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Thread: What is the best bandsaw to get for resawing?

  1. #1

    What is the best bandsaw to get for resawing?

    Looking to get a bandsaw mostly for resawing. My price range is $1500-2k. I have looked at the laguanas and Grizzly saws. Griz seems cheaper but not sure on the quality. What features would be recommended for resawing? I have been looking at the 3hp saws and am wondering if thats enough horses to effectively and effieciently resaw?
    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Bloomington, IL
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    Want a dream saw, start looking for a MM20 or MM24.

    Features: Mass, heavy saw with solid stout frame, heavy CI wheels, resaw height, ability to correctly tention a 1 to 1 1/4" blade, enough HP to drive that blade through the resaw height in any wood you want, and a big solid table you can mount a greta fence and or feeder too. This is no basement saw though so keep that in mind. It is about 800lbs and TALL. MM24 is even larger.

    The 19" G0514X2 is a great saw too for much cheaper. Not a MM but might be doable for under $2K delivered. Griz has 20"+ saws too. Even they are out of the price range though.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    378
    minimax bandsaws are excellent in this resawing department


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Central WI
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    Used are the best choice in that price range. MM 16 or 20, newer models, Bridgewood,Felder or Laguna 540- all ACM made. Frame strength is the biggest deal here, then motor. You want to be able to at least tension a Resaw King if not a Lenox Trimaster which is thicker. Older saws have less resaw height but are shorter so they may fit better. Anything smaller than 20" isn't really a primary resaw except the ones that have been listed here. Dave

  5. #5
    I think a good question to ask would be how wide a board are you planning to resaw?

  6. #6
    I don't want to comment on specific brands (for obvious reasons...) but as a guy who gets feedback from literally hundreds of bandsaw owners every year, I can offer one observation and one suggestion:

    Observation: Nobody has ever told me thay have too heavy, too big, or too powerful a bandsaw. At least not in the 10 years I've been doing this.

    Suggestion: It's better to save up and wait for what you want if you can't afford it now than to settle for "what probably will get the job done" at this moment. You can always save up a little longer and maybe your dream saw will go on sale or a used one will show up in the classifieds. I say this for a couple of reasons. First, you mention "resawing" and that puts a whole different performance demand on the saw than just cutting furrniture legs or something along those lines. Second, every time I talk to an customer who bought "what would get the job done at the moment", there always seems to be this sound of resignation in their voice, like the machine somehow disappoints them but they don't really want to admit that, because they realize that they are now stuck with it. In other words, don't focus what you think you are getting in the here and now, but rather focus on what you won't be getting if you don't shop wisely, if that makes any sense.

    Best of luck with your search.

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    West of Ft. Worth, TX
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    Eric has some good information there. Maybe try for the best of both worlds. It would require buying used. First look for what you want/need in a bandsaw. Then find a good deal on something that will "work" now that is at a good enough price that you can sell it later and not lose much if anything. Hard to do if you buy new. Then keep saving your pennies until you can get the one you want. My bandsaw was the hardest tool I've bought so far. I wanted a decent unit, but being my first bandsaw, I had limits on how much money I was willing to spend, not to mention limited funds. I wanted the MiniMax MM16 because of all the rave reviews and capabilities. Then a new model came out on the market and was introductory priced at the point I couldn't refuse. Only 5 or 10 were offered at this reduced price. I got one of the last ones. It's not the MM16, but I got such a great price on it that I could probably get most of that back selling it if I decide to trade up one of these days. Jim
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.
    No, I'm not an electrician. Any information I share is purely what I would do myself. If in doubt, hire an electrician!
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    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...Most likely I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, s3.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Northern Oregon
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    Tell us more about your goals and what you will be making.
    Are you a value guy like me? For me it would be possible to buy a too heavy, too big, or too powerful a bandsaw for resawing if a cheaper one would produce the same quality of cuts.

    Here's my story on picking a bandsaw.
    I had years of experience as a commercial woodworker starting out when a carbide table saw blade was expensive and exotic. Good carbide glue line rip blades eliminated lots of steps in my commercial shop. My 14" 1940's vintage
    Delta resawed a few things but blades were primitive back then.

    Now years later I got into hobby woodworking and found carbide table saw blades had dropped drastically price. I asked my blade supplier if the blade didn't cut smooth enough could I return it? Yes, so I tested a couple blades and found a good blade for a low price.
    It's kinda tough with a bandsaw to test cut quality because you need a custom(non returnable) blade made for most saws. I thought this could get expensive, but I can afford any saw and blade I want. I just didn't want to throw money away.

    I wanted to saw veneers in my hobby shop so
    I researched bandsaw blades and saws. I was inspired by Highland's woodslicer claim that with a 14'' bandsaw they got " Resawn surfaces are extraordinarily smooth, with few torn or broken fibers and nearly invisible tooth marks. Testing the blades here at the store, we've produced 9" wide veneers no thicker than 1/32", clean enough for glue-up and ready to begin sanding at 100 grit."

    I bought an 18" Rikon about 7 years ago and was disappointed. I think I got a lemon saw. I couldn't get it tuned up enough to make it worth buying a
    woodslicer or carbide blade for it, so I returned it.
    About 5 years ago I bought one of the last Grizzly 21'' G0531 5 hp with footbrake for around $1450. I got a resawking blade deal from Laguna . I think it was $50 each for 2 blades. About the same price as the quick to dull
    woodslicer. I tested both resawkings 5 years ago at purchase and was unimpressed. The resawkings were only marginally smoother than a Timberwolf. Not anywhere near what Highland says a woodslicer will do in a much cheaper saw. Still I got a good 21" saw at a good price so I was OK with that. I found by searching here at Sawmillcreek that no bandsaw and blade combination anyone had could cut as smooth as the best tablesaw blades.

