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Band Saw or Bandsaw? And, do you really need a quick release?

by StumpyNubs
posted 03-29-2011 07:48 PM


50 replies so far

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1350 days


#1 posted 03-29-2011 07:58 PM

Table saw, scroll saw, hand saw, dovetail saw, chain saw=> ergo band saw.

Cheapo Craftsman 10” bandsaw with a $10 blade. You can bet I don’t un-tension it after every use…

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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Bill White

3455 posts in 2617 days


#2 posted 03-29-2011 09:14 PM

I de-tension from habit. Never had a failure before doing same (or since).
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1350 days


#3 posted 03-29-2011 09:20 PM

I never detensioned mine (which I killed in an unrelated event). I’ve seen many homebrewed jobs around. $150 is pricey, but it IS a Carter product. I noticed the same thing in google. Bandsaw like bowsaw, iMHO.

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

View crank49's profile

crank49

3434 posts in 1627 days


#4 posted 03-29-2011 09:42 PM

Dan, which cheapo Craftsman 10”? I have one that’s a rebadged Rikon. I love that little saw.

Jim or should I say Stumpy? I don’t think a failure to de-tension a band saw blade is going to foretell the end of life as we know it, but it can’t hurt anything either; unless you forget to re-tension before the next use.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#5 posted 03-29-2011 09:57 PM

Crank- That’s a good point. Using a bandsaw tension release can cause you to forget to re-tension before you turn it back on. I doubt that would be catastrophic, but what a mess it would cause!

Of course, the Carter tension handle is designed to remind you to retighten because it has a big red grip on the end which hangs down in your face when the tension is released. Home made versions don’t usually have that.

Everyone seems to say- why not have one. I can think of a couple reasons not to- 1. Price, 2. Price and 3. Price. If I bought every do-jiggy on the market for every tool I’d be broke. So before anyone slaps down the big bucks, it better have an upside that makes it worth the price.

I have yet to hear of anyone who has ever confirmed that NOT releasing the tension between uses has damaged anything. So seems to me that it is a waste of money.

Of course, if someone gave me one I’d use it!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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superstretch

1504 posts in 1350 days


#6 posted 03-29-2011 10:02 PM

@Crank- I have a newer model. Picked it up new after not seeing anything on CL for a while and needed one sooner rather than later. It was on sale, so why not. I wish I had had the $ at the time to go bigger.. Resawing a max of 4-5/8” is pretty lame.

@Stumpy- Honestly, I think the blade will dull and the tire bearings go bad long before you’d see the effects of not de-tensioning. Perhaps I’m wrong, but it sounds logical in my head

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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BilltheDiver

230 posts in 1542 days


#7 posted 03-29-2011 10:10 PM

I have the Carter and use it! Sure makes changing blades a lot easier and quicker. I’m not so sure it is too important to de-tension if you mostly use larger blades for resawing, but if you do much with 1/4 or 1/8 inch blades I think it is more important.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1350 days


#8 posted 03-29-2011 10:10 PM

I always imagined that all but two small parts on the tires would be under continuous pressure, and thus could potentially deform. Tires are relatively cheap, though. I’ve started my saw many times in a detensioned state. Mostly, it would just make a terrible noise; once it broke a thin blade but kept it retained within the saw. When I buy my new saw, I’ll probably spring for one. But I’m with you, it’s like buying an air filtration unit: it hurt, it wasn’t any fun to play with, but it seems like the right thing to do.

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

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TheDane

3790 posts in 2319 days


#9 posted 03-29-2011 11:01 PM

First, I have read the pros and cons of de-tensioning the band saw blade, and go with those who say you should do it. My neighbor doesn’t … when he starts up his band saw, the tires are in such bad shape it sounds like a corn sheller and vibrates all over the place.

I have the Carter system on my Jet 14”, and it is great … I find myself using the band saw now more than before I installed the Carter, and it does make blade changes a lot faster. My band saw purrs like a kitten.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1295 days


#10 posted 03-29-2011 11:49 PM

Well, Stumpy, before this discussion I really had no opinion one way or the other on this issue. I had heard both sides before but no compelling arguments for either side. I sometimes detensioned mine and sometimes I didn’t. LOL Now, however, after hearing from both sides here, I still have no opinion one way or an other. LOL

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#11 posted 03-29-2011 11:56 PM

TheDane- Are you certain that your neighbor’s problem is because he didn’t use a tension release? I ask because it would be the first time I have ever heard a real example of someone who had a problem because he kept it tensioned all the time. I hear a LOT of “if’s” and “could’s” from people, especially companies who make them….

