I've been perusing craigslist looking for a BS but don't see nearly as
many of them as I do TS or jointer Ads. The few I do find are never
at 'rock bottom' prices like the TS posts are (fairly easy to pick up
a decent TS for $100).
Using my own anecdotal situation I can only surmise that it is because
you don't buy a BS until you are serious about WW and therefore less
likely to sell it for a song.
Are there any other sites out there similar to craigslist I can scan
In my area there's a web version of the want ads for the local
newspapers but CL seems to be beating it into the dirt. There's fewer
ads in it every month.
Here in Madison WI, I looked for a used table saw for almost a year
before I broke down and bought a Griz. Couldn't find a used one for
less. The bandsaw I bought used from Woodcraft when they replaced all
the classroom saws with new ones. I was lucky enough to walk up just
as they were putting the sign on it.
I've sort of kept looking in the want ads and Craigslist, and there's
been maybe two or three of each in the last couple years that were
around a hundred (I'm talking about full size - there were several
benchtop models of each for about a hundred)
I've come to the conclusion that most of the buyers around here have
more money than sense, and the sellers know it. Everything seems to
sell for way more than it's worth. Noticing that little fact will
probably help me with a sideline when I retire. Assuming the economy
hasn't collapsed completely, I guess.
Since I lived in Madison and Dane County for about 12 years about 25 years
ago, I don't mean to insult you or your community.... But Madison's economy
was (is) dominated by the University and the State Government. When I
lived there, it was more likely to find an amateur string quartet or a
pottery maker than a woodworker. Trust me, used pottery wheels and basement
kilns should be more common than BS. Plus the population is small.
The place for you to search for used BS is, of course, Chicago, the Twin
Cities, or maybe Milwaukee. Larger population, more chances someone will be
selling. Then again, there is the cost of transportation.
Anyway Just IMHO.
On Fri, 12 Oct 2007 23:20:01 -0400, "Phil-In-Mich."
Or a "Trekkie". Like this, not the space kind:
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
The band saw is traditionally thought to be better suited to those who make
more furniture than cabinets and are not considered a necessity by many
woodworkers, therefore there are likely fewer of them around, as you've
Also a factor, IMO ... the first of the "big three" "American made"
woodworking tools (TS, Jointer, Band Saw) to be subjected to the ignominy of
value/price point engineering and Asian cheapening by the MBA corporate
mentality, the older used American made band saws, like the Delta 28-299,
are therefore difficult to find, more valued, and command a higher price.
more furniture than cabinets and are >not considered a necessity by many
woodworkers, >therefore there are likely fewer of them around, as you've
I think too that there is a difference in the US on how the table saw
is viewed vs. the bandsaw. I have read in a couple of places and
watched shows that explain that the table saw is USA phenomena.
Apparently (all European woodworkers please chime in!) in Europe space
is at a premium and home shops are confined to basements or an odd
room. They don't build a 20X20 in the back yard or take up one of the
garage bays because they build their housing differently.
There was a documentary on the "vanishing" European furniture
craftsman, and every one had a nice bandsaw (a la Leon) that they
ripped, cross cut, sized and shaped with. Not one had a table saw.
I think the table saw became the heir apparent to the radial saw, and
with Norm (20 years ago) and others quickly taking up the flag for it
to the be franchise tool to build the shop around. It has been
inculcated (hey Swing... you used ignominy!) into our system of
building to the point that people think you need one to be able to
function in the shop.
Back in the 70s before the table saw became the king of the shop, we
ALL had radial saws as they seemed like the could do anything. And
they could do anything, just not much of it well.
I wouldn't worry about seeing good bandsaws all over the place
though. I think that soon it will be the new wonder tool, and as an
avid turner I can tell you that many turners consider the bandsaw a
"must have" companion to the lathe for its capacity to make turning
blanks. I personally believe that's why we see all the stiff column
style bandsaws now. They are much easier to make, cheaper to make,
easier to ship, cheaper to ship, and cheaper for he consumer.
It won't be long until one of TV guys discover its potential and it
could wind up the "it" tool.
As always, just my 0.02.
Holy cow Robert - we disagree on something. Never thought I'd see this day.
