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erikbojerik

18" Bandsaw

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I have the RIKON 18

for the price, its a deal. I almost went with a laguna but for the $$$ not going to use it all that much.

Tthe rikon and the grizzly are made in the same factory... Don't do the jet heard bad things about that one.

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Get the Rikon.. it was on sale at woodcraft for 800 bucks in feb.. i think it's back up to a grand though, but it's still a steal considering what all it is capable of.

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I looked at a Powermatic 20in the other day. It is a real nice machine, but may be a little out of your price range at @$2000. Delta also makes an 18 and a 20 starting around $1750.

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Jus tgot my grizzly summer sale flyer today..

Their 17" saw is 795 right now.. and their 19 is 1045. Both look like great saws. Folks I know that own grizzly's upper end stuff say they are awesome. Their cheaper stuff is a different story :D But once you go 14" and above you're getting their higher end bandsaws. 795 is a great deal considering it's 2 hp and has over 16" in cutting height..

edit: I forgot they had two 14s.. Yeah the Ultimate 14 is supposed to be top notch.. the other 14 i've heard mixed feelings about.

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Great topic! I've thinking about getting another bandsaw mayself. You know, I had decided on the the new 18" from Jet. It's solid, uses "standard" aftermarket hop-ups, blades are standard, it has a quick tension release, etc.

bigdguitars...What "bad stuff" have you heard about this one? Was it a 2005 model?

The Rikon one has some things I don't like about it, and I don't think it has a quick tension relief. It's been a month or so since I looked at it so I can't recall everything right now.

Anway, I'm open for suggestions really or comments based on experience to help my decision in the end. What I want is rock solid stability in the blade travel, smooth large rip fence that is also very stable. It also needs to have realy good guide block or bearing setup for the blade.

-Doug

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Yeah the Rikon and the Grizzly look pretty similar. BigD, have you tried the Rikon for resawing?

I want to be able to get into bookmatch resawing for bodies & tops/backs, and so I want ~12" of cutting height. I thought about a 14" with a riser, but by the time you add in the costs for roller bearings & the riser you're in 18" territory. Anyone else done any resawing with any of these?

Also...these are all 220-230V rated, but some have options to rewire the motor for 120V. How do you guys deal with this? All I have in my garage is 120V...and a 3000W step-up transformer is like $200 :D

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I use my rikon strictly for resawing. I have gone through tons of maple on it. I have a 1.25 blade.

the older jet model was a POS. if the new one has a quick release then its not the one I have seen or heard of. The rikon does have the quick release.

I had a good delta with a riser block but I was doing so much resawing that I needed something else.

I was serious about the laguna 16hd but I need a drum sander instead. I paid 899 for mine and I get 1.25 blades for 37bucks a piece. they are custom make and not too expensive.

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If you get hold of old Jet equipment it's like old Grizzly. You better have as much time in fixing and figiting as I do or you're gonna hate it. The early Tiawanese stuff was truly hit or miss with more misses than hits.

Today the stuff comes out of a few factories and isn't that different one brand to the other IMHO. There's one factory over there that the guys make a thousand for one company, change uniforms and make another thousand for someone else!!

If you ever get to the IWF show in Atlanta on even years you can walk around and see everything made anywhere and compare all of them.

I'm having to bandsaw shop myself because Inca has apparently gone out of business and nothing on my venerable saw is standard. Even the cool blocks are unique to it.

The budget minded should look at Grizzly, Jet and Bridgewood from Wilke machinery. I had a Bridgewood 18". It was in 1986 and it was like all import stuff then. We had to tinker with it but once we got it right it was great. Still cutting aluminum in my old partners shop.

I have no experience with Rikon. The prices seem pretty attractive.

I'm leaning towards a Grizzly 14 with a riser block. I need to resaw faces, but I also do a lot of other work on the bandsaw that a lot of folks do with a tablesaw. I just like bandsaws. The Inca takes down to a 1/8" blade and does scarily precise work and will turn around and reaw.

Go for the extra bucks and get the ball bearing guides no matter what you get..

The guys around the corner from me have a Jet 18 that I set up for them and I can't critisize the beast. Defintely not like the old scrap they used to sell. Took me about an hour and a half to tweak it out.

Do yourself a favor and take a look at the Wilke machinery site. They do a great job of checkout and prep before shipping.

I'd love a Laguna. They are head and shoulders above the stuff I've listed above, but I'm trying to not put much more money into the shop and I'd need one of their 20" monster to do everything I need to do.

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Thanks for the replies!

At the time I bought my bandsaw it was the best one Grizzly had. After using it for some time now I'm just tired of "fiddling" with it to keep it cutting accurately. Right out of the box it took several hours to get it set up properly. The Grizzly store in PA is close to my mon's place, and go there when we visit, so I get a chance to look the stuff over, and I have to say that I won't buy another from them. Yeah, quality may be better now, but still there are little oddities about each unit that will make me want to go right out and buy aftermarked replacements for.

The Woodcraft store around here has both the Rikon, and Jet in stock. The owner told me he's not that impressed with the Rikon, and wasn't even gonna stock it, but he did get one anyway. Comparing the 2 side by side, the Jet 18" has a way better rip fence, and it also has those hardened disks to guide the bladde instead of bearings riding on each side. The rip fence alone would make me buy the Jet.

As for the Delta, well not a contender. Their tools are not what they used to be.

