I think the 14" works wonderfully. If you go off an buy a little 3-wheel
jobbie, *then* you will just end up buying another one.
You have recieved some good things, but let me stress ripping on the
bandsaw, especially with 3 different situations:
- ripping rough wood with no "good" edge where you would prefer to rip
first, dress later
- ripping knarly wood that is being difficult; if it closes up on the
blade, you'll barely notice. On the TS, it is a different story
- ripping off-parallel. *If* you are trying to extract really
straight-grained pieces, you draw an line on the board following the
grain and use the bandsaw to rip; using a TS would be a major PITA.
Also useful for making tenons, dovetails and all sorts of non-curvy stuff.
All in all, if you start using rough lumber, especially in the larger
dimensions, you will find a bandsaw indispensible. If you are going to
work in sheet goods, not nearly so much.
Many many pieces benefit greatly from a gentle curve, from a simple
table apron to the legs of a stool. We have got so used to pieces turned
out in volume, all straight and blocky, that our own work starts to
resemble it. This is a shame. Consider adding some touches to your work
that seperates it out from the factory; and curves, just gentle ones,
are a great way to start whether it be the arch of a bracket or
something much more elaborate.
* Small cutoffs where your hands are too close to a table saw blade.
* Rough ripping with no kickback.
* Splitting round parts and halving diagonal narrow stock.
* Roughing out material in hand cut dovetail and finger joints. A quick
pass with a paring chisel finishes up.
* Cutting green wood into turning blanks.
* Cutting foam rubber and insulation board.
And of course, what you already know, resawing and curve cutting.
I'm just learning to use mine. But it's a different tool.
Different thinking. (It's like learning a new language.)
When cutting dovetails, the cut is perpendicular to the wood because
the blade is perpendicular, and not curved. How else can you do a
square notch on a piece of wook 6 feet long? :-)
I was just looking an Duginske's Bandsaw bench guide, and he shows you
how to cut dovetails with the accuracy of a router template, using a
bandsaw only. Very clever.
Another thing - think thin kerf. The blade is pulled, not pushed, so
it's like a thin kerf japanese saw. Cutting and regluing wood is less
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I also never thought I had any use for a bandsaw. Needed to make a bunch of
interior cuts in a project so bought that cheap 9" Ryobi for $79. Quickly
became one of my most used tools, lots of quick uses when you have one
available and setup. Didn't take long to unload the small saw and get a
14". Sits in the middle of the shop and gets used on every project, usually
quite a bit. Have now got heavily involved in turning, so want a riser kit
so I can split 12" logs.
Yep... sort of why I want one too, Bill...
Actually, reading everyone's posts and thinking back to a prior life,
(marriage 2), when I had an old bandsaw, I remember having 2 kinds of
blades... wide or deep blades, depending on how you look at them, for
straight cuts, and short or narrow blades for scrolling or curves..
It seems that I used the BS quite a bit and almost never cut curves
Please remove splinters before emailing
On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 00:42:41 -0500, Silvan
If you've got the space and the money and it's just a question of
"Should I?", I'd go for 16" or 18"
14" works though. It's not great for resawing, but it is useful. The
main difference with an 18" isn't that it _won't_ do something, it's
that you have to spend 10 minutes fooling with adjustments to get
everything spot-on before it will do it.
Of most of my tools, and all of my machines, the bandsaw is the one
where soon after getting it I was wishing I'd got one a lot earlier.
It doesn't replace the table saw, it replaces hand saws. I cut tenons
on it that I'd never do with a circular saw, but can do more quickly
and more accurately than by hand. Just try something like the skinny
spindles in a Morris Chair - a few dozen identical tenons, banged out
accurately in minutes ? No problem.
Sorry, I meant that the 14" took more setup time.
It's a question of accuracy. The 18" will laugh at a 6" high resaw,
even if things are a bit sloppy. The 14" is more marginal - you can do
it, but you need to check the guides are running spot-on, and that the
tension is right. Maybe it can't resaw so deep with any blade, and you
have to swap it over for your best resaw blade first (and then reset
On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 00:42:41 -0500, Silvan
IMO, if you have to find a reason to have a tool, you shouldn't get
it... there must be other tools that you really want..
Or, you'll plan or start a project (same thing for me, usually) and
find that you need a certain tool...
