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Thread: Bandsaw for cutting bowl blanks?

  1. #1

    Bandsaw for cutting bowl blanks?

    I'm in the market for a bandsaw to be used primarily for bowl blanks, and other turning endeavors. my budget is for about $1400 or less (preferably less).

    I've looked at the Grizzly 17" G0513x2 and also at the 14" Laguna or Rikon. (Craigslist has not proved too fruitful for this item in Maine)

    Of those 3 options, is the 17" going to help a lot more than a 14" (both have resaw of 12" - 13")

    any recommendations? tips? direction?

    thanks in advance!
    Jed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coshocton Ohio
    Posts
    155
    Jed, I believe any of the band saws you have mentioned would be fine for cutting bowl blanks.
    I use a Powermatic 14" with riser. It is only rated at 1/3/4 hp, but power has never been an issue.
    What I would recommend is using a high quality blade especially made for cutting bowl blanks.
    I have been using the woodturners blade from Highland Woodworking. It has done an excellent job for me. I believe it has 3 tpi and is 3/16" wide. What I like is that it is much thicker than other blades and won't break near as easily.
    Just my thoughts.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the input! I will definitely look into that blade when I finally make a decision on saw!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    442
    Jet also sells a 14" bandsaw for the same price as the Laguna and Rikon. I don't care for the Grizzly G0513 or anniversary model but I do like the G0513X2. The improved features, to me, are worth it. The problem is that I always tell myself to spend the extra $400 and step up to the G0514X figuring that I would never out grow it. I figure the 3hp motor, larger diameter wheels, and the longer blade would be worth it. But I have a habit of going a little overboard.

    I know that Rockler in Salem usually has the Laguna 14/twelve, the Rikon 10-324, and Jet 14SFX in stock (tax free and no shipping charges). I'm not close enough to easily go there to see if they have then displayed on the floor or just in stock. If you have the ability to pick one up at the store and it's not too far away I would call and see if they do have them on display so you can see the differences in person and make a choice. Rockler always seams to have a 10% off sale one one of the 3 brands (it looks like Laguna this month). The Grizzly means ordering it.

    I find myself liking the Laguna. I kind of like the BX14 but want it in 220v which, even on sale, is about $300 less than the G0514X. Every so often Grizzly has a 24 hour sale or a 10% off coupon so I've been holding off. So it really comes down to the 14/twelve (which I think would be) which is available a couple hours south of me or go for the Grizzly.

  5. #5
    Has anyone with ball bearing guides experienced problems with wetness and sap damaging them? I've only ever used my 1412 to cut blanks and have always imagined that its ceramic guides have been beneficial in that aspect, but it might just be my imagination!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Troy, WI
    Posts
    55
    I have an 18-inch RIkon with roller bearing guides that I use almost exclusively for woodturning prep. I have had to put a new set of lower bearings in it because they locked up. I suspect on a long blank preparation session they get warm and as they cool they suck moisture in past the seal. Since then I have tried to be better about blowing the shavings out of the guide area under the table. Bearings from VBX aren't that expensive.

    For the most part I have really been happy with the Rikon and I also am a fan of the 3/8x3TPI Woodturners Blade from Highland Woodworking. The only downside is I order often enough to get their periodic catalog which I drool over.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M Peters View Post
    Has anyone with ball bearing guides experienced problems with wetness and sap damaging them? I've only ever used my 1412 to cut blanks and have always imagined that its ceramic guides have been beneficial in that aspect, but it might just be my imagination!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    lufkin tx
    Posts
    2,036
    Good luck here--20 years--with cheap ball bearings. You guys beware of advertised cutting depths, a good saw for this use require a heavy frame as well as a big motor and wheels.

  8. #8
    I have the Grizzly 17" and use the Highland Hardware woodturners blade. I've been very pleased with no problems for 3 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    470
    If you really won't use the bandsaw for resawing, I think a much less expensive bandsaw would work very well for bowl blanks; maybe a benchtop size. Since you will only be using a narrow blade for cutting bowl blanks anyway, almost any 10" bench top saw should work. They, of course, are much cheaper, probably $250 - $400. I think Rikon sells one that goes on sale for between $200 and $300. Jet also sells one that, I think, is less expensive than that even. What you buy will mostly depend on what you believe you may use it for in the future. If you plan to use if for resawing sometimes, then a 14" Rikon 326 isn't a bad choice. I think they go on sale for under $1,000. I own the predecessor to this model and it works well for the occasional resawing I do. Plus, it certainly will handle your bowl blank cutting needs with the right blade.

  10. #10
    If you are cutting slabs, especially for production work, then you want some thing heavy duty. For me that would be a saw that cuts 16 inches or so high, depending on how big you want to go. For most this would mean using a chainsaw to cut the slabs then rounding them out on a smaller bandsaw. Check out my video 'Chainsaw Chopsaw'. Biggest problem with cutting circles is having a flat surface on the slab/blank. I lost more than one blade from 'rocking'..... For a 16 inch cutting height, 2 hp is kind of minimal, but will get the job done, slowly. The other option would be a Woodmizer... For cutting circles, then you would want some thing with at least 6 inches of cutting height, with 8 to 12 height in consideration too. For cutting 12 inches high, 1 hp is a bit minimal, but will get the job done. As for blades, for circles, 1/2 inch, 3 tpi Lennox Diemaster bimetal blades. Cut longer and straighter than any others I have found.

    robo hippy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    442
    I do like most. I use a chainsaw to cut the tree into blanks that I then turn the blank into a round circle on my bandsaw. I have several round disks made out of 1/4 lauan plywood that I screw to the bottom of the blank in a spot that will not be a part of the bowl to help prevent rocking. In the center of the disks is a 1/4" hole that fits into an adjustable jig that clamps to my bandsaw. If you have a small lathe I think a bandsaw with 6" resaw capacity would work but personally, unless you just can't afford it, I would stick with 12".

    My good bandsaw at a different location is too large and heavy to get into my basement so I have a 14" Harbor Freight that was given to me. It's a copy of a Delta. I think a good quality version of that bandsaw would be enough for most turners but mine is a poor example. I replaced the 3/4hp motor with a spare 2hp motor I had but all that does is show the next weak spot, the pulleys. Even with good belts they slip too easily no matter what the tension. The guides are difficult to adjust and have stay where you set them. The saw may have been free but I have well over $200 into it (riser block, spring, etc.) and could put another $200+ into it and I don't see it ever working very well. My point is do it right the first time.

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