Help me choose a small band saw

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I'm shopping for a band saw to replace an old little 3-wheel craftsman I bought used.
I was TOTALLY dissatisfied with the craftsman. It lasted about 10 minutes before the synchronous belt broke and a replacement is near impossible to find. In it's defense, it was -old- and looking at the belt, I think it was partly torn when I bought it.
I'll be cutting different sizes/types of wood and on an occasional basis, thin aluminum stock up to .125 for hobby stuff (custom parts for my R/C's).
I've heard people have had success with cutting this type of aluminum on the smaller wood band saws.
The saws I've considered are:
------------------------------------------------ Delta 9" Shopmaster BS100 - $87
I wouldn't even consider this saw if it weren't for the $87 price tag. I'm sure it runs like crap and won't last forever, but I plan on using it for such a limited amount of stuff, it's tempting.
------------------------------------------------- Jet 12" Open Stand JWBS-12OS - $275
Has great reviews and seems to have been around for a while. Doesn't come with a mitre gauge, but the table seems well contstructed and is slotted for it. One concern is the speed. Specs state: "No-load speed: 2,750 rpm" That seems too fast for that occasional aluminum cutting.
------------------------------------------------- Hitachi 12" CB13F - $299
I can't even find this saw on Hitachi's site, and only Lowe's seems to carry it. It's either brand-new or manufactured solely for Lowes. I know the large-scale Hitachi machines are supposed to be good, but this seems to be their first smaller saw. I can't find any reviews anywhere. It looks well-made, and the specs list the speed as: "RPM: 1,410". It also says "Dual speed capability". This sounds more hospitable to my occasional aluminum cutting.
-------------------------------------------------- Both the Hitachi and the Jet are far more than I wanted to spend and really can 'afford' to spend, but you know how that is.
When I saw the el-cheapo Delta for $87, I figured I could get something halfway-decent for around $200, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
In the past, I've been more apt to buy good tools (porter-cable, dewalt, bosch) than crummy ones (black & decker, skil, etc.), but I fear I'll be using this very little. Can anyone make a recommendation? -Rich
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Good for your 10 year old to play on.

I've not seen the Hitachi The jet is a good saw for the money. If you buy the Delta for $87, that just means the Jet becomes $362 and the Hitachi is $386 when you buy one of them in a couple of months.
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I'm not sure what your set up is on that craftsman, but have you thought of replacing the belt with a link belt? I'm not even sure if you can, but I've actually read decent things about the three wheel band saws. Just a thought
Don NetMagi wrote:

craftsman
for
tag.
using
speed:
to
this
anywhere.
something
recommendation?
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it's a wide flat belt with teeth on one side. . I think a link belt only replaces v-belts right?
-Rich
srwood wrote:

the
aluminum
Doesn't
is
cutting.
It
my
and
case.
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NetMagi wrote:

Right. In case you missed my other post about the subject, it *can* be done, but it's miles away from satisfactory.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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NetMagi wrote:

craftsman
<snip>
something
You should consider Grizzly. I have the G1019, and love it to death. I have no experience with their smaller saws, but they have two that are in that $200 kind of money: http://www.grizzly.com/products/items-list.cfm?keyB0010&sort=price -Mike
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This is a real apples to oranges comparison. I have the Delta 9" and for what it is, it's okay. It's tougher to get it to track accurately and it has a tendency to bow on thick wood.
If you're cutting wood 1" or less it will work all right. That's mostly what I use it for. Aluminium, I dunno. I think it would depend on finding the right blade.
The other saws you list are much more substantial. I wish I had one of them.
--RC Projects expand to fill the clamps available -- plus 20 percent
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Some like the Harbor Freight 14" bandsaw. It goes on sale often for about $220, free frieght on orders over $50, but I think they will tack on a small handling charge, I think $5 or so. I believe it is this one, http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber2206 Greg
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This is the one I've got- sucked in by the price tag as well, but I wouldn't buy it again. It's seriously underpowered and mostly plastic. It does work for small stuff, though- and I haven't had any problems with it yet, it just seems like I will eventually every time I use it.
For about the same price, they've got one at Sears that has a metal case at least. I don't know if it's any better, but the fit and finish seem a lot nicer. Also, bear in mind that most places do not stock metal-cutting blades that small- I had to special order mine. They didn't cost much, but it was a bit of a wait.

