14" Band Saw advice

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Finally got the green light for a band saw. (Come up with a project that requires one and you are in business) I've been looking at either the new Grizzly G0555x or the G0555. I'm leaning towards the x model seems to be heavier built. Any advice or recomendations for either of those or something else in that class of saw? Thanks for the advice in advance.
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Rich Harris



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FWW did a review of 14 inch in their last issue. The G0457 got their best value (I own one, the down-side is custom blades). Of the two you list I would get the G0555X (MORE POWER)
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I've got the article. I'm not looking to go to that level though. I want to keep it a bit lower cost. But thanks for the advice. I agree about the x model and the power. It also has a bigger table, beefier base and construction as well as a better fence. Just wondering if anone could shed light on another manufacturer's product that is comparable, like Rikon, Jet or Delta etc.
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Rich Harris

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"Ralph E Lindberg" < snipped-for-privacy@callsign.net> wrote in message
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Rich wrote:

Well, there were Jet and Delta units included in the FWW review -- Delta was one of the higher-priced but about the worst performer. The Jet performed well w/ the exception of one test -- it was the lowest-powered and the weighted-sled resaw test bogged it down at the higher weight. Note, however, that at the lower weight it was as fast as any.
Don't know about Rikon -- never seen anything of theirs except in the magazine pictures...
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saw blades (1/2" 3 tpi skip tooth) and use moderate tension on the blade, I've had no trouble resawing. I have the riser block installed. I aligned the top wheel.
I'm of the opinion that you will probably have to tune any saw you buy. I'd buy the one that I liked. That's what I did.
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Lowell Holmes wrote: ...

The FWW review noted (as I did) that the Jet resaw was as good as any (even the 3x the price General or 2x the price Laguna "best overall") in performance except under the heavier load. That wasn't a fault of the saw so much as that the model tested had the smallest motor of any in the test. The tests were all done w/ the same 3 tpi 1/2" blade.
Of _course_ one would tune any saw one buys...
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On Thu, 30 Aug 2007 13:55:49 +0000, Rich wrote:

I bought the deluxe 14" Rikon with 13" resaw capabilities. I haven't used it yet for fine work, but I've done quite a bit of resaw, mainly cutting green hardwood logs for turning blocks. I'm happy. The two speeds are nice - the low speed is really good for resaw.
I did have a problem when I got it with the table not being flat. Nobody ages their cast iron anymore, so it could have happened on any saw in that price range. But the point is I sent them an email one evening about the table and got one back the next morning saying they'd send me a new table. The new table was very flat! So I think their customer service is pretty good.
Note: some of the high end vendors like General in Canada still do age their castings, but nobody in the price range you're talking about.
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I bought the G0555 about a year ago and have found it to be a good saw. At the time, the G0555X was not out, so that wasn't an option for me. If I was looking today, I'd be trying to decide between the G0555X and the G0555 as well. But if the G0555X wasn't available, I'd buy the G0555 again.
Awhile back, I looked at what was different on the G0555X vs. the G0555. The main things that I remember is the G0555X has a more powerful motor (1.5 HP), the wheels are cast iron or steel and it comes with the re-saw fence. With my G0555, I can't say that I've ever found its 1 HP motor lacking for any of the re-saw stuff I've done. My saw also cuts straight so I guess I'm doing just fine with aluminum wheels. I did buy, as an extra, the re-saw fence and that has been well worth the extra expense.
I also bought the riser block, but have yet to install it. So far I haven't needed to re-saw anything larger than 6". I don't know if I'll ever install it, but I'm glad it's there if I ever do decide I need to re-saw something bigger.
As with any saw, it works best with a good blade. Lately I've been using the Olson blades available from Ballew[1]. These blades are relatively inexpensive and they cut well.
[1]: http://www.ballewsawandtool.com/shop/band-saw-blades.html
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Michael, Thanks for the input. You are the only one who actually addressed my OP. Maybe I didn't state what I was looking for clearly.
I am looking for a 14" band saw with a cast frame and the ability to add a riser in the future. Everyone seems to think for some reason that I'm interested in the saws in the article in FWW. I read the article if I had that kind of cash, I'd buy the Rikon or Grizz. but......I was asking about a step down from the ones in the article. The saws in the article all have steel frames. While that is better than a cast frame, I don't have that kind of money.
I do appreciate everyone's input but I'm not really getting much feedback on what I am looking for.
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wrote:

