LumberJocks

Bandsaw upgrades- what's worth it?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by diito posted 03-05-2017 10:08 PM 1168 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View diito's profile

diito

30 posts in 1426 days


03-05-2017 10:08 PM

I have a Grizzly G0555X 14” bandsaw with a riser block installed. Most of the time I keep a 1/2” blade on it (Timber wolf) that I mainly use for rough cutting parts to shape that I’m going clean up on something else and the saw runs pretty well with that. It’s a real nightmare swapping the blade out though. Getting the blade tracking properly and the bearing guides positioned right so that everything runs true and STAYS that way is a real hassle, particular with narrow blades. The bearings are particularly annoying as they move around on you. Anyways I want to do something because I plan of doing some projects that will require so fairly clean resawing on boards over 6” and at the other end so some very tight curved work.

For those of you that have this popular saw (any maybe similar) what sort of upgrades did you make that really improved it? I’ve been looking at ditching the stock bearing guides as those seem to be the biggest issue. I’ve seen people would say carters bearings + stabilizer are good (and from what I’ve seen in person they look like they would be), other people say cool blocks, others ceramic blocks. What about tensioning system replacements, new tires, carbide blades, and other stuff?


13 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1003 posts in 1828 days


#1 posted 03-05-2017 11:32 PM

I never had an issue with my stock guides on the Shopfox version of that saw (they are roller bearing). Did you make sure your set screw for them didn’t vibrate out and disappear? I had that happen to me.

I just got the carter stabilizer, but I haven’t even tried it yet. The demos make it look awesome.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

543 posts in 437 days


#2 posted 03-05-2017 11:58 PM

What do you mean the bearings “move around on you”? If by tracking you mean “drift” remember that the drift will always vary based on the blade, not the table or saw itself. Make sure you watch the Alex Snodgrass’ youtube vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU&t=99son on saw setup. Also, there is another vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTjwPo0VtaQ that says that you should adjust drift by adjusting where the teeth ride on the top wheel which I plan on trying when I get time since Alex says there is no such thing as drift.

There are lots of band saw forum posts here on LJ. ie http://lumberjocks.com/topics/199610 which I followed and got great advice and resaw results. But a great resaw blade and a tight curve blade are 2 different blades I think.

I try to keep a 1/2” resaw 3tpi on the saw at all times because dialing in the perfect set up is a pain in the ass, and use a scroll saw for really tight turns. I guess if the time comes that I need the saw for a “tight turn” project I’d change blades but I’d look for another solution first.

The consensus here seems to be that anything larger than 1/2” on a 14” saw is a bit too much which I have found to be true.

My suggestion would be to take the time and get it set up and cutting true with the guides that come with the Grizzly by following these tutorials EXACTLY STEP BY STEP before spending any money.

Hope that helps. I am by no means an expert.

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

View Jim Dawson's profile

Jim Dawson

90 posts in 666 days


#3 posted 03-06-2017 03:17 AM

I have the Shop Fox version of that saw with the riser block. I recently installed the Carter bearings and find them much easier to adjust correctly and they seem to stay in adjustment.

View diito's profile

diito

30 posts in 1426 days


#4 posted 03-06-2017 05:48 AM



What do you mean the bearings “move around on you”?

The bearings move out of alignment after I set them up. I’ll get them aligned just right and turn the saw on and the between the (mild) vibration and the blade occasionally bumping into them they’d come out of alignment. I’ve had bearing come so loose they’d fallen off too. Pretty annoying. It’s not really as big of any issue on the 1/2” blade I leave on the saw as the thinner blades I have though.

If by tracking you mean “drift” remember that the drift will always vary based on the blade, not the table or saw itself. Make sure you watch the Alex Snodgrass youtube vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU&t=99son on saw setup. Also, there is another vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTjwPo0VtaQ that says that you should adjust drift by adjusting where the teeth ride on the top wheel which I plan on trying when I get time since Alex says there is no such thing as drift.

Those are great videos and I actually saw Alex today at a Carter booth. I was looking at the stabilizer mostly but looking at the carter replacement bearings there I was impressed how much better they seemed to be. The Carter sales guy (not Alex) was basically listing off all the issues with the style of bearings that I have, which pretty much lined up exactly with my experience, and that theirs solves those issues. Those are fairly expensive though and it’s a sales pitch so I didn’t buy. I’m thinking about it but wanted some real world feedback first and maybe if there was a simpler option to improve the user experience.


But a great resaw blade and a tight curve blade are 2 different blades I think.

Yep, I have several blades for different tasks.


I try to keep a 1/2” resaw 3tpi on the saw at all times because dialing in the perfect set up is a pain in the ass, and use a scroll saw for really tight turns. I guess if the time comes that I need the saw for a “tight turn” project I d change blades but I d look for another solution first.

