band saw recommendations

Now that I finally realize how useful a band saw can be, I think I want one. But, finances what they are, I am not going to be looking at high end units. The Ridgid is well within my price range but I've heard too many negatives about it. HF, pretty much the same, well within my price range, but . . . I want an inexpensive saw for some occasional resawing and doing curves in material that the scroll saw can't easily handle. From specifications and from reading the reviews of others I suspect that a 14" will do me just fine. What I absolutely don't want is one that takes a lot of tweaking and adjusting to make it run smoothly. I want something that has been engineered and manufactured to run smoothly right out of the box. So to speak.
Of the various brands, I see that Jet and Grizzley make things in my price range (I have to stay under 1K including a couple or so extra blades!). I suspect Grizzley is only mail-order. I also would much rather pick one up (I'm in Los Angeles area) rather than having one shipped. The local Rockler store has Jet, Sears carries Rikon mod 10-320, Woodcraft has the Rikon 10-325.
So, long story short, what would be the most respected, easiest to set up and use, stationary bandsaws in the 14" range that I might be able to pick up at a local store?
thanks, Ralph
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Ralph Compton wrote:

Most bang for the buck = Grizzly IMO. No LA store but they can (or at least, used to) refer you to a user so you can see what you are buying.
I wouldn't consider $1000 as "inexpensive" for a 14" saw.
No bandsaw requires (or should require) tweaking to run smoothly. Nor will any bandsaw play nice without some set up...adjusting guides for current blade, adjusting tension for current blade, etc.
In all probability, you will need only two blades...
1. 1/2" Wood Slicer for resawing http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/woodslicer-resaw-bandsaw-blades.aspx
2. 3/16 4 TPI Skip Tooth Bandsaw Blades for curvy stuff. http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/3/16-4-tpi-skiptooth-bandsaw-blades.aspx
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On 1/22/2011 1:13 PM, dadiOH wrote:

My dad has an older version (6-8 years maybe) of the Grizzly G0555 and I've messed with it quite a bit... I am not impressed. It seems very fiddly and kinda flimsy to me, but then again it may just be that I'm used to my 16" MiniMax, which is one of those Eye-Tal-iun made behemoths. :-)
Do you have a specific price cap you want to stay under?
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We totally agree here. LOL I with my Laguna and you with your MiniMax, Lamborghini and Ferrari of band saws. ;~)
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While I totally agree with the blade selection, I would like to offer a bit of heresy - especially if cash is tight. I have had a Harbor Freight 14" bandsaw with the riser blocks (which may no longer be available) and cannot complain. Equiped with the WoodSlicer 3/8" blade and "Cool Blocks" it works extremely well - for the hobby set. If you can find it on sale, the bandsaw and blade will cost you less than $250.00, tax, shipping and all.
Deb
dadiOH wrote:

blades.aspx
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snipped-for-privacy@mon-cre.net says...

Those cast iron saws all seem to be the same saw with different paint and different accessories. The Harbor Freight is supposed to work with the Grizzly or Jet riser blocks.
Going the other way, the 17" Grizzly is within the stated price range and it's going to be a lot more saw than a 14", but the OP wants to buy it locally.

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I like supporting local merchants, even if it costs a little bit more. And especially if they have a reputation for quality customer service.
I think I'm going to get the Rikon 10-325 next time it goes on sale at Woodcraft although this is not etched in wood yet. I'm not in a particular hurry for any particular reason.
And the price I mention, $1K, would be absolute maximum for out the door and including spare blades for a quality saw.
Might have to run over to HF and look at their saw again though.
Ralph.
says...

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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net says...

You're looking at the Rikon 10-320 at Sears, so take a look at the Craftsman Pro 22401 and I think you'll find that they're substantially the same saw, with the differences being that the Craftsman is a different color, costs about 5 bucks more, and gives you 8 inch vs 6 inch resaw capacity, which makes it a better deal all around. Mine's digested everything I've thrown at it and resaws just fine as long as I have a sharp blade in it and have the tension right. After a while I did need to replace the guide bearings (it has roller guides) but 25 bucks at the local skate shop took care of that.
One word of advice--take the tension adjustment screw completely out and wax it or put a dry film lube on it. Until you do that it's almost immovable when you're getting close to the right tension for resaw.
If you can afford the 10-325 that would be a better option IMO--it gives you 13" resaw capacity, a tension release, and another half horsepower, but it's going on twice the price.
The Jets start a hundred bucks or so higher than the Rikon/Craftsman and I don't see what they bring to the party that makes them worth it.
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:44:26 -0500, J. Clarke wrote:

