Pros and Cons on riser blocks for a 14" bandsaw?


Looking through the archives on bandsaw discussions is mind bogglingly (is that a word?) confusing and so I do apologize for being lazy and asking this question ...
I'm still debating which bandsaw to get, but perhaps an equally important question to knock off first is one about the optional riser blocks offered for several models.
I'm looking at the Grizzly G0555, the Jet 710115K, and the Powermatic 1791216K. I'm also looking at the Grizzly G0570. The prices between these models vary from $425 to $900. Yikes! I know I should probably go for the most power I can afford, but I'm leaning towards the middle end.
Okay ... so anyway, these models give a cutting clearance of about 6". With a riser block, that's increased to 12" (or so).
My question is this -- assuming that MOST of the cutting I do never requires that extra clearance, am I giving up anything by having it there? I mean, does having the riser block in any way lessen the accuracy of the cut or something like that?
It seems to me that if the riser block doesn't take anything away, then it makes sense to have it ... even if I only use it now and then. I know that if I start buying blades without it, it'll be too costly to replace the blades at a later date to accomodate the extra length.
Any help would be appreciated!
Jack
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I have an old rockwell, (now delta) 14" band saw. A couple of years ago I had a need to resaw some 11" wide CVG fir.
Fortunately the newer Delta riser kit fit my Rockwell saw. The cut accuracy with the riser kit installed is actually better than before. The blade guide bar is stiffer and locks in better. I also replaced the guide blocks with composite "cool blocks". My next upgrade will be full ball bearing guides.
One consideration is the size of the motor on the saw you are going to buy. Mine had a 1/2HP motor which proved inadequite for the bigger cut with a 3/4" resaw band istalled. The courser the tooth, the better for the heavy cuts. This allows for better dust removal in the sawkerf. I upgraded to a 3/4HP motor I had in the shop. If I had my druthers I would have used a 1HP, but did not want to buy a new motor.
While I rarely use the full capacity of the saw I am happy with the overall outcome.
You must keep in mind that a bandsaw is not a super precision piece of equipment to begin with. As with all cutting tools, DO NOT cut corners on the saw blade. I buy mine from my sharpening shop. They sell by the foot so the additional 12" does not add that much to the cost.
Hope this helps.
Tom in Oregon resourcecreations.biz
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On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 09:15:20 -0600, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:
I can only give you a "low end" BS opinion:
I got the Rigid 14" last year... basic 3/4 hp identical to the griz... Added the griz riser kit (same thing, different color, less than 1/2 the price) and have never regretted it..
I'd guess that only about 1/3 of my cuts really need the riser, but I think that the guides and such are a little better than the original, for some reason.. Anyway, it cuts well (for a $300 BS) and is accurate, whether cutting 1/4" hardboard or a 10" thick bowl blank...
The only negative I can think of would be if your shop has really limited headroom... the frame/wheels do get 6" higher..

mac
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"mywebaccts wrote in message

It doesn't, and it does.
If you are anything like most wooddorkers who build cabinets and furniture, instead of only smaller items like boxes and birdhouses (and even then in some instances), rest assured there will times when the extra clearance will come in handy.
It doesn't mean that you have to routinely resaw 11" stock to "need" the riser ... cutting anything over 6" wide, and standing on edge, becomes impossible on a band saw without a riser installed, a not unusual cut/use of the band saw, IME.
If a riser is available for your choice of band saw, I assure you that will, at some point, regret not having it from the get go.
End of story.
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Swingman wrote:

You'll regret it even more when you have to replace all your blades when you decide you have to have the riser block.
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good point, Mike... I remember waiting a few weeks to install my kit because I'd just replaced the OEM blade... Luckily, I knew that I'd be ordering the riser kit, so I only bought one blade... I had 4 different 105" blades waiting, though..
mac
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"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

