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Discovering my Bandsaw

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Blog entry by Bobby posted 02-02-2010 04:38 AM 1128 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About 8 years ago I decided that I should have a bandsaw. However, not knowing anything about them, I just bought a Delta because of it’s name. I didn’t have a clue about what I was getting myself into.

I was all excited when I got it home and I couldn’t wait to try it out. After a few cuts my excitement turned into disappointment. I couldn’t make it cut straight, even with the fence that I bought with it. It was so bad that even the little red plastic disk got all cut up. And so, I just never bothered with it… up until now. I started reading all posts here at LJ’s that pertained to bandsaws. I started watching videos about them on YouTube. And then it started coming to me. Perhaps it needed adjustments like the ones I saw in the videos. When I looked at it, it was WAY out of whack. So I tuned up the bearings and guide blocks. I also wondered if there should be more tension on the blade. It did and I did it. Long story short, it was like a completely different saw.

I did notice that there was quite a learning curve. I was trying to use it like I would my table saw. I learned that you can’t push the stock too fast. I also learned that you can’t rip a wet 2×4 because chances are you’ll break the blade… I did. But after a while I started to get the hang of it. I built a new assembly bench using mostly lap joints that I cut with the bandsaw… the first time I had ever attemped using this kind of joint It took 2 tries before I got it right, but wow… I started falling in love with my new found toy.

It’s a Delta 10”... very basic. I started looking it up on the web and found out that it was discontinued a few years ago. I can still get all replacement parts for it… but, get this… they don’t make replacement tires anymore. What’s up with that??? Now that I have the fundamentals down I’ve realized that this really isn’t a very good saw compared to what’s out there now and I’m thinking about selling it on CragsList and upgrading. However, I’m kind of limited as to what I can get. I really loved the Grizzy 14”... it was in my budget range to boot. But… living in Canada prevents me from getting it. To have it shipped here would cost more than what I would pay for the saw. And so I have 2 models that are available to me. HD has the Ridgid 14” that’s in my budget range but I haven’t heard great reviews about it. Another big box store has a General International 14” that is about the same cost as the Ridgid… but for some reason I haven’t seen or heard anything about General International equipment here on the site. But those are my choices right now. I’m going to hold off until I really investigate all of my options. I don’t want to rush into buying one just to say I have it – like I did with the Delta.

—Bobby



3 comments so far

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1879 posts in 3457 days


#1 posted 02-02-2010 05:14 AM

Bobby,

General International is basically the lower line of General Tools of Canada. I personally have the General International Contractor Saw 50-185 and have found it be a reliable outstanding saw; whenever I have had questions I have emailed the manufacturer (in Quebec I think) and they have responded within a day or two and have been very helpful. In one case the tech rep responding sent me his direct dial number so that he could walk me through something. Their “International” line is made in Taiwan versus the industrial line which is made in Canada. I have no complaints as to the quality and reliability of their tools or the quality of their customer service.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2928 days


#2 posted 02-02-2010 06:47 AM

The Bandsaw Book by Lonnie Bird is a great resource if you are looking for more than you have found online. You might also consider looking at craigslist and find a good used saw. They are available by the hundreds and seem to be available in almost every town. If you read the book first you will have a better understanding on what to look for in a used saw. If on craigslist you find an older saw, 1950-1970 Delta or Powermatic, there is a lot of good info and help available at www.owwm.com. I love my old Delta and wouldnt trade it for any of the new shiny, plastic laden tools currently being sold by any of the major manufacturers.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Walnut_Weasel's profile

Walnut_Weasel

360 posts in 2688 days


#3 posted 02-03-2010 03:31 PM

I am not sure what your price range is but I bought a 14” Jet (closed base) that I really enjoy. It did need a small bit of tuning – but not much. With a Timberwolf blade it has very little (if any) drift and cuts straight as an arrow.

Good luck!

-- James - www.walnutweasel.wordpress.com

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