New Grizzly 16" Band Saw Needs Some TLC

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Forum topic by Steve posted 02-09-2014 01:19 PM 1630 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1566 days

02-09-2014 01:19 PM

Hi everyone, I’m Steve. This is my first post, but I’m pretty used to online communities. I have started to get into woodworking and am slowly but surely acquiring the tools needed for a Lutherie shop. I am a guitarist and I love woodworking and somebody once told me that nothing is more satisfying than building an instrument and playing it when you’re done, so now I am on a quest!

It’s not much, but here is my little piece of heaven :

I started off by buying a used Porter Cable router and built a table for it using scrap I had lying around and an old table saw base. It’s amazing what you can do with this tiny motor!

I traded my friend 500 .45 cast bullets for this gem! His Grandfather thought it needed work and was going to scrap it, so I took it instead. After dusting her off and plugging her in, I am surprised that she runs without a hitch.. minus missing the most important part… the fence. So now I need to find an old fence for her and she will be as good as new! Not bad I think.

The drill press was found by my Father, who supports my quest to build things! He fixes CNC machines for a living and one of his customers gave it to him for free. I threw on a 1/3 HP motor and she works fantastically! All she needs is a crank for the table.

Now for my newest acquisition! I paid $200 for this from a Craigslist find, but I feel like I did pretty okay. The motor is 1.5HP and runs great which I figure is a good chunk of that money alone. Everything on it seems to be extremely robust, especially the cast iron frame and table. It’s got plenty of sawing capacity and I can’t see myself hitting it’s limits for a while. It’s mainly going to be used for cutting curves. I would really like to get it in tip top shape, but my problem seems to be lack of support for this machine. It’s not the more common 14” and it’s pretty old (from the 80’s I think). It’s missing the top blade guide and I’m having trouble finding a replacement for it. It has a 7/8” diameter rod and the blade is 3” from the center of it.

This is the bottom guide.

I found this :

but I’d be paying more than I paid for the machine for just those two guides :*( .... If I bought these would it be worth it in the long run? Would this upgrade my machine to modern standards? Not sure what to do at this point, but I figured this was the best place to come. Any input is greatly appreciated!

6 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3710 days

#1 posted 02-09-2014 01:36 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks! It looks like you’ve got the start of a great shop. Would after-market parts be less expensive and easier to find the OEM parts?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2848 days

#2 posted 02-09-2014 04:52 PM

Hi Steve—

You’re off to a great start. I had a similar Grizzly BS, so early it didn’t have a model number on it. They didn’t know what they were doing then, in a lot of ways. Note that you can’t get the fence off unless you remove the blade!

My solution to that was to hacksaw off of the left front rail just enough to get the fence off and on. (I used it primarily for resawing, and did my curve cutting on a 14.) If you need a fence farther to the left you can easily make a wood one that would be clamped. I know you can—I’ve seen your router table!

Regarding the guides, I suggest you mount a blade on the wheels and run the saw and see if everything is adjustable and balanced and all that. If it is, I suggest you buy the Carter stuff or similar.

If these are stock wheel bearings, they’re suspect in terms of long life. If there’s any noise or roughness in them, change them out. Easier now than later, and not much cash involved.

If you remove the table it’s much easier to work on the guides and get everything in alignment.
You’ve got a lifetime tool there, with enough cast iron mass to keep vibration at an absolute minimum. Good find!

As for the jointer fence, check here.

One serious warning—you are going to have gobs of fun!


retiring instrument builder

-- " 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"

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2072 days

#3 posted 02-09-2014 08:36 PM

Welcome Steve. Sorry I can’t help with the band saw issue but there’s allot of talent and experience here and I’m sure you’ll get some help with it.

btw….your shop stove rocks!!!

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 02-10-2014 02:29 AM

Steve, Have you called Grizzly’s tech line to see if they have the upper guide assembly? The Carter will work but will be a lot more $.

I have been amazed that Grizz often has parts in stock for their really old machines.

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

View Kickback's profile


127 posts in 2633 days

#5 posted 02-10-2014 02:39 AM

I have that very same saw mine is 18” saw and yours looks the same. I just put the Carter guides on it and it is a completely different saw with these guides. I have the old upper guide and would gladly give it to you but is highly recommend you spend the money and get the Carter guides for the saw it was well worth the investment in my opinion. I have never used the stock fence as a matter of fact I think I tossed it in the garbage as it was useless in my opinion. I have a Kreg bandsaw fence and it works great and didn’t break the bank. The thing to watch for on these saws from what I have read is that the upper wheel adjuster has a tendency to break. If that happens your saw will be inop. Mine had broken some time ago and the previous owner made a new adjuster assembly in his basement without having a mill and it came out awesome and is magnitudes better than the stock adjuster.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View Steve's profile


2 posts in 1566 days

#6 posted 02-10-2014 01:56 PM

Thanks guys! Spent all Yesterday in the shop and ended up completely going over the saw. I put the blade back on and found that the top wheel is about 1/4” further behind the bottom wheel which makes the blade ride towards the edge of the wheel. It seems to spin and cut wood quite well and I am in aw at how quiet it is!! I am ecstatic about it and honestly would prefer to just buy wood at this point and save the money on the Carter guides for now. I’m pretty handy in the shop and have plenty of brand new bearings that my father just gave me. I think I’ll call Grizzly as well and see if they have an nos guide set, since I noticed the bottom one in cracked as well. Still need to buy many things for shop as well, like the fence for the jointer and some sanding and finishing equipment. All I have right now are hand-held sanders. My finishes have been military style BLO & Wax , as I have been using it on antique rifles for about 5 years now. My final goal is to setup an air compressor network connected to our basement & our garage to accommodate our current needs in air tools & (hopefully) my soon to be spraying setup. I will have more pics soon if I could get my older brother on board with this as he is the photographer in the family lol. Thanks again for all the help guys, I will keep in touch and put this to good use!

Lee, you build instruments? You might become by new best friend! I have only worked on solid-body electric guitars, I have no experience with acoustics or any other style stringed instrument. I played the cello when I was about 8 or 9 and now that I am older, I would really love to be able to get into the more classical instruments as I respect them more. Thanks for the lengthy post, you really helped me out on the band saw! I will check out that site and hopefully find a fence soon, as that is one of the backbones to my shop!

P.s. Not even sure if the stove is legal where I live anymore….. hahahahahaha! I hate what is happening to this country :( .

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