considering Jet bandsaw - pros and cons

I'm seriously considering buying the Jet JWBS-18 18" bandsaw at the Woodcraft 10% off sale next Saturday the 17th. It seems to be well built, has a decent fence and has roller bearing blade guides upper and lower. The only negative I see for my needs is the 10" limit on resaw, which is one of the reasons I'm replacing my old Crapsman. To get to 12" resaw, I'd have to buy the 20" Jet or perhaps a Laguna, both of which cost considerably more. The 10" resaw capability is adequate for raised panel doors, as it allows for 14" or so door widths with rails (28" for a pair of doors). However, if I want to do a bare panel, 10" is the limit.
Any comments pro and con on this saw?
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I have the earlier version of the Jet 18" bandsaw and love it.
The only negative, as you say, is the resaw capacity.
You might check out Delta's new 18" bandsaw. It looks very similar to the Jet but it has a 12" resaw capacity.
It is definitely worth checking out.
If you get the Jet, don't get the mobile base from Jet. It sucks. It wobbles on three points.
Rob

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I compromised with a 10" resaw and I thought specifically about this issue. The reasons to go with 12 that I came up with are wide veneers and compound curves on foot assemblies.
Not that 12" wouldn't be nice, but I see that as a 24" door limitation (which is wider than I think looks good). If you are going to resaw pannels, why not bookmatch (much nicer IMHO)?10+10+stiles = at least 24.
IDAGS and found at least 1 negative review on the Jet 18. They felt that there was too much flex in the body of the saw. That's 3rd hand so take it for what it's worth.
At least one guy here has recently ordered the Bridgewood 17. I'll bet Woody will write a review for us (please?). That has a 12" capacity and you may want to put that on your short list.
-Steve
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I have a 16 and they're built the same way. Lots of flex everywhere. You can move the upper guide quite a bit with your hand, after all it's bolted to just sheetmetal.(!) This design would be alot better if they reinforced several key areas. And while I've never had problems with accuracy and resawing, Jet should rethink their design.
Mark
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I recently got this saw and I like it. The lower bearing adjustment is absurd though. In order to make it usable you should plan on 1) drilling a hole in the table in order to access one of the lower bearing screws and 2) changing the other lower bearing screw from a hex socket to a lag bolt so that it can be loosened with an open end wrench.
Mitch Berkson
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I don't own this saw, and have only used it a few times, so my actual use is limited. That said, I have read a few extremely negative reviews about this saw. Most focused on not beeing able to tension medium to wide blades properly. Many reported that the saw started to flex before the proper tension was achieved.
I own a Laguna 18" bandsaw and love it. If I were looking to purchase an new saw today I would focus on Laguna or MiniMax. They are both high priced than the Jet but I beilve that they are both a better value.
Bob
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I have a 1 1/2" inch resaw blade on mine and have no problem with proper tension or flexing.
In my experience, it is a very good saw with a limited resaw capacity.
Rob

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I bought this saw from woodcraft during one of the prior Jet 10% off sales. The saw comes created with a saw blade mounted and the tables/Fence in a serrate package which have to be installed. The blade that comes with the saw is pretty bad, throw it away. get one of the better blades(133"). I bought this saw because I was looking for a saw which had decent HP on 120/240V. I am more then satisfied with this saw. I have had the opportunity to use many bandsaws and I have yet to try anything close to this price which matches it. I have seen the new Deltas which look similar but they are made in China. If the typical Chinese quality doesn't bother you (it bothers me) they my be worth looking at also. Adjusting the lower guides is probably the only negative comment I can make about this saw. If it's in your price range I think it's the best available. If you wasn't to spend more money you can get more HP which would always be a help with resawing. I would buy this saw again with no hesitation

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On Wed, 7 Apr 2004 21:54:04 -0500, "bob"

I bought one for about $900 some 3 years ago, and am very happy with it. I have 2 relatively minor complaints. The provided blades, there was 4 as part of the package, are not so good. And, adjusting the bottom guides was a bit of a mission, until I made a couple of custom tools that speeds things up a lot.
Look in any of the WW mags over the past 2-3 years and you will see reviews on better BS blades. I have changed to Timberwolf, and they seem pretty good.
Barry Lennox
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I have the JWBS-16, & the fit and finish on this saw is outstanding. Re-sawing with it has been a pleasure. The max re-saw capacity is 10-1/4", which is more than sufficient for my needs. The wheels are computer balanced cast iron, & the tires are factory crowned. That's probably why mine tracked perfectly straight, right out of the box, & after at least 1000 bf, continues to do so. At 300 lbs, it's a very heavy saw. Jet didn't fudge the weight, so don't plan to move it too often w/o a mobile base, or a buddy. The body is made of heavy gauge steel, with full-length welds at critical stress points. The doors are of a thinner material, but all they do is cover the wheelhouses. It takes a 123" blade, which is not a standard size, but Timber wolf stocks them, & I'm sure others do too. As far as the rigidity of the frame, I haven't had any flexing problems with mine. Once set up, the adjustments stay put. The tension scale on mine is right on for the one inch Timber wolf blade. However, I would agree that the blade that comes with the saw is useless for re-sawing. The only negative would be the lower blade guide adjustment. If you have big mitts like I do, you essentially have to remove the table to adjust the lower guides. Amazon has it for 799 w/free shipping, if you can get it for 10 percent off somewhere else, I would look at it before buying the 18. It's essentially the same saw. Carter guides are overrated from what I've read, & the European guides that come with it do the job just fine.
Good luck, Rob L.I., NY

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