The frames of the 14" saws you are looking at are essentially identical. In fact you can take the riser block from most any manufacturer and put it on just about any saw.
One big difference between Grizzly and the others is the way the motor is mounted. Grizzly bolts theirs to the saw itself. Everyone else either hangs it below inside the stand or has it on the stand behind the saw, and uses the standard NEMA frame. That way you can slap any motor you want on there at a later date. I don't think you can do that with Grizzly.
So one option you might consider if you don't think you really need the riser block but want to keep your options open just in case, is go for something like the Ridgid which by the time you factor in shipping is your cheapest option. The 3/4 hp motor should be fine without the riser. Then you have three routes you can take. Stay with what you've got, get the riser and a 1-1/2 hp motor, or get a larger/better saw. You've put in a minimal investment at the beginning so you keep your options open.
I tend to think strapping all the goodies onto the 14" saws is more of a cash cow for the manufacturers than a huge improvement over the more basic 14" saws. You'll get more for your money going to a larger saw.
-Leuf
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Leuf, Thanks for the help. I checked out the rigid also. Thought it would be alot of bang for the buck, but I found out there alot of complaints about balancing and tracking of the blade. I realize you have to set up a saw in the beginning but it seems like there alot of people out there who have been having alot of difficulty. Rich
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wrote:

I think that home depot is going to get a higher percentage of people who know nothing about setting up the saw and just expect it to work, so I'd read the complaints with a grain of salt. It seems to have a decent reputation on this group, IIRC.
FWIW, I bought the 1 hp Delta closed stand model and have been battling a vibration problem myself. Still haven't quite figured it out. The upper wheel seems pretty well balanced but is slightly out of round (about .02"). I thought maybe it was the blade because it seemed to get much worse recently, but a blade change didn't help. Then I took the blade off and checked the balancing of the wheel, put the blade back on and it was apparently back to its normal amount of vibration. It may be how the wheels are balanced that how they are oriented to each other is affecting the dynamic balancing. I intend to put some marks on the wheels and test that theory. But I digress. My point was you can get vibration with any saw, especially in this price bracket. At least with home depot you can pack the thing back up and bring it back yourself (with some help from a buddy) if all else fails. I have dealt with Grizzly CS and they are very good about sending you out replacement parts. However the quality contol of the replacement parts doesn't seem any better than for what comes in the box.
One other thing about the Ridgid, you can put their mobile base on the stand which allows the stand to still sit on the floor when it's down. Press the foot pedal and it lifts it up. MUCH better than the POS Delta stand mine is on, and the vibration definitely got worse with it. Even if I stick shims under it it's still worse.
-Leuf
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Rich,

