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Thread: Delta X5 Bandsaw throughts?

  1. #1
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    Delta X5 Bandsaw throughts?

    There is a X5 available locally for about $400. I don't really know a lot about it yet, but am thinking about checking it out this afternoon. Comes with the basic fence and has the riser block installed. Seems to be in good shape. Were these good saws? I'm a machinist by trade, so I'm not too worried about parts availability (I can make them if they are not available) and am more interested in just getting a decent saw for luthier work and general furniture making. Resawing 6 inch maple would be the toughest task it would get once or twice a year.

  2. #2
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    I've got an 80s version of the same saw. Mine is nice, but I only paid $300 for it. $400 is a bit pricey, but not unreasonable.

    I would NOT expect much from resawing from these saws. I had a riser block mounted in mine, and it's pretty terrible, so I took it back out again when I bought a larger bandsaw for resawing. The issue is that fundamentally this design cannot tension enough to do the resawing for anything more than a 4-5" piece. Even if it did have the tension, these saws usually come with smaller motors, so the blade starts to slip and slow down.

    If you're in the 5-6" resaw ballpark, then you'll have better results running it through a table saw, and then flipping it around again, so that the two 3" cuts resaw to about 5-6". With the riser block I was able to do a little resawing of PVC trim and pine, but I would expect it to absolutely stall out on maple or oak or other hardwoods. And this is before you deal with the drift from the 3/4" blade that's about the limit of what that bandsaw can tension.

    For scroll work, or other light duty 14" band saws are great. For resaw not so much, though you can do it in a pinch, much the same way you can use a chisel as a screwdriver.

  3. #3
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    Prices seem a bit crazy for woodworking equipment in MD right now. That X5 was the cheapest decent 14" I have seen. Lots of delta 14" bandsaws going for $650+. In either case the X5 already sold, was only listed for 12 hours.

    So you think the 14" saws are going to be underpowered for what I want? My only bandsaw experience is with the big industrial DoAll saws they have at the shops I work at, those things can chug through 8 inch thick aluminum no problem. Maybe I will see if I can find a decent deal on a 16" or 18" rikon or Laguna.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Mansfield View Post
    So you think the 14" saws are going to be underpowered for what I want? My only bandsaw experience is with the big industrial DoAll saws they have at the shops I work at, those things can chug through 8 inch thick aluminum no problem. Maybe I will see if I can find a decent deal on a 16" or 18" rikon or Laguna.
    If your main use is resawing hardwood, absolutely. The Grizzlies might be a bit better, with their 1 HP motor, but even those are going to struggle. Just ran some 6" Red Oak through my Laguna 18BX with a 1 1/4 resaw king with a 3 HP motor. That was enough to slow the saw down, the Delta doesn't stand a chance unless you want to go really slow and accept some poor quality results.

    Don't get me wrong, I've still got my 14" Delta and I use it quite a bit, but for scroll work and the like, without the riser block.

  5. #5
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    I think the X5 came with a 1.5hp motor, which was why I was thinking it might do a little better. I don't plan on resawing massive amounts of lumber, but I like my equipment to do what I want it to do without any fuss, even if its only occasional work.

  6. #6
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    I have a Delta 14" saw that was made in 2000. I recently adjusted the lower blade guide which is angled in its holder. Apparently I applied too much torque and the die cast metal casting snapped.

    I was fortunate that another SMC member came to my aid with an identical part from his Delta 14" saw built in 1985 saw. The casting walls and structure were quite thin. Also compared to the identical design parts from 1985, the fit and finish was quite poor. My new old parts have less free play and are much easier to adjust than my saw ever was. Of course you could always upgrade to a set of Carter ball bearing guides, which I may eventually do.
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  7. #7
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    I don't have experience with using a larger bandsaw for resawing, but I'm always a bit surprised when people talk about the 14" deltas not having much capability.... I resaw 10" wide hard maple and cherry on my 14" cast iron Jet all the time, and I don't have any problems with the blade stalling or slowing down. I believe it's only 3/4 hp. It may not be the fastest, but it's certainly capable of producing a good quality, consistent cut if you give time for the blade to clear the waste. Maybe not ideal for resawing hundreds of board feet of lumber every day, but it gets the job done for the furniture projects that I build.

    Maybe I just don't know what I'm missing, but it gets the job done for me.

    --Dan

  8. #8
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    I have one. The table is slightly larger than the older ones, but the 1.5HP motor is the big deal. I looked for one for a couple years before finding a clean one. It's my go to for general use.

    I also have another Delta with a 3/4 HP motor and a riser block. It cuts through 8" high oak without problem, using a 1/2" blade and so I would not worry about it at all if you are not doing it on a regular basis. Gonna sell it someday when I get around to it.

    When buying an older Delta/Rockwell, look at the motor size. Some only had 1/2 HP. I had one years ago...underpowered.

    For those with good memories...yes, I still have my 24" Aggie. Don't use it much but wow.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 02-04-2023 at 3:46 AM.
    Rick Potter

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  9. #9
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    I have one. Itís just okay. Dust collection is horrible. Ceramic guides spark a lot, which I find disconcerting. Plenty powerful, though. Hoping to sell in the near future and get something better.

  10. #10
    In my experience with 14" saws, ALL of them need some type/s of upgrade.
    It doesn't matter if it's a Delta or an Asian import. They all need something, tires, guides, tension spring, belts, motor, something.
    Re-sawing 6" maple is do-able, but not every day, simply too much for the saw to handle. If it's a 1.5hp motor, it will be easier, but the saw itself usually doesn't have enough blade tension for precise cutting. You'll need to feed slowly with light pressure to avoid flexing the blade.

    I'm not trying to discourage you, a properly tuned 14" saw can do incredible things, and they usually punch above their weight class. Just don't plan on pushing them to the max all the time, they may not be able to take it.

  11. #11
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    I resaw with my 14" Jet with more regularity than the 'once or twice a year' that the OP mentioned. It doesn't sound like he's anticipating heavy resewing like cutting veneer all the time.
    ~mike

    happy in my mud hut

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