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Starter Band Saw - can it be done for under $250?

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Forum topic by Ashus posted 03-22-2015 08:04 PM 1511 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ashus

31 posts in 812 days


03-22-2015 08:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw milling question

I’m in the process of getting my shop all set up for small projects, and the item currently on my research list is a bandsaw.

My requirements aren’t that strict – I don’t plan on trying to make veneers or working with wood bigger than about 4×8s. Not too much bigger than my dinky little table saw can handle, but enough that I think I could benefit from the time savings a band saw would offer. Eventually, I would like to do some 1/4 to 1/8 thick resawing for bookmatched pieces.

Based on my price limitations, I’ve mostly been looking at 10” saws – Craftsman, and Rikon seem to be the only ones in my budget, though I like the reviews on JET’s more expensive version.

With proper saw set up and maintenance (and immediately junking the blade that it comes with it), do you think any of these saws are capable of meeting my needs?

-- Adam in Minneapolis


14 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

758 posts in 1589 days


#1 posted 03-22-2015 08:07 PM

I would suggest watching Craigslist for a while to see if any used saws come up for sale. You can probably get a sturdier saw with more horsepower for the same amount you are looking to spend on a new one.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5213 posts in 1836 days


#2 posted 03-22-2015 08:18 PM

You can get 9” and 10” band saws for well under $100 and many times 14” saws as well. If you are the least bit mechanically inclined, you can get them even cheaper.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3168 posts in 1434 days


#3 posted 03-22-2015 08:20 PM

Depends on where you live, but you can find a good deal on a bandsaw for less than $250 around Louisville. I paid $150 for a 12” Craftsman (Rikon clone). Does what I need it to.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Michigander's profile

Michigander

218 posts in 2056 days


#4 posted 03-22-2015 08:22 PM

There’s one near Detroit for $225.00 A 14” Grizzly with mobile base and a bunch of blades

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

2224 posts in 1805 days


#5 posted 03-22-2015 08:28 PM

Is this an idea?

http://woodgears.ca/bandsaw/homemade.html

I made my own and I,m very glad with it

-- https://dutchypatterns.com/

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4263 posts in 1988 days


#6 posted 03-22-2015 08:31 PM

I wouldn’t buy a smaller than a 14” bandsaw. I doubt you will be happy w/ a 10” for resawing. Look in the used market to meet your budget.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

890 posts in 1632 days


#7 posted 03-22-2015 08:44 PM

http://www.harborfreight.com/14-in-four-speed-woodworking-band-saw-60564.html

$300 with a 20% coupon. You’d need to add a fence though.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Ashus's profile

Ashus

31 posts in 812 days


#8 posted 03-22-2015 09:55 PM

I’ll keep my eye out for a used 14”, I think. I’m mechanically inclined, but have a severe lack of tools with which to make refurbishment something I’d actively pursue.

-- Adam in Minneapolis

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2432 posts in 1662 days


#9 posted 03-23-2015 12:30 AM

If you plan to do resawing, anything smaller than 14” will be disappointment, I’m thinking. There are a number of reasons for this, including (1) horsepower (2) ability to run wide resaw blades (5/8” to 3/4”) and rigidity of frame to handle the larger blades.

I see 14” bandsaws frequently, often at good prices.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View buster09841's profile

buster09841

18 posts in 933 days


#10 posted 03-27-2015 05:03 PM

here is what I did recently when I was hunting a band saw.

I had a budget to stick with as well and I wanted at least a 14” just like others are suggesting to you. I searched all the local craigslist adds for awhile until I came across one that looked good and was a fair price. they were asking $175 I believe, it was an older Grizzly G1019 3/4 HP model.

I went to look at it and checked it over. both tires were cracking and stretched to the point I actually could just slip them off by hand very easily. all 4 guide blocks were rusted stuck and both roller bearing in the guides were all but seized. the top and bottom wheel were not quite co-planer, the table was a bit rusty, had no blade and the table pin was missing…all of this was fine with me and in fact easy to fix but it gives you a lot of leverage to negotiate.

