I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I figured it was better to provide as much information up front so that anyone who replies won't have to spend time asking for info I should have included to begin with.
Background: I've considered purchasing a band saw for about two years. It's the last big piece of woodworking equipment I need to round out my shop. For the past year I've been doing some research on and off here at the 'Wreck, on the Web, and several WW mags (the Oct 04 American Woodworker in particular). I decided the Delta 14" closed-base saw (28-206) with a riser block was best suited to my needs and my wallet.
My Needs: Mainly resawing 2" to 8" wide hardwood (10" max, as that is the max width my jointer/planer will handle). Secondary uses will be cutting the occasional arch for Mission/Craftsman Style furniture and possibly the side faces on tenons - very simple stuff. I know that resawing 8-10" boards with a 1hp motor is pushing its limit, but I'm a patient man. I don't have to resaw 100 feet of wood a day (more like 20 feet every 3 or 4 months), so I don't mind a slower feed rate. I don't mind spending a couple of days tweaking the saw or performing upgrades, but I also didn't want to make it my full-time hobby for six weeks either. (Video Doctor's "Fettling a Delta 14" Chinese Bandsaw" page is a great tweaking resource - http://www.thevideodoc.com/pbandsaw1.htm )
My Wallet: I wanted to come in at the $650 range with upgrades/accessories.
(In case anyone was wondering, I've ruled out any Jet equipment altogether. In short, I had a minor problem with one of my two Jet machines, and Jet's Customer Service department treated me like a vagrant. But that's a story for another thread. End result: I'll never buy another piece of Jet equipment again.)
I found the 28-206 on sale about two weeks ago for $475 + $90 for the riser block. That leaves me about $85 for upgrades. After doing my research, these were the upgrades I was planning to install in order of priority.
· Timberwolf 1/2 x 3tpi Blade - $25. I used the same blade, shorter length, on another band saw and was pleased with the results. Since this will be the saw's primary function, I wanted to set it up for success. This is also a low tension blade.
· Mobile Base - $0. I have a "universal" Delta mobile base I can use.
· Cool Blocks - $12. Phenolic blocks appear to be the best value when replacing the factory guides. At first, the Delta factory guide blocks looked like they might be plastic, but a quick test with a magnet showed me they weren't. The AWW article provided some helpful comparisons for guide replacements. I have also been eyeing some cheap roller-bearing guides (~$16) on eBay.
· PowerTwist V-Link Belt - $22. Should decrease vibration by mitigating whatever misalignment is left between the pulleys and the effect of v-belt shape "memory". I decided to go with the PowerTwist versus the cheaper Accu-Link; the Accu-Link looked like it would disintegrate faster. Jim Wilson's Link Belt Page (http://www.paragoncode.com/shop/link_belts /) was an invaluable source of information on these.
· Urethane Band Saw Tires - $22. I'm not entirely sure these are necessary as I have yet to measure the runout on the factory tires. The factory tires look VERY similar to the urethane tires Rockler is selling (http://www.rockler.com/findit.cfm?page=5838 ). Does anyone know if Delta has recently started shipping their band saws with URETHANE tires installed?!?!
Other upgrades I've considered but am not planning to buy:
· Iturra High Tension Spring - $17. I didn't see this as necessary, particularly since the Timberwolf blade is of the low tension variety. Then again, the riser block takes the blade length to 105" so I may have to bite the bullet on this one.
· Zero-Clearance Inserts - $10 for 4. I'm not sure tearout is going to be a big problem with resawing.
So far, my upgrade total comes to $81, so I'm still within my budget. Now, for the questions:
1. Of the upgrades I've listed, are there any I should reconsider (priority, brand, type, etc.)?
2. Are there any other upgrades I missed and should consider?
TIA for the replies, guys. Being relatively new to this band saw gig, I definitely appreciate any help or guidance you can offer.