Buying first bandsaw. Used jet 14inch for $150

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Forum topic by frogr42000 posted 04-10-2009 09:36 PM 14085 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3330 days

04-10-2009 09:36 PM

I’m not sure of the age of this saw. What are some things i should be looking for when I get there?

23 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 10:37 PM

1. make sure it works? smooth operation, no stiff parts (motor and wheels)
2. check that the blade can run balanced in the middle of the wheels (rotate the wheel with your hand, and check that the blade stays in the middle of it)
3. check that there are no loose parts
4. check the table and trunnion that everything is solid, steady, and doesn’t wobble about
5. check that blade tension works properly.

I’m sure others can chime in with more stuff.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View frogr42000's profile


10 posts in 3330 days

#2 posted 04-10-2009 10:49 PM

thank you so much. Is it a bad idea for a first timer to buy a used bandsaw? I was looking at a 14” grizzly for around $500 but was thinking i could save some money in the time being. I know what get tools jet makes.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#3 posted 04-10-2009 11:01 PM

$150 if a very good price for a 14” bandsaw (esp. Jet) which might indicate that it’s not in the best shape, but that’s not a given.

do your research, and make sure that whatever bandsaw you’re getting – it has the features that you need it to have. otherwise you’d be getting something that won’t do what you want it to – or you’d be paying way over what you should for something that has many features that you dont even need, to do something rather simple…

either way, for $150 – you can’t go too wrong…

keep in mind – bandsaw is one of those toold that requires lots of fiddling around with to work with – switching between blades, readjusting blade guides etc… so make sure you get one that is easy to work with.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View frogr42000's profile


10 posts in 3330 days

#4 posted 04-10-2009 11:16 PM

cool. from the sounds of it the guy does a lot of metal cutting and has switched to a larger horizontal model. I asked my he was selling and he said he just doesn’t use it anymore. Well I’m going to look at it after work this evening. I will drop a line and maybe some pictures after.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3523 days

#5 posted 04-10-2009 11:33 PM

Another thing about buying used equipment and doing “some” repairs is that you become very knowledgable and intimate with that equipment and learn what it can and can’t do and that can help prepare you for what you may want in a new one in the future.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3764 days

#6 posted 04-11-2009 12:07 AM

The guy might not use it anymore, it has a hidden flaw, or he got it at a midnight special.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3720 days

#7 posted 04-11-2009 02:10 AM

$150.00 sounds like a good price. Check for the obvious damage and then start to look for the hidden kind. Do the wheels turn smoothly? Take the blade off and spin them. This will show what the bearings are doing. Not sure what kind of drive a Jet has, but if possible, disconnect the motor and start just the motor, that will show any sounds from the motor.

For $150.00 I don’t think you can go wrong. Even if it needs $50.00 in new bearings, you are still way ahead. I think Kindlingmaker nailed it. By you working on your tools, you become more knowledgeable with how they work.

Good luck with your decision.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View frogr42000's profile


10 posts in 3330 days

#8 posted 04-11-2009 04:45 AM

ok i bought it. it’s in good shape as far as i can tell. I was attempting to change blades and turned the wrong knob. I messed up the tracking on the wheels. i only had a 15 or so minutes to mess with it, but when i adjusted the tilt it seems as if the blade wants to come off the bottom or top. I can’t seem to find a happy medium.

How much does the tension play in the tracking of the belt? if any?

Anyone have some advice for me as this is the first bandsaw i have owned. Maybe i’m turning the tilt to much each time and i just need more time.

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3430 days

#9 posted 04-11-2009 04:53 AM

Do you have an owners manual? You might be able to find one online. It would explain all of the adjustments. Do you know anyone that has a band saw that you can talk to?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 3999 days

#10 posted 04-11-2009 02:55 PM

Remove the blade – put a straight edge between the wheels as close to the center hubs as you can reasonably get – then make your “tilt” adjustment – look at the tires on the wheels – they should have a crown to them and not be flat – if all this is good -return the blade and see where your tracking is – tension is a function of the blade – silicone blades (read timberwolf) need very low tension – others like Olson will require more tension – it’s best to go to the manufacturer and start with what they suggest. My guess is the guy using it for metal cutting has the tension too tight- metal is a very different animal on the bandsaw than wood. Enjoy – take the time to learn your bandsaw and it will be your friend. Most of the big box stores have blades for the 14” – I think I would start with a fresh blade – who knows where the other one has been. :)
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3882 days

#11 posted 04-11-2009 03:26 PM

My advice would be to purchase this book, The Bandsaw Book by Lonnie Bird.
It is a great reference and use it to reset all the specs on your saw. I did this when I got my 1st bandsaw, you will learn what makes your saw tick and how to adjust it properly. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND the book.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View pitchnsplinters's profile


262 posts in 3435 days

#12 posted 04-11-2009 04:36 PM


I was surprised to read that the previous owner cut metal. Is this a metal cutting bandsaw or wood cutting? The most obvious difference is the blade speed. I’m no bandsaw expert but I would check this and ask for some additional insight from your fellow LJs.

-- Just 'cause a cat has kittens in the oven, it don't make 'em biscuits.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4096 days

#13 posted 04-11-2009 04:52 PM

I was thinking the same thing – he used it to cut metal?

The metal cutting bandsaw that I had experience on was not all that different than a woodcutting model. Metal cutting bandsaws run at a lower rpm and use a different type of blade but it could have easily accommodated a wood cutting blade.

I am sure that you could resize the pulley to get a higher rpm if needed. This could be purchased from Grainger or any machine specialty store.

Any of the guides should be easily replaced if necessary as well.

The advice by the other guys on setting the wheels, tracking, etc is spot-on.

I think that your inexperience in using and setting it up may be one of the key factors at this point, but the LJ community will certainly help. The Lonnie Bird book is a good one (I have it too.)

Some pictures or video of the saw would help us to help you.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View frogr42000's profile


10 posts in 3330 days

#14 posted 04-11-2009 05:42 PM

Thank you everyone for your help. I placed the order for the book. I have a new blade and will try to put it on when my wife gets home to watch our son. I will have more time to tool with it this afternoon. As far as the metal cutting goes, the seller did change the drive pulley to slow things down. This jet is about 10 -15 years old would be my guess the model is jbs14mw 1Hp and is a metal/wood bandsaw. I do plan on replacing the pulley once I get enough information on how to do so. I’m already excited to be working on this. I like that fact that i will know this machine inside and out by putting this work into it. Once again thanks everyone and if you have any recommendations on changing the pulley please inform. I will try to get some pictures of this cream puff up soon.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3882 days

#15 posted 04-11-2009 06:06 PM

Frog if you will be playing with pulleys this link will help.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

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