Bandsaw versus Tablesaw question

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I've had a Dewalt contractor's saw for a while, and while I've had great results with it, I get itchy when I think of the times I've had kickback.
So I started to wonder if I could do the same jobs with other tools. I have a dado blade, sure, but I could do dadoes on the router. I can cut to length with my chop saw, or my circular saw for wider boards. And as for ripping... well, that's what I'd like to ask about.
How does a bandsaw compare to a tablesaw for ripping the length of a board? Does it make better-quality cuts? Does the elasticity of the blade make for less-than-flat cuts? How are safety issues?
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I have had some scary kickbacks also. They stopped when I put a splitter in and used a pusher that pushed down on the wood.
Some people here say a bandsaw is a good substitute. I can't see it though.
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IMHO. there is no comparison in the quality of the rip cut. The tablesaw beats it hands down. Resawing or curved cuts, that's another story.
I'd look into why you're getting kickbacks. In a whole lot of years of using a tablesaw, I've only gotten a few and it was always MY fault. I'd check your alignment, your tools and your technique.
Vic
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Vic Baron wrote:

The kickbacks are rare, actually, but they have been memorable. But I had one problem that's made me very wary of the tablesaw.
I wantd to rip a piece of wood with a 45 degree bevel-- basically, I tilted the blade at 45 degrees. It tilts to the left, so the top of the blade is further away from the fence than the base.
Thing is, when I ran the wood through, the blade kept trying to lift the wood up and away from the fence. NOT fun. Had to use a lot of clamps and guide boards to keep it from happening-- and it's not easy to find good clamp angles on my DeWalt.
I can't help but think that a bandsaw'd be safer.
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Brian Siano wrote:

You should try some hold-down wheels (http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/11388 ). I've got a pair on my tablesaw and they work great.
They push down at an angle toward the fence so the wood is pushed down on the table top and pressed against the fence. They also have a high friction surface and turn only clockwise. That helps prevent kickback since the saw has to slide the wood against the wheel surface to throw it back at you.
Jeff
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kickback.
tablesaw
using
No question that it's safer, just that the quality of the cut is not as good. If you plan ahead and don't mind finishing the bandsaw cut to size on a jointer or sander or with a plane - then go for it. One thing I've learned through the years is there's always more than one way to accomplish the task. Do what YOU feel comfortable with and if it takes a bit longer or wastes a bit more wood - so be it.
I've always had a rule - if I don't feel comfortable with the operation - I don't do it. Still have all 10 fingers that way.
Good luck!
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wrote:

I can't help but think that you don't have your fence aligned properly.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:

You just reminded me of something, and in fact, the problem was just the opposite; The _motor_ had been thrown out of alignment. And I guess my memory got scrambled, because the problem I described happened before I'd fixed it. (I haven't done any 45-degree rips since the fix-- still nervous, I guess.)
Here's a safety tip for Dewalt 744 users. When your blade and fence aren't exactly parallel, check the metal arc-shaped rails underneath. Mine got clotted up with sawdust, and it was packed just enough to throw the motor out of alignment. Cleaned it out, checked the alignment, and it seems to be OK now.
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No.
Rough, not necessarily unflat.

Much safer than a table saw. I will not throw anything at you.
Here is an alternative suggestion: A table saw will kick back when the back of the blade comes in contact with the work-piece. This can happen easily if the workpiece is twisted and rocks as you make the cut. If your stock is properly jointed (one face and one edge, not just the edge) the workpiece can be ripped easily and safely.
Therefore, a jointer may be the tool to solve that problem.
If, for some reason ,would would like to rip *before* jointing, a bandsaw is an excellent choice as it is very safe and you are not making a finish cut, but just a rough-cut.
-Steve
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You asked for opinion, which I can offer, rather than solid fact, which others may assume to provide.
The choice of tools is not 'this OR that', for all situations. For every situation, one of these tools may be preferred over the other, or both may be entirely, or partially, unsuitable.
I did without a bandsaw in my shop for the first three years, using alternate methods for the few curved cuts I made. I upgraded (substantially) the tablesaw, and about 6 months later, bought a reasonably good bandsaw, which got only sparing use for the first year or so.
Now the bandsaw is used on almost every project, because what I'm doing has changed.
Every cut on _MY_ bandsaw has to be finished before next process happens. On the tablesaw, I can often, not always, go directly to glueup. A bandsawn rip must be jointed, somehow, before it can become a glue joint.
A bandsaw is much preferred for ripping thick, irregular and/or gnarly stock. I also use it when the size of the resulting parts are small and/or thin. And most things headed for the lathe I cut on the bandsaw.
You can't take either of them out of my shop, unless you trade me one of those big, honking Oneway lathes. (Then I'll use hand tools for a while, to prep turning stock.)
Like Toller said - tune up that tablesaw, so it's safe and efficient. I HATE to read accident stories.
Patriarch
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On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 11:02:43 -0600, Patriarch

or when you need to stop cut in the middle of a board.....
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wrote:

