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Band Saw for a dummy?

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Forum topic by chughes10 posted 11-16-2016 05:30 PM 500 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chughes10

4 posts in 395 days


11-16-2016 05:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: band saw saw butternut question wood

I am getting into some smaller woodworking projects, so I figured I would ask some advice about what kind of band saw to purchase. I have no experience with band saws, but I am working with butternut wood in a 2×4 size, which is incredibly dense hardwood. Cutting it by hand is painful, and sloppy. I am looking to invest in a low to mid-range band saw, something that won’t run me more than a few hundred bucks. I see a lot of people saying that the lower (2.5-3.5) amp saws are terrible for cutting thicker wood. I want to be able to manipulate at least a 32 inch 2×4 board, but I am planning some more DIY projects that might require something a little bit larger. Any ideas?


11 replies so far

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 408 days


#1 posted 11-16-2016 05:33 PM

A used 12 or 14” Delta would do it for you, but unless your find a deal, it maybe a bit out of your price range.

View Loren's profile

Loren

9633 posts in 3487 days


#2 posted 11-16-2016 05:36 PM

i don’t really recommend any wood band saw under
12” unless it’s the old INCA 340, which is precisely
made and collectible. You can keep your eye out
for one, but a used 12” or 14” saw will be easier
to find.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4480 posts in 2190 days


#3 posted 11-16-2016 05:38 PM

Don’t get anything less than a 14” saw. The smaller saws have shorter blades which generates a lot more heat and they tend to break easily. A 14” saw runs cool and can handle thicker wood and is ideal for band saw boxes and such and you can re-saw larger wood with it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View gargey's profile

gargey

862 posts in 614 days


#4 posted 11-16-2016 05:40 PM


...but I am working with butternut wood in a 2×4 size, which is incredibly dense hardwood…- chughes10

False.

http://www.wood-database.com/butternut/

27 lbs per cubic foot.
Janka 490

It is a low density, very soft hardwood. If you’re confused by my use of the word “hardwood,” then:
Hardwood = not pine. Softwood = pine.

“Incredibly dense” would better describe, for instance, Live Oak, which is ~60 lbs per cubic foot, and ~2,500 Janka (more than twice as heavy, and five times harder).

Nothing against using power tools, but cutting butternut by hand should be quite easy if you don’t have a mountain of it to cut. Maybe you need some sawing instruction/practice.

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chughes10

4 posts in 395 days


#5 posted 11-16-2016 05:42 PM

Sorry, I guess I got my facts wrong. My main point is that as far as wood goes, it is really hard to cut by hand. It may be low density, but it has wrecked several of my jig saw blades when I tried to use that to cut it. I figured it would be good to get some opinions on it. Thanks

...but I am working with butternut wood in a 2×4 size, which is incredibly dense hardwood…- chughes10

False.

http://www.wood-database.com/butternut/

27 lbs per cubic foot.
Janka 490

It is a low density, soft hardwood. If you re confused by my use of the word “hardwood,” then:
Hardwood = not pine. Softwood = pine.

- gargey


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gargey

862 posts in 614 days


#6 posted 11-16-2016 05:52 PM

Maybe you have to go more slowly with the jigsaw, given the 2” thickness? Maybe your jigsaw cannot handle 2” thickness, given the reciprocating action. FWIW jigsaw is not what most people would consider “by hand.”

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chughes10

4 posts in 395 days


#7 posted 11-16-2016 05:56 PM

No, it isn’t by hand but that was my next step after the hand saw gave me horrible results. And I went as slowly as I could. Part of the issue is that the thickness of the wood made it nearly impossible to get the blade to pass through the end, and going slower caused the wood to burn. The cut end is black from the heat.


Maybe you have to go more slowly with the jigsaw, given the 2” thickness? Maybe your jigsaw cannot handle 2” thickness, given the reciprocating action. FWIW jigsaw is not what most people would consider “by hand.”

- gargey


View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2904 posts in 1827 days


#8 posted 11-16-2016 06:06 PM

I have two band saws. One is a 16” Jet I use mainly to resaw. The other is a 10” Rikon for small stuff. With the right blade, the 10” Rikon does very well.

The big thing for you is to try to figure what kind of projects you want to do…base a bandsaw on the projects you want to do.

View gargey's profile

gargey

862 posts in 614 days


#9 posted 11-16-2016 06:14 PM

Hmm. You should look into getting a bandsaw.


No, it isn t by hand but that was my next step after the hand saw gave me horrible results. And I went as slowly as I could. Part of the issue is that the thickness of the wood made it nearly impossible to get the blade to pass through the end, and going slower caused the wood to burn. The cut end is black from the heat.

- chughes10

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chughes10

4 posts in 395 days


#10 posted 11-16-2016 06:30 PM

Well to put it in perspective, I am into archery and DIY projects. I am shaping a crossbow stock. I am using the butternut because I haven’t got to worry about it splintering or shattering, but it’s much lighter than oak. I do a lot of weaponry projects that require a combination of wood and PVC. This particular project has made me realize that investing in some more serious equipment is going to make my life a lot easier down the road.


I have two band saws. One is a 16” Jet I use mainly to resaw. The other is a 10” Rikon for small stuff. With the right blade, the 10” Rikon does very well.

The big thing for you is to try to figure what kind of projects you want to do…base a bandsaw on the projects you want to do.

- Redoak49


View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

207 posts in 458 days


#11 posted 11-16-2016 06:45 PM

I have a 14” Grizzly that I found on Craig’s list a few years ago for about $200. Does everything I want it to do. I did buy some good blades, which helped. It can only re-saw 6”, but it handled re-sawing 6” white oak like a champ this past weekend. Listen to the saw and don’t push it too hard and it does fine.

My only modifications were to add a speed tensioning crank and zero clearance inserts. Whatever saw you get, the speed tensioning crank is worth the upgrade. I’m a hobbyist, so I change blades for almost every new project. The tensioning crank makes this a snap, rather than a knuckle busting chore.

-- Sawdust Maker

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