My wife is amazed at how I can turn every conversation into sexual references. 6" is good, but wouldn't you rather have that 12" for the times you really need it?
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It seems to me that if you are seriously considering the powermatic you should also look at the 17" and 18" machines frm Grizzly, Jet, and General. I decided on the General 17" after finding the G0555 to be insufficient for my needs, something I haven't regretted at all. Lots of people find the smaller machines entirely sufficient, but if you can swing the extra cash I think you will be happier in the long run.
Just my two cents
Andrew
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On some saws, like the Jet I have, the riser block reduces the throat capacity, so that is a consideration, also.
Remember that to resaw accurately, you need to have at least one flat side. If your jointer is 6" wide, that makes resawing anything over 6" more difficult because you have to use some other means to make that side flat.
Mark
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Flatten 6" of the board and register it against a 6"-high fence?
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Instead of a 13 1/2" throat, you end up with 12 1/2".
I've never had this be a problem, but I haven't had to cut a 13" circle with it, or any other curve that large.
The riser is handy to have. I just re-sawed some 12 inch cherry and chestnut, to make 1/4" panels.
You can use it as a home-made mill, cutting raw lumber. I've also used it to make a cute birdhouse out of a 8" wide inch tree limb.
As for a saw, I got the Jet 14" deluxe.
I wish I has gotten the Powermatic because there are many extras for a small increase of price. This includes Miter fence Rip Fence Light REAL Carter release Higher horsepower (1 1/2HP) Blower Larger table
The Jet Deluxe is $550 ($599-$50 rebate).
I just checked on Amazon, and the Powermatic is $799 ($899 with a $100 rebate).
The Carter tension release is worth about $129. The cost of a light, blower, and fences (not that the fences are that great) is about $150. So for the extra $250, you get a lot, IMHO.
Some like the Delta X5 has a free mobile base, for $899. 1 1/2 HP motor. The guides under the table are closer to the table. I guess this stuff is patented, and some people say it's great. I'm not sure exactly why.
Consider horsepower and what you plan to do. There are times when my 1 1/4 HP motor struggled, doing resawing.
If you are spending $900, I guess you can compare the PM to the G0513 17" Grizzly for $845. This has a 16 1/4" throat cutting capacity, and 12" height. 2HP.
Or go for the $425 griz.
Have fun deciding. Get the Iturra catalog.
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As far as throat capacity, I don't own a table saw, so I probably run into that more than most.
Mark
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How would you rate the Powermatic (1791216K 14") against the Grizzly (G0513 17")? Pricewise, it's $800 vs. $845.
Jack
Bruce Barnett wrote:

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"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> writes:

I can't really compare them as I have never used either (The Jet is close to the PM.)
If I were you, I'd look long and hard at the specs, and think about what I want to do with it. Also think about ceiling space. My Jet w/riser barely fits in my old basement. A larger saw would not.
Look at your budget, and consider what extra you might want to add later, and others you need right away. Some options you can add later. Others cannot.
Perhaps others can compare Griz vs. Jet/PM.
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Bruce Barnett wrote:

Not sure 13" circles on a 12 1/2" throat would be a problem. I've cut 36" circles on a 10" bandsaw.
Mike
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(Thunk on head) You are right. I was tring to imagine the limitations of the throat depth and failed. LOL (I do have a tablesaw).
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If you haven't already looked into it, one thing to consider is that bandsaw blades are *relatively* cheap, at least compared to TS blades, etc. Even from timberwolf, which is a great company to work with and they make an excellent bandsaw blade, you're only looking at $25-30 each. Of course, if you get one of every type of blade, that could get expensive. But since you asked for opinions, I'd say get a better saw or more accessories and wait on the riser - you can always add it later, and new blades to fit it won't be another huge investment. Also, if you haven't already, get a good bandsaw setup book like Duginske's "Band Saw Handbook" - I think that helps more with accurate cuts than getting a fancier machine. Good luck, Andy
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On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 09:15:20 -0600, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

====================I have NO idea of what you may be using your bandsaw for...
BUT I have been using a Craftsman 12 inch band saw for over 40 years .. and while I can not really call it a good bandsaw it has done everything I have ever needed,.....
That said:
Now after all these years I suddenly "needed" ...not "wanted"...the ability to resaw "accurately" some planks about 10 inches wide ... Duh....can't do it no way no how...
So:
Get the Riser Kit... !
Or buy one of the larger bandsaws now and if you never need it ...so what!
Bob G.
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