It is my experience that the radial arm saw only attempted to gain some of
the table saw's prominence - and failed at that. The table saw certainly
had the reputation as the one tool to have if you were only going to have
one tool, long before Norm came on the scene. I can remember back to the
60's when it was king and extending that a bit by the evidence of the table
saws from the 50's that I encountered, I'd say that as far back as the 50's
it was the king of the shop. Norm is just a recent advocate of a long
That's the thing - in the 70's is when I saw the radial arm movement trying
to gain momentum. Maybe even the late 60's. Thing is, I never saw it gain
enough momentum to even come close to displacing the table saw.
table saws have been the mainstay of woodworking in the small/ medium
shop pretty much since the first unisaw rolled off of the production
line in 1939- and the reason it was developed then was because there
was already a demand for quality table saws. unfortunately for the
small shop, until that time there wasn't much in that middle size
category. table saws were either large industrial units or cheezy
lightweight underengineered homeowner stuff, and the 10" machines
available were tilting table with poorly standardized arbor sizes and
miter slots. there were some really high quality versions of those
tilt-table saws, but I'm guessing that they were beyond the means of
the typical home shop.
radial arm saws (IMO) are a machine that if you have the space for it
you should eventually get one- but it should probably be the last,
fill in the niche purchase you make rather than the first, do
everything with one machine purchase.
Hey Mike! Good to see you around here. I miss seeing your posts.
And hey... great minds can't always think alike, right? ;^)
the table saw's prominence - and failed at that. The table >saw certainly had
the reputation as the one tool to have if you were >only going to have one
tool, long before Norm came on the >scene.
I am basing my remarks from experience in the early 70s, when I had a
friend that worked at Sears. (No comments about Sears, please, this
was 35 years ago) in the tool department. They had a hard time
selling the table saws as the big new interest was the radial. And
Sears probably sold more than anyone.
Just to keep this in context, keep in mind a couple of things. At one
time, Sears was a real player in the tool world and made/sold good
tools. Remember, 35 years ago.
And before the advent of cheapie table saws, there came the radial
saw. They said that it could be used as a miter saw (not really), a
crosscut saw (if you had the pawl on it), a molding maker (run for
cover if you tried this), a rip saw (no #^$@# way), and all kinds of
other things. I have one sitting in my shop that hasn't been turned
on in many years, and it even has a PTO on it!
I actually only saw real table saws in professional shops, cabinet
shops, and as tools for professional contractors. I don't recall
seeing a table saw in too many places other than there. And to be
fair, our city was only about 550,000 in population, and there weren't
Woodcrafts, etc., where you could go look at large tools to buy.
There was no place to go look and touch a Delta, Walker Turner,
Rockwell or Powermatic. There was no Jet, Grizzly, or home line of
Delta tools, only big boy stuff.
And back then I couldn't have afforded them anyway. So my first table
saw was a Sears, and it was a pretty good little saw. I never trusted
the radial saw for anything more than what I learned to use it for
(hand cut roofs on apartments where my job was to crown the rafters
and cut 5/12s on 20' 2X10s).
But I remember that when I started doing home repairs and remodeling,
every weekend warrior whose house I went to had a radial saw. The
proud owners couldn't wait for me to see their toy and revel at the
fact they could do everything on one tool that took the normally
equipped guy several tools to do.
And think about the old table saws we used to use... repeatabillity?
Don't think so. When I worked for a commercial contractor my boss had
started out in a custom cabinet shop, so he showed me how to set up
the saws and fences. The old box tube fences, single cam locks and
the pieces of plumbing pipe (some chromed! with numbers! were about
as easily repeatable as rolling all strikes at the lanes. I'll bet a
lot here remember how to set up the fence with a steel stamped ruler.
And table saw cut miters? Think of what came with the old saws. A
big lump of iron with numbers cast into it. All it had was a friction
screw to hold it in place. Not much repeatability there, and my
radial saw actually had detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. Click in a
cut! I remember shimming those old miter gauges with pieces of tin,
putting a dime under them and all kinds of other "precision"
But the radial offered the home guy a way to get through the setup.
Supposedly, once you got the saw adjusted correctly you had
repeatability plus with the machine whether for miters or ripping. I
could never keep one in adjustment for more than a couple of days, so
it didn't work for me.
