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Solid Re-Saw machine

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Review by richgreer posted 01-19-2010 12:20 AM 4354 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Solid Re-Saw machine Solid Re-Saw machine No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was looking at the bandsaw reviews on this website and I noticed that there was no review of my bandsaw. So I decided to address this oversight by providing this review.

I need to put my review into perspective. Previously, I used the band saw attachment for my shopsmith. That is an 11 inch bandsaw that is much different than this bandsaw. I have never had experience with other bandsaws that are comparable to this. Therefore, I cannot compare this bandsaw to other comparable bandsaws on the market.

This bandsaw meets one of my criteria for big power tools – I like to buy as much tool as I can without going to 220 volts. This bandsaw has a 1.75 hp motor that runs on 110 volts.

This is a very good re-sawing machine. With wide boards you will have to proceed at a pretty slow pace but you still get a quality cut. Drift is minimal with a 3/4 inch blade and, in some respects, it is irrelevant because the bandsaw comes with a re-sawing bar which allows you guide the workpiece through. A 10 inch wide piece of hard maple is the widest piece I have re-sawn so far and I was very pleased with the result. When re-sawing I always use a featherboard at the bottom and a second featherboard towards the top. I have made a gig to support the upper featherboard.

I have been told that the tension on a bandsaw blade should be 20,000 pounds per square inch. I have a tension gauge and, as is almost always the case, the tension settings indicator on the band saw is inaccurate. If I set my tension based on the indicater gauge on the machine the tension would be less than 10,000 pounds per square inch. I tightened it until I had a true 20,000 pounds of tension and made my own mark. That is a complaint, but it is also true of almost any bandsaw on the market today.

I found that it took a lot of effort to get the tension to 20,000 bounds on a 3/4 inch blade with the little 5 inch wheel that you turn to change tension. Therefore, I built a wooden wheel enhancement that is 12 inches in diameter and attaches to the 5 inch wheel with 3 U-bolts. That gives you a lot more leverage and makes it much easier to apply the pressure.

Warning, with my 12 inch tension wheel I was able to severely over tighten the saw with a 1/4 inch blade in place and I managed to destroy the tires. That was my stupidity and no fault of the machine.

This machine does not have a quick release lever. That may be a negative for some people. With my enhanced tension wheel it is pretty easy to apply and release tension. I just need to remember to do it. I intend to release tension at the end of every work session and reapply tension before turning on the machine the next time. On several occasions I have failed to do one or the other.

This is not just a re-saw tool. I also use it for regular bandsaw applications and I am quite pleased with how it performs.

I don’t like changing blades with this saw. It seems to be a burdensome task. Maybe that is the way all 18 inch bandsaws are. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t like changing blades on this saw. I normally use a 3/4 inch blade for re-sawing and a 1/4 inch blade for more intricate work. I am tempted to buy a 1/2 inch blade and use it for re-sawing and other work.

I am at a handicap here because I have no experience with other similar bandsaws. Nonetheless, it seems like this bandsaw provides smooth, vibration free performance and after re-sawing I usually have nice flat and almost smooth pieces of wood. It normally takes only one pass, shearing off 1/64”, on the thickness planner to give me the smooth finish I desire.

Basically, I like this machine. I consider it solid and dependable. But there are a few issues that cause me to give it 4 stars instead of 5.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.




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richgreer

4524 posts in 1762 days



6 comments so far

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danr

151 posts in 1872 days


#1 posted 01-19-2010 12:44 AM

Hi Rich,

What good timing. I just ran across a Jet 18”, 3HP saw for sale on Craigs list in my area this morning. I looked on this site for a review but the closest review was for the 16” version. Thanks a lot for your time posting this review.

I was wondering if you could post some pictures of your tension wheel enhancement and the “re-saw” bar that you mentioned. Also, did you have to do much tune up when you received it and/or do you have to do any periodic maintence or tune up to keep it working well?

Thanks,
DanR

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1762 days


#2 posted 01-19-2010 01:33 AM

danr – When I was doing this review I could not get the second picture to upload. I went back to edit this review and this time I was able to upload the second picture. In it, you will see the wheel enhancement I did. Please forgive the workmanship. I spent very little time sanding. This is a functional piece and it works very well. It has not been in the way of anything I have tried to do and if it was, I could temporarily remove it. If you ever build one of these, contact me for some more advice on how to make one.

Regarding the re-saw bar – - I don’t have a picture of it, but if you look closely at the first picture you may see it. It is a vertical bar, about 6 inches tall, about 1 inch in diameter, that attaches to the fence. When re-sawing you put the wood against the bar and “steer” the wood through the blade to keep it on track. I think it works particularly well if you have feather boards set up as I described.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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danr

151 posts in 1872 days


#3 posted 01-29-2010 07:50 PM

Hey Rich,

Thanks for the feedback. I think that wheel looks great. I will hit you up for more advice on making it if I end up getting the Jet saw. (Thanks).

I have decided not to pursue the saw that was on Craigs list. I talked to the guy and it turns out that he bought it used from a production shop and its about 5 years old. When it comes to this kind of a purchase (for me) specifically because it is a band saw, I think I want a “new” one or one that was just used by a weekend warrior if you know what I mean.

I can get the new Jet saw from my friend for his cost (from Jet) as he is a Jet dealer. He is on vacation right now so I am waiting to hear back from him on the price. I also saw that WoodCraft is selling the Rikon, 18”, 2.5HP for $999 ($300 off) until the end of Feb. I may pursue that a little bit more also as that price and feature set is fairly attractive to me. I have seen a few bad reviews fo the Rikon with respect to a newly designed tension release mechanism for that particular model so I will investigate some more.

Thanks again,

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oceannavagator

1 post in 1072 days


#4 posted 11-16-2011 12:55 AM

Hi Rich!
I have the same saw and love it dearly but to make blade changes easier I drilled two 5/16 holes over the bolts that hold the lower blade guide. Right through the cast iron table. It allows me to put a long allen wrench through the table to loosen or tighten the adjustment bolts letting me change blade widths in about 5 minutes.

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steamfab

76 posts in 868 days


#5 posted 07-20-2012 09:38 PM

Good review. www.bandsawreviews.com has reviews for different band saw machines. You might want to write your own for this machine.

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AveryPickett

2 posts in 643 days


#6 posted 02-02-2013 10:06 PM

I have heard there are problems with screws stripping out that are tapped into the casting (Chinese steel). And the motor is cheap. It doesn’t have a shut off when it over heats. Also if you have to replace the motor the housing “isn’t typical.” I think it would be a great saw for the hobbyist. Just be careful to not over tighten the screws or over heat the motor. Is there any external gauge or device that can be added to this motor so it doesn’t over heat?

I have a similar age Jet jointer whose casting also stripped. I was able to replace them with through bolts though so it wasn’t a big deal. Can the stripped bolts on the bandsaw be replaced with through bolts? The bolts that I have heard that strip are on the blocks and bearing.

I may purchase this saw used also. Seems like the going rate is about $600.

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