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Thread: Bandsaw Buying Advice

  1. #1

    Bandsaw Buying Advice

    I am contemplated buying a new bandsaw to round bowl blanks and cut spindle blanks from logs including green wood. I want at least a 12 height of cut and I sometimes turn pretty large bowls.

    I am thinking of one of the below and would be interested in your views or recommendations of other saws. One reason I am looking at these are bc they have roller guides which I assume are better than ceramic. Am I wrong?

    I am a hobbyist turner and it will not see a lot of use. I have a 220 outlet.

    Grizzly 0513 2hp https://www.grizzly.com/products/gri...-bandsaw/g0513 1300, shipped (ON SALE)

    I note that its fence is not the best and one like the jet is another $150

    Jet JWBS 15 - https://www.woodcraft.com/products/j...odel-jwbs-15-3, 1849 shipped but back ordered.

    I will get a Highland Woodworking green wood blade for it I think.

    Thank you in advance for the help. I have looked at the last couple of years posts along these lines.
    Last edited by David Metzman; 06-11-2021 at 3:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    274
    Hi David--

    I have that bandsaw, or at least the version of it being sold 10-12 years ago. It is serviceable. I neither recommend it nor recommend against it. I wouldn't get hung up on the fence. Many bandsaws don't cut in line with the fence, or at least don't once your blade gets some wear on it. I find it much more effective to build an auxiliary fence that you clamp to the table at the angle the cut tracks at. In fact, make 2-3 fences with different heights. Some people prefer "point fences" for resawing rather than straight fences as an alternative way to deal with tracking the cut. In addition, I don't find the scale accurate enough to set the fence according to the rule, at least not for other than rough cuts, so you're going to be setting the fence with a separate ruler anyway, hence setting a separate shopmade fence is no more bother.

    WRT roller guides, some roller guides are considered top notch, but the guide bearings on my saw are very cheap and not well sealed, and they fail with some regularity. They are a common size so replacements are easy to get; I think I paid $15 dollars for a sleeve of 10 of them, or something like that. On the other hand, cheap bearings is the reason you'd need to shop for new bearings, so questionable whether replacing cheap with cheap is the best idea; so far, that's all I've done. For roughing bowl green bowl blanks, there's a lot of sap/goo/dirt/water in play, and it's easy to get grunge built up on the roller bearings with kind of deflates their value, and it's a pain to clean them. If my primary use for a bandsaw was roughing green bowl stock, I would think about cool blocks rather than rollers because they are more robust. This is not a precision operation like resawing veneer is.

    I use the woodturner's blade and I like it, though it seems like I'm constantly buying new ones because they go dull. I try not to saw things with dirt in the bark, etc., but I don't find these blades to last very long. I don't know if there are others that would be more durable, or if it's just the nature of the beast. I keep looking at carbide blades, but the cost scares me off. Lots of folks use Lenox blades and I've been meaning to try one to compare, but have not. Suffolk Machinery has a green wood blade similar in size to the Highland woodturner's blade. I used to round bowl blanks very carefully on the bandsaw, but I have to say that since I bought an electric chainsaw, I often just bring a half log into the shop, knock the corners off with the electric chainsaw and put it on the lathe. If I do that I don't have to get out the compressed air and blow all the wet sawdust out of the bandsaw. I have a PM3520 so it can handle a blank that's meaningfully out of round/balance, I just turn the RPM down until I get the lumps off. When I was turning on previous lathes that couldn't spin as slow and were less massive, I had to spend much more time getting blanks round and balanced, so cutting them nicely on the bandsaw was more important. The point is, what you need from your bandsaw depends a little on the capability/capacity of your lathe to deal with unbalanced blanks (and the size of what you're turning compared to the capacity of your lathe).

    Food for thought.

    Dave

  3. #3
    thank you Dave. Interesting about the clamp opn guides. I will try that. Which of these saws did you have? The Grizzly or the Jet. Thanks

  4. #4
    I have this one https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop...6?item=03J7370 and it's been a great saw for me....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    274
    I have the Griz.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,610
    I have the 19" Grizzly with the foot brake. I got it over the 18BX because the Grizzly had cast iron trunnions vs light weight aluminum on the Laguna. I got the 19" because it was only a few hundred more than the 17" at the time. What I have found is having a foot brake is real nice. My old 14" saw stopped pretty quickly but this one will spin for a very long time after being shut off. Also when holding a heavy blank it's nice not having to do it with one hand while you shut the saw off. On the 14" saw I used the woodturners blade and just accepted that they dull quickly with the dirt and bark. With the 19" saw I use Lenox bimetal blades and have cut at least 5x the number of blanks and have yet to replace the first blade. The 3hp motor cuts through blanks with ease, can't comment on how well the 2hp will do.

  7. #7
    I consider blades to be as important as the saw. I also use the Lennox bimetal blades. The teeth are M42 high speed steel which is what they use on the pallet cutting blades, though with a different set to the teeth. They are not ruined by cutting through a nail. They also cut straight. Yes, you pay a bit more for them, but I can take mine to a saw shop and have the 1/2 inch by 3 tpi blades resharpened. Worth every penny.

    As for a saw, I went with the Laguna 16HD, which has a 4.5 hp Baldor motor on it. Cutting height is 16 inches, and with a 1 1/4 inch blade on it, it walks through anything I have put on it. May be beyond your budget. For cutting 12 inches high, I would want a 2 hp motor at least. The cutting height depends on what size bowls you cut. Being able to cut parallel sides on a bowl blank is a huge help, compared to the chainsawn blanks.

