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Thread: Bandsaw for small shop

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    20
    Thank you Lisa. Good to know that's how orders with SCM work. I wasn't too worried about the dealer. More worried about shipping delays because of Covid. It should be in Canada by early next week. I'll be checking back with the dealer to verify.

    Thanks Melvin. That's some great advice I plan on taking.

    I should probably have mentioned wheel sizes. Laguna LT18 is largest at 18", Grizzly G0636X is 17" and S440P is 440 mm which is roughly 17.3". So each of them should have a large enough diameter to tension a 1" resaw king blade.

  2. #17
    Along with the Italian machines or Italian styles (with Euro guides)
    Might want to look at the cheaper 20 inch models of the cheaper brands if you are wanting to consider everything.
    That size could be 500/20"+... with maybe 10 or 40mm added (these days), although you likely won't find anything as heavy as the 17" Grizzly, it might be worth consideration.
    What might well be the Achilles heel is the tensioning screw on the larger but lighter machines, which are likely much cheaper (pure guess from someone inIreland)
    I reckon you're looking at a good few lumps of coal on top of 200kg to be anywhere comparable for the best resaw conditions.

    Even after having a 20" compact far eastern machine, it can be hard to get an impression if they are all as compact.
    Not even talking about the table, but the frame around the wheels and column.
    Should be evident if looking around if you can get a picture of the wheels to compare.

    I suppose if you're also looking for another Achilles heel, its the Euro guides seem head and shoulders above the rest,
    but...Van Husky (miss his blogs) was impressed with the Rikon ones....
    I wonder if his mind changed, as I don't believe they were around that long when he had his mystery machine accumulator working.
    If that concerned about longevity, one might be wondering if the Laguna ceramics might fit a particular machine or not..

    Just saying you might as well compare like for like, and likely there is some competition from another grizz, rikon, at the least.
    And not even talking about second hand, there's likely a pristine industrial quality machine somewhere for the money...

    And then there's the savings of 3 phase, but you don't sound like you have the time for reading up on VFD's and suitable 3 phase motors which can run on 220v household supply.
    That might be of concern, if you have a weaker supply, which might not like the startup surge of a second machine starting, guessing you have a suitable breaker for this machine
    you want.
    I think you guys have bigger sub consumer fuseboards than we have for the whole property, so likely more of an issue with us far across the foam.
    I'm in a rented house and it's not worth getting an upgrade, so use machines which can be ran via VFD/inverters (hundred quid job)
    and can tailor the startup on my machine to run on a weak supply, just by adding an extra second or two on startup, as it's the startup surge is what's hard on the supply.

    There's some chance you likely could get a machine better than all for a quarter of the cost, well a third for a nicer condition one.
    Just putting it out there, should you want DC to match.
    Good luck with whichever way you choose
    All the best
    Tom

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    7,748
    There's no issue with work hardening of blades on the 17" wheels of the Grizzly, nor likely on the MM16. My friend has an identical G0636X as me (I bought mine after looking at his vs. an older model MM16 and there was no comparison). He leaves a 1" Woodmaster CT on it 24/7. It's been on there for 2+ years and has cut many hundreds of feet of wide veneer and resawing.

    To the OP, whatever saw you buy I highly recommend the Woodmaster CT for resawing and veneer slicing. It is a wood eating monster, yet the cut surface is amazingly smooth. My friend and I both use a 1" x 1.3 tpi, and run it at a measured 25 ksi.



    The G0636X does this easily. I accidently had 42 ksi on it once. It's that robust. This is the typical cut quality. You can spend more but I doubt there is a better value.



    And the G0636X weighs about 650 lbs. It's a heavy beast.

    John

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Gatineau, Québec
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by JOEL MONGEON View Post
    I thought I'd post a small update.

    So far my list has shrunk down to 3 choices. The SCM S440P/MM 16, Laguna LT18 and Grizzly G0636X.

    I've found dealers in Canada that have stock of the Laguna and SCM and I just found out that Grizzly will ship directly to Canada and their bandsaws are in stock and ready to ship.

    My top saw is the S440P. The dealer is about 2 hours from me and is also the local Canadian service center for SCM which is a bonus. They have a few new bandsaws that are on their way from the factory but they don't actually have them yet. The salesman said they should arrive on the 10th of October then go through certification before becoming available to the dealer. So if I went with my first choice I'd most likely have it by the end of October. My only hesitation is they don't actually have any in stock. Things can happen to shipments and if I bought my saw and there was a delay, who knows when I'd see it. The other issue is that of the 3 saws it has the smallest table size at 24.5 X 17.74. It is also the most expensive of the 3 saws, with tax and delivery over $7K.

    My second choice is the Laguna LT18. I like that it is also an Italian made saw like the S440P. It has more resaw capabilites and the table is bigger at 25 X 19. The height of the table is lower which I might like but most of the research I've done has said that Laguna's customer service is pretty terrible. I know nothing should go wrong with the LT18 but good customer service is piece of mind. It is also around $500 dollars cheaper than the S440P.

