|Review by kayakguy||posted 11-05-2010 03:34 AM||10250 views||2 times favorited||11 comments|
This is not so much a review of my bandsaw, as a discussion of issues I had with the motor, and the struggle I went through replacing it. I had origionally posted this under ‘projects’, but some folks had suggested it really belonged under ‘reviews’. So here it is.
While re-sawing some 10” wide Walnut boards, I managed to blow out the motor on my bandsaw. The local repair shop could not fix it (they claimed it was a cheap motor, and not repairable). Jet wanted almost $400 for a replacement motor, which I thought was a bit steep for a not so great motor, with no thermal protection at all (which would have saved the motor).
So I shopped around for another motor that I could make fit. In the process, I learned WAY more about both American (NEMA) and International (IEC) motor standards than I ever thought I would need to know. I also learned that Jet’s motor does not adhere to either standards, so common off the shelf motor are not a drop in replacement. Dang those Jet people, and their proprietary motor mounts.
But I figured out a way, with lots of drilling and finagling, to get a much better and less expensive standard NEMA motor to fit. Plus it’s a more powerful motor to boot. Now I can resaw the thick walnut without the motor straining at all.
The fact that the motor blew out to begin with is mostly my fault. I had been resawing for a few hours, and had not stopped to notice how dull the blade was getting, or how hot the motor was. If I had stopped to sharpen the blade, and let the motor cool down, it would not have blown out so bad.
I am however, a little disappointed in the motor that came with the saw did not have any kind of thermal protection (which is a pretty standard feature in good quality motors), with the overall build quality of the motor, and that it uses a proprietary mounting pattern.
I have also always had issues with the motor bogging down while resawing thick hardwood. So I think the original motor was a little underpowered for my needs. I did notice that my model bandsaw now ships with a 3hp motor, instead of the 1.5hp mine came with. So perhaps Jet realized there was an issue with the 1.5hp motor they used to ship, and have worked to correct the issue. I hope that is the case.
Other than the motor adventure, I’ve been pretty pleased with the saw. Once tuned up, I can resaw very thin veneers from 10” wide hardwood boards, then switch blades and cut very accurate detailed cuts.
As mentioned, the motor was from www.surpluscenter.com. I’m very pleased with my dealings with them. The motor I ended up with was under $100, and is a little on the cheap side (the flan blade, and the junction box are plastic for example). However, the motor seems to be quite a bit beefier than the original Jet motor. So at least it’s a step up. I see now that surpluscenter has a nicer c mount motor in stock for about $200. If this were available when I ordered mine, I think I would have gone that route.
Before going the surpluscenter route, I looked around locally for a good used engine. The issue is that I needed a face mounted (C mount in NEMA terms). Base mounted motors are available everwhere. Face mounted motors are a bit harder to find.
-- Andy -- No animals were harmed in the posting of this entry, although the terrier next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you.