I understand your dilemma. Allow me to make a few comments about my experience, before suggesting a solution.
I agonized literally for YEARS over the necessity & expenditure for a bandsaw. There was no way I could justify the 'top of the line' saws, or even the 'middle of the road' ones. I read books, magazine articles, 'THIS' forum, etc. At the time there was also a chain of *woodworking crafts* shops that opened a store in my area. Really known for their 'catalog sales', don't remember their name, but the 'house brand' was 'Reliant'. 'Haunted' that shop . . got a lot of hand-tools & supplies there, plus they carried Delta & JET as well as the Reliant line. I was therefore able to see at least three saws, side-by-side.
First, my background is engineering, and I am a wooden boat builder. I know from experience that 'Finishing' may only use about 5 percent of the total materials, it may account for 50 percent of the time, and cost, of building or manufacture. Therefore, regarding 'Fit & Finish' . . . while 'fit' may be an indicator of the amount of care, attention to detail, and precision of manufacture, 'finish' is much more subjective. With one company it may indicate poor quality throughout, while with another it may indicate a decision to put cost & time where it will add to performance & value to the customer. Also, my greatest peeve is Corporate 'slight-of-hand' - where they promote an a well-known 'American' image, {& cost} and the product is 'Made in China' for a pittance.
Second, how are you going to use this saw? Occasionally, with a bit of re-sawing . . . as in my case. Or almost continuous use to re-saw logs & 'slabs' of hardwoods.
Third, be very aware that this is a heavy piece of equipment, moving a VERY sharp and FAST moving cutting edge, under a good bit of tension.
The 'Final Contenders' . . . The DELTA had the 'advertising budget' and a very nice finish. A reputation of an 'All American' brand. The fit seemed good and it was a basic saw with the usual 'hype' about it's adjustments. Price was at the high end.
The JET had no TV commercials or sponsored any shows, and had a similar finish to the Delta. Fit seemed just as good as Delta. No prominent mention of Country of Manufacture, but research indicates Taiwan under careful American 'spec' control. Price - very much below Delta. Fence & Gauge - 'optional'.
'Reliant' . . . Only seen here & in their catalog. An ugly 'Green' in color {intentionally similar to the Grizzly ??}, and relatively poor finish. Fit was 'fair'. Fence, Gauge, and 'extras' included. Blade guide blocks - metal {I think}. Chinese manufacture and REALLY cheap pricing. While this Company seems to have disappeared - I was really disappointed when the local Store went - almost all of their house-brand 'stationary tools' have been supplanted by ones from Harbor Freight. Probably from the same Chinese factory. In fact, an 'HF' store has opened about 30 minutes away.
MY RESULT . . . I bought the JET 14in OPEN STAND. From Amazon, on 'Special', plus Fence, Gauge, and Shipping, included. {I should have bought the 'Height Block' then, but didn't. Recently had to really search around to find one at MY price}. While the Grizzly was about the same quality as the Jet {from Catalog description and individual comments, I'd never seen one}but at a lower initial cost. By the time Freight and Taxes {there is *one* outlet in PA . . . about in the middle of the state !!}were factored in, it was more.
CONCLUSION . . . SHOP for a JET. However, IF you MUST 'go cheap' look at the Harbor Freight offering. Just keep in mind the caveats, and try to physically LOOK at one before you buy.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
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Ron, Thanks for the great advice. With an email address like yours, you must be from New England also. Rhode Islander transplanted here via the Navy. I'll be using my band saw in much the same manner as you. As a matter of fact, I'll be building a boat in the not too distant future. My father lives in central PA not far from the grizzly warehouse so that is a possibility for me to eliminate shipping cost. I like the Jet and Delta too, but thought the same as you about Delta. You pay for a name as well as a product. I'll have to give the Jet another look. As far as harbor freight stuff goes, I steer well clear of them unless I'm going to buy a "single use" tool from them. With your permission I'd like to stay in touch regarding buiding a boat. I'l send you an email via my hotmail addy if its ok.
Rich
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It's been awhile since I looked at the 14" saws from Jet and Delta, but one thing I do remember that I noticed about *some* of the 14" models from one or both of these companies is there's a few models that do not have a quick tension release. If the saw does not have a quick release, it means you're going to have to crank a knob or hand wheel every time you start using the saw and keep track of the number of turns. When you're done using it for the day, turn the knob/hand wheel the opposite way and number of turns to release the tension. That's a tedium I decided I did not want to be bothered with.
The Grizzly G0555 has a quick release and it was this feature that made it a deal clincher for me.
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Rich, Mike, et al . . .
Rich - You are very welcome. Just remember it is MY OPINION and act accordingly.
Actually, 'born & raised' in Atlantic City, NJ. A Rhode Island 'wannabe' since I got to know, and sailed with, a gentleman from the Narragansett Bay area - he sails a Pearson 28, hull #4 !!
Shipping is most certainly a big factor that many people inadvertently ignore. If memory serves, the Grizzly 'rate' was about $70. Adding 'insult to injury' was another $30 or so in TAX. It wasn't so much that I *liked* the JET or Delta 'better' {I thought of them more as 'equivalent'}, but the OVERALL total outlay was less.
Agreed, about the HF stuff. Over the years I've gotten a LOT of stuff from them. Starting with the really *simple* stuff . . . {'A boatbuilder can never have too many clamps !!'} Wooden 'Carpenters Clamps' are wooden carpenters clamps, are wooden . . etc, etc.. Theirs for $3.00 or Jorgensen for $10 ???. From there I graduated to small power tools - that I considered 'disposable' at the price - that I could 'dedicate' - rather then spend time 'swapping out' fittings. 4-1/2 in 'Angle Grinders' for $10 !! . Have 2-3 on hand with different set-up, grinding, cutting, detail sanding, etc. 'Trim' router for $20 . . . have one dedicated to a special extra large base. {In fact, my neighbor - a building contractor - looked at my 'stuff', had me take him over to the 'local outlet, and got one just to set-up for routing door hinges !! He also 'signed-up' for the 'Flyers' and catalog!!} My point - and mention of 'caveats was that YOU mentioned the money concerns. I think the HF product is about the cheapest one can go. Just be warned of the DANGER of this tool, in general, and how much that will increase if VERY POORLY made.
MIKE - in the same vein - I wouldn't consider it a 'waste of time' to be able to examine one for 'fit' and 'structural integrity'. Small fittings & 'knobs' that have been left off or 'gown legs' is not a specific concern. Having a copy of the 'Assembly / Instruction' Manual will determine if these parts come with the unit, and how they are arranged. Being able to see how heavy castings fit, the way motor mounts are aligned & adjusted, the blade wheel adjustment, etc - is of more importance.
As far as 'dust collection' is concerned . . from what I've read they almost all really stink !! It's simply due to the way they work. If 'aftermarket' modified - commercially or shop-made - to really enclose the exposed control & adjustment areas, then the air movement & dust capture would be improved.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

