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Thread: Bandsaw instead of tablesaw?

  1. #1
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    Bandsaw instead of tablesaw?

    Iím thinking about selling (or trading) my 3HP SawStop 10Ē cabinet saw for a giant bandsaw. I donít work with plywood much anymore, but typically make my plywood cuts with a miter saw and tracksaw.

    Long rips in hardwood are easily done with one of my two Festool tracksaws (TS55 & TS75). I figure I can make narrower rips on the bandsaw and clean up any rough edges with my jointer plane.


    Anybody else ditch their tablesaw and live to regret it? I find myself using it less and less and wanting more floor space for a large workbench and assembly table. Iíve always thought bandsaws were more versatile, anyway (ripping, resawing, curves, etc).
    - Jason White
    YouTube.com/UncleJasonsWorkshop


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    I use my bandsaw more then my tablesaw. Both are fine machines and cut good. I think your on the right track but should keep a table saw.
    My ideal woodshop would a small and large of every machines.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    It's certainly possible, but I cant get on board. I have a decent bandsaw--LT20, 4.8hp--and it doesnt rip nearly as nicely or as quickly as either of my two table saws. Especially my sliding saw, it's critical to my workflow and overall abilities. However, if you are truly in a shoebox workspace and you have to make difficult decisions, then i can see it. If i recall correctly, Krenov's only power tool recommendation was a quality bandsaw. Another thought is to break down your sawstop to just the base table instead of a 36-52" fence, outfeed table, and extension table. For example, my Oliver 232 only has a rip capacity of maybe 18-24", but that is plenty for hardwood furniture. It is very very compact and your sawstop can be reduced to a similar footprint without losing much capability in your specific use.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2017
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    I did, but not successfully, at least for me. I bought a Festool TS55, MFT/3, and additional tracks which I intended to use in place of my old, underpowered table saw which I got rid of. I also have a 14" bandsaw. For me, it just didn't work. It was difficult to do short rips accurately on the bandsaw and I missed the tablesaw for various tasks like the short rips, some types of crosscuts. I have done some segmented turning and the segments would be extremely difficult to cut accurately on a bandsaw. In the end, I bought a Sawstop Jobsite saw which allows me to do all of the above things easily and accurately. To be sure, a Jobsite saw isn't a cabinet saw, but I feel it is very accurate and much easier to use for some things than a bandsaw and/or track saw. I use my TS55 and MFT for most of my crosscuts and there is nothing more accurate and perfectly square when set up properly. I use my bandsaw for some rips, but mostly resaws and curved cutting and/or cutting turning blanks approximately round. The combination of the bandsaw, jobsite tablesaw, and tracksaw/MFT is really a good combination for me. I'm sure it's possible to get along without a tablesaw but, after being a woodoworker for over 40 years, I found it extremely difficult and much prefer doing some operations on the tablesaw.

  5. #5
    Depends on what you build really.

    I build a pretty wide variety of stuff and could not get by as a business without a table saw to handle some amount of ripping, especially sheet goods. I have a 20Ē bandsaw and a short stroke sliding table saw and will rip solid wood on the bandsaw 9/10 times if it doesnít exceed capacity and can be cleaned up / final widthíd on planer or shaper. I will only rip solid wood at the table saw as a last resort or if itís too wide for the bandsaw...or I will use my tracksaw if itís something like a table top / wide panel / etc.

    For me the sliding table saw can rip stuff, but I value and depend on it for so much more than just ripping solid stock that it will always deserve the real estate.

    This is one of those questions that only you can determine based on what you build, your preferred work flow, and space available.
    Still waters run deep.

  6. #6
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    I honestly tried to be without a table saw when I moved and had to setup the temporary gara-shop here at the new property. While things are obviously specific to the kind of work someone actually does, I could not make it work for me for very long with just the bandsaw and tracksaw and ended up picking up a pre-owned PCS to use until the new shop was built and I could get back to having a slider. Even with the crosscutting limitations that a cabinet saw has, it was so much easier and efficient to have one available.
    --

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

  7. #7
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    Except for perhaps some very specialized type of woodworking, it would be crazy and extremely foolish to think that a bandsaw is a substitute for a cabinet saw...and vice versa. The two are not mutually exclusive or interchangeable. They are both needed in a well equipped shop.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  8. #8
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    I would try it for a bit by just cranking the blade down below the table and putting a piece of plywood on top of the table saw to pretend to be a workbench. Then if you decide you need a table saw you'll still have it.

