Various bandsaw questions...long

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I am in the process of researching a bandsaw purchase. Having never owned a a real bandsaw (there was the well-intentioned gift of a really cheap benchtop which was used twice and promptly discarded) I'm could use some help assessing features. I'm looking at the $1k price point but the I can go higher if there is a truly compelling argument.
I will use this saw for curved cuts, stopped cuts and resawing. Currently, I am mostly involved in furniture making. (no bowl turning, or green wood stuff to date). 220V is NOT a problem ( I have a 10ga 110V circuit with an adjacent slot in the panel for just this purpose).
1. I would like >6" resaw capacity. By intuition tells me that a 14" saw with a riser kit is an engineering kludge. If the structure could handle it w/o undue flex, why not just put that extra bit of metal in the base line design? Isn't that stretching motor capacity too?
2. How much resaw capacity is really required. Once again, intuition suggests to me that extra resaw capacity, unused is a bad thing. That is, is a larger structure is more dificult to make ridged. The Laguna 14 has a capacity of 8.5"... (this would allow me to bookmatch a 17" pannel which is more than enough for my aesthetic preference) How often would 8.5 that not be enough?
3.Of what benefit is a rack and pinion blade guide?
4. I would also like to keep the weight below 350lbs. I have an upstairs shop. I assume that removing the motor and table is fairly simple, the moving a 200lb thing is pretty managable with 2 guys. Am I correct in assuming that removing the motor and table is easy and removing the wheels is a bad idea?
5. I got the Laguna free video. It spends some time explaining why their proprietary giudes are superior. (In short, the guides come in direct contact with the blade, and are located above AND below the thrust point to eliminate twist, in addition the "in-contact" design eliminates micro-flutter). This makes sense, but it IS marketing. Anyone care to comment on if they are truely superior in a significant way?
6. How important/useful is a quick-release blade tension feature? how bad is it if I forget to detension the blade andnot happen to use the saw to 2 weeks?
My short list looks like:
Bridgewood BW-17WBS http://makeashorterlink.com/?W27912627 (Cheezy fence, but otherwise a nice capacity/feqature set)
Laguna 14LT http://www.lagunatools.com/lt14.asp (less capacity but I feel pretty confident about the quality)
Griz http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1012 (Can you really get quality at this price point?) http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1073 (Can you really get quality at this price point?) http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G0513 (aluminum wheels!?!)
7. 1st hand comments on any of these models would be appreciated
8. One of my beefs about magazine reviews of tools is that I think all reviews of, say, contractor saws, should have a side bar on "when does it make NOT sense to buy a contractor saw because what you really need is a cabinet saw". There is no doubt that the 2K machines such as the Laguna 16SE, MiniMax 16 and the BridgeWood PBS, are all the BS I could ever want, but my gut tells me that this is overkill. Is there a compelling reason why I would really regret going up-market? By the same token, should I give the Delta/Jet etc... 14"-ers a closer look.
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Well, I looked at them all, and settled, quite happily, for a MiniMax 16. Quite expensive, but a great saw.
If you are looking for a better small saw, then go with the Delta or Laguna. The riser block is not really a kludge, since it works very well. The bandsaw issues that no one ever really addresses are: blade quality and tension application.
I think few people would now consider any tablesaw blade that is not carbide based. They last longer, and now give great cuts. So why not the same for a bandsaw. The only really good carbide bandsaw blade is made by Lennox--go with the 1/2". The resawing is great, and will last a very log time. They are expensive, but so are Freud and Forrest TS blades. This leads to problem no. 2:
Tension. You will never get the Delta or clones, including Jet to provide more than 10,000-15,000 psi of tension; the American Delta more than the others (including the cheaper, but crappier Chinese Delta-you will know which by the price). The Laguna 16" model can't handle the 25,000-30,000 Lennox recommends, so I assume the 14" can't either. The MiniMax gets that in its sleep.
I've used the Delta 14" and Jet 16" steel bandsaw. The Delta is plain better, so it's also reasonable to figure the 14" American Delta is better than the Jet and other clones. So if you don't want to go over $1,000, go with the highest end Delta, but don't forget a good blade. Plus check out Iturra Design, for the upgrades you will want to make the saw even better.
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DarylRos wrote:

