Bandsaw or tablesaw or wait?

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On 1 Dec 2003 12:36:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote:

I use a homemade setup with a plywood "T" square clamped on to the sheet goods and an indexing jig to space it all the right distance from the blade. quick and easy, plenty accurate enough.     Bridger
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On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 16:52:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

I do the same thing. And I built a couple of notched 2x4's to go across the horses...so its easy to cut right down the middle and not lose the pieces.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Dyslexics of the world ... UNTIE !
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YJJim wrote:

Jim,
Look carefully at the Festool system (I have no affiliation with Festool). Their saw and guide system are different than other circular saws and guides. Their guide does *not* need to be clamped to the plywood; it incorporates rubber strips that hold the guide in position. (I didn't believe it when I bought the saw and ended up buying their clamp system - which I have not needed.) Their guide system also has a rubber edge that eliminates chip out. The standard blade with the guide system produced cuts in melamine that had *no* chip-out (on the side covered with the guide). My Unisaw with a zero-clearance throat plate can't do that.
Last Saturday, I made more than 75 full-length rip cuts in 5'x5' baltic birch plywood in a little more than 90 minutes. I laid the plywood on a styrofoam insulation sheet (which was on a foldable table), set the saw to plunge about 1/8" into the styrofoam, marked a reference line on each end of the plywood, slid the guide into position and made the cuts. Every cut was perfect. When it was all over, I didn't have an aching back from sliding full sheets of plywood repeatedly over my table saw, nor did I have cuts that needed to be fixed at the jointer to clean up the edges; I had finished cuts that were as good as or better than any I had ever made with the Unisaw.
Please don't misunderstand. I would not give up my Unisaw in favor of the Festool; but, I would buy the Festool first if my funds were limited and I needed one saw that would get me by until I could buy a quality cabinet saw. In my case, I bought the Festool after I'd already bought a radial arm saw, a contractors saw, a Unisaw, a bandsaw, two other quality circular saws, various guide rails, a jointer, a 15" planner, 17 routers (I really love routers), a 2-hp shaper, a 12" chop saw, a drill press, etc., etc., etc. Were I to start over, I would buy the Festool circular saw with guide rails and vacuum, the Festool router with hole guide system, and then I would buy the big stuff when I had the need for it. As it stands now, I usually grab the Festool stuff, make the cuts, and have things put away before I could even clean off the big tools to start things up.
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Do you mean the saw is underpowered for it, or is your idea of "serious" a little more than mine? :-) I bought a used Jet 14'' with a riser block and although I haven't had a chance to resaw anything yet, it sure looks to me like all I need is large enough infeed/outfeed tables and I could run a twelve-inch log through it. Seems to me anything larger than that would be better and safer done on a sawmill. Or are you lacking a riser and just don't have the clearance?
Dan
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Dan wrote:

I also have the riser block assembly. My problem is that the motor just doesn't have the power to re-saw heavy lumber. When I first got the bandsaw, I cut 700+ linear feet of 2x8 redwood for the grow boxes in my garden. It was easy, leading me to believe that I could resaw anything with that saw. Then, I tried resawing some old 2 x 10 white oak - it just didn't work. Yes, I was able to cut the lumber, but found that it was just about as much fun as chopping mortises in white oak with a chisel. I tried several different blades - no great improvement. I felt like I was trying to pull a house trailer with a VW Beetle. The simple truth was that I was trying to push the tool way beyound it's capabilities.
The 14" Jet is great for normal (non-resawing) applications, and even light re-sawing, but thinking that a $600 saw can compete with a $2,500 Laguna (or other heavy-duty saw of your choice), when re-sawing is the primary goal, is, in my opinion, optimistic wishing.
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On 1 Dec 2003 05:43:18 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote:

