Which size bandsaw?


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Old 01-15-06, 06:51 AM
zbest85
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Which size bandsaw?

Hello, I'm in the market for a used bandsaw, and wondered which size/brand would be good for part time use?
 
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Old 01-15-06, 08:05 AM
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It would depend on what type work you are doing and how much you want to spend. Bandsaws have different size tables and cutting capacities including how thick of material you want to cut. If you will be resawing wood, you want all the height capacity you can get. Ease of tension adjustment and changing blades should also be a consideration. Availability of parts is a big thing also. Good luck.
 
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Old 01-15-06, 01:46 PM
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I have a hand-me-down Sears/Craftsman 80" band saw that is many years old, and I can't justify replacing it until it breaks, and it won't do it. So I am stuck with it. Really, it cuts fine, uses an assortment of blades (except the thick resawing blade) and has a decent 12" throat. Definitely consider throat size, as it limits you to the size of wood you will be cutting. I have a Craftsman scroll saw I bought on close out that has a 24" throat, and to tell you the truth, I'd rather use the scroll than the band any day.
 
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Old 01-15-06, 02:00 PM
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wow!! you really had me impressed with your 80" bandsaw

what you have is a 12" , bandsaws are measured by throat size

I have had several of the 12" craftsman they are a great little saw
 
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Old 01-15-06, 02:48 PM
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No, it is an 80" band saw with a 12" throat. I measured the band and looked on the description tag. But I get your point. Still had rather use the 24" throat scroll.
 
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Old 01-15-06, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler
No, it is an 80" band saw with a 12" throat. I measured the band and looked on the description tag. But I get your point. Still had rather use the 24" throat scroll.
no its a 12" bandsaw
bandsaws are measured by throat size not length of the band


a 12" bandsaw has a 12 " throat , not all have a 80" blade.

you can call it George if you like but its still a 12" bandsaw

 
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Old 01-17-06, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zbest85
Hello, I'm in the market for a used bandsaw, and wondered which size/brand would be good for part time use?
There are many used bandsaws for sale. I have had the small 9 " ones which are about worthless. Also the Craftsman 12" bandsaw which is ok for general work. And I now have an old 1987 Taiwan made all cast iron 14" bandsaw that is the best one I've ever had and the most inexpensive to buy used. Blade for the saws are available from Sears and other home hardware stores. Make sure you can get blades for the used saw you buy tho. Parts may be hard to fine for the older saws like the 1987 bandsaw I have. I am pretty handy at finding or making parts I need. There are many price ranges to consider. New bandsaws usually work good for awhile but adjusting them can be frustrating to say the least. The bandsaw always has been my favorite saw of any of the saws. I do a lot of resawing and horsepower does matter for that operation.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 08:07 AM
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Where do you live, I'd love to sell you mine :-) Not that there is anything wrong with it but I am just drooling over the new Grizzly 21" 5HP that comes out next month. (I would post a link to it so others could drool too but it would probably be removed by a moderator). Though I don't have the $1750 handy at the moment...

I will echo the others comments. It really does depend on what you are going to do with it. Bandsaws excel at re-sawing, they are also great for circle cutting (almost any size), and fair to good for curved/scroll work (assuming it is not an "internal" scroll cut). They are a very handy machine to have if you ever need to cut anything larger or thicker than 3" or so since 3" is around the limit of 10" miter or table saws. I do mean anything. I have "split" firewood, cut sonotubes, 6" PVC pipe, chunks of those wax/sawdust fireplace "logs" and even the occasional plastic item I wanted to open in a hurry. The bandsaw is the tool I head to when I have to cut anything that does not have straight/flat edge on it.

As dread noted, if you want to resaw, HP and throat height are top priorities (3rd would be table size, if you've ever slabbed a 10" diameter 50" long log you'll understand why).

Bandsaws (IMO) are also one of the "safer" saws to use (you might get cut due to carelessness but you'll likely not lose any fingers) and blades are really cheap. Regular prices are around $5-15 for 1/8-1/2 inch, but I've seen sales with 1/4" blades for $3. If you can spot weld your own, you can get the blades in bulk spools even cheaper yet.

I started with an 8" benchtop (I think it was a Delta), that did not last 24 hours. I have had a Reliant (Taiwanese) 14" 1HP with riser blocks (they increase height capacity to 12") which has been adequate for about 7 years now. It could use more HP, as it is slow going in 12" thick mahogany. It can run 8 blade speeds by moving the belts from pulleys. In practice, I never change speeds anymore since it is time consuming to re-adjust belts, then belt tension, then blade tension again.

My recommendation would be a 14" 1HP floorstanding that can take blades from 1/8" to at least 1/2". Hinged door covers are a real plus when changing blades as is a wheeled tension adjuster (as opposed to using a wrench). A tension guage rather than a tension guide (mine just has graduated marks for the blade size being used instead of a measuring guage) though these features are rare on a 14" bandsaw. Jet, Grizzly, and Delta all have reasonbly priced and solid models in the 14" size. I would stay away from Craftsman myself. The consumer grade stuff from the last 10-15 years is pretty crappy. The Pro line doesn't look too bad and older (antique) models were very well built.

So good luck in your search...

Snarksdad
 
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Old 01-19-06, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by zbest85
Hello, I'm in the market for a used bandsaw, and wondered which size/brand would be good for part time use?
Used bandsaw? Take whichever you can get used, assuming you can find them used at all. Seriously, any 'used' price should be a bargain.

I have both the bench model and the floor model. I use the floor model for exotic home projects, (resawing Zebra wood for jewelry boxes, etc) but the bench model will serve for nearly all cabinet work, i.e. notching center dividers and cabinet base tapering, and the occasional thin slice of casing for irregular thin fits around the kitchen window, etc.
 
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Old 01-21-06, 04:52 PM
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snarksdad said it better that I could. I totally agree. Most fellows want a good tablesaw in the center of their shop. I'd rather have the best bandsaw I could afford in the middle of my shop. I have a 9" Delta bandsaw that will not cut a straight line to save its life (which it is very close to losing). I had an older Craftsman 12" bandsaw and it was ok for what I used it for, eg. resawing 2"x4"s and cutting small thin, small circles. It was made from aluminum and plastic and had too much vibration. It would cut a straight line most of the time if I was really careful with it. The old beast I have now is far better than any bandsaw I've had and I've had 4 bandsaws as far as I can remember. My brother bought a small Shopmaster 3 wheel bandsaw for 50 bucks at a flea market. Variable speed, all plastic frame, small motor. It didn't last 2 hours. He gave it to me and I had to toss it out in the junk. Nothing there to salvage, just plastic. My brother was given a Tradesman bandsaw that I have yet to see but I'll bet it's plastic too but he may get more than 2 hours out of it?
 
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Old 01-29-06, 09:08 AM
zbest85
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Thanks for all the advice.
I used to sell stationary tools a bunch of years ago, I always liked the Delta 14".
The whole thing is metal and easy to use.
I just missed one yesterday for $75.

The search continues...
 
 

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