw, Back
However, the band saw was not selected by the Fresh Wood judges as a finalist to be on display at the
AWFS Fair with the Fresh Wood exhibit. That’s when RIKON Power Tools stepped in. Says RIKON President Jack Bransfield, “This was an opportunity we couldn’t resist.  As a leader in woodworking power tools, with band saws being an integral product for us, we were impressed to see a student endeavor to build one and consequently learn about the history of the machine and the intricacies involved in the process of duplicating the machine in wood.”

The Lincoln East High School program is run by instructor Jeff McCabe, a long time WoodLINKS instructor and current Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) Evaluator.

“The Crescent” began as a kit of parts donated by a benefactor and was built by seven students over a two-year period. “It was a culmination of efforts with a lot of R&D last year and the mechanical, electrical, finishing (execution) this year,” says McCabe.
Lincoln East High School Gil-Bilt Crescent Bandsaw tracking mechanism
The group of student builders voted on designs and agreed that the 1919 crescent was the best one. Since the original had very little guarding, the students developed new guards to meet modern-day safety standards. The students used AutoCAD and EnRoute with a CNC router to nest and cut the shapes from maple plywood.  The students sprayed the plywood with texture paint to make it look like cast iron like the original. A vacuum bag process was used for the decorative patterns.

I have to tell you that I stood and admired this saw over several days of working and walking the show, and the students and their teacher deserve all the recognition that they get with this lovely saw.  Well done everyone! 

“The Crescent” was on display in the Rikon booth at the AWFS Fair, July 22 25 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

To learn more about the Woodwork Career Alliance, go to