Buying a bandsaw

Discussion in 'Construction' started by Kotori87, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks, now that I am back in the land of surface-dwellers, I am taking the time to build myself a shop. I will of course have the obligatory dremel, drill press, sander, and other tools, but the most important tool I need is a good bandsaw. I hope to order within a few days so that it is ready when I actually get back stateside. With that in mind, what bandsaws do you guys use, and why?
     
  2. SteveT44

    SteveT44 Well-Known Member

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    What bandsaw? A 50's vintage Craftsman 12". Why? CL special, cast iron wheels and table, 12" is a nice size for a smallish shop, it looks freakin cool.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. BigGunJeff

    BigGunJeff Well-Known Member

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    I've got an inexpensive bench too one from a box store. A Roybi I think... It's not perfect, but works great. Has ball bearing blade guides. For metal I've got a handheld cordless bandsaw from Makita. I love that tool and it cuts anything. The key thing to know is that you average bandsaw isn't geared down to be able to cut metal.
     
  4. dietzer

    dietzer Admiral (Supporter)

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    I guess the first question is what size are you looking for? Bench top? 12"? 14"?
     
  5. SnipeHunter

    SnipeHunter Well-Known Member

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    Haven't had the need to get a vertical bandsaw for boat building, I prefer a scroll saw for ribs and whatnot. They can make tighter turns plus you can get a nice edge finish right off the saw, also pierce cuts can be handy from time to time. (I also know fewer people that have lost fingers to scroll saws than vertical band saws, ymmv) Might be worth looking into if you haven't thought about that already.

    That said I do have a horizontal bandsaw, because im lazy and hack sawing is for suckers (or thin material):
    https://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4829&category=
    It makes quick work of rough cutting metal.
     
  6. Maxspin

    Maxspin -->> C T D <<--

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    I have a Ryobi benchtop. It is more than enough for boats. It is not enough for most other applications. For boats I prefer the scroll saw for all the reasons already given.

    Keith
     
  7. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    I have a skil benchtop. I need someone who understands these thing better to come help me with the guides, but even when it wasn't misaligned I generally preferred to use a scrollsaw.
     
  8. SteveT44

    SteveT44 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a nice write up on the current crop of benchtop saws. The Skill 9" and Sears and Jet 10" saws look decent enough.

    http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/benchtop-band-saw-reviews/

    When I was shopping for a smaller used saw (didn't have the room or budget for a 14" saw), I was always keeping an eye out for a Ryobi BS1001 which was a great saw with built in dust collection (sadly no longer in production).

    http://benchmark.20m.com/reviews/RyobiBS1001/Ryobi_BS1001_Review.html

    For antique iron, I kept an eye open for a Delta Homecraft 10" or older Shopsmith 11" (older ones have a cast iron table) with its own stand.

    http://www.old-woodworking-tools.net/delta-homecraft-band-saw.html
    http://www.shopsmith.com/ss_forum/viewtopic.php?p=82865

    Of course I ended up with the 50's Craftsman which with a little work has turned out to be a really good saw.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  9. SteveT44

    SteveT44 Well-Known Member

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  10. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    I learned to build boats on a well-tuned 12" Jet, eventually replaced by a 14" Jet. I'm just so used to having a rip fence, miter gage, and the power of a bandsaw that I just can't get comfortable with scroll saws. I am currently looking for a benchtop model, since I am no longer building Montanas, Queen Marys, and other monster projects.

    I am thinking of getting the Powertec 9" saw. It has all of the features I want. Clearly labeled adjustments, a quick-release blade tensioner, and a large smooth table. The craftsman 9" has a ribbed table, which supposedly improves performance when doing large cuts, but can be a problem on the smaller parts I make. I seriously considered the Skil 9", but I didn't like the lack of quick-release blade tensioner. Better to store the saw without tension, then snap it into place when I go out for an evening of boatbuilding. Whatever I get will be bolted onto a sturdy rolling cart along with the sander and drill press, so they can be moved around as necessary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  11. Maxspin

    Maxspin -->> C T D <<--

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    Sounds like you will have a nice shop.
     
  12. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    I like my Delta 14" bandsaw. While I fully agree with Darth Kessler on the benefits of a scrollsaw, for cutting the long deck and subdeck pieces, the bandsaw is wonderful. I also has a cast iron frame and deck, as most I've seen do (not sure why Steve thinks that's the province of older saws).

    Most benchtop models are not nearly as nice as the full-height models, and you get things like aluminum deck and plastic frames... urg.
     
  13. SteveT44

    SteveT44 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not aware of any new-build sub 14" saws that are cast iron. The Delta 14" (and it's clones) can certainly be decent saws but the discussion appeared to be slanted to smaller bench types.
     
  14. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    Well the order is placed and the saw is on its way. I got the Powertec 9" saw. I also ordered a Skil drill press and a rolling cart to mount all the tools to. Once I'm back in the states, I'll swing by the local Lowes and get a shop vac and disk/belt sander. I'm also thinking of getting an x-y table for the drill press so I can do some light-duty milling on wood and plastic. I won't really be able to build any huge boats or big gun cannons anymore, but this setup should be great for making smaller boats and all the mounting hardware, superstructure, etc. they need.
     
  15. SteveT44

    SteveT44 Well-Known Member

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    Cancel the Skil drill press and spend some money on a floor standing unit. You'll be much happier IMO. I have no issue with Skil, just bench drill presses in general. They have no power and flex to much.
     
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  16. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    Well all the major shop tools have arrived. Here's a few pictures:
    [​IMG]
    Every tool fits nicely on this rolling cart. I can move it around as necessary then stow it away when I'm not working on anything.
    [​IMG]
    Yep, that's a shop vac for dust control. Both the sander and saw have dust ports, and even a little vacuum makes a big difference.
    [​IMG]
    Here are most of the reasons I selected this particular saw. It has a quick-release lever, so I can relieve blade tension when I'm not using it. It also has a view port to help adjust blade tracking. Also a fence and... what's that other thing called? Whatever, it's got one of those.
    [​IMG]The dust port on the sander might interfere with the cart handles. If it does, I'll just dremel off the handle. Dust control is more important, after all...
    [​IMG]I have spent way too much time using a mill at my old shopmaster's place. I simply couldn't give up the accuracy and repeatability offered by an X-Y table. This one is pretty small, but it is big enough for almost everything I'll need to do with it. Unfortunately I can't do any actual milling with this, because the SKIL drill press doesn't have a precision Z feed. Oh well, most of the things that need milling are actually easier to 3d print.
     
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  17. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    Cant reccomend milling on a drillpress, esp a cheap one.
    Things like this are too often the result:
     
  18. SteveT44

    SteveT44 Well-Known Member

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    Just need to bang the chuck on tighter!
     
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  19. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

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    According to the video he was milling cast iron, much harder than the plastics and wood that I prefer. And as I said, most milling projects are easier done with a 3d printer. Now if only the replacement parts for mine would arrive...
     
  20. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    Drill presses are not made/designed for sustained lateral force. YMMV.

    Which 3d printer did you go with?