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Thread: Good starter bandsaw

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,236
    Casey, re-saw capacity and re-saw capability are not necessarily the same thing. The typical 14" saw can re-saw material but will not will not likely provide good results on taller material, even though it can fit between the guides and the table. That kind of re-sawing requires significant blade tension, a wider and more stable blade and a stiffer structure with more power to handle both. So if you're truly a "buy once" person, shoot bigger, even though it's a "first" saw and you might not be doing the heavier work with it at first. There is a practical limit, however. While you can run narrow blades on many bigger saws, it's not always optimal. Why? Because a large percentage of the larger saws use flat, rather than crowned, tires. That's great for wider blades because you actually hang the teeth off the edge of the tires. That's not possible with narrow blades, so you have to change the tracking to run them more centered and without the crown, the set suffers for it sooner. That's why you often see folks with a big-honkin' saw for re-saw work and a smaller saw for scrolling/general utility. Now I happen to run a 16" saw (2004 era MiniMax MM16) as a single tool. I don't use narrow blades very much for what I do, so the occasional reconfiguration to support them is no big deal. Most of the time, I run a 3/8' or 1/2" blade for "everything" on that machine.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    475
    I have the 14BX. I am happy with it. However I think the ceramic blade guides on it are not the best for tight scroll work. You'd probably want to get a carter stabilizer or something like that if you did a lot of tight curves. The ceramic guides are great for straight cuts though, and less fiddly than bearing guides. The 18bx is just a scaled up 14bx, so if you like the 14bx and have the space and budget go for it.

    With a 14" wheel you are limited on blade selection for resawing as most of the dedicated resaw blades are too thick to run without breakage on a 14" wheel. Your best options will be a Woodslicer/Kerfmaster (spring steel, cuts great but short life) or a Laguna Resaw King (Carbide) which has a thinner band than other carbide blades - but I've had one of these break on my saw after about two months of use. Could be a defective blade, and Laguna has replaced it for me. We'll see how the replacement lasts. Anyways getting the 18" version should eliminate that issue and you can use a wide variety of carbide blades assuming that saw can tension them.

    It seems that most people who do a lot of curve cutting and a lot of resawing end up with two saws.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,152
    I currently have a centauro CO 600 (24'') and a Delta 14'' with a riser block. I used to own a Steel City 18'' saw. I sold that one when I got the Centauro, I wish I would have kept it and sold the Delta. I agree with Rod"s post earlier that the sweet spot for bandsaws is the 17''-19'' machines. Most have crowned wheels so they work great with 3/8'' size range blades as well as have the ability to resaw well with blades in the 3/4'' width range. Big lower tables for work support and options like blade brakes,what's not to like. That is where I would end up with a shop with only one saw.

  4. #19
    As someone who wanted a bandsaw a few years ago I got the Powermatic 14 inch bandsaw that had the riser that gave me a 12 inch resew capability. I was not happy with it being the extra 6 inches I got, although nice, the motor was lacking in power. I ended up selling it on Craigslist and got the Laguna 18 with 16 inches of resew capability. Should have gotten it in the first place. An 18 will let you grow and have the power to cut through hard woods should you need to resew boards or logs. Yet you still have the ability to slap a 1/4 inch blade and do curve work to small pieces should you desire. Of course now I want a small 10 inch table top for that very reason only for the convinence of not having to switch blades. But I am making it work. I have learned you should always get what you really want first instead of working up to it. It is always cheaper in the long run.

  5. #20
    I have an 18" Rikon.
    Most of the time, I have a 1/4" blade for curves on it.
    The "Carter stabilizer' is fantastic when using the 1/4" blade.

    It can also use 1/2 or 3/4 inch blades when the need arises.

    I would also recommend an 18 inch bandsaw . Second choice is one of the more powerful 14" bandsaws .

    Definitely would get a saw that can accept the "Carter stabilizer". That thing is wonderful..

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    1,969
    I owned a Laguna 14SUV for a number of years. Nice sized motor, but the Driftmaster fence was terrible. My understanding is that they redesigned it. Laguna often gets poor grades for customer support. That may have improved since Woodcraft started selling them, and they probably don't want to anger such a large customer, but not really sure that's the case.

    That being said, I upgraded for a far larger saw and am much happier. The 14SUV was a decent saw, but resawing left much to be desired, as you would expect. Wasn't impossible, but I wouldn't attempt it with very wide boards.

