Jet 18" bs Review for Bob G.

Good morining, A local woodworking store here in Columbus had a special on Jet 18" (jwbs18b) for $899.00. My father bought one and Bob G. wanted a review of the set up.
First let me say that my father and I are not pros and really just getting into woodworking. My dad especailly likes to turn on the lathe and saw Nahm get a turning blank out of the fire pile. My dad cut a few blanks from his burn pile on his old craftsman 12" band saw and was not happy with the results so he got the jet.
The Jet was well crated and fairly easy to move around. Once we unpacked it and set it on the garage floor I noticed that it didnt have adjustable feet. Luckly the floor where we put it was level.
We assembled the parts per the manual and everything went fine there. The instructions tell you to adjust the blade guides before you put the table on because it is easier They were not kidding. The top guides are really easy to adjust and the bottom guides are not as easy even with the top off.
The bottom guides assembly sits on a bracket that attaches to the machine with 2 allen head bolts. Under the bracket is a blade guard that gets in the way when you are trying to adjust the guides. It is really easy to get the bracket to twist and not be parallel with the blade. Also the bottom guides are have one nut to secure them in place so you have to hold both adjusting knobs while you tighten the nut so the guides stay in place. That was ok with me but hard on my father (arthritus).
Now you put the table on.....
The table assembly was easy and the fence went together quickly and we were ready to try it out.
We used the 3/4" blade that shipped with the say and cut up some old fire wood and were satisified with the results.
On my way out I bought a 5/8 Olson Proline skip tooth blade to try out because I had heard how bad the stock blade is so we switched the blades out.
With the table on the bandsaw the lower guide adjustments were really a PITA. Mostly because of the bracket adjustmet with the allen bolts. That is my only real complaint.
The olson blade was great, cut well and faster than the stock.
All and All I would say that I would purchase one myself and be very happy with it, but I am going to try to re engineer the lower guide adjustments...
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions
Rick Cox
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wrote:

Rick............ Thank you very much....for the review,...
My major concern was the adjustment of the lower guides...etc.. So I guess alittle "on hands" experience on my part would be a good idea...
I restore old cars (another hobby) and was not "too" concerned about assembly... lol...just call me a Pennsylviania Mechanic all I need is a little bailing wire and a hammer...
I am not in any rush to replace my old crapsman 12 inch saw but am getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger...
Thanks Bob G.
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That 12" is still good for the light duty stuff if you have the room. My dad set up his 12" off in a dark corner ready to go if he needed it.
I think that it would be simple to come up with a better lower adjustmet on the guides. One that i ca think of is to reverse the inboard allen to be from the bottom (inside the door for easier access.
Or...make a rack an pinion like a Porter Cable biscut jointer fence to move it forward and aft....That may be a little more difficult. I will keep you posted if I figure any thing else.
BTW, Yesterday we effortlessly make about 10~15"+/- turning blocks from the burn pile. that 5/8" proline blade was very nice.

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BTW, if you are interested in the store that has the special for price matching purposes, it is at www.woodwerks.com
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Just to add another $.02. I also have the Jet 18" and got it last year at Woodwerks in columbus OH. The lower guides take a little getting used to, but I can do a blade change in well under 10 minutes now without problems. I would suggest getting a set of longer metric T handled allen wrenches. As far as blades go, last fall I put a 1/2" 3 tpi hook tooth and found that it accomodates most sawing tasks well and have had no reason to change it. Jet has recently came out with a new model, the JBS 18X It has 1/4 more HP and will resaw up to 12" IIRC. I don't know if the guides are any different. My saw is just a JBS 18 with 1 1/2 hp and resaw limit of 10". These are probably the ones that are on sale now. Do yourself a favor and get a mobile base with it, the saw is just damn heavy, like 350 lbs. or so. My only (minor) complaint with the saw is it can be a little underpowered when resawing 8inch or thicker dry hardwood lumber. Slow the feed rate and you be fine. I don't do a whole lot of resawing anyway, so this is really not a problem for me. ( If you are doing a lot of resawing, I'd get the newer model with the extra HP.) Although it can cut very thin veneers quite nicely. Finally, I've been really pleased with the saw. It's pretty much the crown jewel of my shop (well, until i replace the old TS). It has performed any task I've thrown at it and performed it well. --dave

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Thanks for the Tips Dave, I do believe that is why the saw is on sale to make room for the new saw with 12" resaw capabality.
Have you ever taken any classes from woodwerks? I signed my father and I up for a beginners turning class on 3/21. I am really looking forward to it.

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No, I haven't taken any classes from them. I live in Marysville, so it's a bit of a hike to Woodwerks. However, I may look into it. If it's a Saturday class or something, I may be interested. I bought a Jet 1836 lathe from them in Sept. and would like more instruction on how to use it. I've managed to learn a little from reading and doing, but i think learning would be much easier by watching than reading. --dave P.S. nice to see Woodwerks is finally putting some effort into creating a real website! Until recently, they only had their location and hours posted.

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