    My last choice is the Grizzly G0636X. I've never owned anything Grizzly and I know they are not built in Italy or NA but from what I've read, their customer service is outstanding. The G0636X is meant to compete with Italian saws, so they have most of the same options as the other 2. The table is the largest of the bunch at 25.5 X 21 and it is the heaviest at 784lbs shipped (not acutally sure assembled weight but must be pretty heavy). It is also the cheapest of the bunch at around $1500 less than the S440P (if I did my math and currency conversion right).

    All 3 have 5hp 220v motors, resaw height is between 18.5" and 16". Throat size between 17" and 15". Seeing as I don't have a bandsaw yet, I can only guess that having a larger table is important for stability. In that case the Grizzly comes out on top. But I also want something rock solid that I can use for resawing, ripping and doing joinery cuts. I plan on putting on a 1" resaw king or similar blade and leaving it like that. Geez, decisions are hard
    Joel,

    Please let me know if would like to see and touch a S400P, since you are probably living less than 30 minutes away.

    Jacques

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    199
    Hi Joel, I too put my hands on this series 440/540/640 series recently. High quality builds. You wont be disappointed in the 440.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    20
    Jacques, thank you very much for the generous offer. I think I'll take you up on that!

    I don't know what you schedule is like but I'll message you later. I'm off to Pontiac QC for some thanksgiving fun.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Gatineau, Québec
    Posts
    180
    ��

    Happy Turkey everybody��!

    PS: Thanksgiving weekend in Canada
    Last edited by Jacques Gagnon; 10-09-2021 at 7:11 PM.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    20
    Just another quick update. I still don't have a bandsaw BUT someone from Felder got in touch with me and now I've added the Felder FB 510 to my list, which I've also narrowed considerably.

    Right now it's between the SCM S440P and Felder FB 510 with Laguna LT18 distant 3rd.

    I've not been able to view a MiniMax in person, hopefully next week. Kid with a cold and dog going to emergency vet threw my week off.

    So far top of my list is FB 510 as it has largest table, I can get extension tables for it, has a bit more weight, a bit larger throat (almost 19"). The Felder rep confirmed that the FB 510 has a foot brake (documentation does not mention this at all).

    MiniMax seems to be very popular on this forum. Price is a bit less (mostly due to shipping costs between Montreal and Toronto). Resaw height is better here, table is a bit higher and motor is beefier.

    Laguna LT18 by far the cheapest, most HP, highest resaw capacity. However, from what I can tell, no Canadian service centers. Both Felder and SCM have service centers nearby (2hrs for SCM and 5-6 hrs for Felder). The table is just a tiny bit smaller than the Felder one but 2.5" larger than the MiniMax.

    Bandsaws.JPG

    I think I should also take a step back at this point and go over why I want a bandsaw. I feel like I'm still pretty new at woodworking and don't have a bandsaw yet. I started with a tracksaw and MFT3. It worked for the most part but ripping thin boards became very tedious. I picked up a sawstop JSS pro to help with that with the idea of upgrading to a cabinet saw when I had the whole garage to myself (I share it with the family bikes). Top priority for me is safety, hence the sawstop, I do this as a hobby and no way do I want to loose a digit. I understand that with blade guards and some concentration a bandsaw is considered even safer than a table saw because it cannot kickback.

    Lately I've been using more and more hand tools and am loving it. I recently resawed some wood to make a box and tried that by hand. What a literal pain! My tendonitis flared up for a few days after that. I'm looking at getting a bandsaw to do some resawing but would mostly do ripping and some joinery cuts. I have a router table attached to my wall cabinet for things like dados and I mostly use my table saw for rip cuts. The rest of my projects can be done on either my SCMS or track saw with MFT 3 or STM table. I also have my wife's scrollsaw that I've used for the odd joinery cut. It has worked but is too small of a blade to be accurate and has no fence.

    I assume a small 10"-14" bandsaw is kind of like the scrollsaw, wrong tool for the job. I assume a much larger higher end band saw with a wider blade could replace a tablesaw for a lot of the cuts I'm looking to safely make. I'd just hate to make a large investment in a Felder or MiniMax and find it really doesn't do what I thought it would.
    Last edited by JOEL MONGEON; 10-14-2021 at 11:52 PM.

  9. #24
    I don’t have direct experience with Felder or Minimax bandsaws, but have lots of experience on an older LT18. Its was a decent bandsaw, but not outstanding. I’m sure the new ones are probably a bit more refined and nicer than the late 90s model I worked with.

