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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default Bandsaw Thoughts ?

A bandsaw is something I thought I did'nt need, until I got one. Now I've been wanting a really good one. I had the Ram Machinery saw that I posted about a few times. That saw had plenty of power with a 1hp motor. And it cut and tracked very well, with little to no vibration. But it was limited to 5" resaw height, so I got rid of it some time back. I replaced it with a Ridgid BS14000 (another Craigslist find). This saw would cut 6" and could also take on a riser block, but what a waste of time. With the 3/4 hp motor this saw does not really have the power to cut 6", let alone 12". Plus the vibration is terrible. All the bad reviews I've seen on this saw are being way to nice.

All I ever wanted 6", or more capacity for resawing to make boxes, and the power to do it. I had my eye on the new 12" Rikon RIKON Power Tools
For the longest time they had shown it as "Available Soon". Now that it's finally available it's $700, I thought that was way to much for a 12" saw, so I started looking at Sears. Their 12" is out because it's 3/4 hp, the 14" gets some bad reviews, but looks like a decent saw. I was about to settle for it, but the Rikon looks really looks good to me. I know it's only $100 more for the 14" Deluxe, but I only have 110V 15amp in my garage. The 14" Deluxe wants 20 amps. I like the fact that the 12" uses common 93.5" blades, and it shares the same rack and pinion trunnion as the bigger 14". Plus I think 1 hp, and 7.5" resaw is plenty for my needs. Any thoughts on my ramblings?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 10:41 PM
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Hi Rusty, Ya, not having a bandsaw... period, after having one, really makes you want one... bad. They are so incredibly useful. I saw the 14" Rikon recently at WoodCraft... it look really nice, but they didn't have a 12"er there at the time so I couldn't offer any observations there, sorry. Heck, if the 12 will handle what you need to do re-saw-wise, and it has enough power, you use good blades with the saw tuned/adjusted nicely... why not? Sounds like it would be really nice to use/have. I have similar power constraints, and at times, it can be a reall PITA... especially when it's cold outside and you have to turn off the heater to run the dust collector, etc.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 11:08 PM
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Check Grizzly, what kills them is freight.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xplorx4 View Post
Check Grizzly, what kills them is freight.
Jerry, for the longest time I wanted their 14" Ultimate Band Saw. But after having 2 cast iron c-frame saws, I wanted to go with the steel frame this time. Grizzly's steel frame saws, with shipping, are just more then I want to spend. Rikon tools ship free from Toolcenter if you pick up at the freight terminal.

Wood Cutting Bandsaw Blades, Metal Cutting Band Saw Blades, Woodworking Power Tools, Shop Tools and Woodworking Plans - ToolCenter.com

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:03 AM
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Is your biggest problem the vibration or the power. You could get a bigger motor, from what I've read. I have never done resawing so I know know anything about it. But a motor is a lot cheaper than a saw. And have you tried contacting the company about the vibration? You never know. They may have a solution. Its a free call.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well, my cheaper side prevailed and I ended up with the saw I thought I did'nt want. I found one of the new 12" Craftsman saws on Craigslist for $100. I got it from a very elderly gentleman who preferred his older saw that was modified to be used while seated. This one has seen very little use. He had misplaced the fence, but I've never used one anyway. I have a few plans for fences if I decide I need one. I ordered some All-Pro blades from Olson and it cuts very well. The pic is from the CS add, I'll try to get some pics this weekend and maybe do a review. I did take it off the stand and mount it to a rolling stand I built for a previous saw. so far I am really happy with this saw.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:47 AM
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Wow good deal congratulations on the new saw.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:51 AM
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Rusty... yeah, great deal. Thats the newer version of the craftsman 12"r. Much improved over the older version. I think the resaw capicity is about the same, but with the new guide bearings setup, much more workable...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 09:02 AM
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Thoughts on what it can do (or do better) than other shop alternatives?

There's lots of stuff I want (band saw included) even though I may not know the extent of their usefulness. And of course, space will always be my biggest issue.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 09:32 AM
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Chris... just a few thoughts on bandsaws here..

first, the footprint of a bandsaw is comparatively small when put up against the likes of a tablesaw, jointer, some dust collection systems and even some router tables.

For myself, the number one advantage of a bandsaw is resaw capabilities.. I try to buy most of my wood in 5/4 roughcut. Most of what is use is 3/4" milled. By the time I get the rough cut stock milled out, I'll typically have a good 1/4"+ extra. I'll resaw (when I can) and have a nice little stash of thin stock on hand all the time for this that and the other thing. The nicer stuff I'll use for veneers. I'll resaw the resawn material down to about 1/8".
The bandsaw is great for cutting smaller pieces that you wouldn't normally want to put on the tablesaw for safety reasons.
Its also great for cutting curves. Particually one off's. Nothing a router and template can't accomplish even better but for those without the gear. It'll do just fine.
Downside is you NEVER get a smooth finish. Just the nature of the beast. You can "tweak" the blade to help, but you pretty much can count on sanding, filing, spokeshaving or scrapping the cut piece.
At first, blade changes are cumbersome and time consuming. Nothing like swapping out a tablesaw blade or the bit in a router to be sure. But, you do get used to it and after a while, its no big deal.
Available options are typically abundant to the larger saws of 14" and bigger. Blade type, hook, rake etc. are pretty much available across the spectrum of saws. Jigs and fixtures are pretty much limited to your imagination and what you want to do. Again, limited only by the size of the saw.
Dust collection is better on some than others. My older 12" craftsman sucks at it. Dust just pops out of everywhere *L*...I have read that the newer versions have much improved DC capabilities.
Nice thing is the noise level in most cases is moderate. ..
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