SNIP not far from the grizzly warehouse so that is a possibility for me to eliminate shipping cost. I like the Jet and Delta too, SNIP As far as harbor freight stuff goes, I steer well clear of them unless I'm going to buy a "single use" tool from them.
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I've been to a number of Harbor Freight stores in several different states. In almost every one of them, looking at the big stationary power tools can be difficult. Either the item on the floor has been badly abused by idiot customers or whoever put the thing together left off parts because they were too lazy to be bothered. I mention this specifically because, at one point I was looking at the bandsaw Harbor Freight sells. In several of the stores, I noticed there were *no* upper or lower blade guides on the saw. I suspect this is a case of lazy employees, but to me it was a clear sign to avoid these things.
So, going to your local Harbor Freight to get a better look at their line of bandsaws could well be a wasted trip.
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Michael Faurot wrote:

I have the HF 14" saw and am satisfied with it. It could be that the blade guides were not left off the floor model but had been pinched. Mine came with guides and a fairly sturdy (stamped steel) base. I installed the riser kit (for a pittance) and feel that I got, at the very least, my moneys worth.
It isn't a top end saw. It is no more than a mid-range saw. But I cut hardwoods and wet woods with it just fine. My only real complaint is that the dust collection leaves a little to be desired and I think that, if I ever get into some heavy duty use of it I'll want to pop for a stronger motor.
I got what I paid for. Plus a little.
Bill
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wrote:

I have the ridgid/grizzly/chi-wan-ese BS and the dust collection is a joke.. little bitty connector under the table at the top of the clam shell..
I cut a 4" hole in the lower door and put a DC fitting on it, plugged up the square hole from the original port and Y'd a 2.5" hose to as close to the bottom of the zero clearance insert as I could.. works great, if I remember to open/close the proper blast gates.. lol
I've read several complaints about the HF BS and suspect most are cured by putting a real blade on it... That, a tune up and some cool blocks should make it a very serviceable saw, for the money..
mac
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Ron
Just a few observations to add to your conclusions. The store you are referring to was Wood Workers Warehouse which went bankrupt about three or four years ago after bad business decisions by their parent company. I seem to buy most of my machines used and have a few Reliant (dust collector and shaper). They are real reasonable used since there is no longer any support for them, so you take a chance if parts are needed but you are correct generic Chinese parts seem to fit most times.
I also own some Jet, bought used. The 14" BS has a riser, Carter roller guides, and an after market fence similar to the Kreg all of which came with it. It is the older "blue Jet" rather than the white. Recently I cracked the pivot arm on the upper slider bracket. I immediately called Louis Iturra for an after market replacement. (Louis is a great guy who is the maven of band saws - call 866-883-8064 for his excellent catalog by mail). Louis explained that the aluminum casting of this slider frequently breaks on the older Jets and they beefed it up on the newer ones. He sells a beefier replacement for the Delta 14" which the Jet is a copy of. He said that the Jet, however, uses a cheaper one way press fitting of this assembly making disassembly impossible. Therefore, the only solution is to buy the entire assembly directly from Jet. So two weeks and $65 later the part arrived and seems beefier. Jet took a week and a half to send the part, although their customer service were pleasant and helpful when I called to check.
The original casting of the Jet part had some voids in it, hence the failure. My machines are from Taiwan and I'm not overly impressed with their castings. Worse, however, seem to be the Harbor Freight machines which are almost direct copies of the Jet and made in mainland China. The HF 1236 lathe knockoff in their store shows several casting cracks and flaws compared to my Jet 1236. HF quality is just too much of a crap shoot for me. That said, I just bought a HF Chinese knockoff of a pneumatic carving tool that was 7X less expensive than the Taiwanese tool it was copied off at Woodcraft - talk about markup! For something like that I can buy six more and toss them if they break compared to Woodcraft. You don't really do that with bandsaws, however.
So if you listen to Louis, you look for used Delta or Rockwell bandsaws to refurbish. I now have an old Rockwell 14" metal cutting saw that I got for under $50 which is beat to hell and has a 3 phase motor. This winter I'll be trying a refurb. Completed it won't save me any money compared to the used Jet, but you can readily see the better quality.
Hope these observations help, obviously I'm a fan of waiting for used to show up.
Jerry
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