So far I am doing O.K with only a circular and saber saw that I owned even
before my woodworking interests, and it is not that bad. But of course i am
thinking of upgrading. I resist the temtation to get
a table saw, seems to me too big and specialized. But rather than thinking
of miter saw which seem to me quite limited i am considering band saw. Does
it make sense to have it as the main workhorse in you shop? thanks for any
The TS is generally considered the "main workhorse" in a ww shop. I
wouldn't be w/o it; nor would I give up my band saw, or my miter saw. I
debated a bit about getting a BS but now that I have it I can't imagine
how I'd have progressed as a woodworker w/o it. Your needs may be more
limited than mine, or others. buy what you need; not what others claim
Depending on the type of stuff you want to build. If you have a good
bandsaw and a jointer(hand or power) you can do a lot without a table saw.
However, if you start to take this hobby serious, a table saw in definitely
in your future.
My bandsaws ( one cuts 6 high by 14 deep, and the other 16 high by 15
deep) and chop saw only have one advantage over my table saw, they can
cut thicker stock. Well, I guess I can't do radius cuts on the TS. I
can do all of the straight and miter cuts on the TS. If I did trim
carpentry, then the compound miter cuts would require the chop saw.
Sure, it can make sense for a while. As others have said, though, if
you really want to get seriously into woodworking, you'll eventually
probably want a TS. I have only a bandsaw, handheld circular saw, and
jigsaw due to space limitations right now, and of course they serve my
needs, because that's what I have. The most important consideration is
what kind of projects you'll be doing - cabinetwork would require a TS
before some other things, for instance. My opinion is that a decent
bandsaw is cheaper and safer than a decent tablesaw and takes up less
space, so it's worth it especially when you're just starting out.
I do some resawing, but the big bandsaw is used mostly for cutting out
bowl blanks. It does a much neate job than the chainsaw does, and
without the gas or risk. I have done resawing on the TS, mostly on
boards 6 inches or less.
if you don't mind losing a ton of wood to the kerf... :) Resawing, as
far as I know the term, means you are cutting many slices from one
board, for example to make veneer, or as in my case to turn a 4/4 or 5/4
board into two thinner pieces for small projects. I wouldn't want to
give up 1/8" or 3/32" to the blade. but that's just me.
Dave you make a very good point...BUT honestly just how much
"expensive" wood are you giving up... ? doing veneer work You bet I
would use the band saw without a question... but to re saw a 8/4
piece of Walnut in half prior to dimensioning it I would run right to
my Table saw.. 2 passes thru the jointer then the Planner will "loose"
more expensive wood then I would loose with a 1/8 inch table saw
blade... BUT your point is noted !
If you are a tool collector I am sure that you can justify buying a bandsaw
so that you can save a few ounces of wood. I would not advise someone to
purchase a bandsaw just to resaw a few boards. Resawing on the bandsaw
takes more skill and setup time than on a tablesaw. As their skill grows
they will probably be more interested in more complicated projects that
might require a bandsaw but until then I recommend investing in wood, not
shiny new tools.
I lived without one for a lot of years, until I got into woodturning... now I
wonder HOW I lived without one.. *g*
It's sort of like software... you tend to use the program that you learned first
for everything it will do, even if other programs will do it better...
I know a retired accountant that now works for a charity and writes many letters
a day using Excel... I can't get him to even TRY word and gave up on him years
I work for an architectural firm. I asked one of our clients for any
available as-built CAD drawings of their existing facitlity for a
project we were doing.
Their Facilities Management person provided me with a floor plan; it
was drawn in Excel. Yeah, really - don't ask me how they did this. It
was, hands down, one of the funniest, most BIZARRE things I've ever
Unisaw, it cuts 3 inches high, so 3 inches on one side, flip it over
and cut 3 inches on the other, though I usually cut it about 1 1/2
inches at a time. I have done larger and then hand saw (the origional
cordless power saw) the middle out.
Although it is true that you can get by with only a band saw (snip on all
the goods of the Band Saw), I find a table saw Much easier, precise and
simpler to setup and use than the band saw which require in my opinion much
more skills than the BS.
so, unless you are already a proficient wood worker, I would strongly
suggest that you start with the Table Saw (which you can find much cheaper
than a BS), I used to have a $99 Rioby one that I finally upgraded after 4
years for a Rigid Cabinet maker (gosh, what a difference!), but you can find
good table saw in the $300 range.
the cheapest BS is the Harbor Freight one at $250 on sale + 60 for the
raiser kit (you do WANT the raiser kit, trust me, regardless of the BS) and
an other $70 for blades...
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