I recently bought the MM16 and agree! If you are still limited to a kilobuck you might want to look at the MiniMax "S" series, lots of quality still but scaled down a tad from the MM series. -Bruce
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the
16. Quite

I did look there, but for the $1500+ they want for an S16 or S45N, I might as well for for the MM16
The MM16 does look sweet.
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Good post.
When you refer to the Laguna 16, were you referring to the 16 or the 16HD. They are different saws from different maufacturers. The 16HD is really the one that competes with the MM16.
Although I have not been looking for it, I have not seen the tension spec on any of the websites. Do you find that that spec is available from most vendors?
BTW $1K was a general price point, not really a limit. I would say that $2K would be an absolute limit tax/shipping etc.

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Stephen M wrote:

I was also wondering about maximum tension. Anyone know what a Delta 18" can handle for tension?
Wayne
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Stephen,
Check out the new Laguna 14" with 12" resaw!!
http://www.lagunatools.com/lt14se.asp
I saw this in a side bar in FWW a couple months ago and drooled all over the page. I own the grizzly G0555 and love it to death, but if I'd had $1k to put down on a bandsaw I would have bought this puppy without even thinking twice. It's a 2hp motor too (up from the previous 1.5hp).
Let us know what you decide -- oh, and if you get the lt14se let us know what you think :)
Mike

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Hey Mike, where'd you get $1k Website says $1145. Then there's the cost of shipping. Or were you just rounding to the nearest $1k? :-)
Bob

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My bad, I was just rounding. I figured if you're willing to spend $1k and you want something of Laguna quality but 12" resaw is a must then throwing in another couple hundred is a possibility -- unless he'd already up'd his original price from say $700-$800 to $1k, then that might not be a possibility.
I guess basically I was saying I wasn't willing to pay that much (I payed $435 w/shipping for my G0555), but if I had been in the $1k range I would jump at the lt14se without a second thought. (Hee, hee, it's so much easier to spend someone elses money, huh ;)
Mike

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Band saw pricing is a frustrating lot. It seems there are more bandsaws, sizes and features that make a continuum of pricing with price breaks about every $200 or so. I've got the Laguna video and I watched the table saw portion but not the bandsaw. I'll go back and watch it. Their tablesaw made lust so much that I got disgusted and didn't watch the rest. I was amused by the president giving his lecture on safety: "If you are a hippie, be careful of your long hair".
Bob

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I've got the Delta 14. Has done everything I need, and I'm also a turner. I don't have the room or the need for 16" or 24" monsters like I've used at commercial places. Your purse may be longer and your shop larger, but I will bet you'll find yourself doing almost all work within the capabilities of a 14" saw.

I
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The one thing I hate about my blade guide adjustment is that any time I change the height, I have to realign the guides. The thing twists easily when the height is adjusted. I keep thinking that a decent rack and pinion design would minimize this. If the rack and pinion design you're looking at prevents twist - go for it!