I know the thin carbide resaw blades are available for the Jet 18, and so are those really thin Olson blades. Though I don't do a lot of resawing, I do make veneer now and then so I want to be sure it is fully capable. Well, I do cut tons of exotic woods for the laminates and fingerboards for my guitar necks, but it's usually less than 3" thick, but I don't really consider that resawing.

Doc, you mentioned Wilke. Have you any idea of their service standards? One more reason I've been thinking about a local VAR purchase is because replacent parts for warranty may be easier to get in case I need to have it fixed.

Today I'll go and have a look at these 2 units side by side again.

-Doug

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So what do you guys do about the 120/230V situation? Do you get a 230V line put in? Use a step-up transformer? Or rewire the bandsaw motor to 120V?

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I ran a 220 line to my garage. you can't run this on a 110 line unless you have a dedicated 30Amp circuit.

I used to have an electric dryer so thats the line I took to the garage.

My Dad has always said a woodworkers best friend is a free electrcian.....

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The entire garage is finished in drywall; makes the temperature nice, but a pain to run new electrical lines. I have two existing 120V circuits...I suppose I could have the panel re-wired so that one of them is 230V (and replace the sockets).

I guess the other option would be to swap out the existing 15A breaker for a 30A...this option sounds less expensive. The bandsaw would be the only thing in the garage that would use 230V...

Would the bandsaw motor generate more heat on 120V as opposed to 230V? Anyone see any 120V problems?

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I run everything at 220v except the tools that don't have that option. An electrician friend told me they run a bit cooler and more efficient. Also I can use those big locking plugs.

-Doug

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Erik, do not put a larger breaker in. If it is a 15 amp breaker, it is on a circuit wired with 14ga. wire. 15 amps is the most it is rated for. 20 amps needs 12ga. wire, 30 amps requires 10ga. 30 amps thru a 14ga. wire will get real hot! :D

Motors will run fine on either 110, or 220 ( if they are wound for both ) I read somewhere that it is a myth that they run more efficiently on 220. The main reason for using the higher voltage is that you are pulling half the amps.

Definitely run a new 220 line. If you can put it right next to the breaker box, you won't have to bust up too much wall. Then, if you need to you can get or fabricate a 10ga. extension cord.

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What orqmorq said!! Each circuit has to have the proper wire! Yikes. Mine was professionaly done, and the wire for the high current circuits is big maybe 10ga. run direct to the panel bus. There's a reason for the 15 amp breaker....so you don't start a fire!

Yeah, I don't really know if the motors run any better at 220 or not, but I have them that way just in case it helps. I've heard arguments for both from "seasoned" pros used to wiring factories or other large facilities. Besides, it was just as easy to have all the same type of circuits run when we did it.

Be sure to get help if you're doing electrical work. Safety first!

-Doug

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Yeh, I run 220 whenever I can, too. But mostly so I can run 2 things at the same time on one circuit.

Back on topic, though, Delta has a 18" saw for $1250 that looks nice. I've been looking out for a bigger saw, myself. I've got the Delta 14" w/riser. I'd really like to find a good, old 20" Delta.

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In all honesty, it will likely be a toss up between the Jet and Delta. I will say that Delta stuff is not what it was before. It's just little stuff. You know, it's like buying a new car, then after the sale they tell you the lug nuts and light bulbs are optional! Some saws are killer sturdy looking, but I would need to add a $300 rip fence because the one that comes with it might be better suited for a boat anchor. Or the rail that holds the fence is great, but the way they attach the fence to the rail lets it flex some, or others are just too short.

Another thing is the table tilt. Once tilted does it take a 1/2 hour to re-square the blade to it?

Some have real nice and fancy blade guide do-dads....but it's connected to the saw by a cheesy piece of cast aluminum which can flex under strain or get out of whack if jarred.

That's my dilema.

-Doug

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Thanks guys. I've got 12ga wire everywhere, that I know. Looks like I'm in a bind with the AC...the main panel is in the basement, the garage is one floor up and 20 feet over from there. And of course everything is drywalled-in (basement and garage both). At least the panel & garage are on the same end of the house.

I'm thinking I might use the two circuits to the garage to feed a 40A sub-panel and go from there. I need to find an electrician who gets paid in guitars :D

As for saws...well....I found out that I missed a great intro deal on a Mini Max E16 ($995) by 3 days :D So, I've just about settled on the Grizzly 17". Now all I need to figure out is the juice.

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make a homemade extension cord out of 10g wire. Thats what I did. That way I know there is no way someone else can turn a tool on. They have to fine the correct wire to do so.

another safety thing.

you can also do an 8g wire but it sounds like you will not need that.

-Derek

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Hehe...just did some breaker tests. I always wondered what those unlabelled breakers were for...well, they ALL go to the garage. I actually have FIVE 15A 110V lines going into the garage, woohoo! Definitely enough juice there for a 110/220 sub-panel.

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The issue with the Grizzly is the rip fence. It has bolts to attach the fence to the rail. No matter what it will flex. It doesn't look as though the fence is anchored at the other end either which adds to the possibility of flex. Basically it looks pretty, but is useless for accuracy. That means buying a good fence aftermarket and modifying it to fit.

If you get one soon, let us know how you like it.

-Doug

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Yeah I know about the fence situation, I've been using an old Delta 14" with a similar kind of fence. I've basically gotten used to setting the position and clamping the other end. I plan on making my own resaw fence.

BTW, I think I found a simple solution to my 120V-230V issues here. Provides 15A of 230V juice, you plug it into two 15A 120V outlets on separate circuits. <fist pump>

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