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Thread: Chainsaw vs. Band Saw

  1. #1

    Chainsaw vs. Band Saw

    Up until now, I have used only a chainsaw for cutting my logs and trimming off the corners before mounting it on a lathe for rough turning. I've found that the initial blank is pretty unbalanced and also requires a lot of wood removal before I get it round and can begin really shaping it. My lathe is not huge and the initial blank (if around 11" or 12") can cause it to wobble a bit, even on the slowest speeds.

    I am wondering how many people use:
    1. only a chainsaw
    2. only a bandsaw
    3. chainsaw and bandsaw combination

    Do you guys think a band saw is a good addition to the workshop for a turner? Or is it something that is not really needed?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Poway, CA, near San Diego
    Hi folks,
    I don't do turning, but I think a bandsaw is an excellent addition to any shop. It's probably the most versitile saw and can't throw things at you. I use mine all the time.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    A bandsaw, IMHO, is a basic and very essential tool in a workshop. My bandsaw is one of my most frequently used 'go to' tools.
    For what you are talking about, I believe you should only shop for a 17" or larger model. Get the very best you can afford.
    Also, for the task you are talking about, a bandsaw is about 6,000 times safer than a chainsaw.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Also, for the task you are talking about, a bandsaw is about 6,000 times safer than a chainsaw.
    Frank, I told you a million times don't exagerate...

    I have both a chain saw and a band saw, like others have said the bandsaw is a great addition to any shop.
    Buy the biggest one you can afford, you won't regret it.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Chain saw and band saw combo for me.. I have a big Sthil with a 24" bar for roughing out the large stuff and an electric Sthil with an 18" bar for small stuff and trimming off the corners. All blanks still go on a 24" Laguna band saw for final rounding and trimming. The band saw also helps saw up the pith cut outs for spindle and or peppermill blanks. I wouldn't be without the band saw and agree it is safer by far than a chain saw and you should buy the largest you can afford.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    big bandsaws are are big chainsaws!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Dawson I think a bandsaw is a must for turning. I use a bandsaw and chainsaw combo. I have the Stihl 360 with a 20" blade and a Grizzly bandsaw with a 13" cut. Bandsaw IMHO is much safer rounding out than a chainsaw.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
    and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Tampa & NC

    Chainsaw vs Bandsaw

    Definitly both,I use the CS to cut the blank then round it with the BS and as already said,don't try to go with a cheap BS,as you WILL regret it,even if you have to save a bit to get a good one,do it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    I would like to say I use both, but my Delta 14" doesn't give me much room under the blade guides to cut very large bowl blanks, so I round them as much as I can with the chainsaw, then any extra trimming I can do with the Bandsaw... even as small as it is, my bandsaw does get a regular workout...
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Palm Springs, Ca
    I use both also - electric 14" McCulloch which will cut anything bit or small with some effort - I use it to cut the log to size then down the pith into 2 halfs. I used to round them with my chainsaw and quickly bought my first bandsaw 14" Central Machine from a garage sale - then added a riser block - works so-so and you have to go very slow (not much horsepower) but i was able to cut nice round blanks with the set up.
    Then i stubbled across a Davis-Wells 26" and got it very cheaply - Restored it which cost me due to the parts and machining etc - all the parts were there but the machine had been sitting for a long time. I put new tires, balanced the wheels, trued the shafts, all new bearings, restored the upper and lower guides with original guide blocks etc-. I even repainted it the same color as it once was and had alot of fun doing the restoration (which the people here on the forum under "Old Iron" helped me a whole lot). I have not regreted restoring this old machine (built mid 1930's) and i actually enjoy using it and it cuts very large blanks easily.
    All that said i would suggest you look around and get the best one you can buy. You may want to buy a older one and do what i did or you may not and just find a good deal on a new one - either way you will not be disappointed in owning one - it has made turning that much more fun for me.
    I do think horsepower and clearance are important......

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