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 Post subject: I want to buy a bandsaw.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 3001
Location: Visalia, CA
I am planning on purchasing a floor standing bandsaw for my shop sometime next year. I have done some looking online and reading, and realize it will have to be no bigger than a 14", because of the power requirements of the saws.
I'd like to know what you guys all have. What you like or dislike about it. If you resaw, how does it work out for you with your saw, etc, etc, etc.
John P has a Rikon 14" and I am considering that saw along with a Steel City saw, a Grizzly saw, and perhaps a Jet or Shop Fox. I really want the resaw capacity of 12" or so, and my budget is to stay below $1000.

I'd love to hear from as many of you as possible to help me with this big decision. I've never owned a big saw, making do for the last 15 or more years with a little Sears 10" table top 3 wheel saw.
Thanks guys.

Kevin


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:51 pm
Posts: 506
Location: Bothell, WA USA
Kevin,

I have a Powermatic 14" bandsaw with a 6" riser block.

Not having a table saw (yet), this is my primary tool for most of my wood cutting needs. I had an old no-name 14" bandsaw that I inherited from my father, but it was in serious need of an overhaul, and I just chose to buy a new one.

The Powermatic is a bit pricey compared to some of the other you mentioned, and I confess to not really shopping around when I bought it. I bought it at Woodcraft and loaded it in the back of my Honda Element and drove it home. This saved on shipping. I have no regrets so far. It's been a terrific tool. It's got all ball bearing guides, which were very easy to set up. It also comes stock with a blade tension release, which should help with blade life. These are aftermarket add-ons for some saws.

I've had a 3/8" Timber Wolf blade in it since I installed the riser block until just this week. I am currently experimenting with a 3/4" carbide tipped Lenox blade that I got a good deal on at Eastside Saw (right around the corner from where I work).

I'm currently trying to teach myself how to resaw, with limited success. I spent some time today watching youtube videos on how to set up the fence for blade drift. I think that will help (I'll play with it more tomorrow). I think part of my problem (getting inconsistent thickness on the cuts) is that I'm just using the stock fence, which is only 3" or so high. Before I slice up the rest of this walnut I'm going to build a custom fence to keep the wood more stable on the vertical.

I think the key with a Bandsaw is having a good quality blade that is suitable for the work you are trying to do, and getting the saw set up properly, with the blade properly tensioned, the guide bearings in their proper places, the table square to the blade, and the fence where it needs to be for the blade you are using.

Cutting out guitar shaped molds and forms, and various other jig building has been my primary use up to now. Cutting top, back and sides to shape as well.

One thing it doesn't do well, is perfect square/straight cuts. It's just the nature of the thin blade. Even with the fence perfectly aligned and the guides right on top of your wood, a bandsaw blade will still drift a little as is moves through the wood. This 3/4" 3 tooth blade I'm using now is a bit more stable than the 3/8" was, and I'm still working out the tension on it. It's really handy to have and I use it nearly every day, but I'm finding that there are times when I really which I had a nice table saw.

I don't really have any advice to give you on which saw to buy. There are tons of threads on the OLF with lots of personal experiences being shared, if you can make sense of them all. If you have any specific questions about the Powermatic, let me know. I'll answer as best I can.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5761
Location: Hegins, Pa
I have a 19 inch Grizzly had a 14 and I also have a 16 walker turner. The powermatic I think is better than the grizzly. I would list Powermatic , Jet , Shop Fox and Grizzly

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 3001
Location: Visalia, CA
I was in Boise, ID last April in the Woodcraft store there and they had the Powermatic on sale for $999.99 with a free riser block, but I was flying home. I didn't even think to ask them if they would ship it from the store????
Right now they are $1199 and no free riser.
My wife's uncle's 19" Grizzly, the 514X did a stellar job on resawing the Santos Mahogany billet with just a Grizzly blade. I was pretty impressed, and he has not done any special set up on it. It does have their 6" fence system, which is not perfect, but seemed to work pretty good.
Jim, I will have to learn to resaw too, but I really want to do some of this, especially with walnut. How fortunate you have those stores close by. The closest Woodcraft store is about 200 miles away from me.
Ken, I hear you. I've heard alot of great things about Carter guides. Realize, I am just a little guy in a garage shop making one or two guitars a year, on a tight budget. If I had my drithers, I would have the best of every tool out there, and I sure wouldn't try and make my own!!! I sure do appreciate the advice and suggestion. So in your opinion, if not having the Carter guides, what do you think is the best factory set up out there?