Personally, I never really had a need for a bandsaw until I found that
you could turn green wood... now that there is a demand, it's on my
list... but behind a few other things, like a good TS and a benchtop
/advice mode/ You want a bandsaw? Go buy a bandsaw. Life is short. As
long as baby has milk, or beer, or whatever baby drinks, the money is no
problem. I'm sure the wealthy Mr. Self will float you a loan. /advice off/
I have two bandsawrs, he gloated. The Delta 14" (a retirement "thank
God he's going away" gift) I use for resawing. The ancient Craftsman
12" (bought 30 years ago for $100) has a 3/16 blade and is used in
making kid toys. Great fun.
Look for something used that will suit you. But only for a month.
After that consult the Griz catalog, remembering to separate those pages
that got stuck together the last time you looked. Lotsa good stuff out
there. Go for it. You'll end up loving it and wondering what took you
so long or my name isn't J. Angus MacDougal.
Money is in short supply with $50,000 worth of medical bills coming, and my
deductible/copay to consider. I'm probably theorizing about a year or two
from now, but I'm thinking this way with an eye toward what I'm going to do
with the space I have liberated in corner by rearranging my shop. About
one more day, and it will be damn close to organized. (For about 11
seconds.) 25 hours spent cleaning/arranging so far.
Dovetails and tenons are interesting. Otherwise not too much I didn't
already have in mind. The main thing that it would do incredibly well is
serving as a replacement for my much overused bow saw in turning prep, but
that's a thin justification in of itself. My mini lathe is basically a
tool for making a pile of shavings, and a neat curvy piece of firewood. I
haven't found much use for 12" spindles or 8" bowls, other than turning a
bit of wood into silly string for the merry hell of it.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
What about this one - a 72" bandsaw with 67" vertical capacity...
might be a little big for most shops though...
Pat Barber wrote:
When out countersink screws and want to plug the holes you can cut the
dowels to short length for the plugs. If you use a plug cutter, you run the
plug wood on its side through the blade to release the plugs.
You can cut up a garden hose so you can play hose ball. Of course if you
don't live in a city and it is not the 1950's any more that may not interest
you. How bout half ball then?
There are many uses for cutting small things here and there that makes it a
very handy tool. Once you have it, you find the bandsaw is one of the most
versatile tools in your shop.
I rarely cut curves on the bandsaw. When I do, it's usually a long
graceful curve in thick wood that's more than my scrollsaw can handle.
The scrollsaw can cut up to 22" behind the blade. The bandsaw can cut
(at the moment) about 12 feet behind the blade, and it's a lot faster
than the scroll saw.
So what do I use the bandsaw for?
Rough cut-to-length. The TS's original miter gauge is on the bandsaw
all the time (the TS has an incra), I use it to cut small pieces to
length when the TS is rigged up for something else.
Notches. Cutting a notch in the corner of a chunk of wood is fast on
Ripping. If I'm going to joint it anyway, it's a LOT easier to rip
hardwoods in the bandsaw than on the table saw - it's like having the
ultimate thin kerf blade ;-)
Kids. My kids can safely use the bandsaw, but not the table saw
Resawing. Not just 6" wide hardwoods, but 1-2" wide strips to make
1/4" thick slats. Or taking strips off the edge of a 4/4 board to
make shims or whatnot.
Non-flat wood (firewood), mostly for lathe work.
Plastics, foam, etc - cut quite well on the bandsaw.
Thick wood. Sometimes, it's easier to cut a 6" thick piece of wood on
the bandsaw than do multiple cuts on the table saw - assuming you can
do it at all on the table saw.
I am looking for a bandsaw right now, as well. The Powermatic 14"
seems a good buy, 1.5 hp, fence, miter, light, dust blower, tension
release, carter-type guides, for $899. I am waiting for Woodcraft's
Feb 11 10% off sale, which when I combine with a coupon from a previous
Jet purchase (2 Sjobergs benches for $175 each, delivered from Amazon)
will bring the net cost to $720, plus an additional $50 off an
accessory, which will be the riser block, for net $20 or so. I suggest
getting the Lonnie Bird and/or Mark Duginske books for an idea of the
versatility of the saw.
Sounds like you are not sure that you really need one ... so why not
hold off on getting one? In my limited experience it's better to only
buy the tools you need when they become necessary.
That said, I use my bandsaw more often than my tablesaw. I build
furniture, toys, gifts, etc. I do a fair amount of marquetry and lately
I've been learning to do veneering. Bandsaw gives you great ability to
make custom veneers.
Other than that, I use it for resaws ... especially to make bookmatch
patterns for figured woods.
And I use it for ripping rough lumber ... much safer than a tablesaw if
the wood has residual stresses in it.
I also use it for short cuts that would be dangerous on the tablesaw.
Have fun ...
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