Get the better saw- you'll probably get it and discover some uses for it you didn't anticipate. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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<snip>
I can't give you any comparisons between the three you mentioned, but I recently replaced a 12" Jet with a larger saw. I was well pleased with the Jet with one exception. It just didn't hack it for any significant resawing and that's really the only reason I got a 16" Jet and passed the 12" on to my son. Who, incidentally, is also well pleased with it.
My feelings are that the Jet would be satisfactory for you in the wood cutting application if you toss the stock blade and replace it with a good, premium blade like a WoodSlicer or Timberwolf, and don't expect it to do any heavy resawing.
I never did any aluminum sawing on mine so I can't give you any advice on the performance of the saw in that application. I can't help but believe that it would do the job if you use the proper blade and don't hurry the cut. What's the proper blade? Your guess is as good as mine.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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wrote:

A 6 or 12 TPI blade should do it. As an aside, aluminum really, really likes to have coolant when you cut it on a bandsaw. You can get away with cutting mild or tool steel without coolant, but aluminum can destroy a blade really quickly if it gets too hot. Seems like it'd be the other way around, but somehow that's not the case. Of course if it's real thin it shouldn't matter too much.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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the
it
What's the

As aluminum conducts heat six times faster than steel, why doesn't it cool it?
Aluminum oxide, which covers the surface of aluminum, is a great abrasive used on sandpaper.
Think the second might be the greater influence, and the "coolant" acting as a lube?
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compared to steel, aluminum is *gummy*. the chips want to stick in the gullets....
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<snip>

cool
as
After all the other comments . . a close friend showed me an article many years ago about WWII engineers discovering that you could really cut aluminum(aluminium for the Canuckistanis and those across the pond) quite well with a DULL blade running at high speed. No proof, just throwing it out FWIW.
--
Nahmie
Those on the cutting edge bleed a lot.
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As a Caunukistani born and raised the first time I ever heard of "aluminium" was from my first year chemistry prof at university (college for you yanks ;) ).
We generally stick with Yank terms here north of the 49th.

abrasive
acting
out
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"aluminium"
I know. We just have so much fun picking on each other!
--
Nahmie
Those on the cutting edge bleed a lot.
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Prometheus wrote:

The other potential problem is speed. I've only barely looked at wood bandsaws, but they all seem to go REALLY fast. I really have no idea what the speeds are on my metal (horizontal) bandsaw, but they're slow, really slow, and crawl. I leave it set to crawl 100% of the time, with a 20-some TPI blade on it. I've cut through railroad track with this thing without coolant. (Although it did take about two days, and I couldn't get the two cuts to meet in the middle, and I couldn't break that last 1/2" of steel with any amount of beating the shit out of it with a sledge hammer, so I ended up having to suck it up and finish it with a hacksaw. Wow, that was unpleasant.)
The OP says he wants to cut wood though, and these things are utterly useless for cutting wood. The tables aren't much good either. They're really only good for crosscutting angle iron and stuff, which they do exceedingly well. They can't cut big sheets and whatnot at all, though I have used mine to fabricate the odd, fairly small curvy part out of aluminum or steel with good effect.
It's a useful machine when you need one, but my least used. When I got the new TS I had to relegate my metal bandsaw to life in the den, which SWMBO just loves, let me tell ya.
--
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Rich, I've got an old Craftsman 3-Wheel bandsaw that when adjusted seems to perform adequately, but it has no fence so I have to improvise. It was made by King-Seeley.
But, what do you mean by a "synchronous belt?" On mine there is one belt, from the motor to the pulley on the saw, otherwise the blade runs over the three wheels.
--
Yours,
Tom

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it's a wide belt with teeth on one side. labeled 120xl. . . connects the motor to a smaller pulley on the lower right pulley
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NetMagi wrote:

Those things suck. They're in everything, they don't last very long, and once one goes, it's a serious ordeal to come up with a replacement. Been there, done that. I *didn't* replace it. I wound up using green link belt and a metric ton of tension to force it all to work. It does, barely, but it's really not a good solution at all.
The little bitty Delta looks like a piece of crap. I'd take one for free, but I don't think I'd buy one.
As you noticed, everything else is a huge step up the price ladder.
I guess I'll end up getting a 14" bandsaw of some flavor because I have been burned too many times by the temptation to cut corners and buy something cheap. I've bought two of (or desperately need to replace) almost everything in my shop, except where I went ahead and sucked it up and did the hard thing scrimping and saving to get the real deal to start with. It has been an expensive life lesson.
--
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