Seeking Advice: bandsaw or table saw?


I'm interested in building some arbors out of red cedar. I'll be purchasing rough 4x4's from a local sawmill. I'll need to rip some of these 4x4's down. What is the better tool to invest in if I end up doing alot of this type of work - a bandsaw or a table saw?
Thanks
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Bandsaw is the tool of choice here, any typical 14in bandsaw will let you do the resaw/rip in a single pass, where with the typical table saw it will NOT be able to cut thru the 4x4 in a single pass.
John

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John wrote:

I have to totally agree with John. I have both a tablesaw and bandsaw and I use my bandsaw to rip everything these days. If I'm building furniture I joint one side, rip it on the bandsaw let it acclimate (move) and then joint again, rip to final width on my tablesaw (about 1/4 - 1/8") joint that to smooth it and glue up.
I've cut 2x6 and 4x4 on my tablesaw before and I will never do it again (I have a 2hp motor -- real 2hp not crapsman 2hp -- so there's plenty of power) what ended up happening is that the wood was pretty wet (which yours will be too) and it would bind on the blade as I pushed it through and the table saw almost kicked back several times on me and I swore I'd never do it again. So you're welcome to try it if you want but if I had to do a lot I'd sure use the bandsaw (which is redundant I use it anyway).
Also, I have a 14" 1hp bandsaw and I've resawn 6" wood without any problems at all (make sure you have a good blade and let the blade cut versus pushing hard and it goes through like butter). There are some great articles in FWW about ripping on a bandsaw (and resawing etc) let me know and I can look them up if you want.
Mike
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Mike in Idaho wrote:

Hello Mike,
Thanks to you and others who have replied. Yes, I'd very much appreciate links to any articles you are aware of.
In my original post I talked about building arbors. But really that is just where I want to start. Garden furniture would come next. And yes, I'd like to sell this stuff (in answer to another poster). At this point, I'm seeing plans that call for some curves in the furniture. At least the furniture that I find attractive. So maybe a BS is the way for me to go? Safety is also a major concern for me, as a newbie starting out. After reading a book called The Tablesaw, I don't feel too confident about the enherent dangers in that piece of equipment with the very little experience I have. :-)
As a first main saw, would you suggest that a 14" one would be ok for me or would you suggest going up to a larger 18" model? From what I've been reading a larger BS means heavier, more stable and supposedly more accurate. But with red cedar with is so soft, a 1hp motor is not a problem? Maybe I should start looking at 14" BS's? For some reason, I've been focusing on the larger machines.
Thanks again.
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NoStop wrote:

If you're thinking about getting a bigger saw already, do it now! Every time I bought something that was good enough for my present needs, I always ended up taking a beating financially when I upgraded later. If you think you'd want an 18" saw, get one now. You will never curse a machine for being too capable but you will often curse one that can't do what you want.
I had to have 220 service installed when I bought my first (and only) bandsaw: an 18" Rikon. "Hmm", said I, "all that power and only one tool to plug into it." I ended up buiying an 8" jointer that shares the outlet.... leaving me with a 6" jointer I wish now I hadn't ever bought. I haven't sold it yet but I know I'm going to get screwed when I do.
Learn from me on this... BTW, that 18" Rikon is a damned nice saw for the money. Woodcrafter carries it, among a few others.
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Then you'll be wanting both.

I'd suggest reading books on both before spending big money.
ian Kirby's "The Accurate Tablesaw" and Marc Duginske's "Bandasaw Handbook" are both worth reading.

If you have the money, and you're just wondering how much is sensible to buy, then go for an 18". You won't regret it.
If budget is tight, squeezing it to an affordable 14" and a 10" cabinet saw is a good plan.
If you're really limited to just one, then I'd go with the cabinet saw - because it will cut rebates.
Don't underestimate a good jigsaw too (saber saw ?) Something like the barrel-body Bosch is light-years ahead of a cheap B&D.
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Here are the articles I used to change the way I rip wood:
"How to Get Square, Stable Stock", FWW #165 (Sep/Oct 2003) "Five Tips for Better Bandsawing", FWW #173 (Nov/Dec 2004)
The one about tips with bandsawing may have you rethinking an 18" bandsaw (going 14" 1hp over 18" 1.5-2hp). Although I'll admit if I had it to do over I would probably spend more money on my bandsaw (gone for a 17" vs 14") and less on my tablesaw (1.5hp vs 2hp). But, having said that I bet I never upgrade my bandsaw (unless there's a killer deal in the paper or something -- I've gotten about half my equipment through the classifieds, I read them every single day).
Good luck and have fun!!
Mike
PS. And once you've made that decision next comes the fun part of picking a brand! I use Grizzly (G0555 & G0444Z). In fact, if you were thinking delta or powermatic for example you could get both grizzlys for the price of one (and I'm happy as a lark!).
Here are the links:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G0444Z http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G0555
If I had the money I'd do:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G0513 http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1023Z
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Why would you prefer an '055 over a Powermatic, Mike?
Dave
Mike in Idaho wrote:

