band saw woes and triumphs - learning through failure

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Blog entry by Kathy posted 08-20-2010 12:31 PM 7765 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am such a rookie that I never even wanted a band saw. Hubby kept bugging me because he had fond High School memories of one. BUT…when I stated seeing the band saw boxes on the projects site I was hooked and he bought me one.

So after some exploring we bought the G0555P and it arrived at our house. All 210 lbs of it!!! Actually the directions for putting it together were really good and other than having to ask a friend over to help with the heavy head it was pretty easy. Friend also had experience with it and helped us get the blade set and ready to use. I tried it out and he left.

That’s when the trouble began, of course. At first it was really scary and that didn’t help. Hubby was able to make a passable start on a box!!!! And he isn’t even the woodworker.

The blade moved side ways, it got stuck in the wood, it made funny noises, I couldn’t make it turn. Hubby bailed at that point. LOL So I went and bought a better blade than the one that came with it. Well that didn’t work. Eventually the problem was that I couldn’t get the blade to center no matter what! Back to the owners manual.

Okay I have had this thing for two weeks now and I can’t figure out how to use it. Well it turns out that one of the little knobby thingies that I was using to adjust the blade tension also adjusted the sideways adjustment of the wheel. My blade would not center!!!!!! So blades were NOT coplaner and I finally figured out why. Couldn’t they have put on a big red warning ”Don’t mess with this one once saw is working!!!”

Okay three weeks later, the blade will center, I can sort of get a straight cut, and I can sort of get a curved cut, and after SEVERAL tries I have made a passable band saw box (in projects).

Things learned:

1. I need to do a better job of glueing the layers together. Not fun when you are half way through a box and a layer splits off.

2. Make sure you label front and back!

3. Pay more attention to what the wood grain looks like in the layers.

4. Darn, I need a spindle sander for the inside stuff! Double darn, I can’t afford one.

5. Hand sanding can be fun. I can actually hear the movie that is playing on the tv.

6. I am going to need to learn how to carve so I can shape these boxes…

7. Learning never stops and you never have enough tools

Have a great woodworking day.

-- curious woodworker

12 comments so far

View Swarf's profile


12 posts in 3062 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 12:43 PM

That’s not a bad looking first try at all! I’m kinda new to wood working also, and you are right, learning never stops and I truly never have enough tools.That’s what I love about it though. As for the spindle sander, I found that I can get by with a smalll drum sander attachment for my drill press if I am really carefull.

-- Terry T, South Georgia

View b2rtch's profile


4863 posts in 3247 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 01:06 PM

The box looks real good.
As for spindle sander, I have the Rigid and as anyone else who has one, I love it.
I pay $100 for it used but in excellent shape.
Do not buy another one, this sander is the only one you can use with spindles and belts.
In every review it comes#1

-- Bert

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3263 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 01:24 PM

Hang in there Kathy. You will get use to it. There are alot of videos and articiles about tunning up your bandsaw. The manual that came with my grizzly explained things pretty good. Your first box is nice for your first one. They will get easier as you go.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 3497 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 01:57 PM

I’m still sanding bandsaw boxes by hand, but seriously considering a spindle sander. I find building bandsaw boxes very relaxing and really enjoy making them.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4084 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 03:41 PM

My son and I both have these or similar ones and they work great….if you have a drill press. Plus the price is right.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3847 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 03:58 PM

good lessons. lessons learned from experience stick for a long time.

As for the BS- that is by far the most complex machine in the woodshop – bar none! it requires constant maintenance, and adjustments (blade guides, tracking). a good tune up is really priceless. I would recommend getting a good BS book like this one to get a better hang of what needs to be done in a BS, and how to keep it working like a champ:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4084 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 04:30 PM

I concur with what PurpLev says above, another good book on the saws is The Bandsaw Book by Lonnie Bird. I own Lonnie’s book and it is excellent.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 3121 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 05:34 PM

I actually have the book above and it has been helpful, but it really take trial and error, and yes boo boos.

-- curious woodworker

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3314 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 09:53 PM

new tools new hurdles to get over :-)
and for a first shot that box ain´t looking bad

here is a link that might help you

and I know woodwhispere has a vidio on his site about it

congrat´s with your new toy
hope it will serve you well

take care

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3087 days

#10 posted 09-04-2010 08:27 PM

“A day you didn’t learn something new is a day you were dead from the neck up!”

- Big Tiny sr. -

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 4527 days

#11 posted 10-08-2010 11:24 PM

A cheaper alternative to a spindle sander is to wrap sand paper around a length of dowel (secure the ends with masking or similar tape) and mount it between lathe centres.

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 3121 days

#12 posted 10-09-2010 12:39 AM

If one had a lathe!!! LOL sorry, I haven’t gotten that far yet.

-- curious woodworker

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