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Another Bandsaw Post


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Yeah, I know....another bandsaw post. I finally broke down and bought one.(early birthday present from my amazing wife) :D I went with the craftsman Professional 14"

my saw

I just picked it up last night and I have it pretty much assembled, but I have to do the final setup work yet. It has 8" of resaw capacity so I should be able to do any solid body tops I might want to do. Even accoustic sides, but I wasn't sure about backs? Looks like I might be a little short for backs and tops...oh well. I can think of a million other uses...I'm pretty excited.

So far everything seems to be of excellent quality, except for the assembly instructions. I'll update this post after I have some more time on the saw.

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I really like using the bandsaw tool the most, theres quite a bit you can do with it. I make tons of fingerboards with my spare wood!

except for the assembly instructions.

I have purchased power tools from Craftsman, Delta, Ryobi, and Grizzly. The only one to have clear directions was Grizzly.

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I really like using the bandsaw tool the most, theres quite a bit you can do with it. I make tons of fingerboards with my spare wood!

except for the assembly instructions.

I have purchased power tools from Craftsman, Delta, Ryobi, and Grizzly. The only one to have clear directions was Grizzly.

That's very good to know, Jon. I'm going to check out Grizzly's offerings.

c :D

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  • 1 month later...

I'm glad I looked for a bandsaw post because I was about to make a new thread about this.

My question for those of you who have experience in different brands, Do any of you have a preference in band saw brands?

I have thinking about this quite a bit and as in this thread I saw the craftsman and liked it, but remembered my Grizzly link and found one that looks great for a very good price, at least in my estimation. Here is the link, it is on sale now Grizzly Bandsaw

With freight it gets closer to other saw prices and add on the extension kit(riser block) and it's close to most other places that I would pick up a bandsaw from. I would get a full 12 inch resaw ability with the Grizzly one, which is nice and overall it seems to be nicer, has upper and lower ball bearings blade guides and a fence and miter, 2 speed and so on. It seems for the price and better way to go and from what I have heard Grizzly equipment lasts and is good stuff.

So, just wanting a couple informed opinions on how this saw compares to other brands in a similar price range.

Thank you much for the help! J

Edited by jmrentis
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I can't compare brands, but I can tell you what's up with the craftsman bandsaw. They rarely stocked my blade size (didn't see them until 10 months after I got the saw), I just wanted to switch out blades because the stock one wasn't so great. Just recently put a 1/2" blade on my bandsaw and the resaw cut on it is very nice! Once you get the right feed speed down for resaw and wood type, you'll get really nice resaw cuts on it. The motor on it is fine, more power would be nice. The ball bearings are awful on it. One of the ball bearing covers popped off the first time I used it, 2 of them are completely locked up now. I plan on replacing all of them, I'm sure this would make the tool function much better. The fence that comes with the tool is very hard to adjust. It's straight, though! I'm not sure if I would pick another brand over this one, it definitely does what I want it to do and I do lots of cuts on it weekly. We'll see, though. I've only owned it a year and a half. Not sure what model the saw is but it's the one with the 89" blade.

Some resawing I did today.

Close Together, to show the nice joint / resaw job.

th_MonterilloBoard2.jpg

Click to enlarge!

Slightly moved apart.

th_MonterilloBoard3.jpg

Click to enlarge!

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Hey Jmrentis, I went with the craftsman for a couple of reasons. First was I could see it locally. Second was everything I read about it online was positve except the the guide bearings, and those are easy to upgrade. (Ive had mine for a month or so and had no problems yet) On sale I actually got this saw cheaper than I could get the grizzly. The one advantage the grizzly 14" saws had was the riser block option. My craftsman saw has 8" of resaw capacity, which is plenty for most solid body guitar work. Not quite enough for 2 pc acoustic tops though. I have a buddy with a saw that will resaw 12", so I guess I will go to his place if I need to do that.

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while on the topic of bandsaws, how much could you expect to spend on a decent one? its hard to tell looking online which are crap and which would be the high-end models

Buy one according to your needs. If you never plan on resawing, there isn't much of a need to get one with 8"+ resaw. I think mine was in the $280 range.

