Why do I buy the best bandsaw that I can afford?

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Over the past year I have heard over and over to buy the best you can afford. I ready to take the plunge and purchase a DJ20 Jointer and a XXXX Bandsaw. I have the money to afford a very good bandsaw. Why should I spend that much and buy a Laguna or a Mini Max? Yes, I plan on investing in good equipment. However, as a newbie I do not fully understand the full investment potential of a band saw.
How do I know I need a machine for resawing? I may not do it now but in the future.....
Is it overkill to buy the Laguna or Mini Max?
Any advice on what to consider is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Rich
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RKON wrote:

I bought the MiniMax because I needed to resaw a bunch of wood "now". I had thought about it for about a year before hand but never really set my mind on a unit until the need arose. The declining dollar/euro has (in my mind) made the Laguna/MiniMax advantage much less clear in dollar value over the Asian machines. If you don't need to do heavy resawing "now", in my opinion a Jet/Griz/Delta would probably be a good choice with the caveat that you could sell it for a good fraction of purchase price (75%?) should you wish to upgrade several years from now..
-Bruce

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Bruce:

Have they really gone down? I recently seen on the Laguna or Mini Max site that prices were going up. I agree with your reasoning that the value of dollar in comparison to the Euro should cause prices to be stable, be cut, or some freebies.

What is heavy resawing? and if I could do heavy resawing how would it apply to my woodworking as a newbie? That is my biggest dilemna, i don't see where it is applicable in wood working.
With that in mind, my tendency has been towards a 14" Jet/Griz/Delta.
Thanks, I appreciate your feedback.
Rich
Thanks, that really has been my thinking.

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RKON wrote:

I paid about $1600 for the Minimax 16 less than a year ago. They now are $2100 on their web site.

Others may say otherwise 8^), but to me it's resawing 1" x 15" white oak into thin panels. I also wanted to slice up some "firewood" to see what is inside. The more expensive saws will allow a wider blade to be tensioned (much beefier construction) and they have more horsepower to avoid bogging down.

Probably perfect for 99% of what you might face now and in the future!
-Bruce

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Rich - I'm a newbie myself - I've been seriously pursuing ww for about a year and an half now. For what it's worth (maybe not much!) I'll tell you some of the things I've learned (which just scratches the surface of the total amount of stuff there is to lean about this craft).
With respect to tools, you should buy the best you can afford. While your skill maybe in its "infancy" right now, with practice, you'll improve, and when you do, you want to have the right tools to take it to the next level. Also, tools that are truly "good" make the job easier, cleaner, faster, you name it. Poor quality tools often don't do a good job, and you end up ruining things and having to re-do them, or struggling and getting frustrated with something and abandoning it.
The other thing is, for instance on your bandsaw, you may think you'll never resaw, so a 14" is "good enough", as your skill improves, so does your confidence, and you'll start looking to bigger challenges. Things you thought you had no interest in, or could "never master" all of a sudden, you think, "...I be I could do that!" So, now you've been happily cutting small bandsaw boxes on your bandsaw, all of a sudden, you come across some really great rough sawn wood, or even a small log - with you're new found confidence, you say, "...all I really need to make my own boards is some way to hold it up and level to the blade!" Trouble is, you have a 14" bandsaw with a 4" capacity, and an 8" or 12" log.....
The other important thing is the "..you can afford" part of "buy the best you can afford", and you have to fit that into your decision. For example, after doing research, I decided the best jointer for me was an 8" Delta or Jet. I was at an auction and found a 6" Jet, almost new, and I got it for $275. After doing research, I decided that the Delta 18" was the right bandsaw for me. When I was at another auction, I found a Bridgewood 14", again hardly used, and I got it for $200. On both of these, I saved a ton of money, and for now they'll do what I need them to do. After using the Jet Jointer, I've found several instances where an 8" would have come in handy - I found a 71/2" piece of 8/4 10' long, rough sawn white oak at an auction - whoops, I have to cut it down to less than 6" to use it on my jointer (bought it anyway!). I'll probably end up with an 8" or 12" Delta/Powermatic/Jet jointer in the future, but for the difference in price, for now, the 6" I bought for $275 was right for me - I could afford it, and it does most of what I need.
Sorry to have rambled - hope this helps -
Nick B