  9. #9
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    ^^ That right there is why we pay Zachary the "big bucks"....
    --

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    I only had a bandsaw for about a dozen years before I got a table saw. It was not a great bandsaw. I made it work but I wished I had got a TS sooner. Now I have a both a better 18” BS and a SawStop 3 hp. I’m in no mood to give up either.
    How big is a “giant” bandsaw?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason White View Post
    I’m thinking about selling (or trading) my 3HP SawStop 10” cabinet saw for a giant bandsaw. I don’t work with plywood much anymore, but typically make my plywood cuts with a miter saw and tracksaw.

    Long rips in hardwood are easily done with one of my two Festool tracksaws (TS55 & TS75). I figure I can make narrower rips on the bandsaw and clean up any rough edges with my jointer plane.


    Anybody else ditch their tablesaw and live to regret it? I find myself using it less and less and wanting more floor space for a large workbench and assembly table. I’ve always thought bandsaws were more versatile, anyway (ripping, resawing, curves, etc).
    Jason, if you do this, I am damn certain that you will regret it in a short while. All I can think of is that you are not using your tablesaw to it potential, and therefore fail to recognise its value.

    There is a myth in woodworking that the bandsaw is the ultimate machine. However it is referred to as the “Queen” of machines, and not the “King” of machines for a good reason. The King is the tablesaw. I think that the myth of the bandsaw comes from predominantly hand tool woodworkers (amongst whom I might class myself) who will use hand planes to straighten and finish the coarser ripped surface off a bandsaw. Make no mistake, I love my Hammer N4400 bandsaw, which is used to resaw a whole lot, but it is still not in the same class as the tablesaw.

    If you want a change of machines, I recommend that you look at a short stroke slider, like my Hammer K3 (the wagon is 1250mm long). This has a smaller footprint than the contractor saw it replaced. It can rip on the wagon, or using the rip fence like a traditional tablesaw. Ripping is so easy, and the 12” blade (compared with the 10” of the SS) cuts to a depth of 4”. The crosscut fence offers easy and accurate crosscutting and mitres. With a micro-adjust on the CC fence, I can dial in drawer fronts for inset drawers.

    Pictures tell the story better.

    Photo taken when the K3 was brand new (about 6 years ago) …




    Ripping on a short stop slider (using a parallel guide here) ..



    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 03-10-2023 at 8:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    Minnesota
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    This is why Iíve been a member of the Creek for nearly 20 years. I always get great advice and perspectives. Thanks, all!

  13. #13
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    Nov 2009
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    Peoria, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason White View Post
    Iím thinking about selling (or trading) my 3HP SawStop 10Ē cabinet saw for a giant bandsaw. I donít work with plywood much anymore, but typically make my plywood cuts with a miter saw and tracksaw.

    Long rips in hardwood are easily done with one of my two Festool tracksaws (TS55 & TS75). I figure I can make narrower rips on the bandsaw and clean up any rough edges with my jointer plane.


    Anybody else ditch their tablesaw and live to regret it? I find myself using it less and less and wanting more floor space for a large workbench and assembly table. Iíve always thought bandsaws were more versatile, anyway (ripping, resawing, curves, etc).
    To each his own, but I'd stop woodworking if I couldn't have a table saw. Size of the bandsaw makes no difference. When the bandsaw blade gets a little dull, it likes to wander a bit. No way I've ever gotten a Forrest blade quality cut on a bandsaw.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2003
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    Hayes, Virginia
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    I have not used my table saw but three times in the last couple of years. Since I got my FB 610 it is my go to machine for most jobs. I can rip cut faster and just as straight as on my table saw and its safer as well since there are never any kickbacks. It might not work for everyone but my normal projects rarely need a table saw anymore. The one inch carbide tooth band saw blade was expensive but worth every penny. My age, no doubt has affected many decisions I have made in recent years.

  15. #15
    It totally depends on your work. The bandsaw can rip more safely than a tablesaw though not as clean, and can cut curves which you can't (intentionally) with a tablesaw and shape thick material. The tablesaw is far better and more versatile and precise for crosscuts, grooving and many joinery tasks. I would be hard put to do without either. For cabinetmaking I could do without the bandsaw most of the time. For any work with curves a bandsaw is very valuable.

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