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Price. That's it, 'cause they're both green, right?
;)
Mike
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Circular saw, although with caveats.
To work on this size of timber easily you'll need a 14" blade, not even a 12 1/2". Now those are easily available, but they're not exactly cheap, even as a contractor's saw. With a "typical" cabinetmaker's table saw you'll have a 10" blade. You can certainly rip this timber, but everything's a two pass cut from both sides.
So how much ripping are you doing ? Will you really need to make so many rips ? If you're ripping everything, and you're already buying timber as small sawn squares, then why not order in some 3x2 while you're about it ? If you're not doing _that_ much ripping, then you can probably live with a smaller saw and doing them double-sided when you need to.
How many are "some arbours" ? If this is your garden, then that's a whole different volume from making them for sale, and you're less concerned about the time too. You're never in a rush to make one-offs, you're spending so much time on design anyway. There's also this question of "investing" in a tool. Well that's fine if you're buying a nice new saw that you'll first use for the garden, then maybe make furniture with - but the 10" cabinet saw is a much better long-term deal here, even if it's not as useful for the arbours as a rough-and-ready 14" contractor's saw would have been.
You could also make the lot with a good (_good_) hand-held circular saw and a few trestles.
As to the bandsaw, then it has two drawbacks. First of all, a 14" saw isn't really an ideal size for this work day-in, day-out and I'd want something with a decent sized motor and ideally bigger.
Secondly, which is the real drawback to a bandsaw, it just can't cut a groove or rebate by making a non-through rip. Now that's a very common cut to want to be making, so IMHO it rules out a bandsaw as your sole tool.
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I'd love to have a bandsaw but I wouldn't be without a tablesaw. You can rip a 4X4 on a tablesaw in 2 passes. Even if I had a bandsaw I believe I still might use the tablesaw for ripping X4 stock.
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It seems to me that there's pros'n'cons both ways. The real decider should be: what do you want to use it for in the long term?
For ripping, my table-saw takes two passes but that's far quicker than a single pass on my bandsaw! It also produces a cleaner cut, meaning less work later, and requires far less maintenance than my band-saw, having far less movable components that need adjusting. If productivity is an issue, go with a table saw.
However, a table saw will NOT cut curves. If anyone says otherwise I suggest you get them to physically demonstrate it for you. On their own machine. While staying as far away as prudently possible. <G>
Because a band-saw is more versatile (although fiddlier) it's probably the better first buy for a hobbyis;, you can always buy a table-saw later if you find you do a lot of ripping. Or if you know some helpful person who has both, you could ask to try ripping a couple of pieces thru 'em to see which you prefer...
- Andy
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NoStop says...

Good question. A standard 10" table saw won't rip them in one pass. A band saw will, but won't leave a very clean cut. If that is OK, then the band saw would be a good choice. But you should know that a band saw is a fiddly machine and it cuts slow. Definitely not 'set it and forget it', and you can't jam the pieces through. A table saw leaves a nice, clean edge and feed rates are nice and fast, especially ripping. My advice is to get a table saw and do them in two passes. It makes more sense if you aren't trying to set up a complete wood shop.
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If he's intent on ripping 4x4's he should invest in a good rip blade. I love my WWII, but I wouldn't use it for ripping of thick material.
Dave
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A proper ripping blade on a table saw is almost fun to use. I never subscribed to the idea of 'combination' blades. One, or t'other.
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wrote:

Hmmm... If I want fun when ripping, I'll use the Wood-mizer. I'd much rather leave the log sitting still and run 15hp of horizontal bandsaw through it.

Up to 1/2" thick, maybe. For ripping 4x4s, certainly not.
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Everyone's advice was right, but they left out that you can buy a really cheap table saw ($100) to do it right in the field if you want. Can't do that with a bandsaw.
It won't be very powerful, but cedar is pretty soft.
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Course you can ! I do timber-framing - we do _everything_ in the middle of a field.
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Bandsaw - just tried ripping some 4x4's myself on my 10" TS. Max height on mine is 3 3/8".
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You cant rip 4" on a 10" table saw without making two passes. Get a bandsaw.
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