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Thread: Ultimate Bandsaw Table Jig

  1. #1
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Ultimate Bandsaw Table Jig

    I'm very excited in that I will be picking up a bandsaw on Saturday, should the store have it in stock. Something I've had my eye on ever since I received a box of old magazines is something Wood Magazine called the Ultimate Bandsaw Table Jig (June/July 2003). You can see a picture of it here. It looks fantastic. Anyone build this, by any chance?

    Also, a plan of attack for buying blades is needed.

    At some point I can see myself needing 12" of resaw capacity. But not now. It seems like the best plan though would be to buy and install the riser block and have all my blades be of the larger length.

    But I can also make the argument that I may never need that added height and why waste $80 plus a couple of bucks on each blade in the difference.

  2. #2
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    My suggestion would be to add the riser now if you can afford it. You may not ever need to do a 12" cut, but you might be surprised how many 6 1/2" cuts you want to do.

    My suggestion for general-purpose blades is to skip the marketing hype about "name brand" blades and buy blades from a place like Ellis Manufacturing Co. They don't list prices on the web, you have to call them to order, and they have a minimum order of $50, but you can get blades that are as good or better than the $20 "name brands" for about $7 each. Bandsaw blades are expendables like sandpaper...they wear out and need to be replaced periodically. IMO it's worth it to stock up on $7 blades, and a waste of money to buy $20 blades one at a time. There are a few special-purpose blades (especially for bigger bandsaws), but for your run of the mill cutting on a run of the mill saw, a good flexback like the ones at the bottom of this page would be my suggestion. Depending on your location, you may find a local industrial supply place that makes and sells generic, made-to-order bandsaw blades in the same price range as those from Ellis.

    The bandsaw table jig looks neat, but if the bandsaw you buy already has a fence on it, I don't see the jig offering a lot of extra usefulness aside from a circle-cutting jig. (And those can be whipped up very easily on their own, often with scrap laying around the shop.) For something like the bandsaw jig, I'd be inclined to wait until I had a project where I knew it'd make things easier before investing the time an materials into it. If you're really in the mood to build jigs for the shop (and that's not a bad thing, by any means), I can think of one or two tablesaw jigs that'd likely be more useful. Tablesaw Magic by Jim Tolpin has several great tablesaw jigs. I built the vertical fence and vertical sled in that book, and they've been handy from time to time. One jig I did build for my bandsaw is a sled for holding irregular-shaped pieces -- primarily turning blanks -- while cutting them. For someone without a lathe, though, the sled might not be as useful as it has been to me.
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  3. #3
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    I'll pile on about getting the extension riser. I got mine at the same time i got my saw and never looked back. I only have to deal with having the one size of saw blades. Of course you won't typically find the size of blades at the borg, but you can get them at better woodworking stores and as Vaughn pointed out, online.

    That table sure looks cool, but it looks pretty big. Not sure I'd want to put something like that on if space was at a premium. My saw came without a fence, and I bought the Kreg bandsaw fence for mine. Works great for resawing and I've never even thought about putting an accessory table on it.

    Keep in mind, that if you don't get the riser and use that accessory table, it will cut down on your resaw capacity by the thickness of the table...

    Congrats on getting the new saw!

  4. #4
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    It's a good, and the correct POV about the riser kit. It's what I know to be the right way to go, but I was asking to see if anyone could convince me otherwise.

    The accessory table, from what I remember, is about 27x20, and the stock table is 14x14. So it would be about 13"x6" bigger than normal. It would probably stick out about 3" on each side and about 6" out front. The added size I don't think will be an issue with the plans I have going now. I'll use something with the final dimensions to check, though.

    The saw doesn't come with a fence. What attracted me to this project was the ability to use a duplicating jig first and foremost, something that would help greatly with the chair legs. The circle jig and a potentially accurate fence are bonuses. I'll have to look at the plans in detail, but I have on-hand most of the wood needed to build it. What I would have to buy is a couple pieces of channel and a piece of aluminum. I will say that it would be a lot less than the Kreg fence, something I really like but is particularly pricey.

    That's not a bad thought on the blades from that site. Otherwise, I'll probably be buying from Peachtree or Highland.


    EDIT: Any thoughts with the quality of blade that comes from Grizzly's riser set?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hatfield View Post
    ...not a bad thought on the blades from that site. Otherwise, I'll probably be buying from Peachtree or Highland...
    If you're going to be doing a resawing, try Highland's Woodslicer« blade. It's a bit pricey, but is the best resaw blade I've ever used. (Ask Larry. I sawed off some 1/16" maple and cherry veneer to show hime when he was he a while back.)
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Woodslicer is already on the shopping list when I need to resaw.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hatfield View Post
    ...Any thoughts with the quality of blade that comes from Grizzly's riser set?
    I had one. Unless they've changed something in the last few years, it's junk.

    I'll ditto Jim on the Woodslicer. It's a great blade, but only for resawing, not cutting curves. For everyday use, you'll probably want an assortment of blades, likely ranging from 3/16" to 1/2" or 5/8" wide. For the price of two or three store-bought blades, you can get multiples of each from an industrial supplier like Ellis.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I had one. Unless they've changed something in the last few years, it's junk.

    I'll ditto Jim on the Woodslicer. It's a great blade, but only for resawing, not cutting curves. For everyday use, you'll probably want an assortment of blades, likely ranging from 3/16" to 1/2" or 5/8" wide. For the price of two or three store-bought blades, you can get multiples of each from an industrial supplier like Ellis.
    That's painting with a broad brush, Vaughn.
    When I bought my Griz bandsaw almost seven years ago the 3/8"X6tpi blade that came with it served very well for several years until I got stupid and kinked it. Dunno what brand but it cut fast and clean.
    The Griz catalog has (haven't looked in current one yet) offered both Timberwolf and Olso blades. Few folks would class those as junk. But that doesn't mean what is shipped with a new bandsaw would be one of those.
    A lot of guys have the riser and haven't complained. You don't like yours, I'll keep that in mind when I (someday) install mine.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    Frank, I should clarify and say the factory blades I experienced were with a Shop Fox saw, but considering the shared heritage with Grizzly tools, I figured the blades were similar. The fact that you're getting several years of use out of a bandsaw blade hints that you and I might have different opinions about what a workable blade is. On the other hand, I'm using primarily 1/2" 3TPI blades and often cutting thicker than 6", so maybe they don't last as long as thinner 6TPI blades cutting thinner material.

    I also bought an Olson blade when I got my saw, and I didn't like it either. Timberwolf blades are good, but overpriced by about 300%, in my opinion.

    The fact that a lot of folks have bought the Grizzly riser and not complained about the blades may be because they don't know the difference. A lot of guys buy less-than-stellar tools or supplies and feel they're great until they have a chance to use something better. I know that's happened to me a number of times.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  10. #10
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    +1 on the riser kit. Get it now, and you won't have a bunch of useless bandsaw blades (of various brands) stored in your shop. Don't ask me how I know...

    This makes me happy every time I use it: http://www.kregtool.com/Precision-Ba...-Prodview.html

    Thanks,

    Bill

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