LumberJocks

Shop Upgrades #3: Band Saw

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Blog entry by bkseitz posted 12-03-2015 06:24 PM 891 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Compressed Air System & Electrical Part 3 of Shop Upgrades series Part 4: Band Saw Assembly »

After driving myself really crazy this year I finally broke down and purchased a Band Saw.

I had been looking at everything from a Rigid 14 to Laguna 14LTE to a Grizzly 17. However all through the process I kept wondering what would I do with the thing. 99.999% of the projects I’ve done are using table saw, drill press, planer, jointer. And on rare instance a jig saw.

What gives me angst goes back a few years ago when I started building a corner of my barn into a workshop. I got a few starting woodworking books and these all had lists of common stationary tools to equip your shop. Most all of the tools over the years have been well utilized with one exception: my lath. Its a monster I got from Sears.

When first purchased I did two test cuts and since then its just gathered dust. A very expensive lesson ”get the tools for the project your doing, not because you think you might have a need”

Since then I’ve strictly followed that insight. However, as I approach a new project—which looks like a band saw is required—I then got to the next step. What band saw. Being that I’m not a production house I can’t justify $1k or more in my mind for such tools. I kept looking for how to break below the $1k barrier to something reasonable. This past week someone—I don’t remember who, but thank you—on Lumberjocks posted a coupon for a Craftsman 14” which dropped the sale price below $400 including tax.

While not the top of line or even middle of line, I figure this is a good starter bandsaw. If as I suspect I only have low use after this coming project all is well as I’ve spent more on battery powered tools, nothing that breaks the bank. If it turns out like my contractor saw I’ll have years of moderate use or more, I’ll develop some skill using it, possibly enhancing it like my contractor saw or decide to sell it and buy a current version of an upgraded model.

Now the only thing to consider is which fence to buy for it ;-)

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"



5 comments so far

View redryder's profile

redryder

2394 posts in 2562 days


#1 posted 12-03-2015 06:42 PM

I kept wondering what would I do with the thing. 99.999% of the projects I’ve done are using table saw, drill press, planer, jointer. And on rare instance a jig saw.

I am sure once you set it up right, your table saw and jig saw will see less action.
I use my band saw for lots of small cuts. (dowels, short pieces of wood for projects).
You may get into things like cutting boards and boxes where you want to step up the appearance with some curvy cuts. Lots of fancy things you can do with a band saw that can not be done with just a table saw.

Check this guy out.

Go for it…................

-- mike...............

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2084 days


#2 posted 12-03-2015 09:21 PM

I LOVE my bandsaw. You will LOVE your bandsaw, when it is properly set up and tuned. Nary a project is completed here with out some bandsaw use.
Look up Alex Snodgrass on the TUBE, he has some remarkable insight on getting the most from your saw.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View bkseitz's profile

bkseitz

294 posts in 770 days


#3 posted 12-03-2015 09:41 PM

@redryder—thx Would love to do boxes and other curved projects you’ve pointed out. That is the hope. What is on deck for this summer is a Pergola for my wife’s garden. Hopefully, I’ll build those skills.

@jumbojack -thx for the tip I’ll hit YouTube this weekend

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

View greg48's profile

greg48

588 posts in 2218 days


#4 posted 12-03-2015 09:55 PM

BK, Congrats on having taken the step. Your only regret will come later when you realize that you should have spent the extra $$. No need to go crazy with the fence there is no immediate need. If you want to do some re-sawing of thicker stock, then just build a wooden fence and clamp it to the table top for now.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View NormG's profile

NormG

5499 posts in 2464 days


#5 posted 12-04-2015 04:12 AM

I have the 12” model for some years now. Great machine, I use it a lot, resaw, close to cuts, curves. You will use without thinking about it

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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