I always thought the 10" radials were built for the home shop, and
they were just too much for most home guys to resist. Although I
don't know but one or two guys that have one now, I think everyone I
know has had one at one time or another. And let's face it, if you
are building a set of bookshelves one month, patio furniture another,
flower boxes and bird houses and just an occasional cabinet, what's
wrong with that saw?
Anyway, as a sidebar, look what the radial saw spawned: the motorized
miter saw (I still have my 30 year old Sears that is all cast iron),
gauges all over everything to speed repeatability, sliding miter saws
that will cut big width lumber, and probably a few more. I sure had
high hopes for mine (bought it used for about .20 on the dollar) but
it just wasn't what I thought it could be.
it was the king of the shop. Norm is just a recent advocate >of a long standing
I agree - but then I was talking about popularity for the HOME shop,
not the reality of everyday use in production shop. Anyone spending a
couple of weeks with this thing as their main machine would quickly
realize that their weaknesses are too many to make it worthwhile as a
reliable machine. But if you only build a bookcase or so when it
isn't football season, the weather isn't too hot or too cold, when the
Series doesn't have your team in it, or it isn't hunting or fishing
season, it seemed to me that this was the manly tool to have in the
to gain momentum. Maybe even the late 60's. Thing is, I >never saw it gain
enough momentum to even come close to >displacing the table saw.
Certainly NEVER in a pro shop. The only pro shop I know that had a
radial had one of those old monster DeWalts that had a 12" or 14"
blade on it and was used only to cut shelves and sides for upppers to
length. But I think of all the houses I go to now for estimates and
work, and so many still have those things like I do, collecting dust
in the corner, but not too many have NICE table saws. I do see those
gawdawful universal motored tornadoes a lot though.
As always, just my 0.02.
... and High School woodshop, where it impressed the hell out of me (who had
theretofore done all ripping and crosscutting with hand saws).
When I was growing up in the late forties, early fifties, and although my
grandfather had a saw mill, his shop had nothing but hand tools.
Mine also ... it was a "bench top", but I used it mainly kneeling down by it
on the floor and thought it was the cat's meow. I worked in the tool and
sporting goods department during the holidays in college and took advantage
of my employee discount in tools and shotgun shells.
I used a borrowed RAS to build my first studio ... still shudder thinking
about it. Never really cared to venture further into using that tool,
although I do know a few who still use one frequently ... mostly old codgers
who's idea of "joinery" is a ten penny nail. :)
And we'll take that - as long as those great minds are thinking at all -
And that's where perspective and observation meet. Funny how that works,
isn't it? In this case, I think back 35 or 40 years to what I remember. To
some extent, so do you. But... then along comes that reality thing - those
saws you see in the garage collecting dust. In my case, as I was reading
what you had written (and I snipped) the thought came to me that homeowners
had indeed embraced the radial arm saw more robustly than the table saw. It
had all of that appeal as being the versatile tool. The table saw was the
first big tool I had ever been exposed to, so of course it was my natural
tool. Everyone that I knew that was a serious woodworker, or a pro had a
table saw and it was pretty much the centerpiece of their operations. Sorta
affects your perspective - makes you think they're all over the place.
Amen! These days I'll take what I can get, that's for sure.
isn't it? In this case, I think back 35 or 40 years to what I >remember. To
some extent, so do you.
Absolutely. And I rely on what I remember (boy that can be scary!) to
form my opinions.
BUT... never in a "pro shop" unless I see them used as a cut off saw.
My laminate countertop guy has a giant old Dewalt 16", and another cab
guy I know uses them to size shelving and cut cabinet sides. That's
pretty much it.
Although while out the other day I did see a crew framing a monster
house and they were cutting the rafters just like we did a million
years ago, two at a time.
came to me that homeowners had indeed embraced the >radial arm saw more
robustly than the table saw. It had all of that >appeal as being the versatile
And they sold it that way too. I even remember that when Home Depot
came to town (early-mid 80s?) they sold a radial saw because the
demand was so hight. And I have to say 99 of 100 radials I see in a
garage are old Sears saws. Talk about the promise of a versatile
tool.... I bought mine very slightly used in the late 70s, and it had
the following: a super heavy duty stand, two rip gauges, rip pawl,
plate sanding disk, hand held buffer attachment for the PTO, molding
heads (I kid you not!), a wobbler style dado head, an adjustable
stainless steel detent plate for all popular miter settings, large
marked degrees angles on the head adjustment, and other things. I
paid $225 for that saw, and with all the stuff it was about $1200
retail, even then. The homeowner bought it from never got any good
out of that saw at all.
