How Big a Band Saw...? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Default How Big a Band Saw...?

If I were to buy a band saw, how big should it be so I don't grow an inch at a time as the need arises...? Brand recommendations are welcome, of course...
Thanks in advance...Nick
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 11:52 AM
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How about ... as big as you can afford?

I have a little 9" one, and it is pretty much worthless because the blade wanders way too easily. I think the bigger the machine, the better control it has over the blade.

I've tried everything I have read to tune it up, but it still wanders like crazy. The only thing I haven't tried is a new blade; this band saw takes a 59 1/4" blade, but I think the blades they sell at the big box stores are 59 1/2", so the previous owner may have put a blade on that is a little too long, making it so I can't get the tension it needs.

This is not a recommendation; I am simply reporting what I have heard from others ... for an inexpensive BS, the people who own Harbor Freight band saws seem to be happy with them.

Last edited by Chris Curl; 12-21-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 12:01 PM
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If I were to buy a band saw, how big should it be so I don't grow an inch at a time as the need arises...? Brand recommendations are welcome, of course...
Thanks in advance...Nick
I always say buy the biggest and the best you can afford. My first bandsaw was a Delta 14" without a riser. I had to upgrade to a Grizzly 14" with a riser for a project. A lot of people would say a Grizzly is not an upgrade, but my experience is both saws performed equally well. I found the blade is the most important part of the equation. For resawing, I used a wood slicer brand. It can be resharpened and performed better than any other blade I ever used.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 12:04 PM
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A 14" bandsaw seems to be about the "all around" bandsaw for size wise. As for brand... you have Grizzly, Delta, Steel City, Rikon, Powermatic and several others to choose from. The ultimate choice is what are you willing to pay for? I've seen 9" all the way up to 24" bandsaws. So, you do have a wide variety to choose from.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:33 PM
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I found a good used Jet 18", no regrets at all.
I like using 1" blades for resawing.
But, have used 1/8" blades for small tight turns.
Lots more table room also.

Don
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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As big as you can afford . If your shop has a lot more space, you can go for 14- 18"
bandsaw. Of course , you have to consider on what are the sizes/shapes and the materials
you are planning to cut out .




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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 03:42 PM
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Nick, the size of band saw you may want will depend on the kinds of jobs you plan on doing with it. For instance; if you want to re-saw then you would want a saw with a higher vertical cutting capacity as well as being able to handle a larger blade (1/2, 5/8) or if you want to cut patterns or rip cut a wide piece you would want a larger horizontal (throat) capacity. By the way. The measurements, such as a so called 10" or 14" saw, is referring to the diameter of the wheels on the saw. Not the size of cut the saw will make. The cutting (throat) capacity of a 14 inch saw will be less than 14 inches and so on...
The quality of blades and how well you set it up will determine how the saw performs way more than the cost of the saw itself. Just because the saw costs more doesn't automatically make it a "better" saw. So, in the long run, how you plan on using the saw and how much you want to spend should determine which saw you will want.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdust Don View Post
I found a good used Jet 18", no regrets at all.
I like using 1" blades for resawing.
But, have used 1/8" blades for small tight turns.
Lots more table room also.

Don
I suspect that many readers will raise their eyebrowns about this post, I have said it earlier on this forum. I have a new Grizzly 17" BS. I had installed a 1/8" inch blade to try some tight curves which of course it did very well, then I got to wondering about what Alex Snodgrass said about re-sawing and so, just for fun I tried to re-saw with the narrow 1/8" blade. My first attempt was on a six inch wide board and set it up to cut a piece of veneer off that was about .150" thick. The board was, as I recall, about 14" long. I made the cut and then measured the variation at all four corners of the piece of veneer, the variation was, again as I recall, about .010". I have two one inch Timberwolve blades but have, as of yet, not installed one of them. I have used the half inch blade that came on the saw. I am not a seasoned woodworker, but so far, the Grizzly saw has worked perfectly for me. I have nothing to compare it to, so I really may not be the best judge. The only complaint that I have with the saw is that the removal and reinstallation of the table is difficult to some degree because it is quite heavy, myby 60 to 70 lbs. it may not really be that heavy, I have not weighed it, just guessing from lifting it. But that is not a real negative about the saw. By the way, the table is removed when changing blades so that you can get to the adjustments on the blade guides and the the thruse bearing that are beneath the table. In my opinion you would not go wrong if you bought this saw, but it is somewhat more expensive than most 14" saws. Let us now what you finally decide on.

Jerry
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 08:19 PM
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In this case, I would agree with Don and Jerry. Hindsight being a useful tool, I would have gone for a 17"/18". You can use 3/4" or 1" blade for re-sawing but can still go down to a 1/4" or smaller blade for finer work. You also will get a bigger motor.

On thought to keep in mind is that with a band saw, to get the best out of the saw, you will have to change blades more often than you would with a table saw. On some of the larger saws you may have to remove the table to fit the blade and adjust the bearings.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 01:52 AM
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Here is a not so good photo, it will have to do for now "the battery died".

I have some pretty tough to saw woods here, the toughest so far is maple burl "on the saw".
Other woods here are high figuered black walnut, and birds eys maple "large board" on the table.
The box under construction on the table is myrtle burl, framed in birds eye maple, box jointed. This will be a sewing box for my mother "90"yrs old.

My work ratio is-"3 to 1"
Two projects for my wife.
One for my mother.
Then maybe one for myself out of the left overs.

Anyway, the band saw is most critical to me as, I dont no where I could find woods like these already sized.
I buy it in as big of pieces that I can find. The prices are what I think are reasonable.
Then, at least the wood matches.
I also salvage large beams from old buildings.

I think a band saw will pay for itself quickly going in those directions.

On the larger saws, as Jerry mentioned, its not practical to pop off the table to more easily change blades, but its not that hard to do.



By the way, the blade on the saw is 1.3 tooth per inch, 1" wide blade. Also on the saw table are push blocks.
That blade could remove a hand instantly, always be careful!

Don

Last edited by Sawdust Don; 12-22-2012 at 01:59 AM.
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