Opinions on Small Bandsaws


I'm a long time lurker here. I am a hobbist and have recently gotten into guitar making. I'm thinking of buying a small bandsaw. Anyone have a recommendation or opinion? Thanks, Zeli
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Do not buy a too small saw, as resaw capacity is crucial, you need at least half the guitar top/bottom width as resaw capacity!
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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zelix wrote:

Two.
As a general rule when buying a power tool always consider buying one that is larger than you think you need. You can prety much always routinely and easily do small work with big tools, but a small tool will opften be inadequate and even if adequate difficult and frustrating to use for the occaisional big job.
Also, check out _turning saws_ (a hand tool) which you may find both more economical and more fun to use, unless you are planning mass production.
For really small fine work, a fret saw or a scroll saw would be appropriate.
Regardless, I've used the small Delta and was happy with it. Jet has a good reputation for their 12' and larger saws.
--

FF


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By "small", I'm going to assume you mean < 14"... So, my second WW tool was Delta's 9" bandsaw (BS100 it's called now). 1) $99 at the time from Lowes 2) Wasn't sure if I'd keep this hobby alive or not 3) Two years later, a 14" bandsaw replaced it and the 9" one is now on the floor awaiting a higher calling in life
I can't imagine guitar making without a serious bandsaw. I'm no luthier - but it seems to me you'd want to make a serious investment in that machine.
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How did it work for you? Is it a decent machine?

That's where I am at this point. I have been into boat building for a while. I thought I'd try to branch out a little. I haven't really had musch use for a bandsaw until now.

I've made one guitar without a bandsaw.. it was not easy. I think that a bandsaw would help in the neck developement.
I'm no luthier -

I have limited space (a small garage shop). I really Don't think I'll be doing alot with a bandsaw... at least for now. So I"m thinking of a smaller unit.
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ehhhhhhhhhhh - hard to say. As a newbie - just about all my machines are better at what they do than I am a craftsman.
After a couple of years of learning, I pulled it out and tried to "tune it" as well as I could my Jet 14", and things improved, but it still has its limits.
From another point of view - in the Universe of Small Bandsaws, I think it's fine. I might be tempted by the Ryobi 10" or the Jet 12" instead of the BS100.

I'm in the small bay of our 3 car garage. 10ish by 15ish feet. The 14" BS is on wheels. So I hear you on trying to work within small confines.
Couple of final thoughts: like the jointer and planer I invested in, I really didn't know how much I would use them until I had them. They get constant use now. I'll bet the BS gets more use that you expect.
The BS100 might be a bigger loss in the end than a better machine. Dunno.
I've picked up a few Delta tools as refurbished, like my Drill Press and realized even bigger savings.
Good luck!
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Patrick Conroy wrote:

My first one was a Delta 9", it worked fine for making plane totes and cutting small things. It wouldn't handle resawing or making decent turning blanks though, only cut about 3 1/2" thick wood. The 12" Delta isn't much larger and has nearly the capability of a 14" BS but can't take a lift kit. I gave the 9" to my BIL who uses it for 2X? and 1-2X? shaping around his house. With a 6" gap under the blade guard, it *may* not be tallenough for you, though. A 14" BS will take a riser kit to give you 1' under the guard, but it distinctly larger. You'll have to decide what you need to be able to cut.
Dave in Fairfax
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I'm no guitar maker but considering the thin guage of the woods you work with I'd have thought that a deep-throated fret saw would be more useful than a bandsaw.
JMHO
FoggyTown
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14" wheels is "small"
Anything less is a toy
If you can afford it, house it and you're thinking about resawing, go to 16" or 18"
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If you've got space, save up and get a 14", maybe something used that you can fix up. If it's gotta be small but you want something pretty well built, look into the Grizzly Heavy Duty 9". I just bought one to replace my little Ryobi 9". I haven't been able to use it yet, but the thing is heavy and stout and the fit and finish seems nice. It cost about twice as much as the Ryobi, but I think it's a better value. The Ryobi has served me well, though, I made a lot of jigs out of it and got a lot of use from it. I don't think I'd trust it for bandsawing out a neck blank, though. I have a lot more confidence in the Ryobi than the little Delta's I've seen. The Grizzly weighs three times as much as the Ryobi, I think it'll do everything I need for guitar making with the exception of resawing.
No matter what you get, chuck the stock blade and buy a quality Timberwolf blade or something along those lines. Also pick up a book to learn how to set it up and tune it up, like Mark Duginske's The Bandsaw Book.
Jon
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zelix wrote:

I have the King Industrial Band Saw 1433 FX. Lots of people sell a similar looking model. http://www.kingcanada.com/Products.htm?CD=104
Nice for resaw. Guitar is on my list of projects. You can get a 3/4 " blade, run it on 220 and shave veneer to 1/16" to 1/8 " if you like.
I got the riser block to extend the resaw capability so I use the 105" blades which I get from: http://www.tufftooth.com /
His BiMetal blades are quite nice. Similar to Timberwolf I guess... and he has industrial quality blades.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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I've been using a Ryobi 9" bandsaw for guitar building for almost three years now, and except for the lack resawing capability, it's worked quite well for me. I have used it for cutting various things to shape - solid bodies, neck blanks, and have actually used it to resaw fingerboards up to about 3" thick--I just had to take it really slow and careful, with a large block of alder clamped to the table as a resaw fence.
But it was time to move on. I've had a Ridgid 14" bandsaw with a 6" riser block and a Kregg fence for about a month now, and I figured I would still use the Ryobi for the light-duty stuff. Well, forget that! Like another poster, the small BS has been sitting on the floor in a corner ever since the big one went into service--it hasn't been used even once.
I'm working in all three bays of a 3-car garage, so I have a little more room, but portability is still a necessity--all of the larger tools (table saw and planer at this point) live on wheels, and the smaller tools (benchtop drill press, oscillating drum sander, and belt-disk sander) live on utility carts.
I put locking wheels on the Ridgid BS too, but it seems to have taken up more or less permanent residence in one corner of the shop.
If you can possibly do it, go for a larger unit--at least 14" The additional power and cutting capacity are definitely worth the additional price. The total cost for mine was close to $600 with the riser block, Kregg fence, wheels, and sales taxes.
If you can't justify that much money, or the space is too limited, I can recommend the Ryobi unit (Home Depot). You might consider the newer 10" model, which comes with it's own stand, so you have a choice between benchtop and floor-stand operation.
--Steve
zelix wrote:

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So how is the Rigid in comparison to other BS? I use to work in a music shop and we stuck with the old tried and true Delta 14". I also use to work for HD and persoanlly didn't wasn't overly impressed with the Ridgid BS Though I thought the TS was a good solid one for a starter.
Dave <Steve> wrote in message

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I've got the Delta 9" bandsaw, and it works well for what it is. You can't really resaw much with it, and it's no good for roughing out turning blanks, but it's great for doing projects in thinner woods. I've used it a lot in making table legs, and curved bits in 4/4 stock, and it's a nice little machine. If you're trying to do work on larger pieces that are still pretty thin, a three-wheel bandsaw may be the way to go. In any case, a little bandsaw works just as well as a big one- it just has it's limitations when it comes to the size of the stock you can expect to cut on it.
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Prometheus wrote: snip

Prolly oughta forget about the three wheelers, they've got a way of eating blades.
Dave in Fairfax
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I've got the 9" Ryobi and while I've never been terribly happy with it, it's certainly more than paid for itself. I think the 9" saws live in the middle ground between a scroll saw and a real band saw, doing ok for some of the tasks you'd do on either of them. I don't know if a scroll saw would give you what you need for guitar making, but they certainly take up a lot less space. Otherwise I would definitely try for a 14" band saw if at all possible.
-Leuf
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wrote:

I also have a 9 inch bandsaw. It's the Canadian Tire brand but could be made by Ryobi for all I know. It's cheaply made and doesn't stand up to much abuse. I suppose it's a toss-up as to whether I use it or the drill press more, though. On this model there is a cast piece that holds the blade guides which cracks really easily if I try to snug up the adjustment screw. When I look for a larger unit that's the sort of thing I will be looking at.
Joe
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