I bought my bandsaw after my tablesaw. You just can't cut curves on a tablesaw very well, but a jigsaw does the job. Without a tablesaw, building a bookcase will be a challenge. But, I've built many quality furniture pieces with just hand tools. It just takes longer.
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If I were just starting, (and thank goodness I'm not) the first power tool I would buy is a 12" sliding miter saw. Most have a adequate cross cut capacity, you can cut dado's, and of course miter's. And your hand don't generally come very close to the blade. I find a lot of new people are intimidated by a band saw, and foolishly careless around a table saw. And I could have included myself in the previous group. Whatever your choice keep a good sharp blade in it, the last thing you want is a saw that is difficult/dangerous to use.
Dave

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if you're on a budget, shop for used machinery. you'll get more for your money, and with a little advance research (www.owwm.com) you will find that many of the old machines are better built than what is available new.
another approach is to forgo the stationaty machinery for now and get some quality handheld tools. a router will do dado joints for bookcases just fine. a circular saw and straightedge will cut up plywood and a jigsaw will cut curves. use those to build a solid workbench and some shop shelving. make something nice for swmbo. make boxes. make toys. develop your skills and find out what it is that you want to be making. then start thinking about buying some machinery.
and as far as the tablesaw/bandsaw decision, here's a truism for you: the tablesaw is the heart of the cabinet shop. the bandsaw is the heart of the furniture shop.     Bridger
On 1 Dec 2003 05:43:18 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote:

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Pretty tough question to answer until you decide what the preponderance of your woodworking projects will be.
Nonetheless, keep in mind a quality jig saw can take the place of many of the bandsaw cuts you may need to make until you can justify owning one.
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On 1 Dec 2003 05:43:18 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote:

Consider buying BOTH...used...either locally or on the Internet.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Dyslexics of the world ... UNTIE !
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote in message
My current options are:

Get a contractor's saw.. I have had a delta contractor's saw for a long time. I have the money to upgrade to a cabinent saw if I chose, but I see no reason too. I contractor's saw with a good fence is fine for home woodworking IMO (naturally after you add a good outfeed table).
And if you put a good ripping blade on, you can still rip through 2" maple or oak with ease. There's plenty of power.
Naturally a cabinent saw is better, but IMO if you buy a good contractor's saw, you may never have the need to upgrade.
You can even make dust collection pretty good on a contractor's saw (boxing in the bottom area with 1/4 inch plywood)
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Thank you to everyone who has responded! It has been very helpful.
I think that for what I make, the bandsaw is probably not needed yet. My jigsaw should suffice.
My current setup includes a miter saw (non-sliding), circular saw, jig saw, routers (and table), and various other hand tools. I have been wanting to get a "big machine" to make various tasks easier and more efficient. I guess the table saw is the next purchase. As far as which one/type to get, it seems like everyone advises against buying a contractors saw in favor of a cabinet type. This seems to make sense since once I buy it, I don't plan to buy another one. I'm still not sure that I would ever push a contractors saw to its limit, but most folks here seems to wish they had started with cabinet saw so I'll rely on your experience.
I think I'll check out the used market, but possibly wait until I can afford the griz 1023. Decisions decisions.
Thanks again for all of your comments and suggestions. This group is a world of help to us novices.
YJJim
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote in message

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Well, it wasn't on my list of options, but I was at the borg on Saturday and picked up a BT3100 for $240 (plus no payments or interest until 2005). At less then 1/2 the price of the cheapest Grizzly contractors saw (once you add shipping), it was hard to pass up. I guess the best thing about it is that I will have a decent saw to use on my projects while I keep dreaming about a cabinet saw. The more I think about it, the better I think this option is because it gives me a table saw (albeit a small one) without investing too much so I won't feel bad replacing it with a cabinet saw down the road. Plus, if it cuts well, I can move on to filling out my shop before chunking down the megabucks on a good saw.
Thanks to everyone for their advice, YJJim
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote in message

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...