I have a RAS and CMS... also a few "skill" saws, recip, jig saw, etc.. Just added a 14" band saw and will install the riser block tonight to enable 12" cuts.. Bottom line: as soon as I can afford it, I'll be adding a table saw.. IMHO, there are many things that a TS just does better and easier.. I can cut very thin strips with the bandsaw, but not as fast or as easily as on the TS, even my tired old Shopsmith.. I also use the SS for overhead routing for dados.. but they're not nearly as fast as on the TS and I just can't get the nerve up to try dados on the RAS..
I picked up the used RAS mostly for ripping... but even with fence and feather boards, I really don't feel safe doing them.. you're talking MAJOR chance of kick back there.. I can do dados on my router table, though I wouldn't try the 3/4" ones that I do on the shopsmith.. but when you compare setup time and actual production time, a TS seems far better and maybe safer..
Keep in mind that you have kick back issues with routers and skill saws, too.. YMMV
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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I've had a few kick-backs on the TS as well as other things happen over the years that really made me think about what I was doing. In each case, something went wrong because of something I did. It mostly comes down to not thinking things through, not following the safety rules the manufactures have written, rushing to get something done, or just not paying attention to what I'm doing. I'm better, but not perfect, but always want to improve. When something doesn't feel right, I find another way.
I dumped my RAS because it really scared me. I use a router for all dados because it's comfortable for me. I do very little cross cutting on my TS, mitersaw is a safer solution for me. I rip materials that are flat (or as near as I can), so I prep my stock.
My long winded response here is to say "use what works for you." Tools are inherently dangerous. Ask yourself each time you start an operation "What is the worst thing that can happen" and put some sort of control in place to reduce the risk (a feather board, a clamp etc...).
I'm not trying to talk you out of using a BS, but the TS is better suited for ripping. The BS will leave an edge that needs more work then left by the TS. The BS is less forgiving on stock with imperfections (knots, twists etc...)
The worst thing that happened to me is stitches in my abdomen because I was to lazy to reposition a piece of wood, guess where the chisel ended up.
My 2 cents
-nick

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wrote:

Kickback is pretty much a non-issue on a bandsaw. However, there is no way that you're going to get a rip cut that's anywhere nearly as clean and smooth as what you can on a table saw using even mediocre blades.
Bandsaws excel at curved cuts, resawing, cutting *thick* stock, and ripping twisted, bowed, or warped lumber to *rough* size. But they are not substitutes for table saws.
IMO you should investigate the reasons you've experienced kickback on the table saw. Here are some starting points for your investigation: a) do you have a splitter? b) were you trying to cut freehand? c) are the fence and miter slots correctly aligned to the blade? d) are you trying to cut lumber that isn't straight and flat?
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:

I ought to mention that the kickback incidents have been few, but _very_ memorable.
No splitter-- been doing dado cuts a lot lately. Never cut freehand. TOO damn scary, that. I checked the alignment, and it's OK. As for straight and flat lumber... that may be part of the problem.
I've started on the prototype for a radiator cover. The final product will use nice wood, like cherry or mahoghany, but the prototype's being made of cheap 3/4" pine boards. I've been ripping pieces that are about two feet long, and roughly 1/2" by 3/4" thick (for a Craftsman-style grate design). And that pine is, well, a little less that flat or straight.
It was the memory of those kickback incidents, and the thought of pushing 1/2" stock past the blade, that gives me the serious willies.
So maybe I ought to invest in a jointer-- or use that method with a straight bit and the router table.
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Don't do the router table thing. To eliminate twist, you need to both face-joint and edge joint, leaving you with two adjacent flat surfaces at 90 degrees to one another This will "ride" the fence quite safely with minimal down/side pressure.
The router trick can only joint and edge, it will not flatten the face of a board or fix twist.
-steve
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<snip>

Or prototype with mdf...
Patriarch
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 09:53:34 -0500, Brian Siano

I honestly have to doubt that the saw is set up correctly...The lumber does have to be "somewhat" straight and flat ...99.9 percent of my purchased lumber has been fine...from cheap #2 Common Pine to the :"good stufff".....
Bob Griffiths
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Bob G. wrote:

Either way, I'm planning on spending a few hours cleaning the saw's innards-- a perfect time to check alignments and stuff.
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First, a confession. I am a big fan of the bandsaw. If I could have only one power saw, that would be it.
However, as others have pointed out, there is no way it will rip as smoothly as a circular saw (table or RAS). When I rip with the bandsaw, I think of it as a motorized hand saw. The finish is fairly comparable, and I tend to steer the cut along (and just outside of) a cut line rather than worrying about setting up a fence. I always plan to "clean up" a cut made on the bandsaw.
Others have pointed out that the bandsaw is probably the safest of the big power saws, but don't get complacent! It's safety comes because the motion of the blade is to hold the work to the table, not to push it toward you. And you have to provide very little force toward the blade to get it to cut since the blade is not pushing back. But that blade is still dangerous. Take the 2 seconds required to set the blade guard and top guides to the right height for safety and quality of cut. And keep your hands away from the cut line. I also occasionally imagine the blade breaking--not to create immobilizing fear, since the wheel guards would probably contain the broken blade, but to keep a healthy respect and remind myself to wear safety glasses.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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