I know that there are folks who advocate that all modern guides can be used in contact with the blade. We're talking about the cool running guides or bearing guides, not the older high friction or heat sensitive guides. I have bearing guides and run them just touching the blade.
OTOH, I saw a demonstration by a vendor of Swedish steel blades (a competitor to Timberwolf) at a woodworking show. He raised the guides to the maximum height and backed off the guide so that it provided no support to the blade (other than thrust). He pointed out that a properly tensioned, low-tension blade doesn't need much support. He proceeded to make a nice clean, straight cut - about as good as I can do with my bandsaw when it's reasonably well set up. YMMV.
Mike
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I recently purchased the Grizzly G0513 17" Bandsaw. It is a 2HP bandsaw with 12" resaw capability. I just set it up and ran it; however, I have not had an opportunity to cut anything with it yet. I cannot compare it with any of the other mentioned saws as I have not used them. I will say that I am impressed with what I see and am pleased with the purchase. A review of this saw can be seen at: http://patriot.net/~stpeter/woodworking/G0513%20Review.htm .
-Mike
size=2>...</FONT></DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&gt; I am in the process of researching a bandsaw purchase. Having never owned a<BR>&gt; a real bandsaw (there was the well-intentioned gift of a really cheap<BR>&gt; benchtop which was used twice and promptly discarded) I'm could use some<BR>&gt; help assessing features. I'm looking at the $1k price point but the I can go<BR>&gt; higher if there is a truly compelling argument.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I will use this saw for curved cuts, stopped cuts and resawing. Currently, I<BR>&gt; am mostly involved in furniture making. (no bowl turning, or green wood<BR>&gt; stuff to date). 220V is NOT a problem ( I have a 10ga 110V circuit with an<BR>&gt; adjacent slot in the panel for just this purpose).<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 1. I would like &gt;6" resaw capacity. By intuition tells me that a 14" saw<BR>&gt; with a riser kit is an engineering kludge. If the structure could handle it<BR>&gt; w/o undue flex, why not just put that extra bit of metal in the base line<BR>&gt; design? Isn't that stretching motor capacity too?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 2. How much resaw capacity is really required. Once again, intuition<BR>&gt; suggests to me that extra resaw capacity, unused is a bad thing. That is, is<BR>&gt; a larger structure is more dificult to make ridged. The Laguna 14 has a<BR>&gt; capacity of 8.5"... (this would allow me to bookmatch a 17" pannel which is<BR>&gt; more than enough for my aesthetic preference) How often would 8.5 that not<BR>&gt; be enough?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 3.Of what benefit is a rack and pinion blade guide?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 4. I would also like to keep the weight below 350lbs. I have an upstairs<BR>&gt; shop. I assume that removing the motor and table is fairly simple, the<BR>&gt; moving a 200lb thing is pretty managable with 2 guys.&nbsp; Am I correct in<BR>&gt; assuming that removing the motor and table is easy and removing the wheels<BR>&gt; is a bad idea?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 5. I got the Laguna free video. It spends some time explaining why their<BR>&gt; proprietary giudes are superior. (In short, the guides come in direct<BR>&gt; contact with the blade, and are located above AND below the thrust point to<BR>&gt; eliminate twist, in addition the "in-contact" design eliminates<BR>&gt; micro-flutter). This makes sense, but it IS marketing. Anyone care to<BR>&gt; comment on if they are truely superior in a significant way?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 6. How important/useful is a quick-release blade tension feature? how bad is<BR>&gt; it if I forget to detension the blade andnot happen to use the saw to 2<BR>&gt; weeks?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; &nbsp;My short list looks like:<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; &nbsp;Bridgewood BW-17WBS<BR>&gt; </FONT><A href="http://makeashorterlink.com/?W27912627 "><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://makeashorterlink.com/?W27912627 </FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp; (Cheezy fence, but otherwise a nice<BR>&gt; capacity/feqature set)<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Laguna 14LT<BR>&gt; </FONT><A href="http://www.lagunatools.com/lt14.asp "><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.lagunatools.com/lt14.asp </FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> (less capacity but I feel pretty<BR>&gt; confident about the quality)<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Griz<BR>&gt; </FONT><A href="http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1012"><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1012</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> (Can you really<BR>&gt; get quality at this price point?)<BR>&gt; </FONT><A href="http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1073"><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G1073</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> (Can you really<BR>&gt; get quality at this price point?)<BR>&gt; </FONT><A href="http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G0513"><FONT face=Arial size=2>http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G0513</FONT></A><FONT face=Arial size=2> (aluminum<BR>&gt; wheels!?!)<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 7. 1st hand comments on any of these models would be appreciated<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; 8. One of my beefs about magazine reviews of tools is that I think all<BR>&gt; reviews of, say, contractor saws, should have a side bar on "when does it<BR>&gt; make NOT sense to buy a contractor saw because what you really need is a<BR>&gt; cabinet saw". There is no doubt that the 2K machines such as the Laguna<BR>&gt; 16SE, MiniMax 16 and the BridgeWood PBS, are all the BS I could ever want,<BR>&gt; but my gut tells me that this is overkill. Is there a compelling reason why<BR>&gt; I would really regret going up-market? By the same token, should I give the<BR>&gt; Delta/Jet etc... 14"-ers a closer look.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; </FONT></BODY></HTML>
------=
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< much snippage>
if you only need 6" of resaw capacity, you should consider the Powermatic #141, or the General #390. Both are over your stated budget of $1000, but are frequently available on Ebay (the Powermatic at least) well within your numbers. FWIW, I think that resaw capacity should match your jointer width capacity. Excess resaw capacity seems wasted if you have to rip to narrow width to face joint.
Rick
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wrote:
I too am looking for a bandsaw and recently an old 20" Powermatic (I think 50's) was avaliable (for 1K) and decided not to buy it as I need to sink a lot of time and money into it. I am still debating whether to buy a Grizzly 17" or the next size up or maybe a Delta 14".
Please tell me, did you encounter trouble like adjustment, underpower or any other problems?

