Band Saw, Jointer, and Drill Press. recomdations

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Forum topic by CanuckEh posted 06-03-2016 03:30 AM 379 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 771 days

06-03-2016 03:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw jointer drill press

I really know nothing about these tool and \I see the need for all three. No idea what would be a medium of the road tool. What would be some of the things I should be looking for. I am getting close to retirement and would like to have quality tool that will not break the bank. Would be a serious hobbyist.

3 replies so far

View onoitsmatt's profile


214 posts in 593 days

#1 posted 06-03-2016 04:11 AM

Typically good quality and low price don’t seem to coincide. If you don’t mind used tools, old delta, walker turner, and other quality tools can be had for very good prices if you can be patient and keep an eye on craigslist.

The old, American made, cast iron Delta 14” band saws are kind of the standard for that machine. You can typically find them in good condition for about $400-$500 (or in need of maintenence / cleaning for as little as $100-$200). If you don’t plan to resaw more than 6” or if you don’t plan to resaw at all, this is a great machine.

Old delta drill presses are also a good value. $150-$200 for one in need of a little TLC and refurbished ones for $400+/-. These are measured by how much space is between the drill bit and the support. Bigger is better. Stroke is also important (how deep you can drill a hole) 4” is probably adequate for most work. More is better.

Though jointers will be much cheaper for smaller 4” ones and much more expensive for larger 8” ones. But middle of the road is 6”. Most people agree bigger is better for a jointer so buy as big as you can afford and have the space for. Benchtop models seem to get a rap too, so if you have the space and budget for a floor model, you’ll be happier.

You can’t go wrong with old, American made cast iron. They are relatively simple machines that can be torn down and rebuilt with a little work.

If you are interested in new machines, you will have to figure out your budget and do some research to find the best bang for your buck. Lots of good reviews here on LJs.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1931 days

#2 posted 06-03-2016 12:01 PM

This will probably turn into an “old tool -new tool” discussion.
Both have their benefits.

I prefer new because:
I am not much of a fan of restoring old tools. (Many guys find great satisfaction in that – it is just a second skillset they have along with their woodworking. Many of the outcomes are stunning.)
I like to work with the wood, not the tools. I got mad yesterday when I realized I had changed out a set of jointer blades and accidentally put on a set that was not completely sharpened, and had to put on another set.
I own two bandsaws because I don’t like changing blades which slows me down in my projects. One for resawing, one for small work. Same with lathes, one big one for bowls, etc., one for pens.
I am not wedded to any one brand. I think that is important, since some companies are better at one tool than another. Powermatic 3520 lathes, for instance, have been a mainstay horse for a long time, but their bandsaws are overpriced and not that much better than some others.
It goes on and on.

With all that being said, my new tools:
Mostly cannot hold a candle to the old style craftsmanship that the old, American made tools offered. If you get one and restore it, you have a tool for life, usually.
Old tools offer a lower initial investment, but you should realize that they will come fairly worn out, so bearings, gears, blades, etc., will have to be addressed and money spent. Also, lots of guys like to paint their old tools to finish off the restore.

So from my “new tool” perspective, Grizzly offers a pretty good value for the buck, customer service is not bad, and they offer the whole lineup. I have a bandsaw and a planer from them, both years old and running fine. I also own a Powermatic bandsaw and lathe, both horses but initially overpriced. My second lathe is the small 18” Harbor Freight, one of their gems.
My planer is a 2000 Jet 6 inch, and I love it.
My table saw is the Rigid 4512, the one that everyone complains about, but I got a good one. I think it is out of production now.
Others will talk Laguna, Festol, and other brands. Each has its merits.
As far as small tools, like small clamps, some hand held items, Harbor Freight has some good values, but be SURE to read the reviews online before buying. They have as many duds as good ones.

Good luck, and welcome to woodworking!

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View Wondermutt's profile


60 posts in 273 days

#3 posted 06-03-2016 01:23 PM

Bandsaw: I have a Grizzly G0555. For small projects and limited resawing, it’s an awesome saw. In my opinion, it would be difficult to find something close to its quality in the same price.

I would look at tools that could be converted to 240v. That is assuming you can run the outlets to the tools.

Now if you are like me and have a limited budget for stationary tools, look at some older iron as others have suggested. They may not have the features of the new hardware and may need some reconditioning, but that is a real good way to learn the tool, and proper setup.

Good luck


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