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Need advise on bandsaws

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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 01-07-2015 05:29 PM 1309 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


01-07-2015 05:29 PM

A bandsaw is one power tool I don’t have and thought I would never need until now.
I am getting into guitar building and a bandsaw seems to be the preferred tool for a number of operations:

Cutting the 15 degree neck scarf joint.

Cutting curves into the 4 inch thick heel block.

Cutting the perimeter shape of the (very thin) top and back.

Making jigs.

I can also see using it on some furniture projects to cut tapers and curves into legs and such.

I know a 14 inch saw is the norm but the cost, size and weight are a problem for me.
I have been looking at 10 inch saws and its seems they will do what I need and work much better with an upgraded blade such as a timberwolf. The woods I will be working with initially are spanish cedar and cherry which are not particularly hard. I don’t plan to use it for resawing although it would be nice if I could.

So here are the 10 inch bandsaws I am considering:

Craftsman 21400 $189.99 Seems to get pretty good reviews and the price is low. Rikon has the same unit at a higher price.

Steel City 2 speed – $305 Obviously it has 2 speeds vs the Craftsman one speed. I wonder if a motor speed control could be added to the craftsman of it is really of any benefit? I have read this is the same saw as the the more expensive Jet but it does look different to me. The Steel City and Jet both have 1/2 HP motors vs 1/3 HP for the Craftsman, I don’t know if this is significant.

Jet JWBS10-OS $374.99 I couldn’t find any information about one or two speeds which makes me wonder if it is the same as the Steel City saw. I am not sure what I would be getting for the higher price. I have not heard great things about Jet quality lately.

I realize none of these will work properly out of the box and will require setup and tuning which I am prepared to do. I have checked Craigslist and didn’t find anything locally and would be hesitant to buy an older unit which might need repairs.

Thanks for any suggestions / opinions.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


12 replies so far

View oldretiredjim's profile

oldretiredjim

203 posts in 1849 days


#1 posted 01-07-2015 05:48 PM

A bandsaw is really valuable in a shop. For more than the things you mentioned. The cut is not as clean as a table saw but with a fence you can make a straight cut. The bandsaw is the safest big saw in a shop. You can work your fingers close to the blade and the saw isn’t going to grab the wood and do something weird with it. Because of those features you will find yourself with some hard thick material and you’ll want the best motor you can find. Personally, I went used. Tires are easy to find as well as guides. Good blades are important. Whatever you chose will requiring tuning which is the most important aspect of using a bandsaw. Band saws are pretty simple if you look. Haven’t really changed a lot in 2 centuries. For $300 I would wait and keep an eye on the used tools. In my area these appear frequently.

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#2 posted 01-07-2015 06:05 PM

The Grizzly G0555LX 14” Deluxe Bandsaw seems like another possibility at $545. More than I wanted to spend and it weighs 246 lbs, but it seems like a good saw for the money.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1978 days


#3 posted 01-07-2015 06:12 PM

I build solidbody guitars, and every build makes multiple trips through one or the other of my two bandsaws. I would be lost without them. I have a PC 13” with a 6” height cut, and a big Grizzly G0513X2BF. I put various size blades on each, to suit. They both have been tuned. The PC is a little cheaply made, but it does OK since I added guide bearings to the top.
Premium blades are probably the most important item on the saw. Even a great saw will perform poorly with bad blades. I recently got caught with no 1/8” blades and a timeline, so although I knew better, I ran over to Lowes and bought a Bosch 1/8”. Argh…

In any case, Jim is right is saying the bigger the motor, the better. My PC is 3/4HP, and my Grizzly is 2HP. I have to disagree with him on finding a used one. Cash in hand, ready to jump into the car, my local CL listings rarely provide me with any kind of decent bandsaw. I do see a lot of small, bench top Craftsmans and Chinese stuff, but almost never a decent one pops up. And when it does, they want the moon. Easier to find a new one and just bite the bullet and you also get the warranty.
From my perspective, Grizzly makes a pretty good machine – others may disagree. We all have our favorites.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1185 days


#4 posted 01-07-2015 06:15 PM

The Grizzly is by far the most capable of those you’ve mention. This is especially true if you’re planning on cutting through 4” stock. While the 10” saws might be able to do it, you would be very close the to limits of the saw, in terms of capacity and power. The 14” saws are very ubiquitous for good reason; many aftermarket parts are designed to fit multiple saws and they can be set up to suit your specific needs from making tree ornaments to using it as your own personal sawmill.

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#5 posted 01-07-2015 06:15 PM

Paul,

I agree with you on CL. The good ones cost as much as new one.
I will be making Flamenco and Classical guitars, so other than the neck the wood will be thinner.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View alittleoff's profile

alittleoff

296 posts in 741 days


#6 posted 01-07-2015 10:51 PM

I just bought the grizzly go 555lanv 14 inch band saw and I’m glad I did. I looked at used ones and never found anything worth the money. The grizzly is an impressive saw plus it looks great to. Iv used it quite a bit lately, but only a couple days ago put an 1/8 inch blade on it. I was afraid that a large saw wouldn’t make the tight cuts that I wanted but it does great. Keep in mind you have to set it up every time you change blade sizes. One thing about the 555 is its very easy to set up. Another thing it comes with a pretty good fence. Straight cuts are no problem. Only time will tell but I think the 555 was a good buy and will last me for as long as I need one.
Gerald

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dhazelton

2325 posts in 1761 days


#7 posted 01-07-2015 11:12 PM

I would think if you can afford $375 there are probably a lot of used Delta 12 inch saws out there for that or less. I’ve never wished I had less tool than I needed at that moment, so go for the 12 inch at least. Also Grizzly has a lot of guitar making equipment, so if you don’t have their catalog you should order it.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#8 posted 01-08-2015 12:09 AM

I agree with you on CL. The good ones cost as much as new one.

Not always true.. the key is patience. You can (and will) run across some really, really stupidly fantastic deals if you are patient and keep checking often. If you just ‘have to have it now’, CL is not the place for you.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#9 posted 01-08-2015 12:47 AM


I agree with you on CL. The good ones cost as much as new one.

Not always true.. the key is patience. You can (and will) run across some really, really stupidly fantastic deals if you are patient and keep checking often. If you just have to have it now , CL is not the place for you.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

I agree with that too. I bought a PC 690 router on CL for $50 and a nice Ryobi drill press for $75.
If its a good deal you have to be ready to jump because it will be gone in hours. But I think bandsaws may be harder to come by.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

1016 posts in 1393 days


#10 posted 01-08-2015 01:47 AM

I got a 14” Jet bandsaw in good shape for $200 by paying attention and being patient.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#11 posted 01-08-2015 01:54 AM

I got a 14” Jet bandsaw in good shape for $200 by paying attention and being patient.

Yup, patience. I got my current, fully restored and better than new 14” Delta basically for free.. just have to wait for the right deals to come along and be ready to pounce.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 950 days


#12 posted 01-08-2015 02:30 AM



I got a 14” Jet bandsaw in good shape for $200 by paying attention and being patient.

Yup, patience. I got my current, fully restored and better than new 14” Delta basically for free.. just have to wait for the right deals to come along and be ready to pounce.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Yeah buddy. It’s T-shirt time!

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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