I just retired from my second 20-plus-year carreer. That’s over forty – plus years doing something I hated. Now its time for a change.
I’m not a professional woodworker, I’m not even very experienced. But, I’ve played with woodwork for more than 50 years. I’ve even made some fairly decent keepsake boxes over the years.
Now, I want to get into woodworking in a way to find out what I’m capable of. With the support of my new spouse, I’ve taken some equity out of the house to pay for building a 450 sq ft shop—my first serious shop. I’ve been waiting to do this for about 50 or more years.
Recently, I opened a discussion about bandsaw selection in the tools forums. I’m getting ready to buy my first bandsaw. The result has been wonderful. Many gracious and helpful people have provided terrific input to my bandsaw selection process—I’m very grateful.
However, I have some clarifying thoughts about where I’m coming from that don’t belong in that forum, but are somewhat motivated by what peoplle there have contributed. I am not trying to rant or start any sort of flame, I’m only trying to explain where I am at this point.
I started out in that forum asking for inputs on selecting a bandsaw. I got more than I could have hoped for: the people here are wonderful! However, it’s interesting to me that the discussion rapidly focussed on Rikon vs. Grizzly. Sure, there are other brands that may, in fact, be superior, but this community narrowed down to these two very rapidly on the basis of value for dollar.
First, I want to acknowledge all the wonderful people that pointed out that I should not buy more saw than I need. However, the advice boiled down to”don’t buy more saw than you need to do what you do.”—Well, what I do and what I might do are both defined by what I can do: If I buy a 14 inch bandsaw, I’m not very likely to learn how to resaw.
As I said, I’ve been waiting for this for 50 years. I’m 65+ years old. I’m not going to spend the time I have left playing patty-cake with my tool selections and my woodworking capacity. I’m not rich by any means, but I’m also not going to “skinflint” this opportunity.
That said, and I hope Ididn’t offend anyone, I’ve decided to buy a Grizzly Extreme bandsaw for the following reasons:
1. At the price of the Grizzly, plus shipping I can immediately afford to buy a disk/belt sander as well. (Not the case if I buy Rikon).
2. The Grizzly has a motor brake that the Riklon apparently does not. This is potentially a big deal for me.
3. the Grizzly appears to support a wider range of blade widths than the Rikon. (0.25 – 1.5 vs. 0.5 – 1.0)
4. There is a significant price differential ($200, even with the Rikon on sale) between Grizzly 17 inch and Rikon 18 inch, delivered. Further, I can buy a Grizzly 19 inch, 3 HP saw with motor brake and shipping for the same price as a Rincon 18 inch, 2 HP saw with no brake, and inferior resaw fence, including shipping.
At any rate, this is my analysis to date.
Ground-breaking on the shop is not for a week or so. Then, after completion I’ll be making my “buy decision..” I’ll try to keep this current as we go.
I look forward to posting more as the shop gets built.