I ended up getting the saw for a great price…we’ll call it $75-$100 because I bought some other items from the gentlemen as well. then I went to fixing and upgrading…

parts to fix/upgrade:
urethane tires = $25
new belt = $30 (got a power v link belt)
table pin – call it $2 (I had one laying around)
replaced the spring because it would compress solid = $16 from Iturra Designs
New high tension hand wheel adjuster = $50 from highland woodworking
Extension block and supporting parts = $75 (pieced together from Grizzly)
New Grizzly “Re Saw Fence Complete” kit = $100 on ebay
Cleaned up table = FREE
New bearings for the upper and lower wheels = $25
Two new pulleys for 3450 rpm motor to slow it down = $20
3450 rpm 2HP motor = acquired as a “throw this in as well” with other purchase so free for me.
Cleaned the entire saw it was VERY dirty = FREE
Aligned everything = FREE
Delta mobile base = $50 on ebay or amazon can’t remember shipped

again this may be more then you want to do but it was just to give you an idea…for re sawing you will have to either step the motor up to 1 or 1.5 HP if the saw you get doesn’t have that and just take it slow…or if you aren’t going over 6” then 3/4HP should be fine from what I hear, again take it slow.

so all in I’m at $493 and my saw will out performed (theoretically) the $800 Grizzly Extreme 14” band saw, or at least hold pace :) and I have the joy or pain (however you want to look at it) of knowing that I saved well over $300 and I did a bunch of the work myself.

take out the mobile base and the other little bits that did not really NEED replacing and you are at $191 for just the saw, new tires, new spring and mobile base and few more $ for cool blocks. I could still add the extension block or the fence system and be in the $250-$300 range.

again this was all dependent on me finding a good deal on the saw (I used a $100 value on the saw in the numbers referenced above).

good luck!

View Ashus's profile

Ashus

31 posts in 812 days


#11 posted 03-27-2015 05:24 PM

Thanks Buster!

That looks like an awful lot of work, but I would take joy from getting to do it myself and saving money in the process. I’m not sure I’m mechanical enough to attach new pulleys to a motor to slow it down, though – that’s one facet of engineering design I haven’t tried to add to my wheelhouse yet.

After all those repairs and replacements, did you keep anything from the original besides the frame?

-- Adam in Minneapolis

View Ashus's profile

Ashus

31 posts in 812 days


#12 posted 03-27-2015 05:25 PM



Is this an idea?

http://woodgears.ca/bandsaw/homemade.html

I made my own and I,m very glad with it

- Dutchy

Dutchy, I can’t believe I missed this! This is incredible! Thank you so much for sharing this – I’m quite likely to try this!

-- Adam in Minneapolis

View buster09841's profile

buster09841

18 posts in 933 days


#13 posted 03-27-2015 05:40 PM



Thanks Buster!

That looks like an awful lot of work, but I would take joy from getting to do it myself and saving money in the process. I m not sure I m mechanical enough to attach new pulleys to a motor to slow it down, though – that s one facet of engineering design I haven t tried to add to my wheelhouse yet.

After all those repairs and replacements, did you keep anything from the original besides the frame?

- Ashus

Hmmm…I kept all the cast iron, the cabinet base, the wheels and a lot of other bits and pieces like the trunions and all that! I only replaced what I mentioned above.

also everything I did it very manageable!!

the pulley are only held on by 1 set screw each…you just use an allen key and loosen it and the pulley slides right off.

the tires are just soaked in hot water for a bit to soften and then stretched over the wheel.

the riser kit just bolts on, but you may want help holding the top portion while bolting

to replace the bearing you can do one of two things, rent a blind bearing puller set from auto zone (I own these) or use a heat gun and head the area around the bearing for a few minutes on high, turn it over and bump against a block of wood, they normally pop right out. depending on the part if you can’t “turn it over” for bump you use the pullers.

actually the only thing that was a bit on the harder side was the fence retrofit. I had to drill and tap both front and back sides of the table to attach the fence rails. this wasn’t bad as cast iron drill and taps like a dream compared to other metals I have done this too! you would need some good quality bits to drill with and step up from small to final size. and a set of either metric or SAE taps, so this could pose a problem but then again you don’t have to add a fence like I did.

even the high tension spring and hand wheel were easy. unscrew the tensioner all the way until the square nut comes off the threaded rod, pull the tension rod out, slip the spring out the bottom of the carriage, slip the new spring in and screw the new rod and hand wheel in from the top of the carriage…done.

and rust (surface rust) is cleaned off pretty easily with the foam backed sanding blocks, I usually use between 220 and 300 and either mineral spirits or rust remover gel, I use the gel and get it at woodcraft. and then finish it up with a rub down of mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool. then wipe it dry will a towel of your choice, I use the blue heavy duty shop “paper towels” from the big box stores, and let dry.

have fun with it.

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1015 posts in 1212 days


#14 posted 03-27-2015 05:42 PM

You can get new 10” craftsman if you lean that way,I have one and am happy with it for what it is.it likes thin stock but I can cut a veneer off a 4×4”.I think there is more metal in the craftsman than the rikon clone it seems like there is more plastic in that one.but there the same saw.

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