John, you didn't mention Rikon. Any particular reason?

Kevin


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
I had the carter and went to ceramic. For resaw the ceramics are hard to beat. For general work the carter. I would take the carter over the cool block but it mostly comes down to set up. If you don't set up a band saw well the guides won't matter much.
Setting up to resaw is not the same for working thinner stock . I would like to see more input on this.
Using the right blade , guides , and set up can take a saw from making sawdust to doing real work. There are a number of good books out there .

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:51 pm
Posts: 506
Location: Bothell, WA USA
Here are a couple of interesting/related youtube videos

First one is one take on setting up your fence for drift angle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgytcjbE708

And another, simpler approach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZThUPOr_Ug

Here is a pretty interesting take on resawing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi1RI3Ea4FY

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:43 pm
Posts: 18
Hi All...

I haven't been around much of late but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in... I just bought the Steel City 14" Granite wheel and table band saw for the purpose of resaw capability. I was impressed by the thought of the granite drive wheel thinking the flywheel action of the granite wheel would make it run very smooth and speed consistent. It surely does. Very nice. ( ...a thing to be aware of is the granite wheel's flywheel effect causes the the blade to continue to move for quite a while after the the saw is turned off as the wheel comes to rest.) I've yet to try a serious resaw because I'm waiting for a good resaw blade to come from Grizzly.

I bought it through Sears and got free shipping to my home except for a $60 oversize charge (it's 300 pounds and comes in two big boxes)... $929 total.

So far my only disappointment is the fact that only after I recieved the thing did I see that it is made in China... argh! I saw nothing on their website that showed this to be the case... I can't afford to do anything about it now.

I'll obviously have more to say when I begin real work with it... if anyone is interested.

Terry Paxton
TS Paxton Guitars


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:44 pm
Posts: 1668
Location: Arkansas
Kevin, I wish I could give you good advise from experience but I haven't yet tried resawing. I bought a used 14" Rigid bandsaw with 6" riser block for $200. It is under powered at 3/4 HP for resawing. My first recommendation is you need 1 1/2 HP minimum (15 Amp at 115V). Thats about max for 115V but DON'Taccept less.

Second, I've read that the wielded steel frame saws (I think this includes Rikon) have a more rigid frame than the cast iron units. This allows you to get a wider blade up to proper tension which is better for resawing. Mine is cast iron with riser block and I'm guessing the welded steel frame is an improvement. I just received a bi-metal 1/2" blade for ny saw (105" long) but I haven't yet tried to tension it.

For resawing, I suspect the table, fence, blocks, tension, blade, wheel alignment, etc. all come into play. I've read some great info on the OLF from folks that are resawing with 14" saws......so like Jim, my best advise is go there, do a search, and start reading. Pay attention to Todd Stock's posts as he appears to know what he is talking about.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Location: Arkansas
Kevin,

Here is one recent OLF thread where it's mentioned that Rikon is releasing an improved version of the 14" bandsaw in January:

http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=33741

And here is another long thread whose topic is about the Laguna bandsaw blades but it has a lot of good info about tensioning wider blades on 14" saws (and the issues with cast iron frames with 6" riser blocks running wide blades). It also has good info on blade selection. Long but worth the read (a few pages till it gets to the good discussions).

http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=33554

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
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Location: Visalia, CA
Okay, lots for me to look at and read. I'll try and take some time this weekend and check all this out.
Thanks guys.

Kevin


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