    I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of the 3 choices you’ve narrowed down to thus far. All 3 of the bandsaws you’re considering are nice quality machines. I would look at the differences in the fences - how easily they adjust, how stout they are, etc. Larger tables and wider throat are very nice to have. Quality and ease of adjustment of the guides becomes a big factor over the long haul. Not having had a bandsaw prior to this, you are in a position to learn from scratch and appreciate any of the styles of guides. I personally like the Laguna ceramic guides, but Euro guides are nice as well. I have an older 500mm Italian saw that had Euro guides and I recently retrofitted it with Laguna ceramic guides after having the Euro guides for 4 years or so. Easier to adjust in my book and they work just as well if not better for me. Matter of preference, really.

    The big thing after all that is getting a quality blade and learning how to properly set it, set the guides, and tension the blade.

    I can highly recommend a Lenox Woodmaster CT 1” 1.3 tpi carbide toothed blade for any non curved work like ripping, resawing, and joinery. I would think any of those 3 could properly tension it.

    Is the Felder made in Austria or elsewhere?
    Still waters run deep.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    58,781
    I think your two top choices are both worthy, so the decision comes down to money, availability and any small, unique feature that puts one over the other "for you".
    --

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

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,962
    Joel ,I am not sure that you entirely need the machines you are looking at for your intended uses. I have a Centauro CO 600 (24") bandsaw as well as a 14 Delta in my shop. What you just posted for use could be covered with the Delta. I use my Centauro as a material breakdown machine. Everything from cutting logs into lumber ,Resawing boards and lots of ripping to rough width. It lives with a wide blade permanently mounted on it. The Delta does all the smaller scale and finer work ,but even without a riser block it can Resaw 6'' high. My Delta runs with a 3/8'' x 4tpi blade pretty well all the time. (mostly because I bouught a coil 538' long off the 'bay') . The newer SCM saws are no longer made by Centauro so I have no idea what they are or how they would compare to the older ones. No experience with Laguna or Felder bandsaws either. I do own other machines by each of these manufacturers and would say quality is very good either way.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,717
    A bandsaw is very handy tool to have. Most likely you'll find yourself doing more than you realize with it. From what I read here there's two types of people, those who have two and those who only have one. I fall into the "only have one" group. I did have a 14" cast iron saw along with my 19" but I found that the larger table and the power overcame the resistance to swap blades so I rarely used the 14" saw and sold it. Bandsaws are mostly pretty safe however you should still be very cautious. Small pieces of wood can easy do unexpected things if the blade catches the wood and spins it vs cutting it. I bought mine for cutting blanks for turning on the lathe but keep finding new uses. The latest is doing inlays on my CNC router. I cut the inlay on a thick board 1/16" deep and then use the bandsaw to slice it like you would a veneer. It sounds like you are very close to picking up a "forever" tool.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    58,781
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    Joel ,I am not sure that you entirely need the machines you are looking at for your intended uses. I have a Centauro CO 600 (24") bandsaw as well as a 14 Delta in my shop. What you just posted for use could be covered with the Delta. I use my Centauro as a material breakdown machine. Everything from cutting logs into lumber ,Resawing boards and lots of ripping to rough width. It lives with a wide blade permanently mounted on it. The Delta does all the smaller scale and finer work ,but even without a riser block it can Resaw 6'' high. My Delta runs with a 3/8'' x 4tpi blade pretty well all the time. (mostly because I bouught a coil 538' long off the 'bay') . The newer SCM saws are no longer made by Centauro so I have no idea what they are or how they would compare to the older ones. No experience with Laguna or Felder bandsaws either. I do own other machines by each of these manufacturers and would say quality is very good either way.
    I believe the current SCM/Minimax bandsaws are made by ACM now. As to "need"...beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a big machine offers more opportunity over time without rebuying if funds are available up front.
    --

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

  14. #29
    For MANY years, I was (as many here know) 100% team "Centauro-or-Nothing". And I still think there is Centauro, then the rest. This being said, I have sort of come to the realization that most any big, heavy bandsaw will handle 99% of the needs for us weekend warriors. Sure, we can debate the merits of this or that feature but it's just a vertical saw with two moving parts. I've seen enough customers with little Hammer bandsaws (which I would have totally laughed at back in the day) that do awesome stuff and love their machines that it has forced me to the realization that as long as you are getting the cutting capacities you want and can tension the blade you need, the rest is subjective.... *but would still totally drive a state away to get up a used MM if I needed one*

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,962
    I only said what I said because the OP stated his intended use was as a " one machine for all bandsaw tasks " thing. As well as having limited space available in his shop. In my mind consideration should be given to machines that are more all purpose rather than the Resaw specific machines being examined now. I used to own a Steel City 18'' saw that was about the best size/compromise for a one machine shop that I have used. I think 17-20 wheels are the sweet spot for a one bandsaw shop. I would also consider how easy blade changes will be on any machine I was considering. I am thankful that I did not have the funds to buy my forever machines upfront ,the journey of buying and selling /using helped define exactly what I really needed and ultimately ended up with. To the OP ,good luck whatever you decide .

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