Good for you. The low end saws are nowhere near the quality of a good cabinet saw, but it does not mean you cannot make good projects on it. I started out with a cheapie and made some items that were useful and appreciated. Takes a little more time to get the fence set accurately, but it can be done.
Do buy a good blade though. Mine came with a combination blade that was suitable for framing, but not for accurate, smooth cuts. Plan on $50 and up for a good blade. Ed
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Original blade for BT3000 was "designed" by Freud for the saw. Great blade and Forrest made it cut sharper than new.
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On Mon, 22 Dec 2003 14:01:43 GMT, Edwin Pawlowski's fingers viciously stabbed at an innocent keyboard to form the now famous if slightly awkward haiku:

The blade that came with the BT3100 is very good for starters. It's a rebadged Freud. I picked an unfortunate time to sell mine on Epay, this week :(( I think I would have more bids if HD wasn't having this damn sale. When's the sale over anyways?
Mowgli
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After you get it all set up and calibrated, I for one would like to hear how it works for you.
Let us all know, K?
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I'd be happy to let everyone know how it is once I get it up and running. The unopened box is in my shop waiting for me to finish my current project, a train table (for Brio train stuff) for my son for Christmas. It is just about complete, but I didn't want any distractions since it has to be done by Thursday morning.
I'm looking forward to getting it set up and breaking it in on my first project with a table saw! My brother will be the lucky recipient of this first project since I told him I would make him a bookcase for Christmas... although, it will be more like Christmas in January. He knew it wouldn't be ready for Christmas, but maybe I'll wrap a couple boards for him anyway. :)
Jim
snipped-for-privacy@pentek.com (Charles Krug) wrote in message wrote:

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Well, I finally got my BT3100 set up a couple weeks ago and used it for its first project... a bookcase.
So far, I have been very happy with the BT3100. It was very easy to put together, took about 1 1/2 hours with the "help" of my 5 year old daughter. I figure it would take about 45 minutes to an hour to do it by yourself. Most of the assembly is just the metal stand. The rails went on easy and were very easy to align. Most everything was perfectly aligned right out of the box. The fence locks down firm in the front and back so it doesn't flex at all. One feature of the BT3100 that is kind of nice, I guess, but I don't think I'll use, is the movable rails feature. You can move the rails to the right or left giving you up to 31" of rip capacity. The standard position gives you 24" to the right, and the sliding miter table to the left. I don't want to bother with aligning the rip scale often, so I don't plan to move the rails... but, I guess it is a nice feature to have when needed.
After checking the alignment (and sending my daughter to play upstairs), I made several test cuts and it cuts very well. On regular boards, the cut was clean and smooth... I'm sure it isn't the cut quality of a cab saw or even this saw with a WWII blade, but even with the stock blade, the cut quality seemed very good. On plywood, the cut is very good, but I don't have a zero clearance plate yet so the veneer face on my birch ply splintered a lot... just need to use marking tape on the cut line until I get a zero clearance plate.
The sliding miter table is possibly the best feature. It makes crosscuts REALLY easy. Having never owned a table saw, I don't know just how big of an improvement this is over using a standard miter gage, but it is nice to easily slide the boards for a cross cut. In making my book shelf, I wanted to make sure my shelves were exactly the same legnth, so I stacked 4 shelves (3/4" each) and clamped them together. I put these on the sliding table and easily crosscut all 4 together. I did this partially to get the cuts identical, but mostly to test the power of the saw. It cut through 3 1/2" of plywood easily. I guess the inner plys of birch ply are not typically really hard wood, but it was a decent test none the less.
I still hope to get a cabinet saw some day, but for now, the BT3100 is a very nice saw and will serve me very well. Plus, I saved about $1000 (paid $260 for the 3100) over what I would spend on a cabinet saw. Now, I have some money to get the drill press, planer, jointer, band saw, etc. that I have my eyes on. I highly recommend the BT3100 for a newbie that needs (wants) a table saw and doesn't have a ton of cash to spend.
YJJim
snipped-for-privacy@pentek.com (Charles Krug) wrote in message wrote:

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YJJim wrote:

One question - if you get hit by a truck tomorrow...will you regret dying having never satisfied your woodworking desires???

Go for it. It will do most things well enough for most home woodworkers...and many pros. I have a Delta CS and my BIL has the Grizzly. They are both good saw. I have a larger rip capacity and I like the Unifence over the Grizzly fence, but I paid considerably more. I would not hesitate to recommend the Grizzly.
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