    I will never own another bandsaw without a foot brake.

    robo hippy

  8. #8
    What do you think of this bandsaw? 17-in, 2HP, cast iron trunnions, and brake, $1995.

    https://www.grizzly.com/products/gri...itch/g0513x2bf

  9. #9
    Thank you for the advice. Reed thanks for the info on the blade. I will look into that.

    I ended up ordering this one - https://www.woodcraft.com/products/1...sfx?sku=427252
    JWBS14-SFX 1-3/4HP 14" Steel Frame Bandsaw

    For various reasons including that it should be available this month when many other ones are on much longer back orders. The grizzly did not have the ball bearing wheel guides that I thought it did.

    I also just picked up today a Stihl MS261 chainsaw 20"

    Next - dust. I wonder it the bigger units are just not too effective and I should just get a trend air helmet? And or, I was thinking about buying a one stage dust collector - Jet - Vortex Cone Dust Collector, 2HP 1PH 230V, 2-Micron Canister Kit, Model DC-1200VX-CK1

    Any views? Thanks

  10. #10
    Well, dust collectors are another thing that comes in handy. I do have a video up about them. They are not good for picking up bowl shavings, mostly because the shavings will fill up your dust bin very quickly. They are excellent for capturing dust at the source, anything from sanding to fine shavings. Capturing dust at the source is the best way to keep it from getting in the air, and then into your lungs, and in every possible nook and cranny in your shop, and house... They do not pick up every single bit of dust, but they get most of it. Best and most efficient systems come from Oneida, and they make some with a very small footprint. You want 2 stage, which means a cyclone which separates the shavings and the chips from the dust. There are some home made ones, and some cheap versions, like a lid that goes on a trash can. It is also convenient to have a radio frequency remote starter so you don't have to point it at the machine to get the machine to turn on. I have 2. The one for the turning room stays on a clip by the lathe so it doesn't get lost in the shavings, again.... I started with a little 1 hp model that I would move from machine to machine, which worked okay. I went to a central system and ran duct work. Much better. Oneida, and some of the others will design your duct work for you. A dust mask is a help if you have poor dust collection, but you have to keep it on, and I haven't found one yet that won't fog up my glasses. Note here, part of that is because I have double lung capacity, and yes I know all of the 'full of hot air' jokes. An air scrubber is also nice. They generally hang from the ceiling, and they pull all of that micro dust that floats in the air for days, out of the air. Many to look at. I have also heard good things about Clear View dust collectors.

    robo hippy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Kensington, Maryland
    Posts
    183
    Dave,

    You got some good advice from some real experts who are also pro turners. Accordingly they were recommending bigger, more powerful saws. I have had the very model you ordered (Jet 14-SFX) for almost two years and as a hobbyist I am very happy with it. I use it pretty often and it has done everything Iíve asked of it but admittedly I am not trying to resaw large logs with it. One thing: i found the stock blade that comes with the saw to be terrible. Any one of a number of alternatives work much better. PM me if you want details.

    On dust collection I am sure Robo is right. That said, I found the Oneida models a little pricey and I went with the Jet Vortex 1.75 horsepower with 2 micron canister. Less than $700 on sale (might be higher now). If you are doing a lot of cabinet work and using a thickness planer a lot, it might not be enough, but for me it has been plenty. Certainly excellent when paired with the bandsaw or my drum sander or pulling fine dust off a piece I am sanding on the lathe.

    Finally there is a middle ground between Roboís more sophisticated set-up and wheeling the dust collector around to each tool. I have a longish hose on the dust collector with a quick connect handle at the end of it. Then I have quick connect ports attached to my tools. So all I have to do is move the hose (not the dust collector) to the tool I am using. Works well, and probably a better solution with a less powerful dust collector. Also inexpensive and simple compared to running dedicated tubes and blast gates around the shop. Just my $0.02.

  12. #12
    I guess this kind of brings up part 2 of dust collection. How big of a system you need depends on how big your shop is. A 1 hp unit is fine for a small garage, and you can run your own duct work fairly simply. Other than only use the pleated hose for hook up to machines and straight sided tubes for longer runs, you can keep it simple.

    robo hippy

  13. #13
    I use a Harbor Freight 2hp dust collector and like mentioned above: quick connect hoses. I use two blast gates at the collector and two 4" hoses (blue ones from Rockler). One shorter one for the table saw (or other 2" port machine) and the other with a 4" quick connect (also from Rockler) moves from that lathe's dust hood to quick connect 4" ports on bandsaw, planer, jointer, router table etc.

    For a 2 car garage workspace running the collector and one tool at a time, I've found it to be sufficient and cost effective.

    I would like to replace the dust bag/filter on the collector with a better micron filter but that $325 expenditure can wait for now. I'm under $400 invested in the entire system factoring the collector, hoses, connectors, and fittings. It saves me space and money not running PVC or other ducting.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,820
    Here's what I use in my small basement shop to manage the D/C hose.

    A small tree arrived in it. The Oneida Dust Cobra is just outside the shop.

    DC Hose h.jpg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,610
    I don't believe in the "one dust collector" shop. I have a portable 1hp DC that I use for tools that don't create a lot of dust. One of those tools is my 19" bandsaw.

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