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Thread: Downgrade a bandsaw?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Downgrade a bandsaw?

    Just perusing the posts here on the benchtop bandsaws. Most bandsaw threads are that you need more saws, and bigger saws.

    I have a larger LT18, and a smaller Jet 14". The Jet is nothing special but I use it a lot. However, as many of you can relate, I am pressed for space and my shop is getting more crowded than I would like.

    So wondering if I went down to a benchtop machine (like the 10" Rikon or such). It would save some shop floor space (I have a bench spot I could put it on).

    Have read the fence and miter isnt great. A consideration. And table size is smaller. Might miss the larger table. But most of my work on the smaller saw is.. smaller stuff. Odds and ends and curves and anything that I dont want to run through the resaw blade, which stays on the larger saw 95% of the time. Its not obvious to me power would be a problem unless grossly underpowered.

    Anyone want to offer opinions? (opinions about bandsaws!)

    (and my apologies if this has been covered ad nauseum... it may be here and I missed it)

  2. #2
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    If I understand correctly your plan is to replace the 14" with a 10" like the Rikon 10-305. That certainly would work for lots of small stuff and if you have or get a 1/4" blade for the LT18 you could always deal with larger stuff if needed.

    I would suggest keeping your eye out for one of the Inca 2 wheel bandsaws it would likely be perfect for you if you found one. Very high quality for a small saw. Also for small work I am kinda a fan of the ubiquitous Craftsman 12" saws that litter CL all the time. They are far from perfect but for your use a good, complete and running one can be had for a song on most CLs around the country.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  3. #3
    look at the Rikon 10-306 vs the 10-305. Appears to be an improvement.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 11-28-2018 at 8:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    look at the Rikon 10-306 vs the 10-305. Appears to be an improvement.
    Yes, I actually meant to type 306 but so used to the Rikon 10-305 being their 10" saw I didn't.

    The 10-306 has a host of differences and well worth the extra $100 in my mind, especialy for someone that isn't likely to upgrade soon since Carl is downsizing. The wheels are heavier as is the tension system, it has a much better fence, tooless guides (simialr to the new ones on their larger saws) more hp (1/2 vs 1/3), I may not have gotten them all but it is what I remember from IWF.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    3,536
    Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!
    Rules:
    1) Never, under any circumstance, downgrade.
    2) See rule #1.

    Please leave your man card at the door when you leave.

    Now that I got that off my chest, I bought a 10" craftsman on CL for the same reason you mention. I have a 17" Grizzly. I got tired of tripping over it and sold it. I don't use a bandsaw much.

  6. #6
    I went from a 12" craftsman to a LT 24" , the 24" is just to big so stuck a 1" blade on it and purchased a small LT16 , the 16" 99% of the time has a 3/16" blade on it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    Yes, I actually meant to type 306 but so used to the Rikon 10-305 being their 10" saw I didn't.

    The 10-306 has a host of differences and well worth the extra $100 in my mind, especialy for someone that isn't likely to upgrade soon since Carl is downsizing. The wheels are heavier as is the tension system, it has a much better fence, tooless guides (simialr to the new ones on their larger saws) more hp (1/2 vs 1/3), I may not have gotten them all but it is what I remember from IWF.
    Two speed
    Quick release tensioning

  8. #8
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    Thanks all for the insights

    I may not be completely crazy....

    Whew

  9. #9
    I really liked my 10 Delta Homecraft if you can find one local. They are relatively inexpensive, heavy and well built. I eventually upgraded to a 14 Walker Turner but that little guy was nice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    Earlier this year I added a Rikon 10-305 and have kept a 1/4" blade in it ever since. It is great for cutting tighter curves. I started out with a Rockwell 14" saw, then replaced that with an 18" Jet. I didn't really have room in the shop for both bigger saws so I did everything with the Jet. It is too time consuming to change blades, I mainly build banjos and other stringed instruments and would be changing blades a dozen times a day, so I just did everything with a 1/2" 3 TPI blade. Now that I have both saws I can make most of a cut on the big one, shut it off, walk over to the small one and cut the 1" radius curve and it's all done in no time, and with better results than I would get by using either blade for the whole cut. I have used the 10-305 to cut 4" maple and it's pretty slow, but mostly I just use it for cuts up to 2-1/4" deep and it does them just fine in all of the hardwoods I use. I'm not after a really fast cut, I'd rather go slow and get it just right since I'm not having to process huge amounts of wood.
    Zach

  11. #11
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    Close to moving forward with a 10-306. Will purchase extra blades with it up front.

    Any recommendations on specific blades to acquire with it? (size, type, pitch, brand)

    Any other accessories or add-ons to consider?

    I will have to decide whether to clamp it down or bolt it down, or leave it un-tethered so I can just move it around. Will of course share updates on it once it is up and going (patience! I dont move that fast on these projects...)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    For smaller blades, I've had good luck with Starrett.

    If it were me, I'd bolt it to a piece of plywood. Less tippy, but you can still move it around easily.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    I can't speak to the 306 but my 305 is quite solid without being secured for the work I do. I haven't used it to cut anything that weighed more than 10 pounds or so, and maybe with heavier boards you'd want to clamp it down. It doesn't feel at all tippy to me. I just have it sitting on top of a cabinet.
    Zach

  14. #14
    There are a lot of other tools in the shop I would give up before my 14" Delta bandsaw, including the 16" Jet with the 1" blade. I used to have a 12" Craftsman that ultimately got replaced with the 14" Delta. The 14" inch was such an improvement, I can't imagine going back to the 12" or a 10". Not so much for the size, but the 14" cut soooo much better, regardless of blade size or brand.

    If you get a smaller bandsaw, I'd recommend hanging on to the larger one for a while, to make sure you really want to part with it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    Close to moving forward with a 10-306. Will purchase extra blades with it up front.

    Any recommendations on specific blades to acquire with it? (size, type, pitch, brand)

    Any other accessories or add-ons to consider?

    I will have to decide whether to clamp it down or bolt it down, or leave it un-tethered so I can just move it around. Will of course share updates on it once it is up and going (patience! I dont move that fast on these projects...)
    Re: accessories/add-ons - I've had a 10-306 for a couple of months. When I got it, nothing in my (somewhat limited) dust collection arsenal would connect to the dust port. A Rockler 2-1/2 x 4 adapter "almost" worked, but the dust port is so close to the bottom of the saw that unless you have it sitting on the edge of a bench, there's no clearance for the 4" side of the adapter. The simple solution turned out to be a 2" x 2" flexible pipe coupling. I could force it over the dust port for a good friction fit, and cranked the band clamp on the other end down a few notches for a nice tight fit for my shop vac hose.

    The saw has no built-in light, so I'm looking for some kind of gooseneck lamp to get some light on my workpiece. If anybody has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

    Re: un-tethered or not - the base of the saw is pretty narrow, so I wouldn't want to use it without having it attached, somehow, to a more stable base. Mine is bolted to a mobile base (all my tools are mobile). Bolting to a piece of plywood would give it stability and still allow you to move it around. Clamping would certainly work too, but seems like it would be more hassle than other options.

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