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DO CAST IRON WHEELS MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 04-05-2013 05:17 AM 1335 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newwoodbutcher

369 posts in 1502 days


04-05-2013 05:17 AM

I’m getting lathered up about getting a new band saw. I’ve got a 16” Grizzly I’ve been using happily for 15 years. Works “fine”. Under powered for resawing (1 1/2 HP) and only a 6” resaw capability. But a good cast iron heavy frame and wheels with upgraded guides. I do a fair amount of resawing these days making veneer. I’m thinking I want a 2 HP saw with a 10”-13” resaw capacity that I will dedicate to resawing while setting my old 16” up for scroll work only. I’ve considered a 3HP Laguna saw but really want to keep the cost under $1,000 and don’t care much about the throat capacity as it will be dedicated to resawing. I’ve been shopping for a used saw for a few months and can’t find a good deal with the power and resaw capability I need/want. Grizzly is having a spring sale that coincides with my desire to get a new toy. The G0513ANV 17” saw is on sale for $795 plus shipping. Looks like a great price point for my needs. My only question, is the cast aluminum wheels. I’m wondering does the mass of cast iron wheels create a momentum or performance factor that’s worth more $$$$? Would I be happy with this saw? Any recommendations?

-- Ken


25 replies so far

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Rick M.

3945 posts in 1031 days


#1 posted 04-05-2013 05:31 AM

Anytime you add mass to a flywheel it will give you some extra oomph but if a 1.5hp is underpowered for you then I can’t imagine a 2hp is going to make you happy.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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bluekingfisher

1031 posts in 1631 days


#2 posted 04-05-2013 08:40 AM

I can’t agree with Rick, you’ll find there is a considerable difference between 1 1/2 & 2HP motors, providing it is a like for like motor of course. Also bear in mind, it is after all bandsaw, with the extra power even more noticeable when driving the thin blade.

It’s more important that the wheels are balanced, you can of course do this yourself quite easily using small self adhesive magnets placed strategically on the wheel rim. (There is an abundance of info on the net on how to do this.)

Good luck

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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shampeon

1376 posts in 835 days


#3 posted 04-05-2013 05:32 PM

I’ve resawed 6” on a 3/4 HP motor, and while it wasn’t fast, it worked.

The advantage of cast iron wheels is stability, from what i understand. But I’m sure there’s enough mass in 17” cast aluminum wheels to be plenty stable.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1795 days


#4 posted 04-05-2013 06:55 PM

I’m arranging a setup similar to yours (one resaw and one detail) and have just ordered an 18” Rikon from my local Woodcraft at their sale price of $1050. Might be worth considering if it’s near enough to your budget. 2.5 HP, 12” resaw capacity, cast iron wheels.

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MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#5 posted 04-05-2013 07:53 PM

Cast iron wheels, being heavier are able to maintain blade speed better, but if you feed too agressively, the speed will drop and you risk breaking the blade before doing any damage to the wheels whether they be CI or aluminum.

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vipond33

1405 posts in 1149 days


#6 posted 04-06-2013 02:41 AM

It’s either cast iron or bags of power, either one will keep you smiling, as the CI simply stores and smooths power till needed with lighter motors.. Change your pulley and move on up to 5000 SFPM and you’ll be real happy. Speed counts, big time.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7543 posts in 2299 days


#7 posted 04-06-2013 02:49 AM

If you are actually serious about having a dedicated resaw,
look for a used Hitachi, Makita, Ryobi or Lobo. They pop
up on ebay.

They run 3” wide blades.

I don’t want to mess with your head, but my opinion is
the wider the blade the better the resaw performance.
Blades under 1.5” wide definitely start to lead as the
tips dull.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#8 posted 04-06-2013 05:05 PM

The important thing when resawing is blade tension. A lightly tensioned blade will twist easily. The typical 14” BS can’t be tensioned enough for 1/2” blades unless you change the tension spring. Doing so, may distort the BS’s frame or cause blade breakage. A 3” blade will resaw nicely, but they need a lot of tension. Some people resaw successfully with 1/4” blades because it can be tensioned higher. The resaws that use 3” blades have a small throat (distance between the blade and the frame). That makes for a very rigid frame that can withstand a lot of tension. I remember seeing a new Ryobi resaw machine over 30 years ago that cost $500. I haven’t seen any since.

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newwoodbutcher

369 posts in 1502 days


#9 posted 04-06-2013 09:58 PM

Woodcraft has their 18” 2 1/2 HP saw on sale for $1050. Cast iron wheels, blade release and 12” resaw capability. It looks like it meets my spec plus a half HP more. Any one have this saw? Comments?

-- Ken

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newwoodbutcher

369 posts in 1502 days


#10 posted 04-08-2013 12:44 AM

I’ve looked for old iron for a few months. No luck. When it comes to new it looks like the 18” Rikon meets my requirements. I can’t see any way (without a long patient wait) to get a wider blade and/or more HP machine within my budget of $1,000. Do any of you have this saw? what is your assessment of it? Is it a good buy for my needs and budget?

-- Ken

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1795 days


#11 posted 04-08-2013 12:55 AM

I have it but I only got it this weekend and haven’t used it yet. I am getting my woodslicer blades this week and should have some use of it before next weekend if parenting duties permit me the shop time!

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Straightbowed

717 posts in 949 days


#12 posted 04-08-2013 01:11 AM

its logical to buy something that will last when I first started woodworking I purchased crapsman saws and I finally learned to take my time and buy good equipment the heavier the better now when I want to work I just push a button and Im ready to go so what Im sayin is go heavy so you wont be cussin later cause your tools wont cut the mustard

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

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newwoodbutcher

369 posts in 1502 days


#13 posted 04-08-2013 02:47 AM

Good advice! Straightbowed, I’ve got a few weeks left on the sale. If you do get the blades and get to play with your new toy, I’d love to hear about it.

-- Ken

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JamesT

102 posts in 563 days


#14 posted 04-08-2013 02:07 PM

There are thousands of G0555’s out there with aluminum wheels and happy owners. In fact I had one, I Couldn’t resaw with it, so I bought an 18” Recon and Woodslicer blade. Still can’t resaw. I’m convinced the world did not intend for all of us to resaw. (The world would be over-run with re-sawers)(spelling?) I make rocking chairs, so it’s no big deal. p.s. Good luck Elizabeth.

-- Jim from Doniphan

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MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#15 posted 04-08-2013 03:02 PM

I’ve heard people refer to less than adequate tools as boat anchors. Actually a cheap lightweight tool does not make a good boat anchor.

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