I suppose it would make sense that a thin blade would be more likely to weaken if always kept tensioned, and a wide blade may be more likely to flatten a tire because it has to be under a lot more tension than a narrow blade. And I suppose if you kept a blade tensioned for a very long time (years) without turning on the saw it may be more likely to cause problems. But if you’re using the saw several times a week, I don’t know. Unless the horror stories we her about actually happen, isn’t it more about speculation than reality?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1295 days


#12 posted 03-29-2011 11:56 PM

BTW the Merriam-Webster dictionary says Band saw is correct, the Oxford English dictionary says that either is correct.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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TheDane

3790 posts in 2319 days


#13 posted 03-30-2011 12:07 AM

StumpyNubs—Am I certain? No, but the tires on my saw are smooth, while the tires (especially the top wheel) on his saw feel like snow tires. You be the judge.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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GaryL

1077 posts in 1487 days


#14 posted 03-30-2011 12:11 AM

I back off the tension with four or five cranks on the tensioner wheel and call it good. Save that $150 for something else. The three or four seconds it saves does not seem worth it to me.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1570 days


#15 posted 03-30-2011 12:12 AM

I tend to believe the flat tire story on the BSs. I do know that my little Toyota truck only gets fired up every couple/three weeks and when it does, the first 10-20 miles down the road shakes like crazy until the tires warm up and expand. I don’t really plan to have to run my BS for a half-hour to get it to stop shaking so I de-tension my BS between uses. Forgot to re-tension once but no problems, just spinning wheels and the blade came off the wheel without damage. Woke me up though ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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TheDane

3790 posts in 2319 days


#16 posted 03-30-2011 12:20 AM

HorizontalMike—I think you are spot on. My neighbor makes bird-houses and I don’t think his saw ever runs for very long … probably doesn’t have a chance to work the kinks out.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7566 posts in 2304 days


#17 posted 03-30-2011 12:24 AM

I put a handle on the tension knob on my 20” Delta saw. The knob
is a knuckle-buster because it doesn’t protrude beneath the upper
wheel guard. Anyway, I made a simple add-on kind of like a gas-tank
cap with a bar sticking up through the middle.

I twist the knob 6-7 half-turns when I want to cut, and then twist
it the same number back when I’m done.

It’s easy and fast. Worthwhile too, because I can tell you from experience
that leaving the tension on the saw all the time leads to blade breakage.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#18 posted 03-30-2011 12:26 AM

superstretch
”... chain saw=> ergo band saw.....Cheapo Craftsman 10” bandsaw.....”
so which did you decide ?? LOL

SNs , I made my own detensioner from a handwheel that I had salvaged from another machine.
Turned an adapter on my lathe and fixed it to the original tension screw on my JET after removing the tiny star knob….At the time , I was using Timberwolf blades and they recommended backing off 3 full turns after tensioning the blade correctly. I’ve been using the same method with my Olsen blades with no issues at all.
My point of view is that it is better to tension and relieve tension gradually rather than do either all at once with the aftermarket systems. PLUS , I still have $150 in my pocket for other goodies : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#19 posted 03-30-2011 02:15 AM

TheDane- Thanks for the extra info. You, and some others who have also commented here lend credence to the argument that keeping a blade tensioned all the time can be a bad thing.

Personally, I think I would sooner spend a dollar on a hardwood scrap and make a crank handle to replace that little star knob and just give it three turns rather than buying a $150 Carter mechanism. BUT, since I also like to do things the hard way, I designed and built my own tension release handle today (after posting this thread). I filmed the process for the second episode of the woodworking show I am developing. But that won’t be released until May, so maybe I’ll snap a couple of photos and post them tomorrow.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#20 posted 03-30-2011 02:25 AM

I have a label on the front of my bandsaw that saws:

DELTA

What does that mean?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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D_Allen

495 posts in 1440 days


#21 posted 03-30-2011 02:26 AM

I too have the rikon/sears knockoff and if I am not going to be using mine for a few days, I take the tension off and, since the knob just sits there and is easily removed, I place it on the table next to the blade as a reminder. Once I got good Olsen blades for it I am much more pleased with the purchase. The $20 on sealed bearings was a necessary upgrade.
BTW, I also noticed the spelling issue with bandsaw.
$150 would be just about enough for tht OSS I have been wanting. Besides, I don’t hink they make the detensioners for the 10” saws…do they?

-- Website is finally up and running....www.woodandwrite.com

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D_Allen

495 posts in 1440 days


#22 posted 03-30-2011 02:28 AM

Comon Stumpy….the label doesn’t saw? Does it?