This is pretty much my issue. I CAN get the saw dialed in and working well with what I’ve got. It’s just that it’s a huge PITA to do it. I pretty much have to spend a half hour or more to do it each time. Thicker blades are easier and thin blades… If I had the room for it and budget I’d probably get a second bandsaw and not deal with it but I don’t right now.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

543 posts in 437 days


#5 posted 03-06-2017 09:42 AM

Yep. It takes me about a half hour to to get it re-dialed for re-sawing when I change blades between the drift and the guides and the thrust bearings. The resaw setup is the PITA. Just changing to a different blade is pretty quick.

I haven’t done it yet but I’m hoping that the 2nd vid adjusting the drift with the blade position on the wheels will make it easier thus letting me keep my fence at 90 degrees. I have cool blocks and I think it was Izzy Swan that said he just pushes them right up against the blade. Gonna try that too.

The only reason I say to dial it in before spending any money is because my buddy has a nice Grizzly with the Carter setup and he has yet to duplicate my veneer re-saw results I get with my $100 Craigslist Harbor Freight saw with the cool blocks it had on it.

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

5978 posts in 2032 days


#6 posted 03-06-2017 09:50 AM

Review: 14-inch Bandsaw Blade Guides by Jim Mattson (Woodworkers Gazette, February 1999)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1445 posts in 2900 days


#7 posted 03-06-2017 12:55 PM

I have two Bandsaws. One a Grizzly 17” HD with a laguna carbide blade set up for resaw. I have upgraded the bearings on it from the eurostyle, and that was worth it.

My second saw is a 1934 Delta 14”. That saw I set up with a 1/4 blade for small cuts (primarily) and curves.

One of the best changes I made was changing that standard block style blade stablizier that restricts the left/right movement.

I use the carter stablizer. It free’s the blade left/right movement but is supported at the rear of the blade. Its fantastic if you are cutting any kind of circles or curves or tight radius’s.

That has made my life so much better in the Bandsaw world.
http://www.carterproducts.com/band-saw-products/band-saw-stabilizer

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

786 posts in 2232 days


#8 posted 03-06-2017 06:33 PM

ditto -
I think you are “beating a dead horse.” Go get you a good 18 to 20 inch bandsaw and stop wasting you money on the “add ons” which will never completely meet your needs. If you do not need one that large look into some of the new Ricon bandsaws which have a high throat and are very capable bandsaws for resaw work. As for upgrades, the Carter people offer some very good bandsaw upgrades especially their blade guides.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 1944 days


#9 posted 03-06-2017 07:12 PM

I’d like to add one data point in favor of block style guides over bearings on 14” saws.

I have Carter bearings on a Delta 14” and almost hate them. They seem to pack sawdust and junk on the blade, eventually causing problems, where the Cool Blocks I used for ages scrape the blade side a bit, keep it clean, and stay adjusted. Cool Blocks are also a lot easier to set up for narrow blades. The occasional maintenance of truing the blocks seems like less time than screwing with the bearings and keeping them clean.

After about 2 1/2 years with the genuine Carter bearing guides, I’m seriously considering removing them.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5457 posts in 2647 days


#10 posted 03-06-2017 07:50 PM

I replaced the tensioning knob on my Jet bandsaw with a crank type handle, and it is a big improvement.

I built tall resaw fences in various sizes, but I never use them.

Revamping the dust collection was probably the biggest improvement on mine.

What about larger thumb screws that secure the guide assembly and thrust bearings?
Or convert them to use an Allen wrench?
Mine are tool-free thumbscrews, and prone to loosening up if not checked often.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

543 posts in 437 days


#11 posted 03-08-2017 02:36 AM

Disclaimer = “I’m no expert” :-) but I say you need to pamper that horse, and figure out what makes it happy instead of beating it. A 20” is a lot of $ especially since you said you can get it dialed in but it’s a PITA to change blades. Lots of people here seem to get great results with a 14” Grizzly saw. Sure, make some mods if you like but work on your blade changing technique.

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

543 posts in 437 days


#12 posted 03-09-2017 05:35 AM

If he can do this with an old 12” Craftsman u can do it with a 14” Griz i think. http://lumberjocks.com/TungOil/blog/103754

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8287 posts in 1319 days


#13 posted 03-09-2017 05:54 AM

my first thoughts:

How is it possible for the bearings to come off?

How is it possible for the guides to come loose?

Solve those problems and you should have a good saw afterwards. Blade changes would be less painful then. Still gonna be a pain. That’s the reason I decide to go with 2. One for curves and one for resawing.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com