bandsaw advice?


I have a custom set shop we do everything from movie set pieces to custom staging and so we need all of our tools to be good at many things. I am looking for a good bandsaw to build a new project. I have been reading the group for the last few months and there seems to be some very knowledgeable people here. I hope someone has tried out some wood/metal bandsaws. this is the one that I am looking at and I wonder if anyone is familiar with the brand and even this particular saw.
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Any help is greatly appreciated.
Doug
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May I suggest much more bang for the buck? For the same price.. http://www.rikontools.com/18inBS.html
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If you are a set builder and commonly work with larger pieces of stock, the larger table on the Rikon or some of the other 18 or 19 inch saws will make life easier. The Wilton is probably a pretty good machine in its own right but the bigger saw helps with bigger stuff. Jet has an 18 in the same general price range too.
RonB
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the reason that I was looking at the Wilton is the ability to slow it right down for metal cutting A trade off I suppose. I think it goes down to 33fpm all the other saws I have seen have at most a 2 speed ability.
Doug
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Suggest you try this inquiry in rec.crafts.metalworking (and mention the name of the saw in question [Wilton]; not every reader will take the time to follow the link).
David Merrill

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Better yet, do a Google search: http://groups.google.com/groups?as_q=wilton+bandsaw&num0&scoring=r&hl=en&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_ugroup=rec.crafts.metalworking&as_usubject=&as_uauthors=&lr=&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=&as_mind=1&as_minm=1&as_miny 81&as_maxd=3&as_maxm&as_maxy 05&safe=off
David Merrill

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Without knowing anything about that particular bandsaw, I am not keen on "do all" tools. I would think that a bandsaw specifically designed for wood would outperform this one in handling wood and one specifically designed for metal would be better for metal. Metal needs slow speeds and fine-tooth blades; wood uses higher speeds and much coarser toothed blades. Switching blades on a bandsaw gets to be a PITA real fast. Cutting metals means oil - cutting wood means a clean saw and table so as not to mess up the wood prior to finishing.
I'd get two machines.
Mike
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For really big bandsaws cutting thick metal you would need oil (I suppose, never seen a really big one used), but it's not necessary for small items. My dad has been using a metal-cutting bandsaw for over 30 years now and I've never known him to use oil when cutting. (And I've recently looked inside the saw -- no oil splatters anywhere.) But I also don't recall him cutting any metal more than, oh, a half-inch inch thick, maybe an inch, usually less, say 1/4" or thinner. Rough-cutting only -- fine shaping was* always done on the mill machine or lathe, where he most definitely used oil. (*was: he's retired now, although he still putters around some.)
His 14" Powermatic bandsaw has 10 or 12 speeds IIRC: 5 or 6 on the pulleys, and a lever to change the motor speed from low to high. He has the pulleys set on an intermediate speed, so when he wants to cut wood (seldom) he simply flips the lever. I wanted one like it, but decided against it when he told me it cost him $600 used in 1973.

I've no argument against that. I prefer single-purpose machines, too. My dad's worked for him because, as I said, he only used it for the very roughest of cuts.
The Wilton referenced in the OP looks pretty light-weight to me. Shipping weight is 168 lbs? My wood-cutting bandsaw weighs 275 lbs by itself.
I've considered buying one of the 4x6 metal-cutting bandsaws from Harbor Freight, but so far a hacksaw has served my purpose well enough. I'll eventually inherit my dad's bandsaw -- but I'm in no hurry for that, I want *him* around, screw the saw.
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[snip my post]
Free advice is often worth what you pay for it. I should have added that although my father made a living from his tools, it's strictly a hobby for me. (I've turned down offers to be paid for making things for people because that would make it work instead of play.)
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Buy two saws. The one for metal will get to messy and a pain to use for wood again. I assume as a set builder, you need to build stuff fast and cheap. Changing back and forth between metal and wood blades and speeds takes to much valuable time. You end up leaving it set up for metal and cut wood occasionally. BTDT.
Dave
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Assuming one has the room. I'm still struggling with the shop real estate I gave up to add a second sander...
Dave
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