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Forum topic by RickM posted 01-30-2008 09:44 PM 1591 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RickM's profile


27 posts in 4005 days

01-30-2008 09:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw

Okay first I am sensitive (LOL) so be gentle, I have a very small home shop – sharing a small one car garage with a hot water heater, 6 1/2 HP 60 gal compressor, washer, and dryer. Don’t laugh at me but I own a Shopsmith MK V 510, and while I wish I had stand alone tools my space is just not sufficient though I do have a radial arm saw, mitre saw, and a planer. The problem I am having is with the bandsaw and though I can ask this at Shopsmith I am considering purchasing a Grizzly 14” Bandsaw and so I want the opinions of others that do not have Shopsmith on the brain. I watch a lot of woodworking shows on the web and TV and notice them using 1/4” blades (and sometimes larger) and creating intricate curves and circles, on my saw I can not cut less the a 4” curve with a 1/4” blade without it screaming and throwing sparks from the cool blocks. So am seeing things on these shows or is the Shopsmith bandsaw a proverbial POS and I should just plan on scraping it?

-- RickM

4 replies so far

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 4561 days

#1 posted 01-30-2008 10:03 PM


A 1/4” blade will bandsaw a 5/8” circle. If your bandsaw can’t do that then it is a question of set up. Here is a reference for blade sizes and the minimum radii ~, the site also has a number of other very useful references.

If you run out of information there, then use this reference list ~ Bandsaws and Blades information sites

Don’t forget when your bandsaw is operating properly you can have fun making Bandsawn Boxes Bandsawn Box Plans

Good Health
Tony Ward

View markrules's profile


146 posts in 4349 days

#2 posted 01-30-2008 11:07 PM

Band saw blades cut curves by cutting a wider kerf than the blade itself, and by sliding the back of the blade inside that kerf. If your blade won’t cut curves, you could very well have a blade without any set left. If the blade is setting too far back in the guides, the blocks will knock the set out (probably sparking as it does this).

A new blade, and a reset backup guide might just fix your sawing problems.


View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4196 days

#3 posted 01-30-2008 11:47 PM

All the above plus maybe not enough tension. I still have my ShopSmith but sold the band saw and other accessories. I think you should try a new blade and check the set up. That saw will cut very well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View RickM's profile


27 posts in 4005 days

#4 posted 01-31-2008 01:26 AM

Mark – thanks shows how much I know, I was under the impression that since the cool blocks were softer than the blade that they could actually envelop the entire blade providing more support and to keep the blade from angling in the wood which was one of the other problems.
Thos you are right about the tension as well since the bandsaw uses a proprietary 72” blade I was using a 72 7/16” Vermont American blade which is only a 1/16th under the maximum and was not able to get the blade tight enough. I will be having custom blades made at Cal-Ore Carbide from now on. In you opinion since you have had both how would you rate the Shopsmith Bandsaw up to say a Grizzly?

-- RickM

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