-- Website is finally up and running....www.woodandwrite.com

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#23 posted 03-30-2011 02:38 AM

D-Allen, They only make the tension release for the bigger saws, but it only took me an afternoon to design and make my own for my 14” saw. I suspect you could come up with something for your smaller one with a couple of hardwood scraps. why spend $150? We’re woodworkers for goodness sake… make it out of wood!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#24 posted 03-30-2011 02:59 AM

Cessna- I was only joking about the label. That’s what I do, I say things that only I find funny. It’s hard for most people to understand me, but once they do it only gets… worse.

A couple of years ago I did a LOT of flying back and forth to Europe and I assumed my airline (Scandinavian Air & British Airways) didn’t have to put a label on the dash of the cockpit that says “LANDING GEAR!!!!!!!!!!”

I’d like to think the pilot remembers that on his own…

Oh, and I find that taxiing is not so difficult if you just remember to hold up your hand and yell “TAXI!!!” and then when it stops, get in and tell the driver where you want to go.

Again, a joke.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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a1Jim

112103 posts in 2234 days


#25 posted 03-30-2011 03:17 AM

I had a jet band saw and never released the blade tension in less than 6 months the bearings went out. The band saw I have now is an expensive one but still no blade release, so I take the tension of the blade at the end of every day. I feel it’s worth the effort.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#26 posted 03-30-2011 03:38 AM

a1Jim- When you have expensive stuff, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Cessna- I watched the entire video waiting for the joke of crash or something. What a disappointment to find out it was just a pilot going through a boring checklist. WOW- flying must really suck!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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D_Allen

495 posts in 1440 days


#27 posted 03-30-2011 03:55 AM

Stumpy, I’ll look into making my own.
But it will be a challenge because all of the mechanism that is on the outside of the 14” saws is on the inside on mine. I like a good challenge.

-- Website is finally up and running....www.woodandwrite.com

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Pop

419 posts in 2603 days


#28 posted 03-30-2011 03:55 AM

Stumpy, I got every thing Carter has on my Delta 14 in. saw. Guides, tension release, circle cutter and even the little brush on the bottom wheel. Good stuff.

Heck I’m sick & tired of the “band saw” bandsaw thing. If it’s a scrollsaw & a jigsaw It’s got to be a BANDSAW. BUT! Then there’s the renaming of the sabra saw to jig saw and the jigsaw to rigid arm scrollsaw. I’m 70 and things were working just fine 50 years ago. Young whipper-snappers messing things up. LOL

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1350 days


#29 posted 03-30-2011 04:08 AM

@Dusty aww shucks.. shows you how much I think of mine. Though, to be fair, it made mincemeat of 1/2” Oak ply I ran through it tonight.

I guess I’ve learned my lesson about tension.. I swapped back to my 6tpi from my 3tpi resaw blade, ran some wood and, as I left the shop, it just didn’t feel right leaving without giving the saw 4 quick half cranks on the tension knob. Look what this site does to me! Breaking all my bad habits for no good reason…

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#30 posted 03-30-2011 04:08 AM

D- Allen, My saw is similar. (I built a shell over the entire saw and now the tension bracket is inside). But My homemade tension release mechanism is still on the outside.

Superstretch- Mincemenat made from oak? Sounds splintery. But I’ll eat anything in a pie…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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ferstler

333 posts in 2177 days


#31 posted 03-30-2011 10:46 PM

I just back off the tension knob about ten turns (I replaced the original knob with one I made from wood, and it has a marker on it to help tell me how many turns), and then use a small magnet to pin a small note card to the metal blade guard that says, “tighten ten turns before using.” Not all that hard to do.

Howard Ferstler

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HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1570 days


#32 posted 03-30-2011 11:41 PM

Stumpy SAID:
I have a label on the front of my bandsaw that saws: DELTA

The last time I checked Delta means ”change”, so change the dang tension!

LOL! ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2391 days


#33 posted 03-31-2011 01:30 AM

When my bandsaw was in high school, it was a juvenile delinquent. The only thing that worked was ‘de-tensions’ after school.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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superstretch

1504 posts in 1350 days


#34 posted 03-31-2011 02:34 AM

@Stumpy – Pecan sawdust pie is fantastic

@Mike – In the case of the company, Delta refers to “change of ownership”

@poopiekat (lol) – After enough o-fences, its blades were hung up on a nail in a corner in suspension?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1570 days


#35 posted 03-31-2011 04:19 AM

superstretch,
Jumping from the BLADE TENSION! sign to change of ownership is an even greater quantum leap than my “Delta is change” statement. Are we related?...

