Let's say I'm a "week-end hobbyist woodworker". I began a year ago to build
some of our furnitures, really simple so far. I have several power hand &
bench tools but one thing is missing : a decent band saw.
For general purpose woodworking, what do you recommand ? 12, 14, 20" throat
? what make ? HP motor ?
I would recommend the "Ultimate Bandsaw" sold by Grizzly. It is a 14"
bandsaw with roller guides, decent fence system and with a riser kit you
can resaw wide wood. And the price is right for the "weekend" wood
I'd have to know your bank account balances and credit card limits first to
make a proper recommendation. The 21" Laguna is a nice one though.
Most popular is the 14" as it is a nice size for most of what we need. With
a riser kit it can re-saw up to 12". When I bought my 14" Jet a few year
ago, it was a good value for the price. Delta, Grizzly have good saws also.
I've not kept up with the latest models though. You want 3/4HP on it also.
If you have the budget, I would consider the 17" Griz but a 14" saw does a
nice job for about everything provided you spring for a riser kit. I agree
with everyone else here as to brand. Jet, Griz & Delta would all be good
choices, but I like the Deltas for ease of bottom guide adjustment. Not a
requirement, but nice.
Thanks to everybody ! Well, my bank account is called : Wife... so as usual,
since she don't consider tools useful, the least expensive is the best one
for her. But not for me so I will have to negotiate that aspect with your
Do I like I did; trade Wife Version 1.0, for improved Version 2.0.
Problem solved. Current SWMBO not only ENCOURAGES me to buy tools, she
wants me to get good ones, PLUS she buys 'em for me for Christmas and
Junkyard Engineer wrote:
The traditional 14" with 3/4 or a full HP would be fine. I use the Delta,
and like the close lower guides. The other 14's are more or less similar.
Can't recommend Grizzly based on my experience, but the better types
marketed by JET/PM, General International and so forth should do.
Two suggestions -
1) Enclosed base is overpriced. Build your own cabinet with casters, and
you'll have your mobile base with some storage beneath.
2) Rip fences are more trouble than they're worth. Use ad-hoc specialty
types or just clamp a board to simulate the one that would mount on those
rails and hang out to grab you every time you walked by.
Tools not useful? Wow, I didn't realize anyone would think such a thing;
tools are not only useful but necessary!
Hmmm. Least expensive, eh? What does she buy for her own activities, the
cheapest cooking set, plastic flatware? After all, coffee cans can be
used to bake bread, does she? Does she use a washboard for laundry? It
is cheaper than an electric machine, as is a laundromat. There are all
sorts of comparisons to use for her own choices to use good, or at least
decent, quality. She does, of course, use an old manual typewriter for
any typed copy, doesn't she?
If my impatience for people buying cheap because "it works" shows, please
overlook my attitude. I've always been willing to wait longer for
something that was good, or at least better. My ex did, even though he
rarely used them, purchase good quality tools. An inexpensive or poorly
made tool can be much more expensive in the long term. Besides, if you
decide not to use them or to replace them, good quality brings a better
How's her taste in jewelry? A cigar band would work as well as an
expensive engagement ring; after all, it's the thought that counts. :-)
My granddaughters used little stickers for earrings, they are just as
pretty and no hassle storing or losing them.
My ex bought a lot of tools (gadget-type things) I considered a bit
frivolous at the time (mostly because I knew he was unlikely to use
them!), but I'm appreciating them now and will in the future as well.
After all, why buy a tubing cutter when you have a hacksaw? The hacksaw
works, and why not call a plumber and save the cost of either tool?
Just my thoughts which are not always popular. I would also have rather
my ex spend more time/money on tools and working with wood (or home
repairs) than what he was doing the last years of our marriage! Tools in
a workshop would have been much, much cheaper, in many, many ways.
Football games constantly? That's another story. <g>
Glenna ! You are wonderful ! I will forward your text to her !
I'm still laughing !
thanks for your moral support !
