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Thread: Bandsaw advice for a newbie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Bowling Green, KY
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    Bandsaw advice for a newbie

    Relatively new at woodworking, I have outfitted my shop with used tools for the most part. I would like to add a bandsaw. I have no idea what size, but plan to use it for furniture making and other similar projects. Will probably use it for resawing. I really have no bandsaw currently and do not want to buy a small one only to follow it with a larger one in a few years for more features and capacity. I am not setting any particular limit on price, but this will be a saw for a "serious hobbyist". I have been reading the comparisons between two or more saws in this forum, but just wanted to get some practical advice from the experienced folks. Probably would like to buy new. Any help appreciated.

    Thanks,
    John Nesbitt

  2. #2
    You'll probably get what you pay for, so how much do you want and can you afford it?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    When folks say re-saw, my knee-jerk reaction is "12 inches of height required". This is not always true as folks that make jewelry boxes and other smaller items don't need that. I had a 12" saw that did a decent job of re-sawing at 6" in height. I seemed to need 'just a bit' more about 75% of the time. A great deal on a Grizzly G0513X came my way from another Creeker and it is a world of difference.

    You're in the planning stages so don't rush. Think about what you are doing and (look into the crystal ball) what you may do in the future and shop accordingly. I did learn that an 18" BS is not an outrageously large tool for the home shop if you re-saw. Before I had a larger saw they seemed so big. Now I realize that form follows function.

    Once you make peace with the $1000 range of BS, your choices open up. Like many things there are a bunch of choices at one price point and then there is a leap to the next price point. I was looking hard at the Rikon 14" and am glad I just went with a little bit more money and took the step to the larger saw.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  4. #4
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    I was trying to stay around $2000. But I do not want to get too much saw for my level and wish I had saved some money for another tool later, if that makes any sense.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, that was helpful. I have been saving up a little and I can afford that range saw, maybe a little more. Grizzly is mentioned alot at this site. So are Mini Max, Aggazani and Jet. Some prefer Ricon. I read the article in FWW about the 14 inch saws, but wonder if an 18 incher might be worth the extra money. Or am I dreaming again? Any thoughts?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Buy a 17-19" saw; you will be happier as the extra weight of the machine will absorb more vibrations and the large machines come with some nice features (like rack and penion table tilting mechanism and blade brake). Look for a machine with a quick tensioning lever.

    I would recommend the Grizzly G0514X2 19" BS as a good choice for a serious hobbiest. The BS is my favorite tool for effortlessly cutting wood, and I urge you to buy a nice quality one that you will not outgrow. I started with a Rikon 14", and quickly outgrew it.

  7. #7

    Talking Grizzly bandsaw differences, if I may?

    If anyone knows, what is the big difference between the G0513X 17" 2HP saw and let's say the G0514X2 19" Extreme 3HP Bandsaws? Obviously, besides the obvious 17" versus 19" and the 2HP versus the 3HP. The price difference is exactly $445 delivered. They both have cast iron wheels. Without there being any real differences, besides the obvious 2 inches and an extra 1 HP, is the more expensive saw really worth that much more? What do you guys think? Seems like a lot of extra dough for 1HP and 2 inches. Is that extra horsepower worth that much more money if you're not resawing like a man posessed , day in and day out?

    Thanks!!!!

    Dave
    Life is a gift, not a guarantee.

  8. #8
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    Looking at the Grizzly website, you also get a bigger table with the 19" bandsaw. But all other things being equal, having a bandsaw with a bigger wheel leads to longer life for your blades, since the blade doesn't have to make as tight a turn to get around the wheel with the bigger bandsaw. This leads to less stress on the blade. As a result, the 19" bandsaw can take a wider blade than the 17" bandsaw, which will also help with resawing performance. The extra horsepower is nice, but a lot also depends on your blade and your technique.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that having a large resaw capacity isn't much use without also having a way to smooth out the cut. For most people, this means having a jointer with a capacity equal to the resaw capacity of the bandsaw. In your case, that would mean a 12" jointer. In my shop I have a 16" bandsaw with a 10" capacity, and a jointer that also can handle a 10" board.

    One alternative is to smooth out the cut with hand tools, primarily bench planes. Actually, I usually do this instead of using my jointer. But this method is admittedly not for everyone.

  9. #9
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    I have the newer rikon 10-325 14" BS and am happy with it; decent power, plenty of resaw capacity. It sounds like you want to go larger and there are some benefits such as more HP. when researching this I looked at the Steel City line and was pretty impressed with their features and warranty. there is a recent post by nancy laird with some info on current Steel City deals. the store also carried aggazani and they looked great, just more than I wanted to spend. good luck with the decision.
    Last edited by Benjamin Dahl; 11-06-2007 at 1:04 PM.

  10. #10
    I have a Grizzly G0457 and its excellent. I would recommend it to any "serious hobbyist" It is a 14" saw but with 10" of height, cast iron wheels and 2 HP. I havent come across anything yet it cant do, and its under $1k. What more do you want? Great resaw performance also.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Central, KY
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    I bought the Steel City 18 inch 2 hp. Put the table and blade on, placed it on the mobile base and it was ready to use. Passed the nickel test for vibration right off with no adjustments required. Lots of power. Really nice machine.

  12. #12
    Being this is your first bandsaw, I gotta say I've got the Powermatic 14" with a 6" riser, spent a grand total on it, and its really an under-rated bandsaw in my opinion. It comes with the Carter guides and the Carter quick-release. If you've got the time to make a decision, you should really call Iturra design and order their latest catalog(its FREE!), and one of the best bandsaw resources you'll aquire according to many sources. Their number is 1-800-722-7078. *Hope I'm not violating any SMC rules in posting that # - it truly is the only way to access one of their catalogs....
    Good luck in your decision; you'll have a blast playing with whatever BS you choose.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bowling Green, KY
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    Thanks to everyone. I am leaning toward the Grizzly G0514X2, but wonder if the X2 is worth the extra money since the G0514 has been discounted recently. I know there is an upgraded table, a foot brake and cast iron trunions on the X2. These seem like worthwhile upgrades for the money. Any thoughts?

  14. #14
    Generally, a 14 inch bandsaw is a great size and can do just about anything. It can take a variety of blade widths from 1/8 to 3/4 inch. I have Jets 14 inch and have been very satisfied with the fit, finish, and performance.

    If your going to do a lot of resawing, I'd suggest getting 2 for the shop providing funding isn't a problem. I opted for both the 14 inch and Jets 18 inch, see below.



    Bob

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Kanasas City, MO
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    John,
    I upgraded my G0513 to the G0513X2. Got out of the G0513 for every penny I put into it, so I had no reason not to trade up, per say. Anything any taller simply doesn't fit in my garage... err shop.
    I haven't assembled the saw yet, but I can tell you the CI trunnion is oh, about 10X stronger looking anyway.

    FWIW.

    Greg

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