    Personally, I'd start with a larger saw than a 14". You won't regret it.
    I dream of a better tomorrow - where chickens can cross roads and not have their motives questioned

    Two hunters are hunting in the forest. One suddenly clutches his chest in pain and collapses. The other hunter calls 911 on his cellphone. "What is the emergency?" "Operator, my friend just collapsed on the ground. I think he is dead! What must I do?" "OK, first of all, make sure he is really dead." "OK thenÖ" BANG! "Now what?"

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    239
    I have the Laguna 14 SE. It is excellent at resawing and does pretty much anything I need it to do. When I first got it, I thought it sucked...but with blade selection and the right set up it now works great.
    I wouldn't mind a bigger saw...but I've seen guys resaw like pros on a 14" delta which isn't even in the same class as the 14 SE.
    Most often it is set up and blade selection. You need to figure out what you think you want to do with your bandsaw, but most are capable (with the right set up).

    I think a 16" saw would be my perfect all around saw for what I do - mostly resawing. I would just like a bit more capacity and a brake.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    507
    If you're going to use a bandsaw mostly for curves and only sometimes for resawing, I would say you can save yourself some money by going with a 14" like the Rikon 10-326. I have it's predecessor; a 10-325 Deluxe. The 326 sells for about $1,000 on sale. Equipped with the Carter Stabilizer and a 1/4" or narrower blade (like another said), I'm sure that it will cut most curves well (not curves inside a piece though, like a jigsaw will). I resaw with mine much more than I used to. I found that blade/guides/tension setup were the most important to give good resaw results. This will be true regardless of bandsaw size. I also replaced the original tires with urethane tires and that improved my resaw results also.

    Having said all of that, if you have the money for an 18" I'd buy an 18". Resaw power is much better and i would imagine you can still do curves with narrower blades. However, I believe most 18" saws are 220V so you will need a 220V line in your shop.

    As for a fence, I would guess the fence with the saw would need to be upgraded. For my 14" I just bought a Carter Magfence. I can set it wherever i want on the table and just lock it down. If I ever need to buy a different one, I think I'd make one with some Magswitches and add a few conveniences.

  9. #24
    Take a look at the motor HP ratings.

    I've got an older 14" Delta that came with a 3/4 HP motor. Even with a new resaw blade, it didn't have the muscle for any kind of serious resawing.

    I recently upgraded it with a 1-1/2 HP motor from Grizzly. It's now a beast

    T

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Posts
    163
    I figured an 18" would be significantly more than a 14". Looks like the 18/BX is pretty much the same cost wise as the LT14SUV. I'll have to do some looking and see what all the 14 gets versus the 18. I know I'd prefer bigger, just didn't think it would be in the same ballpark. The 14" has to have some upgrades that the 18" won't? Thanks for all the inputs!

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    502
    Don't forget to look at weight. Often a smaller but more expensive saw will be made with more steel. Possibly a bigger thicker table and a stronger spine. Or it could be simply one is made in Taiwan while the other is made in Italy.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    918
    If you never resew anything you're still going to love having a bandsaw.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    houston tx
    Posts
    633
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Casey, don't buy a starter band saw for 2 reasons

    1) Many starter band saws are what I refer to as "band saw shaped objects". They look like a band saw, they just don't work like a band saw. Many will make you frustrated with band saws, and you'll have to replace them.

    2) in my opinion somewhere around 17" is the size of saw that will resaw, break down rough timber, make veneers and use a 1/4" blade for more intricate cuts. They also have tables which are a bit lower so that they are more comfortable for larger work pieces. In addition they can do a better job of adequately tensioning blades.

    regards, Rod.
    I liked Rods bandsaw shaped objects. Casey, you can pick up a used Delta reasonable. It is the saw all others should be judged by. blades readily available anywhere, cuts great, lots of parts around and almost bulletproof.

    I recently changed my 2 delta's at work into 3 Rikons because I wanted better dust collection. BIG mistake. They are not near the saw the Delta is.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Posts
    163
    Went with the Laguna 18bx. Iím in the buy once, cry once crowd versus the buy and cry every time I use it. Donít know when it gets here though. I think after the new year, which is fine by me. Gives me a chance to find a spot for it in the garage.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    502
    That saw was at the top of my list and if not for a 10% off coupon from Grizzly would have won out. I think you are going to cry a little until you use it and ask yourself what took so long getting one.

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