resaw capability. I just set it up and ran it; however, I have not had an opportunity to cut anything with it yet. I cannot compare it with any of the other mentioned saws as I have not used them. I will say that I am impressed with what I see and am pleased with the purchase. A review of this saw can be seen at: http://patriot.net/~stpeter/woodworking/G0513%20Review.htm .

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I experienced no issues with power or adjustments. The review link attached says it all...

with 12" resaw capability. I just set it up and ran it; however, I have not had an opportunity to cut anything with it yet. I cannot compare it with any of the other mentioned saws as I have not used them. I will say that I am impressed with what I see and am pleased with the purchase. A review of this saw can be seen at: http://patriot.net/~stpeter/woodworking/G0513%20Review.htm .

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wrote:

Thanks I do appreciate it. I will go ahead and buy it AFTER the woodworking show.

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Stephen M wrote:

You might want to consult a metallurgist.

As much as you will need for a required project. This will vary.

Yes. Makes for easier up and down and the guides don't crash onto the table.

Yes.
Around here the Laguna is a status symbol. By all means, get one and you can be just like everyone else.

Blade tension became an issue because the same guys that buy Lagunas like to let them sit for months on end lest they actually have some saw dust appear in their shoppes. In other words, it's pretty over blown, especially if you buy machinery for using instead of, well, a status symbol.
snippage...

They are awful shiney.

Only you can answer this and by your questions I think you've got a pretty reasonable grasp on things.
On the other hand, you could find a good used saw and if it becomes apparent that it's over kill you can turn right around and sell it for what you have in it.
UA100
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This comming from the guy who's handle is "unisaw A100" ?!? Are all >$1000 saws "boutique" saws? or just the italian ones? For this kind od money, not only do I want a good saw.... it had better be fashionable too. :-)

I would not want my first love (JTAS Jet cabinet saw) to feel rejected. So I can't spend ALL my time with the new girl.

That's good to know, as I'm a bit off the beaten path and it will take me at least 4-5 hours of driving to see/feel/touch/smell any one of the products on my "list".

Although that is not out of the question, living in rural area spreads out the market. If an opportunity presented itself, I would be all over it, but expecting that opportunity to arise within the next few months would be unreasonably optimistic.
-Steve
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Stephen M wrote:

As an "explainer", A-100 is the serial number of my Unisaw (El Guapo).

Don't forget, there is a proportional relationship between what you put in and what you get from it.
UA100
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