|Review by bkhop||posted 05-12-2008 05:58 AM||6909 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
SST just left his review of the Shopsmith 11” bandsaw. What you’ll see between my bandsaw and his bandsaw is that both of them are the same “base” units. The saws are exactly the same, even though mine was manufactured about 45 years later, just as he mentioned in his review. The differences are what I’ll point out in my review.
The table, as you can see, is the first main difference.
SST’s bandsaw has a nice, heavy cast iron table. Mine has an aluminum table, which I believe is a bit larger. There’s advantages to either table style. The cast iron table is obviously much heavier and has a lot of heft to it. The aluminum table is lighter but takes more accessory options. Both tables have miter gauge slots – just “borrow” the miter gauge from the Shopsmith “system” and you’re in business; everything shares across tools. The aluminum table has the ability to accept an accessory table extension (which is shown in the picture) and also a circle cutting jig (which has the ability to cut a 36” circle.) If you have an older bandsaw – or any vintage Shopsmith bandsaw, to be exact – you can upgrade it to the current aluminum table – just give Shopsmith a call.
Another difference between the older saws and the newer ones is the dust collection port. Early models didn’t have any kind of port, but one is now built in… and in a very good location: right under the table as the blade comes down (some manufacturers have placed their dust collection ports in the absolute wrong positions to actually suck up any dust.) But, fear not, if you currently have any older Shopsmith bandsaw (or come by one used), Shopsmith has a retro-fit kit that you can install yourself to bring an older saw up to speed with dust collection. (See a recurring theme here… Shopsmith doesn’t sell you a tool and then leave you hanging.)
I have also installed the made-for-Shopsmith Kreg rail and fence kit on my bandsaw – this upgrade, however, is only available for the newer aluminum table models – though I suspect a fellow really could adapt the cast iron table pretty easily to make it work also.
With the Kreg’s longer rails, the cross-cut capacity is increased to 9 3/8”.
Resaw capacity is 6”. The Kreg fence is great for resawing, as it allows you to micro-adjust a measurement on a thumbwheel. I’ve made veneers for smaller projects or just sliced up figured wood to get more out of it.
One thing that I just about forgot to mention is that when mounted on the Mark V, the bandsaw is powered by a 1 1/8HP motor. -And with variable speed, no less! The bandsaw, as with any of Shopsmith’s “Special Purpose Tools,” can also be set up on its own dedicated stand if you so choose.
The Shopsmith bandsaw, obviously, is not a huge Powermatic or Laguna. For most hobby woodworking, the Shopsmith is more than sufficient and fits into the whole Shopsmith “family” of tools very nicely.
-- † Hops †