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Frankly, and if you will pardon my saying so, it really doesn't matter if you've got more money then Bill Gates. If you don't know, without asking, why you should buy any tool and what it will or will not do for you your efforts and money would be better spent on learning a bit more about woodworking the old fashion way.
All these pronouncements from on high about buying the best you can is pretty much BS. Tools don't make a woodworker, knowledge and acquired skill does.
Don't get me wrong, top of the line iron is nice but totally useless if you don't know what to do with it.
Buy a couple of books, take a course, find a mentor, go out to the shop and work with what you have, but, for god's sake, if you don't know what you need a bandsaw for why the hell are you worried about it?
Good luck
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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Mike:
Almost everyone will give advice on buy the best you can afford. I can afford a Mini Max or a Laguna. However, I don't see the justifcation for one those machines. Am I making a mistake in buying a 14" BS and realizing 3 years from now I shoulda bought the MM or Laguna? At this point I am inclined to get the Delta or Jet 14" and spend the extra bucks on LV or LN planes.

I have wanted to do wooddorking for 15 years and I finally am at the point in my career where I don't travel, have time separate from the family, and money to buy tools. I have bought some books, I did take a class, I have been reading the wreck for over a year, and I haven't found a mentor as of yet.
Rich

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So, go with the Delta or Jet - use the extra money to buy more wood - if you decide later that you want something bigger later, you'll get some money out of the Delta or Jet (or keep it to do smaller stuff). You can also get a riser block for the Jet (not sure on the Delta) if you decide that you want to resaw - I think that makes it capable of resawing up to 6" wide stock set on edge.
Sounds like you're on track! This is really fun stuff - hope you enjoy it!!
Nick B

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RKON wrote:

If you're going to be using planes, why not consider downsizing/downbranding the DJ-20 rather than the saws? Go with a Grizzly jointer (maybe even the same capacity as the Delta) and high-end TS, BS, and planes.
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RKON notes:

It is difficult to determine what someone else is going to need down the road. It's difficult, after all, to know what you're going to need yourself in a few years so guiding someone else into the future is a truly iffy thing. Examine one point when it comes to bandsaws: Are you aiming at doing a lot of resawing of wide woods? The 14" Delta is a good bandsaw, one I was happy with for a long, long time, but its basic resaw limit is about 6". That can be changed with a riser kit, but consistent resawing of wider woods will also require a power upgrade. I do know several people who are professionals, one of them an instrument maker (dulcimers, guitars, violins) who has used the Delta 14" successfully and happily for more than a decade, with a riser block installed. Offhand, I don't recall what motor James has on his, but it is not the original 3/4 HP.
My preference in 14" bandsaws is the Delta, primarily because the under-table guides are closer to the table than in other saws. It takes an adjustment more easily and seems to me to hold it longer because of that.
Buying the best does NOT have to mean immediately jumping on the largest and most expensive tool in any particular category, IMO. Buying the best means selecting a size and capacity that works for your current capabilities and that you expect to suit your capabilities for the foreseeable future.
Then, go for it and don't look back. If you decide a decade from now that you want to resaw massively wide wood, buy a resaw bandsaw at that time. In the meantime, the Delta will be a great all purpose tool.
Charlie Self "An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence." Honore de Balzac
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On 04 May 2004 08:38:15 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

No one has mentioned "outsourcing", as in the good kind.
For instance:
If I need an atypical machine function done, I can have my wood dealer do it (cheapest), rent some time at a local school (mid-cost), or have a small cabinet shop right down the street do it (highest dollar cost, lowest time cost).
I can pay for quite a bit of shop time before I break even on ONE multi-thousand dollar, large tool.
In the meantime, I can do 99% of my work with typical machines, like 14" bandsaws, 6-8" jointers, etc... A side benefit is that I'm not losing the space, all the time, that the larger machines would take up.
That said, I did go large on a table saw, as this is one tool that gets constantly used.
Barry
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When I took a class at my local woodcraft they had the Delta 14" and the Jet 18" and I found myself gravitating towards the Delta 14". Dunno why. Maybe it had good karma.
I'm going to take a ride out to coastaltool.com and tools-plus.com (lucky to live close to them) today and take a look at them. I'm going to wait till after my next class in a couple of weeks before I finally decide because my shop is almost done. Some wiring and more lights.
The one thing I promised my self about woodworking as a hobby. Was that after waiting 15 years to do this I am going to take my time and not rush, this will be the only part in my life where time doesn't matter.
Rich

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wrote:

A while back I had a shot at a nearly new Jet 18", including three blades, for the same price as the Delta. I used the exact same pair of saws you did, and bought the Delta. I looked and looked for a used example, struck out, and by that time had saved up enough for the X5 on sale.
Barry
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I have been looking at bargain news and the courant classifieds for months. I found only 1. When I called it was already sold. At this point I'm most likely going to buy new.
Rich
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RKON writes:

More likely a good "feel". It may also be a bit less intimidating because of its smaller physical size.