I thought I was set... I knew most of that stuff didn't work, but I
was happy wih the price. I have to say though, the saw has paid for
iteself many, many times. Like many here, I used to make cabinets
before it was easier and cheaper to just buy them. (After all, the
Cardell factory is here in town). The way I learned to build cabinets
is kind of the old classic carcass style, so we had some mortising
and lots of square cuts when facing shelves and sizing for drawers.
Using this thing for a cutoff saw was tough to beat. With a 10,000
tooth hollow ground blade in the machine (and after its daily tuneup)
you could saw the daylights out of a pile of plywood for shelves and
And before we all had the monster routers and all the cool stuff to go
with them so we can abuse them as shapers, I used it to dado fixed
shelves in, and to mortise for that little 3/8" inlet for the upright
part of KD adjustable shelf brackets, or to rabbet out the back of a
cabinet. To this day I don't have an easier machine to the first two
of those operations. Walk over, set the depth, read the rip gauge,
shove the material through. Done.
it was my natural tool. Everyone that I knew that was a >serious woodworker,
or a pro had a table saw and it was pretty >much the centerpiece of their
True. When I took a spell of just doing my duties as a general
contractor, I subbed out all the cabinets to a great guy. He had two
monster Delta table saws, 12" I believe that ran on 230v. He made his
own rip fences and faced his large tables that surrounded the saws
with formica. That was a really nice shop, and they used a big sled
to cut shelves, drawers, etc. on their table saws.
Yeah, that's true. I worked with a lot of folks over the years that
have come from all over the country. A lot of methods and choice of
weapons are the same, but a lot are very different, too. Not too many
worm drive saws around here at all, not even on framing crews. But on
my trips to California, that's all I saw. I have used a circular saw
so long I can't imagine not have them, and I have four that I use
fairly regularly, each for something different. But no worm drive.
Guess it >is< what you grew up with.
I worked in an altar factory in the mid-'50s: we had a monster radial
arm saw there, but it was pretty much a cut-off tool, about the only
thing I got to run other than a damned broom. The table saw did all
the ripping and other major work, while the RAS cut things to length.
Today, we have SCMS to replace the RAS, added to the fact that the
ability to use an RAS for rip cuts scares the pee out of a lot of
people. Besides, it has only been around since some time in the '20s,
anyway, so it's never been the dominant saw.
I got a chuckle out of that one. I swept the floor so often they
wrote my name on the broom and would say, "hey Robert, go get your
tool and go to work over there, will ya?"
Count me in with those guys. I have shot my last piece of trim out of
the shop or into a wall while trying to use that POS to rip. It
scared the crap out of me when it launched a piece of 1X2 out of the
shop. It had the pawl marks on it, but that still didn't stop it. I
never even knew why it grabbed...
You know, my dad tried to "teach" me to use a push broom correctly
when I was a teenager. I really didn't want to learn :-), but I never
did at that time get the little tap at the end of each push and never
learned the rythm. Only when I was old and keeping the shop floor, the
driveway and the patio clean became somehow more "important" did I
figure it all out. I still am a piker compared to how well and
effortlessly he used that broom.... Strange what will set off memories
as we get a little older (and as some will say, weaker in the head).
Just to preclude confusion with the mishmash of Delta's model numbers, and
in case you're lucky enough to run across a used Delta, the base unit for
the above, IIRC, was a "28-212" ... you won't see "28-299" on any of the
parts, as that number designated a "limited edition" promotion number ...
still one of, if not the last of the "American Made" Delta band saws.
That's my vote.
The typical home improvement DIY woodworker, working with home center
materials and composites, may legitimately never see the need for a band
saw. Then there's the matter of getting a BS to perform to it's potential.
I've been looking for a used non-benchtop mortiser for years. Same deal...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.