    Then a few weeks ago
    I sliced a 6" wide 12/4 quilted maple slab into near perfect 1/16" veneers with the $50 resawking 7/8" wide blade. Both faces are smoother than most of my table saw blades! The sawn surface is easily ready for 100 grit RO sanding.The set up was the same as my tests 5 years ago, except I did tension the blade more. This time I tensioned the blade as much as I could by hand on the tension wheel of my Grizzly 21" saw. The saw gauge read just over 1-1/8".
    This quilted maple veneer is so smooth and uniform off the saw I didn't need to joint each face before I sawed a slice. I can glue it down with both faces only processed by the bandsaw. This saves wood and gives a better bookmatch. No planing or drum sanding of the precious quilt needed.

    So in my long quest I'm now very happy thanks to LOTS of tension.




    Last edited by Andrew Joiner; 01-26-2013 at 1:50 PM.

  9. #9
    It should depend on what kind of workload are you planning to do. 14" bandsaw with 1 HP
    motor would probably be a best shot for beginners . You wanna increase resaw capacity,
    get a riser block . Once you're set with band saw, you should also look for pretty good blades.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    10,546
    This one looks nice, although I'm not sure how you determine what is "the best" band saw for resaw applications.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SksCR...layer_embedded

    Regards, Rod.

    P.S. The last time I used a vertical resaw the drive rollers came up out of the table when you wanted to use them once you had removed the cover plate, as opposed to a more "add on" type of feeder.

  11. If you get this Felder for 1,5 to 2,0 k or k, please let me know where....

    I would go for something old and heavy and affordable and invest in a nice makeover for the machine and good blades:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1157931...PressureWheels

  12. #12
    I never did hear what your plans for resawing are, but my 04 mm16 has resawed anything I have tried, or wanted to resaw. Of course, I haven't tried building an accoustic guitar yet, but I think it will resaw 1/2 the width of the back. It is not a sawmill, but compared to any other bandsaw, it is heavy and I'm always concerned I'll over tension my blades. Don't have to worry about that on the cheap saws.

  13. #13
    Thanks for all the input. Some very good advice. The size of the boards just depends greatly on what I have but I think 10" wide would be the maximum width. I plan on resawing burls, figured wood in various thickness, and 4/4 low grade lumber into 5/16" thick boards to T&G for paneling. I can certainly go higher on the price if I feel there is a return on the investment. I picked around $1500-2k because it seems like I can get a fairly good saw for those kind of coins. Are the more expensive saws like the minimax worth the extra money? I have heard of people using 14" deltas with good results.
    I contacted MM to get a price list but so far have had no luck. Must be expensive because they don't seem to want to divulge the prices. Right now I'm not sure what to get but I'm still intrigued by the older Powermatics and Olivers. I can buy them at auctions within my price range but I'm not sure if they have accurate fences or if that would have to be added. I guess more research is in order.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    I can speak as to old saws. PM was not noted for their bandsaws. Although the 20" was a good saw it wasn't specifically a resaw. The big three were Tannewitz,Yates, and Oliver in no particular order. They were cast iron, heavy, but due to their configuration didn't have a huge footprint, Yates being the heaviest. They were and still are at the top of the food chain for all around sawing including resawing. Whether or not they are better resaws than large steel saws depends on the eye of the beholder. The best steel saws are the equal to the best of the cast iron saws. The vibration dampening of the CI makes for a smooth saw. Hard to describe until you use one. If you have the ability to haul one with a good motor and wheels there is little downside as bandsaws are pretty simple machines. You can find a good 30" saw for 2000 if you get lucky and 3000 if you don't. You will also need at least a vfd to run it and you will put your own fence on it. The dust collection will be crappy and you don't want Carter wheels unless you are sure they are not in need of repair. You sort of need to like machines and playing with them to get into the cast iron crowd though. Steel is easier to deal with. Dave

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    I think the MM16 is somewhere in the 2800 neighborhood, plus shipping. Or at least was the last time I saw the price. The price not being listed on their website must be a new thing. The MiniMax saws, and several other Italian made units, are worth it because of the strength of the saw. But you have to make your own decision on what you are willing to spend. I wanted the MM16 when I went looking for a BS based on their reputation among owners, but didn't have the change at the time to get one. MiniMax brought one of their S16 saws to a local woodworker show they were at so I could look at it. Night and day difference. I decided to save the, at that time, extra 800 bucks for the MM16. Soon after, they dropped the S16, was not made in house, and came out with the E16, an in-house built entry model . There is still night and day difference between it and the MM16, but I do like it better than the S16. I was able to get in on one of the few introductory units at a great price. Since I've not turned out to be a heavy BS user, it has worked out great for me. Maybe ask MiniMax if they know of someone that is wanting to trade up to a larger saw and has a MM16 for sale somewhere close to you. It would allow you to see and probably play with it to see if it is what you want. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...Exclusively Irish! When Irish Eyes are smiling....They're usually up to something!!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas.
    No, I'm not an electrician. Any information I share is purely what I would do myself. If in doubt, hire an electrician!
    Member of the G0691 fan club!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...Most likely I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, s3.

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