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Forum topic by ShopWench posted 01-30-2012 12:00 AM 1045 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 2338 days

01-30-2012 12:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw lathe

I am newly fascinated by woodworking! That being said, I am also a bit overwhelmed. I have learned, sort of the hard way, that good tools are vital. BUT I do not have unlimited funds to dump into this. I was given a lathe from harbor freight, it works fine for small projects of the spindle type, but beyond that it’s a mess. Also, I got a second hand bandsaw that I might as well toss in the yard. SO, I would really like some advice about best value on wood lathes and bandsaws. I understand that a decent tool will not be cheap, but I don’t want to over spend either. I want to turn bowls and hollow forms, cut blanks, and outlines for hand carvings. I have a Ridgid drill press that seems good. Also, I have an outlet store to get 14”band saw, but the review I read on here was not making me want to run out and get it. I would be grateful for some experienced advice!

-- Nancy

4 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2343 days

#1 posted 01-30-2012 12:17 AM

Best value is to be had from auctions, garage sales, Craigslist and other outlets of used goods. Unfortunately that is a time-consuming way to acquire tools and you do have to know what to look for.

When you get a bandsaw I recommend sticking with the simplest guide system. It will keep the price down and happens to be the least frustrating to work with. Here’s an example of a basic guide system that works well.

Bandsaw Guides

The more expensive saws tend to have roller bearings on the side and they require constant cleaning and/or replacing.

A good bandsaw blade is a necessity. Properly adjusted guides and a good blade will allow even a cheap saw to cut well. The blades don’t have to be fancy or expensive. They do need to be made from decent steel and have a really good weld joint. If the weld is done properly the blade will seem like a continuous band with just the grind marks to indicate where it was welded. No kinks or misaligned teeth.

-- See my work at and

View StumpyNubs's profile (online now)


7601 posts in 2827 days

#2 posted 01-30-2012 12:35 AM

Watch our videos... do a lot of “make your own machines” etc. Forr example, during the next couple months we’ll be building a big tool cabinet, making our own bench mounted biscuit joining machine, building a screw advancing, quick release box joint cutter, making a mortising machine and pattern router, and starting on our homemade, wooden band saw.

And if you don’t learn anything, you get your money back… because it’s free…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4949 posts in 3987 days

#3 posted 01-30-2012 12:47 AM

Don’t be hasty in your tool buys. My advice is to stay away from the crappy stuff you’ll find at some of the import/discount sellers. Also, be aware of some of the stuff offered by the borgs. Newer tooling offered is for folks who MIGHT use a tool infrequently.
That being said, there are a few items (HF dust collector as an example) that will give ya good bang for the buck. I try to find older machines/hand tools on offer from the web.
Stay in touch with the Jocks, and ask frequent questions about a potential purchase. You won’t be uninformed.


View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2425 days

#4 posted 01-30-2012 04:15 AM

For a new bandsaw, one of the better values is the Rikon 14” Deluxe. Coupled with a Timberwolf or a Highland Hardware “Wood Slicer” blade, this saw is a lot of saw for a modest amount of money.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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