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Thread: Bandsaw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,184

    Bandsaw

    Im getting around to thinking its time I look into purchasing a bandsaw.
    I want to cut stock 3-4 inches and I want to have curves, as in chair backs, and other things.
    I cant get much more than a 2 inch cut through hardwood with my handheld jigsaw.
    I know there are a million opinions on which to buy.
    My needs arein no order of importance)
    It must accept a decent mobile base so it can be moved daily.
    It must not be over 75-76 inches tall with base, maybe a couple of inches higher
    My biggest needs are for 3-6 inch width stock.
    I want to be able to cut curves easy enough, not sure if this is related to blade size or blade length or power or all of these things.
    It must be fairly understandable for me to change parts and update as needed or when something breaks or wears out.
    I do not have a 220 line, must run on regular power.
    I dont think Ill be using it 1/10 as much as my tablesaw or crosscut saw, but it should be a decent quality.
    Accesories must be easy to find.(I dont know anything about bandsaws, but if there are better blade guides and things like that, I need them available, not on a hard to find list or make it yourself list)

    Id appreciate a few thoughts if anyone has time to mention positive and negative things about some brands.
    I must meet all my criteria, but I have to measure the height thing, I may be able to go a few more inches.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,103

    Bandsaw

    Well Allen, There are a big bunch of bandsaws to choose from. Delta, Powermatic, Jet, Rikon, Grizzly, Mini-Max, etc. etc.

    Then there's the construction form. Cast iron frame, welded steel frame.

    Size. 12", 14" 16" 18" 20", etc.

    And cutting height, 6", 12", 16" 18", using a riser block or not.

    Horse power, 1, 1.5, 2, etc.

    Every one of the fore-mentioned makers have real good features and some not so good. Hard to find ones made in USA anymore. (Please correct me if I am wrong)

    Deltas and Powermatics were the better of the cast frame USA made machines, especially in the 14" size. Their prices new are fairly high, but still decent machines. I have a 14" Delta and wouldn't part with it. (I bought it used 4 years ago for $500.) I just helpd a friend buy a 14" Powermatic with a riser setup (He got it for $500, only 2 years old) I'd say Jet & Grizzly would probably work just fine for you and save you a few bucks.

    I have no experience with Mini Max or Rikon, but I am sure there will be others who will help on those.

    Good quality blades will make most any bandsaw perform better. Spend your money on these and you won't go wrong.

    Hope I have been of some help.

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,470
    tony, has given you good info and dont be afraid of rikon!, steel city looks good to for the dollars, and have good tech support,, have a large Rikon and its made pretty well. its NOT a mini max at all but for my use its fine.. if yu can find a used one you could go more bang for your buck.. hp is one thing yu want to get as much of as yu can for your dollar. but be aware chuck is huntin for one too and the way your progressing in this woodworking land you gonna want to resaw.. so get a rizer block or a saw that will resaw a good height ....
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    If I find a decent one down here at a good price used, Im sending the info up to chuck first so he can tell me what the top dollar is I should pay for it.

  5. #5
    I dont think Ill be using it 1/10 as much as my tablesaw or crosscut saw
    That's what I thought too, but you might be suprised at how handy it is. Mine is about the most used machine in my shop now. Of course, it will depend on your style of woodworking. I have a steel frame 14" inch Grizzly, have abused it severely, and have no complaints, other that now I wish I had a 19"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,002
    Allen, as much furniture building as you've been doing, it wouldn't surprise me if you could take advantage of having a bandsaw with at least some resaw capacity. You'll be surprised how handy it is being able to turn a 2 x 8 into a pair of 1 x 8s (or thereabouts).

    I'd suggest either one of the standard import 14" cast iron bandsaws with a riser (Grizzly, Jet, Delta, Powermatic, Steel City, etc.) or the biggest steel frame (Rikon, Grizzly, and probably others) saw you can find that'll run on 110v power. None of them are ideal resaw machines, but with your power limitations, they'd still get the job done.

    I agree with Barry...you might just be surprised how handy a bandsaw is.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    ozarks
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    don`t limit yourself to 110v....most saws table or band do best with at least 2hp........more is better! if nothing else rig up an extention cord to pull from your dryer circuit.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    to go along with tod ,,allen have you checked in on gettin a larger service for your shop so you can have 220 available to you if needed.. that might be more useful to you right now..then it would allow for more choices in any tool you are looking for.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,184
    running 220 out to the garage is not an expense Im going to undertake.
    Its a licensed electrician, and Im sure its going to take re-doing most of the stuff I have in there now.(and I wonder if local village needs to be notified if I upgrade to 220 out to garage with licensed electrician, the codes out here are ridiculous, unbelievably ridiculous)
    Id rather not go that way, although I DO uinderstand the advantages.
    If it was all in my home, Id think about it. More trenches, alot more expenses, Im sure it will cost me a small fortune, and Im happy running the machines now on 120, seems enough for me.
    Can I run a 75 foot extension cord for a bandsaw from my home?
    Is there some kind of limit running cords vs the performance of the machine?

    Yes, Im very lost on this, but Im almost sure going through a major expense for one machine I dont think Ill use as most think, just might not be wise now.
    (if it was 500 dollar expense, Id do it, but I dont think it will be anywhere near that, so Im just reluctant)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
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    I think just about any 12" or 14" band saw out there will fit your needs. The 14" saws are all over the place and made by everyone. The cast iron versions are nearly identical from one maker to the next and have been for about the past 50 years. If it were me, i'd start looking for a decent used machine. Because they've been essentially the same for the past several decades, age with a 14" saw isn't so much an issue as is completeness and condition. Accessories are pretty common and, for the most part, interchangable among brands (a bit of modification may be needed here or there, but usually nothing major).
    Should you come across an older larger machine that will fit your needs, i'd seriously consider that as well. I've got a couple of band saws - my workhorse is a 1932 Crescent 20" machine with only a 1hp motor on it. While i'm thinking of upgrading the motor (just resawed a bunch of 10" black walnut - worked fine but sure was slow going) the saw is a good one. It weighs in around 900 lbs with its huge original motor, but i have it on a mobile base and move it in and out of its parking space when i need it.
    Used machinery will give you more bang for your buck. If parts are missing or broken, i'd steer clear unless it's a fairly common machine. Parts for old Deltas and Powermatics are generally available.
    If you think you might ever resaw, get something with a riser block already in it, or install a riser block before purchasing a bunch of blades. Also, you might want something with more than 1 hp of power.
    If i were buying new, i'd look at Jet, Steel City, Delta, Powermatic, General International, Rikon, Shop Fox, and Craftsman, in no particular order. The Steel City and Craftsman come out of the same factory - newer Craftsman saws are a real step above what they had just 5 years ago.
    Have fun with it.
    Paul Hubbman

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