Good. Best way to do it. Besides, the planning is almost as much fun as the doing.
Remember that "almost", though.
Charlie Self "An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence." Honore de Balzac
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Hi Rich
Ok, lets look three years down the road.
It's been my experience that all most all woodworkers, as they get more experienced, gravitate towards one particular form of woodworking with only occasional forays into other projects.
Some do jewelry boxes, some turn bowls, some do picture frames, some scroll work, some toys, some cradles, some musical instruments, and on and on.
All these disciplines put different emphasizes on what the most important tools in the shop are as well as your methods of work. IE, whether you ado a lot of resawing.
If you feel you have to have a bandsaw right now and we don't know where you will be three years from now there are two ways too look at it.
You can go for the Laguna or MM and be pretty well equipped to meet any bandsaw needs and take the chance you will find yourself over equipped three years from now.
You can buy the Delta or Jet, good machines both, and find yourself adequately equipped for any bandsaw needs three years from now. If you do find yourself, three years from now, frequently in positions where, though I can't imagine what they would be, the Jet or Delta doesn't do the job, you will have a saleable machine and can replace it with a top end one.
It's not like we are talking Harbor Freight mainland China import vs. the finest in European over engineering and building here.
Note to those who are wetting their pants about now. Yes, I know that both the Delta and Jet are probably, to some extent, made in Asia but there is a world of difference in quality control between Jet and Delta and Harbor Freight. I'm also almost willing to give good odds that Laguna and MM have, at the least, some outsourced parts on them.
Unfortunately we don't know where, in respect to woodworking, you will be three years from now so, even thought it isn't my money, I would really hate to give an definitive answer. Only time and experience will give the ultimate answer to the question.
The long and the short of it is that for multi thousands of woodworkers, both hobbyist and commercial, the Jet and Delta do the job one hundred percent of the time. For a small fraction of those thousands, almost surely mostly commercial users, Jet and Delta doesn't some percentage of the time and the Laguna and MM is necessary.
As they say, "you pays your money and take your chances".
Which ever way you go, good luck Mike
--
Mike G.
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On Mon, 3 May 2004 21:21:50 -0400, "Mike G"

I agree, but there's a minimum.
Take routers for instance. A really cheap router will probably ruin the price difference in wood in no time. A bottom of the line tablesaw is easily outdone by a good handheld saw and guide.
Harbor Freight edge tools will quickly drive a user to another pursuit.
I always suggest books and classes, along with good, used tools. The books and classes go a long way towards knowing what to look for when shopping.
Barry
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=================I still have not purchased any books... but I have purchased plenty of magazines !
I have been serious about woodworking for over 40 years now...AND I honestly have to agree with your statement...
The key word is NEED.... and need is not defined in any dictionary as WANT....
Bob Griffiths
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I got a DJ-20 a couple of years ago. Wow, what a great jointer. You won't regret that purchase. BTW, mine was flawless out of the crate. Some have reported issues that were resolved by Delta.
Regarding the bandsaw, as someone else posted, this a machine with a surprising amount of utility. Resawing is only one thing. It's also great for curved work, cutting a small notch, ect. ect. Things that took significant setup time on the TS go much much quicker on the bandsaw. Given the finish quality of the cut, I don't think I'll ever use the bandsaw to rip or make tenons, but otherwise I really like it and have found it much more useful than I would have predicted.
So if the big money for a Laguna is a worry, get a smaller unit, a 14" and give it a try. There'll be someone to take it off your hands if/when you decide to upgrade to the big machine.
wrote:

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On Tue, 04 May 2004 08:25:57 -0500, Lazarus Long

Not to mention slower, safer, and more predictable than rotating cutters when working with small parts, or rough, unpredictable wood.
Barry
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