Bandsaw Advice - Attempt 3

After two attempts to post via Tiscali I will sucumb to the Dark Side and use Google. Please forgive me if this leads to duplication.
After much persuation I have convinced SWMBO that a nice shiny bandsaw would look very nice in the garage. However funds are short so I was thinking of getting the Axmister White AWSBS at 130 (as shown in link below). I am intending to use it mainly for small to medium sized jobs.
http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/6/product-Axminster-AWSBS-Bandsaw-21384.htm
Has anybody used this model or have any reccomendations at around this price point? Are there any other retailers I should look at (I am in Sheffield for any bricks and mortar shops)?
Thanks for any help
Mark
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I've got this one... http://www.axminster.co.uk/recno/2/product-Axminster-SBW3501B-Bandsaw-23237.htm ...and it's for sale!
Don't know how much of what I say about mine bears true for yours - but my impression of the Axminster white range is reasonable basic quality (the yellow Perform stuff is pretty awful).
On mine, Plusses: well made cast iron table, excellent fence (better than the big Startrite that's replaced it in my workshop), realiable, safe, simple, no unnecessary fancy features, good variety of blades available.
Middlings: Reasonable mitre gauge, but a bigger one would be good.
Minuses: Dust extraction was only moderate until I removed the grille that stops an idiot from stick their hand inside the machine via the dust port, the table tilting clamps/adjustment could be better, it's realistic limit is about 60mm thickness of oak, 100mm softwood.
If I can tempt you with mine, just over 1 year old, unmarked, spare blades - 280 quid
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I've got an Axminster 350 and I dearly wish I'd spent a couple of grand on a Laguna or Minimax instead. This is about the smallest machine (14" wheels) I'd really think of as useful. It's one of those machines where once you have it, you wonder how you ever managed before.
That said, the Axminster AWSBS is as good as it gets for anything smaller and the price is good (1/3rd of the 350). Construction is excellent, wheels are good, and the real limit is just the basic geometry. I don't like the guides though - poor roller guides are worse than poor blocks. I'd throw tham away and go to Cool Blocks. In particular these rollers are no good for narrow blades and will soon destroy more blades than the cost of a decent set of guides.
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wrote:

Where would I get Cool Blocks from? and are they relatively simple to fit? I've never used a band saw before, let alone set one up, so any advice is gratefully recieved.
Cheers
Mark
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On Tue, 2 May 2006 22:14:12 +0100, "Mark Spice"
Anywhere that sells bandsaw bits. They're just magic self-lubricating plastic, sawn into various bar sizes. You can use blocks of hard maple soaked in oil too, they just wear out faster.
The trouble with bearings is that if they ever slip (as Axmonster's are prone too) then the blade pops backwards over the side of the back roller. The teeth now run _between_ the side rollers and the set is pressed out of them, destroying the blade.

You need a holder to fit them into, which is just a couple of blocks fastened to the guide carrier with square holes through them and an Allen screw to clamp.

Get yourself a copy of Mark Duginske's "Bandsaw Handbook". Well worth it.
A good range of blades pays dividends too.
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Mark wrote: I

I have one of these (AWSBS) and I'm very happy with it, although I think the guides are it's weakest point. The trick with all Bandsaws is to buy the best blades and give them the right (tighter than you think) tension.
R.
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