;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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superstretch

1504 posts in 1350 days


#36 posted 03-31-2011 04:24 AM

Not so sure.. standing at 6’8, I’m more vertical than horizontal…

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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DIYaholic

13567 posts in 1331 days


#37 posted 03-31-2011 06:29 PM

deke,

My deepest condolences! It’s a shame to lose something so precious. You will always have the memories of (and) the projects you both worked on together. It is now time to make new memories and projects.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

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bubinga

861 posts in 1324 days


#38 posted 04-01-2011 04:50 AM

I take the tension off the blade at the end of every day
I think it is a good practice, and makes sense
When I had Contractor saw with hang behind motor ,I slipped the belt off at the end of every day,to keep it in good shape
On my Band Saw I replaced the tension adjusting knob with a shop built crank,much quicker ,and easier,and inexpensive,the difference between this and a quick release, is 10 or 15 seconds

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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dbhost

5385 posts in 1888 days


#39 posted 04-01-2011 05:39 AM

Is it a Table Saw, or a Tablesaw? Miter Saw or Mitersaw?

Saw is the general type of machine, band is the specifier. Ergo Band Saw…

I have installed a Grizzly quick release on my Harbor Freight band saw and love it. But then again I change blades fairly often…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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Viking

857 posts in 1852 days


#40 posted 04-01-2011 10:15 AM

Stump;

Further to CessnaPilotBarry’s sign, one of the members had a great idea put a “tension” sign attached to saw with a magnet and the sign lays over the “start” button as a “everytime you start the saw” reminder. Just adjust it so it does not cover the “stop” button.

Yes, I release my tension every time I finish with my bandsaw. Have the Rikon 14” which came with blade tension system.

Good luck!

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

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bluekingfisher

1038 posts in 1636 days


#41 posted 04-01-2011 02:29 PM

Just to chuck my tuppenth worth in, I have recently purchased the Jet 18” bandsaw with the onboard detensioning lever. I’ve only used the saw a few times but I detension between uses.

I am no engineer but I would guess the level of pressure on the blade to get it to full tesion must be quite substantial. The whole saw would be under tension, including the tyres, blade wheel bearings and even the frame. Call me old fashioned but I would sleep better at night knowing the machine was not under tension for weeks/months/years on end.

Take the easy option, save your coffee money for a couple of weeks and buy the device and be sure to make use of it, that way you can rule out any further problems with the machine on the account of it being over stressed

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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HorizontalMike

6938 posts in 1570 days


#42 posted 04-01-2011 03:07 PM

I hang a parts tag off the lever as my reminder. I probably should make it larger, but it has worked for now. I only forgot once thus far (no damage) to set the tension.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View D_Allen's profile

D_Allen

495 posts in 1440 days


#43 posted 04-02-2011 12:14 AM

OK, Stumpy got me going on this so it’s his fault.
I think I have a retrofit to my 10” Rikon/sears knockoff figured out.
For about $30 or less I can build a quick realease for it without drilling any holes in the saw.
I have a few details to work out but the parts are readily available.
Now, the question is, how far does it need to realease?
When I back off the knob on mine I go far enough that the blade stays on the tire where it was with tension.
Does the Carter unit release it further? Seems that it shouldn’t because you want the blade to be in the correct place when you tighten it.
If it is only about 1/4” or less then I should be OK with this idea.

-- Website is finally up and running....www.woodandwrite.com

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Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#44 posted 04-03-2011 07:18 AM

Correct , it is a bandsaw , Not a saw that cuts bands. ie: Dovetail saw , Coping saw ,etc..

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#45 posted 04-03-2011 02:46 PM

Dusty- Does that mean a table saw cuts tables? A circular saw is just for cutting circles? What does a jig saw cut?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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poopiekat

3634 posts in 2391 days


#46 posted 04-03-2011 03:05 PM

Hey, Stumpy….I always wondered about my metalworking ‘prick punch’. Glad you set the record straight!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#47 posted 04-03-2011 06:00 PM

Nay , Stumpy , tablesaw is one word…circular describes the blade and I have no idea where the jig came from ! LOL…from now on I’m just going to refer to it as BS…not unlike this posting : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#48 posted 04-03-2011 06:45 PM

If circular saw is two words, and it describes the blades rather than what it cuts, that blows a hole in your argument that bandsaw should be one word because it describes the blades, not what it cuts. Dusty, you really should rethink your position… you’re embarrassing yourself here…

(“BS” indeed… :)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#49 posted 04-03-2011 09:41 PM

You’re taking yourself too seriously…nobody really cares about this non-issue. If I said bandsaw or band saw , would you still know what I meant ? If bandsaw is good enough for the guys that make them , then it certainly is good enough for me : ) Enough of this BS….have a great day ! LOL

Funny thing is “bandsaw” , while using spellcheck , is either band saw or band-saw and yet handsaw is handsaw…Go figure : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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StumpyNubs

6192 posts in 1457 days


#50 posted 04-03-2011 09:54 PM

Dusty- Not taking myself, or the spelling issue, seriously at all. That’s why I used a happy face above… my sense of humor is hard to get sometimes…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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