Band Saws

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Forum topic by torpidihummer posted 03-26-2015 03:08 PM 844 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 1271 days

03-26-2015 03:08 PM

Good Morning to all.
About a year ago I purchased a Steel City Band Saw, another big mistake, I am ready
to dump it. So here is my question, 90% of my band saw use is for sawing out bird, owl,
hawk and falcon blanks for later carving. That being said, better later than never, what
band saw do you folks in the’ know how’ recommend. The band saw for me is one of my
most valued tool in my entire arsenal of tools.
Thanks for any and all information.

-- Torpidhummer

8 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1905 days

#1 posted 03-26-2015 03:18 PM

Ummmm, Scroll saw?

If I use a 1/8” band on my old 12” Craftsman I can make some pretty good corners and curves.
If I use a larger band I have problems.
With the 1/8” band, I Have to tighten the blade until it is almost at snapping point or it will flex, ecen with 1/2” stock.

I think the answer would be a good scroll saw for stuff like that, plus you can cut the inside holes.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View DrDirt's profile


4135 posts in 3160 days

#2 posted 03-26-2015 04:05 PM

I do wonder if the issue isn’t in the set-up. I have a Delta 14 inch X5 from 2004 near the end of the made in USA delta saws.
I added a riser block, and have no complaints.

If you are setting the wheels to be Coplaner… then you are screwing yourself and will fight the machine forever.

give it a shot… it will cost you 30 minutes and zero dollars.

However I also watch at the wood shows, the Carter guy working with old 12 inch craftsman saws, and how some of the low end Rigid Saws, that Michael Fortune has tuned…. the BS is a really simple machine… even seriously cheap-o saws can give great results.
The Steel City isn’t a crap saw at all.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View gfadvm's profile


14928 posts in 2108 days

#3 posted 03-27-2015 12:20 AM

If you are using narrow blades and making cuts with tight curves, the Carted Stabilizer is a great add on for any bandsaw. No reason you can’t get your Steel City functioning at an acceptable level. That Snodgrass video is the Gold Standard for tuning any bandsaw.

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

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 838 days

#4 posted 03-27-2015 07:05 AM

I don’t use a band saw enough to say I’m qualified to give advice on them, but, they have their place. Dallas threw out a good shot of advice to you, and being a scroll sawyer myself, the scroll saw has its uses too. Depending on how much you intend to use the saw, personally, I would make this decision carefully. The scroll saw is a far cry from your band saw, my friend, & requires, imho, more patience to learn & use. And, you’re going to learn several words you probably didn’t realize even existed!! Were I you, & already own a band saw, & have some experience with it, listen to what these fellers are saying about making it useable. You’ll be happier in the end, & can spend your money on blades for your band saw instead of griping about your scroll saw & all the tiny blades you’re breakin’, & you ain’t able to find, & on & on. Just my .02 worth.

-- Sawdust703

View MrUnix's profile


4022 posts in 1616 days

#5 posted 03-27-2015 07:27 AM

What thickness and type of wood are you working with? I’ve got both a band saw and scroll saw and each has it’s function. I don’t think I’d want to be cutting out large curvy thick hardwood on the scroll saw… Yes, it can be done, but it would be so much easier, less time consuming and way less hassle to whip it out on the band saw with a thin blade. I’ve never tried the carter stabilizer, but from the videos, it looks like the way to go if you are doing lots of curves and fairly intricate cuts on the band saw. I’ve found that while the scroll saw CAN cut up to 2” or so, it’s very, very tiring and slow to do so in anything but really soft wood – and I really don’t like doing anything more than about 3/4 to 1 inch even in pretty soft birch or lauan plywood. My upper level comfort zone for the scroll saw is really only about 3-4 1/8” layers. For thicker stuff, I always turn to the band saw… although I don’t really do tight curves so I typically keep a 1/4” blade on it for cutting out sign blanks and stuff that then get carved out with a router.


PS: You never mention it; what exactly are the problems you are having with your saw? Even horror freight saws can be tweaked into being pretty usable, so it might just be something simple you are overlooking.

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

View torpidihummer's profile


62 posts in 1271 days

#6 posted 03-29-2015 11:38 PM

Thanks all, after reading your take on my band saw problem, I have taken your advice,
by getting information about band saw blades, along with the possibility of purchasing
Carter Tires. I use both Tupelo and Basswood for my bird carvings and are many times I
sawing 4X4×12 or even 6X6X 15 blocks of either woods. I really appreciate your feed back,
suggesting the performance my band saw, the unit is rated as 2 hp.
As always thanks,

-- Torpidhummer

View torpidihummer's profile


62 posts in 1271 days

#7 posted 03-30-2015 03:20 PM

Thanks a whole lot for your answers regarding my Band Saw problem, I spent most of the week end doing further research regarding the information all of you gave, and the answer
was, finer tune up, new blade and tires. So thanks again and be safe with your power tools,
they can help you or hurt you.

-- Torpidhummer

View torpidihummer's profile


62 posts in 1271 days

#8 posted 04-01-2015 03:58 AM

I have to thank all of you for the input you gave me regarding my Steel City Band, I fine tuned,\
it, but 1/4’’ skip, an it worked like a dream. Today I sawed four birds, two hawks and two doves.
You all save me heavy bucks for a new band saw.

-- Torpidhummer

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