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Looking for advice on purchasing a bandsaw...

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Blog entry by David Drummond posted 1228 days ago 1469 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always been involved with building things but have recently turned my focus towards building furniture and want to take a shot at building a rocking chair like Scott Morrisons “Simple Rocking Chair” plus this gives me an excuse for buying another tool which I probably need like a hole in the head but hey… Ive got a problem but so do most of us on this forum. The one tool that I dont have and have been looking at purchasing is a bandsaw but am not sure what features are really required for the type of work I will be doing. I dont see myself resawing a whole bunch but might on the occasion. I plan on mostly using the bandsaw for cutting curved shapes and freeform pieces. Any input on pros and cons or just words of wisdom to keep in mind while looking for one would be greatly appreciated. I want to stay preferably under $800 but could go to $1000 if it were a huge upgrade in benefical features for my application. Thanks again!

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain



15 comments so far

View JuniorJoiner's profile

JuniorJoiner

443 posts in 2038 days


#1 posted 1228 days ago

for that price, you would be looking at used.
for better quality try to find an older saw in decent shape. a one piece cast iron frame, and solid cast wheels will be an asset for vibration and resawing. resaw capacity may not be an issue for you , but is sure nice when you need it, and width capacity(wheel diameter or depth from post) are important factors to consider.
you can find out a lot of info about an old model with a little research before you buy.
I think a used vintage machine is usually better quality than new today, and your money will get you more machine.
happy hunting

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View David Drummond's profile

David Drummond

86 posts in 1263 days


#2 posted 1228 days ago

I have my eye on the Grizzly 0513p and have read pretty good reviews on it. Realistically I should be looking at a much cheaper version like the 0555p dont want to skimp and regret it later. I dont make my living with my tools “at least for today” so for now it is for personal projects and enjoyment and the feeling of accomplishment. Thoughts?

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1291 days


#3 posted 1228 days ago

I’d bee looking at an older saw as well. If your budget doubled, that would be an entirely different situation. Some of the older saws can be refit with new guides/blocks/blades/belts that make them wonderful machines. Like Junior said, vintage bandsaws are one of those tools that you can often find a good bit of info about.

I was in Knoxville TN at a local leatherworking shop buying some leather scrap for chisel cushions. I got to talking about woodworking with the lady at the counter. She said, “Oh, I just sold my old bandsaw. I wish you could have seen it”. Turns out it was a Yates 36” that she sold for $1000. I nearly cried. They’re out there.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1704 days


#4 posted 1228 days ago

You might want to check out the latest WOOD magazine. They did a review on several bandsaws.

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1868 days


#5 posted 1228 days ago

The grizzly saws are excellent. Though as mentioned, your budget is a bit low….especially when you factor freight into the mix.

I would still recommend that you consider resawing capacity….I resaw alot even though I did not consider it that important when I bought my first bandsaw. Resawing is handy…especially for furniture making since you will be able to cut to size and to fix for cupping or warpage that comes from storing wood. My first bandsaw was the Jet….14” without the riser and with the old style cooling blocks. I added carter guides, the riser….a resawing blade and fence…..I really tuned it up….but I will probably sell it when I start shopping for a new jointer.

I now have the Grizzly G0514 – This was a great saw purchase…..I use it ALOT….and I do alot of resawing to get the size and thickness of wood I need…..It has a brake…which I thought might add some more safety. I really like the extra horse power…...the 110v bandsaws are really too underpowered to resaw hardwoods….or else have a lot of patience and determination….as it will take awhile.

Do stay away from the Laguna Tools….check out the bad reviews about their lack of customer support to see why.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View dub560's profile

dub560

606 posts in 1511 days


#6 posted 1228 days ago

don’t get the one from lowes/the delta 14 band saw—it bogs down on anything over an inch

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View Viking's profile

Viking

857 posts in 1793 days


#7 posted 1228 days ago

David:

Give the Rikon 14” Deluxe a look as well. 13” resaw capacity with no riser blocks. 2 speed with blade tensioning.

Good Luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1291 days


#8 posted 1228 days ago

I had a Delta 14 that was killed in my move. When I bought it, I didn’t expect to do any resawing & it was quite useless for that purpose. My new bandsaw will be almost exclusively for resawing. It’s funny how your needs change and I couldn’t agree more with ReggieK.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RandyMorter's profile

RandyMorter

227 posts in 1288 days


#9 posted 1228 days ago

Hi David,

I have the G0555P and like it. It’s the only band saw I’ve owned or used but I too read the reviews on it and liked it’s features for the money. I don’t do resawing yet but plan to try it. I’ve been cutting band saw boxes or other curves without issue, but I haven’t tried any hardwood that’s very thick. I’ve used a 1/8” blade and the 3/8” blade that came with the saw.

My garage/shop only has a single 110V circuit so at the moment this was about as big as I could go due to power limits.

I got the saw, shipping, 1/8” blade, and the recommended mobile base from Grizzly for a bit under $600 (but I bought it last year before the price hike). I also think if you wanted to upgrade you will still get some money back out of the saw (or, you can keep it and have a smaller one with a smaller blade for tighter radius curves and the larger one set up for resawing).

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2897 days


#10 posted 1228 days ago

Check out the reviews on LJs, there are quite a few very good reviews.

This is the review I made of my Rikon

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10551 posts in 1288 days


#11 posted 1228 days ago

I have had my 17 inch Extreme Series from grizzly for 3 years,used it a LOT,and love it.The extreme series has cast iron wheels,cast iron trunions,and comes with a resaw fence which I felt more than justified the added cost.They had qa free shipping deal on when I bought mine.Their tech support has been excellent when I had questions.I replaced a thrust bearing after two years Cheap and took less than 60 seconds.I just finished resawing some 12 inch by 4 foot Osage Orange logs this weekend with no problems or laqck of power.I better quit as I sound like a Grizzly salesman! I research all my purchases extensively and have loved this one.Hope this helps.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1704 days


#12 posted 1227 days ago

Wood gave the Rikon and excellent review and they are around $900.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3046 posts in 1273 days


#13 posted 1227 days ago

Look at those Wood magazine reviews then if you can’t afford wht you want from that list look for a used one from the list. As they have said already bargains are out there. All you have to do is be ready to act when you find it.

View David Drummond's profile

David Drummond

86 posts in 1263 days


#14 posted 1095 days ago

I ended up buying a Rikon 16” from a guy on craigslist for $800. It is an awesome machine and fits all of my needs. It is currently wired for 110v and trips breakers on occasion on startup when other things are running e.g. dust collector, fan, radio, etc… so I may put it on a dedicated circuit or re-wire for 220 but other than that I am tickled pink. Thanks for the advice!

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1291 days


#15 posted 1095 days ago

I love it when people follow up like this! I think you did very well. I know several people with that saw who’ve been very happy with it. A few hundred bucks down the line will get you a Carter conversion that’ll make it feel like a new saw all over again. Congrats!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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