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Steel City 14" Granite Top Bandsaw

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Review by GaryK posted 2230 days ago 15629 views 2 times favorited 50 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Steel City 14" Granite Top Bandsaw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Here it is. The Steel City 14” Granite table bandsaw.
The grand prize for the 2008 Winter Challange

http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/msojka/blog/3434

Now since I just got it, this review covers just the assembly and some preliminary
performance results and features. After I have used it for a while I will add an
addedum to this review.

Since I also purchased the 6” riser block I will do a separate review for that.

Assembly: Here is how they arrived:

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The base came in the small box. Here are the parts layed out:
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Here they are all together. The nice part is that the wheels are integrated into the base so it’s not an add on.
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Here is where the manual was wrong. The manual shows a hole in the top of the base, but as you can see here it’s been moved the side. No problem, just a little head scratching.
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Here is the main saw still in the box. Since I had only myself to put it together I separated the top and bottom half. No big deal since I was going to add the 6” riser the next day anyway.
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Here it is mounted. I put the belt on and it was already perfectly aligned. I don’t know if they all come like this but this one did.
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Now here is where I made my own modification. A light was included, but it has a separate plug and since I was going to run this off of 110V and not 220V I decided to take off the power switch and terminate the plug
into the live side of the switch. WARNING DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU REWIRE THE MOTOR FOR 220V
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Here you can see the wire routed through the back making a nice clean install.
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Other than mounting the table and fence that’s about it for the assembly.
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Now here are some of the features:

One nice feature is the 1 1/2 hp motor that comes wired for 110V but can be rewired to 220V.

I was surprised to see a T-Slot in the table and not just a slot. That allows me to use my miter gauge from my table saw without having to remove the washer. Great!
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Here a are a couple more. A resaw bar that you can mount to the fence. Now they really thought this out.
The difference between the surface of the fence and the face of the bar is exactly 1”. You will see the point of this when you see the scale in the next picture. The second is not really a feature but they included a blank table insert. This is great because you can use it as a guide to make more to use as zero clearance plates.
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Here is where that 1” I talked about earlier comes into play. There are two scales for the fence. One with the resaw post installed and the lower one without it. Another great feature.
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Another nice feature is the built in tension release lever. It allows you to release all the tension on your blade in less than a second just by flipping the lever. This makes changing blades a snap and removing tension when not in use. Not sure how important that is but I’m sure it would give you a longer life for the spring.

The upper blade guide is raised and lowered via a rack and pinion style control.

The included light is also a nice feature.

And last but not least is the upper and lower ball learing blade guides. No carter bearing upgrade needed here.
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Here is another great feature. A 4” dust collection port. There is kind of a scoop to help catch the sawdust.
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Here is some preliminary performance results. After I installed one of my favorite 3/4” Woodslicer blades,
I resawed a piece of 3/8 thick, 5” wide peruvian walnut. into 3 pieces 3/32 thick. With a combination of the saw and blade just a light sanding is necessary.
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So with two cuts I get three pieces from one 3/8 piece. Here you can see the piece at the left is a little thicker since that is the cutoff. All in all a great saw.
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-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX




View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2486 days



50 comments so far

View John's profile

John

340 posts in 2296 days


#1 posted 2230 days ago

Nice!

-- John - Central PA - http://affyx.wordpress.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15539 posts in 2716 days


#2 posted 2230 days ago

You’re just rubbing it in! :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2939 posts in 2492 days


#3 posted 2230 days ago

Congratulations, Gary, on being the fortunate one the get this great saw! This is a real beauty.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2520 days


#4 posted 2230 days ago

Nice score Gary.
It looks well made and carefully fitted. You will enjoy that tools for many moons.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2797 days


#5 posted 2230 days ago

Congratulations Gary!

A great prize, now I’ll have something to compare features with my Rikon.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Dominic Vanacora's profile

Dominic Vanacora

508 posts in 2367 days


#6 posted 2230 days ago

Thanks for the information. I love the saw and this my just push me into buying this one. I would also purchase the riser as you have. Very nice review. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

-- Dominic, Trinity, Florida...Lets be safe out there.

View RCT's profile

RCT

76 posts in 2249 days


#7 posted 2230 days ago

Hi Gary
What is “The 2008 Winter Challenge” I guess I should know but I don’t.
Thanks RC

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2486 days


#8 posted 2230 days ago

RC – you can read about it here:

http://lumberjocks.com/awards/winter_2008

I hope that there is a Summer Challange 2008 coming up.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View sharad's profile

sharad

1063 posts in 2303 days


#9 posted 2230 days ago

A nice review with ample pictures.
Sharad

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2366 posts in 2383 days


#10 posted 2230 days ago

Nice review and great looking saw.

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

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2659 days


#11 posted 2230 days ago

great review.. learned a few things re: bandsaws!

Congrats.. what a prize.. what a prize!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

346 posts in 2330 days


#12 posted 2230 days ago

Excellent review, Gary. Thanks for sharing your prize, even “virtually” Enjoy it, you’ve earned it.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL http://www.TenonAndSpline.com/blog

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2263 days


#13 posted 2230 days ago

Congratulations.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2486 days


#14 posted 2230 days ago

Someone asked me if there were any real advantages of the granite top.

It won’t rust.
It won’t warp.
The bottom surface is flat allowing you to use any type of clamps. Try putting a clamp on a cast iron top with all the webs and ribs under it and you will know what I mean.
You can also use it for anything that requires a dead flat surface.

That’s all that I can think of for now.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2266 days


#15 posted 2230 days ago

congratulations that looks like a really nice band saw. the granite top is cool how it has all those things that make it better. also it absorbs vibration. and it makes it look cool. congrats on the saw and great review.

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