I should say that I always manage to get my point when buying new tools and
compared to my friends, I'm not so bad, it's just hard to get there...
I have that General Intnl saw and I like it. It was on sale last month
and may still be available on sale. I was at my dealer today (Barbo
Machinery, Portland, OR) and the sale flyers were still out. I was
surprised at how well it went together - really good fit and finish
(damn near perfect). Rack and pinion upper guide adjustment, tension
quick release, 8" resaw capacity. nice fence, wheels arrived perfectly
in line, blade tracks right down the center, fan assisted dust
collection (I'm not sure this is much of a feature if you already have
good dust collection - I'm getting rid of the fan), blade guides are
steel - Euro round uppers, 1/2" square lowers.
The only negatives: table trunions sturdy but only one side of table,
stand seemed a bit wimpy so I bolted it to 3/4 ply and that to a rolling
base, no wheel brush, blade keeps running after shutting off motor (my
dust collector spins the saw's little fan which turns the blade), the
manual is really bad but assembly was no problem using the exploded
At list price the General is around the same price as the Powermatic,
which would make the Powermatic a better bet. I don't remember if I paid
550 or 650, but I'm surprised at how much I like the saw.
Someone double check me on this - but I believe that the "steel frame"
style, which the Canwood appears to be, cannot be augmented with a riser
block. The resaw capacity is set.
I bought the Jet 14". 14" is a very common size for the home/hobbiest
My resaw capacity, as is, is about 6". I can buy a 6" "riser block" which
will about double that - if/when I feel the need.
Other than that - the Canwood brand is unknown to me, but appears to be very
similar to the "Rikon 14" bandsaw" that gets good reviews.
Calculate your maximum price. Add half as much again. Then when you buy
the saw get at least a dozen extra blades, 1/8" to 1/2". Make sure your saw
has quick change feature and easy to adjust thumbscrew guides. 'cool
blocks' make for smoother running. finally get the 'bandsaw book'. It's
worth the money. I traded my table saw for a second bandsaw and never
regretted it, so you know I'm a fan of these tools.
I now consider a band saw way more important than a tablesaw. If you do
"generic" work, does that mean resawing, curved cutting, ripping (and if you
can, ripping on the bandsaw is far safer than a tablesaw). I now tell people to
spend more on the bandsaw than anythig (except get the biggest jointer you
Instead of just saying get this, or get that, first get the Iturra Design
catalog, and see what Louis has to say about the 14" Deltas and clones. Then
start thinking heavier than that.
I have the MiniMax MM16, and think it's great. The Wilke Bridgewood heavy duty
all steel 16" saw has some good writeups, I prefer MiniMax to Laguna, but the
Lguna is a great saw also.
MiniMax makes a pretty good 14" saw also.
The things to really consider with a bandsaw is first, how much tension can you
apply? Because then you have a lot of "maneuverability" regarding blade
selection. Timberwolf has a selection of low tension blades (available from
Suffolk Machinery), but I have never thought them worth it. The Woodslicer from
Highland does a better job.
Go to bimetal, you need more tension, to carbide, Lenox recommends 25,000 psi,
which you will get from the MiniMax. And carbide is the way to go. The blade
runs around $200, but will last you for years. It can take the tension if you
don't keep it tensioned. And it will cut far better.
If you resaw, then you really should look at somethng like the MiniMax. If your
resawing needs are lighter, than a really good 14" Delta (the good one) is a
I've used the Jet 16" bandsaw, with the steel arm, and an old used Delta was
next to it, and the Delta cut better. That can be your best choice: get a 20 or
30 year old used Delta, and spiff it up.
On 01 Feb 2005 16:03:23 GMT, email@example.com (DarylRos) wrote:
To each his own...I'm just glad I was not around to listen to your
advice... After 40 "active" years in this hobby and for the projects
that come out of my shop I disagree completely... like I said to each
his own..and this is not an attack on you
I just "listened" to that you said above and to be honest it makes
sense... Guess I will have to listen with at least one ear ...
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