1986 Grizzly 18" bandsaw

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Forum topic by Kickback posted 02-14-2012 03:03 AM 12605 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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127 posts in 2633 days

02-14-2012 03:03 AM

I saw an ad over the weekend for a Grizzly 18” bandsaw and i contacted the seller. He emailed me that the saw was still available so i called him today and he said there was another guy who was in front of me. So he took my number and said if the other guy didn’t contact him by 7:00 pm. he would call me back. I figured it was a lost cause but he called me back saying the other guy decided not to buy it. So I am going to pick it up tomorrow. He only wants $150 for it and has all of the original manuals and a bunch of bandsaw blades for it. So I figure that it is worth the risk to get this saw for $150. I could not find any really good info on this saw online as I guess the company went through some change in ownership back then and the numbering scheme for the machines changed etc. It is a G1131 but from what i found online it could be a G1012 but the pics and manuals for that saw differ from the pics I have of the actual saw. Does anyone ave any better info they could possibly share with me so I know what I am getting myself into here. It has to be better than my little Shopsmith 11” bandsaw which is very much performance challenged to say the least.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

24 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10387 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 02-14-2012 04:14 AM

Buy it.

Band saws are simple machines. As long as it does not have
broken castings or major parts missing it can be tuned and
improved to make high quality cuts. 18” saws are beafier
than 14” saws in several respects so along with increased
capacity you’ll get less vibration.

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127 posts in 2633 days

#2 posted 02-14-2012 04:18 AM

Thanks that is what I wanted to hear and what i was also thinking. Will post up pics after i pick it up.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2848 days

#3 posted 02-14-2012 05:15 AM

I have a cousin to this saw. Remember it is easy to take the table off, which lightens the load considerably. There is a whole lot of weight here.

You might want to be sure you have (metric) tools along. Taking the motor off would be helpful too.

Be prepared, if it has not already been done, to invest a roll of teflon tape in making all the machine screws snug in tapped holes.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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1531 posts in 2691 days

#4 posted 02-14-2012 02:09 PM

I have a G1538 that looks very similar.. Perhaps a little variation where the motor and drive is placed, but the body looks almost identical. Its only a 16”, but I picked it up for $250 and its been worth every penny.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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127 posts in 2633 days

#5 posted 02-14-2012 02:18 PM

Awesome can’t wait to go get it.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

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8190 posts in 2574 days

#6 posted 02-14-2012 02:26 PM

Congratulations Kickback, you scored! Don’t forget to turn on the motor and hear it run. In any event, 150.00 is a very good price.

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3394 days

#7 posted 02-14-2012 05:31 PM

How come the good deals are always too far away from me to be able to jump on? LOL

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

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1850 posts in 2985 days

#8 posted 02-14-2012 05:36 PM

I have the same saw. It work pretty well.
Mine takes up to 1 1/2” wide bands.
From what I found online about it there is a weak point in the blade tensioning mechanism.
Grizzly no longer supports the saw with parts but enco sells a clone and you might be able to get parts through them if you need to.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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127 posts in 2633 days

#9 posted 02-15-2012 02:30 AM

So I drove an hour and a half to NJ to pickup the Grizzly 18” bandsaw this afternoon. Got there and met Tom the owner and he was as cirdial as can be. He immediately showed me the saw and we plugged it in and ran it. It ran fine although it is quite noisy due to the blade guide bearings needing to be replaced and the metal blade guides. The saw seems to be in almost new condition and i am very pleased i was able to purcase it. Someone had told me that the only real problem these saws had was that the blade tension spring was suspect. As it turned out Tom had first hand experience with this problem as the saw years ago while sitting in the shop just suddenly went bang and what he found was that the blade tension mount had broken into pieces. This OEm part was very poorly manufactured out of really horrible metal and could not withstand the stress of blade tensioning. So Tom called Grizzly and they said they had no parts for it as the saw had been discontinued and failing to find any suitable retrofit parts he decided to make his own parts. I took some pictures you can see below but he did a fine job of manufacturing his own parts to fix the problem out of very stout steel. He also made a new solid metal piece that sits behind the blade tensioning device that is used to adjust the tilt angle of the upper blade wheel. I took it out when i got home to check it out and it really is a nice job of basement machining that he accomplished. So I need not worry about tensioning the blade as that problem has been resolved. The other thing mentioned was the hardware and that I may need to use some teflon tape to tighten things up. I have not initially found that to be a problem but did notice that most of the little screws that thread into the cast iron are somewhat loose fitting. If it becomes an issue I will drill them out larger and use larger hardware to remedy that issue.

The stock fence is a serious joke why they even included it is a mystery to me as it is so poorly made that I wouldn’t even consider using it on a cheap tool. That will not be a problem either as I have a Kreg fence that was on my Shopsmith bandsaw that i will mount onto the Grizzly. The tires seem to be in very good shape and the wheel bearings seem to be very tight and silent. I am pretty excited about the acquisition and after a little bit of tuning and tweaking i think that the saw will perform quite well for me. It looks like I may even be able to make up a riser block for it and increase the resaw capacity which would really be nice. I think a 6” riser would be sufficient but i guess checking on what size blades are available first would be in order. The current blade length is 124” and the saw had some type of Swedish made 1.5” resaw blade on it when I picked it up. Tom also gave me a bunch of other saw blades so i should be all set to at least get started.

Here is the owner manufactured blade tensioning assembly

Here is the Swedish made resaw blade never heard of the company but I am sure some of you have

And here is the manuals and a bunch of blades he included for me

-- "I work so I can fish"!

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14940 posts in 2688 days

#10 posted 02-15-2012 03:15 AM

Jackpot! You’ve got over $150 in blades there. The previous owner’s repair looks factory. He should have been a machinist. Ya dun gooood here!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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127 posts in 2633 days

#11 posted 02-15-2012 03:20 AM

gfadvm, You would not believe the stuff he used to make the parts with. A simple drill press with cross slide vise and Harbor freight welder and patience I guess. He really did a nice job given the lack of high tech machining tools he has.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View Dwain's profile


524 posts in 3857 days

#12 posted 02-18-2012 12:10 AM

You scored big. Congratulations!

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2503 days

#13 posted 02-18-2012 12:16 AM

WOW! That sucker should work nicely for many years!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2173 days

#14 posted 06-18-2012 07:01 PM

Definitely worth the risk! A picture is worth a 1,00 words. Check out

View SirFatty's profile


540 posts in 2209 days

#15 posted 10-10-2012 08:59 PM

I have an opportunity to purchase the same saw, it was used primarily for resaw operations (the owner made gun stocks). Was wondering if you found the purchase to be worth it still?

-- Visit my blog at

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