I've got that one. If the OP needs the resaw capacity that's the one to get. It's not the best bandsaw in the world but IMNSHO it's the best for the money - *if* you need the resaw.
I got one when they first came out and had a couple of problems, but Rikon fixed them with no hassle.
The bottom blade guides are a pain to adjust, but I don't change blades all that often.
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Find a used one and save lots of money.
Steve
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I totally agree. I bought a new delta years ago and had enough problems it was my last new delta purchase... I'll buy used, but not pay for new.
Find an older one.
On 1/22/2011 3:10 PM, Steve B wrote:

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Since you're in LA (Compton? :-), I'd check with Laguna and see if thay have an LT-14 used or refurbed.
scott
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Compton's my name, not my location. But I'm located not that far away from Compton (city). Tried to look up Laguna but seems to be a problem with their site. Will try again.
Ralph
writes:

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Been there done that. Had a Craftsman for about 20 years, 1/2 hp. SLOOOOOOW and a PIA to set up.
Finally I decided to upgrade to one of those $1000 saws with more capacity, hp, fancy roller guides, and decided on the 18" Rikon.
IMHO none of the $1000 saws are going to give you what you are looking for especially if you want to walk up to the saw, turn it on, and on a daily basis.
I was looking for an improvement, the $1000 18" Rikon was more of a lateral move from the Craftsman that cost me $1000. I returned it within 2 weeks of its purchase.
I wanted an upgrade. I wanted to adjust the guides to a specific blade and not putz with it any more until I changed blade sizes.
I wanted everything you want. I dont think you are going to find it for that price and especially if it is a new unit.
I ended up realizing to get the saw to do what I wanted it to do, perform like a good cabinet saw, I had to spend more money.
I bought the LT16HD Laguna, way more expensive but it does what I want it to do with little effort. It does not have to be tweeked. Blade tension is not critical and you really don't get inconsistants cuts from one period of use to the next.
It was important to me to get a saw to perform with as little in put and tweeking from me as possible. I felt it was a better value to spend more and get a saw that did what I wanted. I have probably used the Laguna 10 times more in the last 4 years than I did with the Craftsman that I used for 20 years. I did not want a saw that I used only because I had to. I actually enjoy using and look forward to using the Laguna.
I can recomend any of the HD Italian built Laguna or MiniMax saws. A lot more money but a LOT more saw. These saws are tools, not on going projects.
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wrote:

You have mentioned Grizzly and that is probably a good bet. While my band saw is an 18" Jet, I would not hesitate to look at the Grizzly. Grizzly used to provide contact info for up to two persons in your are who have made a purchase similar to the tool you are considering. Also of note is the fact that for years Fine Woodworking would not mention Grizzly in their tool reviews. A few years ago the big Griz Jointer took top honors; and a recent issue selected two of their band saws with top ratings. I own two of their machines (1023s cabinet saw, G0453 planer). They are high quality, good performers and their service is great. With Griz you might move up to a larger table and stay in the $1K range.
RonB
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BTW - When I ordered my Grizzly Cabinet saw it was 36 hours from the time I placed the internet order until the local trucker called for instructions. That was a shipment from Springfield, MO to Wichita, KS - about 320 miles. I believe Grizzly has a larger store/warehouse north of you in Bellingham, WA
RonB
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1225 miles bellingham to LA via I-5. 1613 from springfield to LA.
And it's more like 250 miles springfield to witchita.
scott
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On Jan 23, 1:46pm, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Your are right. 267.49 miles from Wichita to Springfield if you take the convoluted route Mapquest suggests. I added wrong in my head.
Point?
RonB
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On 23 Jan 2011 19:46:14 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Close to that here, too. I called it in Friday, they told me "6 weeks", I ordered anyway, the trucker called me Monday, and the DC and BS were delivered Tuesday of that very next week.

I get a lot of stuff from WA and CA because we're all on I-5. It's quick. 1225 miles equates to 22.5 hours on the road for a driver. Order Monday, load monday, drive some Monday, drive Tuesday and deliver on Wednesday. Prolly 4 days from Springfield to HelL.A.

That doesn't necessarily mean same day service. ;)
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 10:56:48 -0800, "Ralph Compton"

Take a look at the Powermatic at your Woodcraft store. This bandsaw comes with the riser block, Carter quick tension release, gooseneck lamp and a good fence for your target $1000.
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005243/20930/Powermatic-14-Bandsaw-Model-PWBS14CS.aspx It will most likely require occasional tweaking of the rollers and tension like most of the other saws in this price range though.
Bob
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