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Thread: Bandsaw for small shop

  1. #31
    100% agree with Mike ^^^: If someone wants “just one bandsaw to do it all”, then I would get something in the 16”-18” range (your choice of mfr), ideally with FLAT WHEELS. Most of these will have around 12” resaw height and do most anything the average ww’er needs. Put a 1/2” Timberwolf on there go to town. When I was doing the trade show circuit back in the Italian days, the two blades I always demo’ed with were a 1.0” Lenox Tri-Master (the Woodmaster CT was not known then, otherwise I would have gone with it) and a 1/2” Timberwolf skip-tooth blade.

    However, if your work is very bandsaw-centric, then you really should own two bandsaws. Any little 14-incher (with a 1/4” blade), then a heavy duty machine with a 3/4” or 1.0” blade. The heavy duty saws “could” be made to work with a 3/8” or 1/4” blade but any time I had to re-fit one for a blade like that, was always like, “Man, wish I had a saw just for this”.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    2,827
    So I did "everything" bandsaw related on a 14" Delta with a riser block for most of the last 50 years. And it worked. Resaw up to the limits of the saw (~13" IIRC) plus every other bandsaw task imaginable, including cutting bowl blanks in green wood to shape. I did burn out the motor when I was young and foolish and popped a much bigger (2 hp) motor in in its place. I just replaced the tires recently and long ago I changed the guides to carter bearings. I managed to bend the upper wheel adjusting plate (a cast iron replacement for the pot metal part was available on ebay-- a big upgrade) and I stripped the tension adjuster rod. Got an aftermarket replacement with a handwheel that is a dream to use after the miniature Delta original part.

    Last year I had the opportunity to acquire a Centauro-made MM20 and have to say I'm in love all over again. Resawing has become a breeze rather than a somewhat fraught and tedious chore. Once again my skills and abilities are limiting, not the saw's. Love the power! Really happy to have it in the shop. It's not perfect, changing blades is a real PITA due in large part to the "driftmaster" fence it came with that needs to be completely removed to open the doors far enough to change the blade. It came with a big carbide blade and I haven't changed it out yet, though the cut is more ragged than I think the saw is capable of (the prior owner told me it needed replacing when I bough the saw)

    I'm keeping the Delta as well with skinny blades on it for any curved work or smaller work. Blade changes on it are a 2 minute task, so pretty easy.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    7,634
    Blog Entries
    1
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 10-16-2021 at 12:49 PM.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    20
    Great replies everyone, I appreciate the discussion. Seeing as I am in a single car garage I can't see myself becoming a 2 bandsaw kind of woodworker. I've been getting by with a doing curves using my scrollsaw and or jigsaw to create templates then using the router table to cut the final pieces. My primary use for bandsaw would be more of tablesaw replacement.

    I see your point Mike about a smaller delta bandsaw covering all the tasks. From what I've been reading it is more likely to drift and not make as straight cuts because they can't be tensioned enough. You mentioned in another post that you'd recommend a a saw with 17-20" wheels. All 3 of the saws I'm looking at fall in this category. So I'm assuming one of these would be what you consider "one machine for all bandsaw tasks". How would a 14" delta fit into that scenario? Aside from getting a lot taller, the footprint between a 14" and say a 19" isn't that much of a difference. Maybe 3" more when you consider a stand or cabinet that a 14" will sit on. I just went out to measure the footprint of my wife's scrollsaw I bought her. It is roughly 25" X 33" which is roughly the size of a large 18" bandsaw but the bandsaw will see a whole lot more use.

    While I decide and wait for my saw to show up I'm going to be making more room by getting rid of the scrollsaw and Dewalt planer tables/stands and making a cabinet that will fit both tools. I'll just slide them out and clamp them to a benchtop when I want to use them.

    What is really making me lean towards the Felder are the 6" X 12" table extensions that quickly attach to any of the 3 sides. I tapped up a rough approximation of the Felder's table size of the tablesaw I currently have. From the front to the blade is about the same distance as a tablesaw but I like that I can quickly put an extension as infeed or outfeed to make much safer cuts. They also have a much longer extension table that I could always pick up later on. I know I can always make my own table extensions but I'd rather be working that fiddling with how to attach it and level it. It reminds me of the MFT 3 I got. I bought the extension table for that and love how easily it can be attached to any side and is perfectly level. I use it maybe 50% of the time depending on what I'm doing.
    20211016_140831.jpg

    I think I'm putting way too much thought into this

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,980
    I agree.

    May I suggest you store your table saw a while. You may find you will need it.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,962
    Joel I do not know what exactly you intend to make/do in your shop. I also have never attempted to replace a table saw with a bandsaw. So with those two observations I would think that a bandsaw would/could work quite well if you worked exclusively with solid wood most of the time. I have read of quite a few guys who do this and use a tracksaw for sheet goods if and when needed. When I read your first post I was thinking bandsaw in addition to your table saw hence the Delta suggestion. If you are thinking of a" one bandsaw replace the table saw" then definitely the bigger machines are where you would have the most versatility. The Felder/Minimax saws that you were talking about are in the cry once/enjoy forever level of machines. The delta level machines work very well for what they were designed for, essentially running a 1/4''-3/8'' band width. Where things go wrong is when guys put a 3/4'' band on them and try to tension it. This usually happens after a riser block is installed. Next the full leap down the rabbit hole , stronger tension springs, reinforced upper wheel hinge ,bigger motor all trying to make a machine do something it was not designed for . Resawing wood has divided the larger bandsaw world into two main types of saws . General do everything types like Grizzly 513-514 saws or Laguna 18 BX. Or the more Resaw specific saws like Minimax MM16,MM20 etc. The main differences are the Resaw height of a saw and the beefiness of said saws. Grizzly's Go 636 is a lot heavier than there 513 models. Horsepower shows up as well ,when you start seeing 4-5h.p. motors these saws are usually more Resaw designed. A lot of the Resaw specific saws also have a lower table height which may or may not affect your uses. Hopefully some of this information helps you in some way.

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