I am looking to buy my first bandsaw. I have never used bandsaw
before. I am leaning towards buying a 18 in version. Any advice would
be welcome as well as what other accessories and blades should I buy
together with the saw. One of the option I want is to resaw thick
boards into thinner ones.
Most of heavy power tools I own are from Grizzly as it offers most
value for the buck.
I also went with an 18" bandsaw for my first one, although I went with
Steel City since I can't get Grizzly up in Canada. Don't regret it at all.
I'd suggest the following blades:
3/4" 3tpi (resaw)
1/4" 4tpi (general use on thicker materials, cabriole legs, etc.)
1/2" 8tpi (joinery)
3/16" 12tpi (sharp turns)
Grizzly doesn't actually offer an 18" saw, but they have a number of 17"
and 19" ones. I like the foot brake, but Grizzly doesn't offer one
until you get up to the G0514X2.
On Mon, 22 Sep 2008 13:02:38 -0600, Chris Friesen wrote:
I went with the two speed Rikon deluxe 14" as it has a 13" resaw
capability without the hassle of a riser block. I've sawed >12" green
walnut logs into turning blanks with it. I've also resawed 4/4 and 8/4
boards down to 1/4". No drift, but that's more the blade (Timberwolf)
than the saw.
No, it's not the best bandsaw around, but IMNSHO it's the best bang for
(Disdclaimer: I work at Woodcraft part time and we sell Rikon - of course
we also sell Delta, Jet, Powermatic, Steel City, ... .)
That's fine for an 18" bandsaw, but if the OP goes with a 14" I'd suggest,
as do many with more expertise than I, a 1/2" blade for resaw. Seems the
ability to tension correctly if more important than the width of the blade
and the consensus is that a 14" bandsaw can't adequately tension a 3/4"
There are low tension blades that might solve that problem, and I'm sure
that many will attest that their 14" saw does just fine with 3/4" blades.
They may even be right, but as long as my 1/2" blade does the job, I'll
stick with the experts.
My first bandsaw is Grizzly G0555, it was cheap when I bought it a few years
back. I sold it before I moved. After we settle down, I lurked and waited in
Craigslist and bought a very lightly used Delta 14" together Carter guides (made
in USA). I also pick up a new raiser in craigslist both under $300. I still
think a used Delta made in USA is a best bargain your first bandsaw. You need to
be patient and wait in craigslist. As for saw blades, Olsen Pro is my choice.
You can get cheap Olson blades from Costal Tool. They sell for less than $13.00
Without a saw to handle special, extra wide resaw blades or spending a
fortune for carbide tipped, the best blade I know of for resawing is the
Wood Slicer...beats Timberwolf by a mile.
For general purpose, a 1/4 or 3/16 skip tooth or hook blade with 4-6 tpi is
good. If you want to do itsy-bitsy fine work, toss in a 1/8" too.
Whether or not a 17-18" saw is right for you only you know. I have a 14"
and have never had the need to cut wider. Once in a while - a long while -
I wish I could cut *thicker* than the standard 6" but that can be done by
adding a riser to the saw.
Not many accessories needed other than a fence which is generally included;
if not, it is easy to make one. Fancy ball bearing thrust blocks? I'm
totally happy with the lignum vitae blocks I made, been using them for ten
While I would agree that the woodslicer is the best resawing blade around
(carbide $1+/foot monsters aside) is does cost twice as much as a gerneric
blade and Woodcraft can take up to a month to produce a custom size.
IMO, a new generic blade is better than a modestly used woodslicer. As soon
as a blde starts to deflect because it is not really sharp, quality of cut
becomes moot because you will have to do redress the surface anyway.
If you plan to cut green wood (bowl blanks or slabbing small logs) you would
benefit from a blade with a wider tooth set.
What size resaw? More is always better. I have 10.5" If I push the guard all
the way up. This has been all I need for flatwork, but I could have used
more for some for slabbing and bowl blanks.
18" is a good start. You can change most other bits (even motors), but
you're stuck with wheel diameter.
Best add-on for bandsaws is reading Mark Duginske's Bandsaw Handbook
(better than Bird's IMHO) and following his advice on buying a nice
big range of varied blades. Tooth shape matters, not just pitch and
If I had a big saw and was looking to do resawing, I'd be looking at
decent roller guides on it (maybe this is a European thing?). Typical
retail machines are tolerable with Coolblocks for small work, but
their idea of "roller" guides is dreadful.
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