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Bench Top Band Saw Good Enough For 1.75"?


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In the past I've been able to fenegle ways to use other peoples large (14" ?) bandsaws.

I see some of these 9" bench-top band saws with 1/2hp or so motors for around $100.

Will they reasonably cut through 1.75" hard rock maple?

(It doesn't have to be super-fast cutting like a pro 14" bandsaw, but not pushing the saw to its limits either)

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A little bandsaw like that will work fine if you take it slow. Just let the saw do the work. I have a Delta 10" that I used for the first 3 years of my business to cut bodies, necks, pretty much everything. Keep an extra blade or two on hand especially with rock hard maple. You may go through them with wood that hard.

For what it's worth I recently cut a piece of 2-1/4" rosewood on a scroll saw. I think Drak uses one of these all the time. They cut very smoothly but also very slowly at that thickness.


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I've used a $69 9" bandsaw for 4 solid-bodied guitars. The pros are that it was cheap and it works, the cons are:

-it has a 1/4" blade, which wanders pretty easily, so I need to leave more wood outside the lines, which means more work to clean up the cuts.

-there isn't a lot of reach. In other words, I have to cut a body in several smaller (and sometimes awkward) passes.

-you can't re-saw (to the best of my knowledge)

There are probably other cons, but the point is that it does work. I've been using mine for years, and I don't regret getting it. However, I am now getting to the point where I wish it was a bit more sturdy and had re-saw capabilities.

Just figured I'd throw that out there.

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it has a 1/4" blade, which wanders pretty easily

Hmmm. I dont have a table saw, so I'd likely use this small bandsaw for the necks and fingerboards too... which need to have straight cuts. Can you get guides similar to a table saw (that you slide the wood piece along) to get a straight cut? Or will it tend to wander even with that? Thanks.

Edited by P90
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I can only comment on my cheapo saw and my experiences with it, but it has always wandered at least a little bit, and I've tried different tensions on the blade and adjusting the guides various ways. That *could* just be the fact that I'm a woodworking noob, though. It came with a guide a la tablesaw (dunno what it's called), as you mentioned, but that doesn't guarantee accuracy.

That said, from what I've read around here, most people use a bandsaw (even a good one) for rough cuts that they later clean up by sanding, planing, jointing, or using a template and template following router bit. Even with a perfectly straight cut on the bandsaw, you'll still need to clean it up.

I've cut fretboard tapers on my bandsaw, but have always needed to plane or sand the edges true.

*Keep in mind that I'm a noob, and there are many here who's word I would trust before mine (including Myka)

Hope that helps at least a little!


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Blade wander depends a lot on:

(1) how sharp the blade is

(2) how well set up the bandsaw guides are

(3) the quality of the guides

(4) proper blade tension

(5) how fast you feed it

If you want straight parallel edges on a long cut, a table saw is a better bet than a bandsaw.

Edited by erikbojerik
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