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Thread: Upgrade Old Jet Bandsaw or Buy New

  1. #1

    Upgrade Old Jet Bandsaw or Buy New

    I have prob. an 'original edition' circa 1990's Jet JWBS-14 bandsaw. I need new bearings after loosing one of the ceramic blocks I'm presently using. I was thinking of upgrading to a Carter guide setup (even the easy tension-er would be great to have too), but boy, the cost is more than the saw's worth. Should I just wait and save for something new or upgrade this old bandsaw?
    Thanks for any opinions

  2. #2
    That’s a tough call. Do you have room for two bandsaws? If so then find cheaper guides than Carter’s to put on the 14” bandsaw.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Glanton View Post
    I have prob. an 'original edition' circa 1990's Jet JWBS-14 bandsaw. the easy tension-er would be great to have too), but boy, the cost is more than the saw's worth. Should I just wait and save for something new or upgrade this old bandsaw?
    Thanks for any opinions
    Over at NC Woodworker there is a current thread on a shop made quick tensioner

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    The saw itself is a reasonably good saw. If the size/capacity meets your needs, doing the upgrades can be worth the investment. You also need to make your comparison of upgrade cost relative to what a new machine will cost, not only what you think what you have is worth as-is. The delta between them is the important number. And even if the right answer for your shop and activities is a bigger, beefier saw, space allowing, having a smaller bandsaw hanging out can still be an asset.
    --

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

  5. #5
    Thank so much guys, delayed response due to prob. with logging in. The size and capacity are good to me, I have the ext. riser. So I guess I'll go ahead and upgrade. Thanks again for the help!

  6. #6
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    I wonder if you could get guides from Grizzly for less $$ than Carter. A lot of Asian machinery parts are interchangeable. Carter is first class stuff but they charge accordingly. You say you lost a ceramic guide block. Could you make another guide block? People have used blocks cut from an oily wood, wood soaked in oil, I used some solid surface material for guide blocks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Roller guides from Highland Hardware are a good alternative. Easy to adjust, reliable and cost saving.

  8. #8
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    FWIW, in a seminar, Michael Fortune demonstrated cut-smoothness issues with roller guides as tiny amiunts of sawdust inevitably get into the bearings. He expressed a preference for low-friction guide blocks.

    That's beyond my level of sensitivity, but it encouraged my continued use of less expensive Cool Blocks.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Cannon View Post
    FWIW, in a seminar, Michael Fortune demonstrated cut-smoothness issues with roller guides as tiny amiunts of sawdust inevitably get into the bearings. He expressed a preference for low-friction guide blocks.

    That's beyond my level of sensitivity, but it encouraged my continued use of less expensive Cool Blocks.
    Thanks to everyone, but I decided to upgrade to the Carter guides. And I splurged for a De tensioner as well lol. I would’ve loved to have bought a new Harvey bandsaw but $2700 is a fair amount to change

  10. #10
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    It sounds like you've made a good choice. I went through the same thing recently and the price of new bandsaws was shocking. I ended up purchasing a used 24" mm24/MiniMax S600P from someone on this forum. It took some time but definitely ended up with a great deal and a nice bandsaw.

    There was mention of using wood for guides. I just thought I'd mention that Lignum Vitae wood is quite well known for use as bearing material. They once used it for submarine and ship driveshaft bearings. I've never tried it for bandsaw guides but it should make good guides.

  11. #11
    Thanks Eric. I really wanted to go with bearings after my experience w. ceramic blocks. Would've loved a new Harvey bs, I've seen some reviews comparing it to the mighty Laguna and they preferred Harveys bearings to Laguna's ceramic guides...so that also was a factor. Unfort., like everything else, I have to wait 6-8wks! lol

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