A good small bandsaw

I'm looking around for a good small woodworking bandsaw for my garage shop. The one I've got right now is one of those little 8" Delta saws. I think it's never seen a piece of wood that didn't scare its little heart to death, even with cool blocks, a 3/8" blade, and all the tension I could screw into the blade tensioner. About the only good experience I've ever had with it was cutting rigid foam, and I've concluded that it's useful only for taking up space that might be better occupied by a better tool.
This would be just a light-duty casual-use saw, rather than a workhorse tool. I have the use of a friend's woodshop nearby, and if I have any serious sawing to do I can use his 18" Grizzly, but I'd like this one to be a competent tool even so.
A bandsaw in that general size range that I've heard good reports about, long ago, is the Inca 340 10 1/2" saw, which Garrett Valley, or was it Lee Wade -just kidding, folks! :-) - used to sell some years ago. I've been all over google and google groups, and even ebay, looking for someone who sells that line or has one they'd like to sell, and I can't turn up any recent information on Inca tools at all, let alone on that saw. So maybe they're out of business nowadays or have no American distributor, and everyone who has one of those saws wouldn't dream of parting with it - who knows?
Anyone know of a Inca 340 for sale in good condition, and know where to get parts? Failing that, what would the collective wisdom of the wreck recommend in this situation? Delta used to have a 10" saw, but I've never seen any chatter on the wreck about it, and I fear that it wouldn't actually be any better than the 8". Three-wheel saws are out, in my opinion, because of blade flexing around the tiny wheels and because the ones I've seen looked pretty cheesy. Delta's BS220LS 12" saw is a little bigger than I'd like, and comes with a metal stand I'd have no use for (the saw needs to go on an existing work table, due to limited space in the garage). Jet's smallest is a 12", and doesn't look much different from the Delta 12" in either features or disadvantages. Grizzly's G1052 9" saw looks attractive, at least to judge from the marketing info on the web site - anyone have any experience with this model?
Thanks for any comments, Tom Dacon
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Husky (A private label at Home Despot) makes what seems to be a pretty decent unit. I haven't used it myself but the demo the guy at one of the stores was doing seemed to do ok. I'm going to be getting one too... same idea as you... casual use, midrange product, affordable, so it's one I'll be looking at pretty closely.
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I don't know about a light duty casual saw. I have a 14" Delta with the riser block. I've resawed a lot with it, cut contours, done a few tenons. I feel like I've gotten more than my money's worth out of this saw. I haven't used Lagunas and some of the other "premium" saws. I have no doubt they're worth the money. For what I spent, I have no quarrel with the little Delta. It's fairly heavy and solid (compared to what?) I'd consider it to be a "competent tool".
bob g.
p.s. Looking for a used tool, have you checked e-bay?
Tom Dacon wrote:

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I've got the Delta 9", and no, I don't think it's any better than what you're describing. I doubt the 10" is much of a step up in quality either. Good for very little stuff, but not much else.
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Prometheus wrote:

I'm giving my Delta 9" to my BIL who'lll use it for trim and stuff around the house. I picked up the 12" Delta at Lowe's during their clearance sale. It does what I need it to and despite the number, seems to be the same size throat as the Grizzly 14". It also has a 6" under guide size. Not the most powerful saw on the block, but if you're only doing little stuff it'll do.
Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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I have a Delta 28-195 10" band saw and I find it works great. When I first sat it up, I mounted it to the stand that comes with it. This put the table at eye level when sitting in my wheelchair cutting wood. Later, I decided to make the band saw turn on my DC automatically and so I removed the saw from the stand and sat it on a 20" HTC tool stand and it became the right height for cutting wood while in my wheelchair. I bolted the band saw to the tool stand and added a couple drawers and a remote switch. Now when I turn on the saw, it in turn, turns on the DC and my work light.
I have found that the three wheel units are more a hobbist unit for very light duty work. The Delta 28-195 10" may have been discontinued with the number change that Delta did on all of their products.
I would like to add that I also installed a stabilizer and a low tension blade. The low tension blade & stabilizer allow no fuss with tension to have a saw cut like a scroll saw. When I put the blade on after installing the stabilizer, all I did was snap it onto the two wheels and adjust the stabilizer.
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Thanks for your comments, everyone -
Since I started this thread, I actually found a couple of Inca 340 bandsaws for sale. I made an inquiry of Garrett Wade, and they connected me with a company in Los Angeles named Eagle Tools (www.eagle-tools.com). Eagle has some used Inca power tools for sale, and a couple of them are 340's. Their technician has worked on Inca for many years, and presumably knows how to get them in good shape. Garrett Wade, who stopped selling the Inca line a couple of years ago when the company went out of business, still sells parts for the line out of the spare parts inventory they bought from Lee Valley some years before, and a lot of parts like bearings, belts, and blades can be US-sourced.
Unfortunately, the price is way out of my budget for a small saw like that. They quoted me a price of $696 more or less, depending on condition, and I couldn't possibly justify spending that much, no matter how good the saw is and how well it fits my needs. But if anyone is looking for what's said to be a real fine small bandsaw, and can afford the price, give Jesse at Eagle Tools a call. Phone number (323) 999-2909.
Tom Dacon

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wrote:

I have the Ryobi 9", which I'm not sure they still make but it's probably about in the same league as what you have already. It vibrates like crazy, but it does well enough in softer hardwoods and up to 3/4" oak if I ask it nicely, which is all I really got it for anyway. I believe Sears has a 9" model, as I buy my replacement blades for the Ryobi there, it's the only local place that has any that small, but I would guess it's the same quality. Grizzly has a 9" G1052 that's twice what we paid for the Ryobi so I would hope it's leaps and bounds better, but for the money it's not that much more for the 14" if you can find room for it.
-Leuf
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