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Thread: Who has heard of an Ascom Bandsaw?

  1. #1

    Who has heard of an Ascom Bandsaw?

    I'm new to the forum and am interested in hearing anyone's opinion or experience with an Ascom Bandsaw. There's one available in Portland, OR, and from what I can tell, it looks like a solid machine although there is almost no info at all available on the internet about these saws. From what I have been able to research, Ascom may have been a brand name manufactured by Meber, made in Italy. This particular unit in Portland is listed as having 36" x 2" wheels, stands 8'10" tall, 7.5hp three-phase motor. It appears to be a direct drive. It's not ancient, but it's definitely not new. My guess is 1990's. I would also guess that the wheels are actually 900mm, as that is how most Italian saws are made. Re-saw of 20.75" and throat of 34.75".

    I'm interested in this saw as a re-saw and general large-format tool for boat building.

    Thanks for any leads or insight into this particular brand and confirmation (or correction) if I'm off-base about the Meber identity.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    This one looks close to me. But the bottom of the top wheel guard is sloped. Yours is hidden behind a lamp.
    Bill D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    Max, im interested. I love trying to find out the quality and history of these obscure brands. I actually have a jointer that is a complete mystery to me. Its italian, and thats all i have. My final guess was a Griggio. However, i found a listing in Germany for your Ascom saw. This particular listing has the Ascom sticker on the front of the upper wheel door, but generally the same machine. The machine tag from that listing does indicate it is an Italian maker and from 1992. Looks like you are two for two on the vintage and origins. Assuming the price is lower, because its 3 phase, obscure manufacturer, and its a large saw. I wouldnt hesistate to jump on that machine if its priced right. I saw one 8ish months ago that could have been the same make. Sold at an auction 2 hours north for like $500-600. Some folks would pass on a machine like this because they have never heard of Ascom etc. and they worry about parts.

  4. #4
    Thanks, Bill. Yes, this image you found seems to confirm the original manufacturer as Agazzani, though I haven't been able to find any other info about this connection to Agazzani. I have read numerous threads here on Sawmill Creek as well as other forums about historical connections between Laguna and Meber--and perhaps I'm mis-remembering--but I thought Agazzani was also mixed in there. I haven't yet called Eagle Tools, which I believe imported Agazzani at some point (not now). I figured I'd start my search here.

    Attached is the other photo--a back view--I have available of the saw I am interested in learning about.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ouray Colorado
    It looks like a Aggazani. I have a newer 900 set up as a dedicated resaw. For many years Aggazani made bandsaws for Panhans in Germany. Panhans rebadged them and added their own guide system that is a lot better than the standard euro guides. When Aggazani went bankrupt the new Beck - Panhans picked them up and continues to make them.

    My big gripe on this saw is the guard - guide assembly. At some point they cost engineered this using cheap plastic gears and a flimsy handwheel. It is a bear to move up and down and does not stay in alignment. Almost a 2 person job to move it. Possibly the older saw might be better in this respect. I tried to use this as a all around saw at first but it is a bear to change blades and adjust guides. The little German Hema in the picture by contrast has a wonderful easy to adjust guide system by handwheel and chain drive. It has the better Panhans guides.
    It is a decent small scale resaw though. It throws a lot of dust when resawing. The larger Aggazani resaw machines have a dust port at the top and that probably helps. Mine has 2 dust ports. One below the lower guides and one at the bottom out the back.
    Last edited by Joe Calhoon; 05-14-2021 at 6:53 AM.

  6. #6
    costruzione-forcola-12a.jpgcostruzione-forcola-06a.jpgcostruzione-forcola-12a.jpgcostruzione-forcola-06a.jpgThanks for the shared interest, Patrick and Joe.

    Joe, I see what you're saying about the guard - guide assembly. I was struck by the plastic wheels on an otherwise very rugged looking machine. I don't know about the gears from that era. Sadly, the machine in question is not a screaming deal as the one Patrick mentions, but if it's a really great machine with a nameplate that throws people off, it could be the right thing for me. I was originally inspired by work in Venice making the rowlocks that are used on Gondolas--beautiful pieces of walnut that allow the gondolier scull the boat along. The craftsmen in this photo appear to be using the same type saw. Sorry for the double photo post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ouray Colorado
    thanks for the pictures. I noticed they have a dust hood at the edge of the table. Next time I resaw I will try that as it seems like that’s where the dust ends up when resawing. It’s the only machine I have that I wear a mask when using.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Max Morange View Post
    I have read numerous threads here on Sawmill Creek as well as other forums about historical connections between Laguna and Meber--and perhaps I'm mis-remembering--but I thought Agazzani was also mixed in there. I haven't yet called Eagle Tools, which I believe imported Agazzani at some point (not now). I figured I'd start my search here.
    So, LT did re-brand some 400mm Mebers as did we (long-defunct Minimax USA) for a period of time in the 90’s and early 2000’s but Agazzani was never part of that mix. To the OP, I doubt anyone will be able to tell you much about that machine. Prior to the 90’s, Italian bandsaws were handled by a patchwork of US dealers who would pop up, then disappear after a few years. When I was with SCM Group, we would get calls on a pretty regular basis from customers who picked up a machine like yours at auction. “What can you tell me about it?/Can I get parts?/etc.”. There is nothing to tell them. There simply weren’t any records for machines of this vintage. The whole Italian bandsaw scene has always been rather incestuous and confusing, with manufactuers OEM’ing for others and nobody really seems to want to fess up to that, LOL.

    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Los Angeles
    Max, I checked out the ad for the bandsaw. Looks like a fairly good price for a machine of that size and quality. Of course I don't know what the condition is like.

    I had a 20" Italian bandsaw that looked like its little brother that ran beautifully - but I never used it. The guides had cheap plastic components that had worn out and I never got around to replacing them. I sold it to someone who is better mechanically than I am.
    But if you have the space for and a use for this machine it looks pretty good to me!

  10. #10
    Thanks Mark, Erik, and all others who posted. I'd like not to be just another guy calling up machine dealers and asking for their help without any actual knowledge on my end. I appreciate the advice.

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