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Thanks for the info guys. I was hoping for someone with a grizzly saw to post, but I will take all the opinions I can get. It has been a tough decision for me. Grizzly from what I hear is good stuff and it seems their bandsaws have more than the craftsman, but not by much which is why I can't decide. I really do want the 12" resaw, but as mentioned I could get away with 8", though I had in mind doing some acoustics. Did either of the craftsman come with miter gauge and fence? Some of them do not come with both of those, I think, also as Jon mentioned the one he has is tough to find blades for. I believe one of the ways you have to buy them is in a three pack of variety. I had done some research on all the craftsman from 12"on up and found that many people had complaints about finding blades and busting bearings. For those that put in the money and time to learn and upgrade their saws a little, most were very happy and felt they had a good saw. So again thats why I was curious on the experiences of Grizzly, I have a solid idea of what to expect from the Craftmans. Orginally, I was going with the Harbor Freights 14" saw because of the appealing price, but I decided that I want something that I can use for years of resaws and still have tons of life in it, plus I found there are more options on the more expensive ones, which is important to me. Surprisingly I haven't had many problems with Harbor Freights, I have bought a number of different tools there and have been fairly happy. When I do buy something that I figure might burn out in a year or two I buy the little insurance thing they have, which enables me to exchange it for a new one no questions asked. You can one or two years for this. I bought a router that fit what I needed, but I was weary on quality so I bought the protection and if it burns out I will get new one, for the price I paid I would very satisfied with a 2 years of use out of it, lol. Anyway, thanks again for the help. I am still undecided for now, but I have more valuable information from you guys. I would prefer to go pick up a saw than pay over 70 on freight, but it might be worth it for that 12" resaw and all the other features.

Anymore input would be great, I'll take all I can get. I will be buying one soon, probably no later than early June. I believe that the Grizzly saw just went on sale recently, so if I decide on that one, I must make sure I buy before they go off sale, never hurts to save a few bucks ; ) Thanks guys.

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while on the topic of bandsaws, how much could you expect to spend on a decent one? its hard to tell looking online which are crap and which would be the high-end models

Buy one according to your needs. If you never plan on resawing, there isn't much of a need to get one with 8"+ resaw. I think mine was in the $280 range.

Unfortunately the price range on a good bandsaw is well beyond the means of most members of this forum. I started with a 12" Sears in the late 70's upgraded to an 18" Grizzly(older American C Frame type) in the early 80's, and finally bit the bullet and bought an 18" Laguna which comes standard with a 4.5HP baldor motor. The motor alone weighs more than my original sears 12" bandsaw.

Yes the store brands are fine and will do the job maybe even some of the new grizzly European models will be a decent buy but they are lighter than the higher end Minimax or Laguna saws and the motors are smaller.

The question on this form is always what is the best cheapest brand I can get and not what is the best bandsaw I can buy.

What to look for in a good bandsaw regardless of price and I suggest everyone takes this information to heart

Welded European frame makes a more rigid machine, the more rigid the more precise

Cast balanced wheels made of iron not aluminum, I repeat not aluminum

1HP motor, 1 1/2 HP + is even better

If two look identical and cost the same buy the heaver model, weight equals stability and stability equals precision.

buy a saw which uses standard sized blades, i repeat buy a saw which uses standard sized blades.

Woodenspoke

Edited by Woodenspoke
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I appreciate all the info Woodenspoke! Of course while I would like to have any saw I desired, I think the most important question is what I can justify. Being a part time hobbiest, I just can't make the justification to buy something as nice as a Laguna, although man oh man would I like to. If I needed it for business related use, I believe those saws would be my first consideration.

Anyway, I am glad you shared that information as I had not thought to compare some of those things you mentioned like the cast iron wheels and weight. I have yet to find the weight on the craftsman, but I am fairly certain it weighs more than the Grizzly. The craftsman also has cast iron wheels, whereas the Grizzly has the cast aluminum. Being as those two things seem to be extremely important I might have to go with the craftsman. Also, sears has an excellent deal going right now on the bandsaw and I think on many other big power tools and that is you get a certain percentage off your tool if you buy a piece of safety equipment. That includes everything from a $6 pair of safety classes to $40 respirators. So, after calculating everything I could pick up the saw and a decent little respirator for just a hair over $400, which is a good deal. Like I said in the first place, it has been a tough choice between the two. One has better features, the other has better price, and so on. I will keep researching for a few more days before I decide, but it now looks like the craftsman is in front. So, glad I asked for help here! You guys rock!

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I appreciate all the info Woodenspoke! Of course while I would like to have any saw I desired, I think the most important question is what I can justify. Being a part time hobbiest, I just can't make the justification to buy something as nice as a Laguna, although man oh man would I like to. If I needed it for business related use, I believe those saws would be my first consideration.

Anyway, I am glad you shared that information as I had not thought to compare some of those things you mentioned like the cast iron wheels and weight. I have yet to find the weight on the craftsman, but I am fairly certain it weighs more than the Grizzly. The craftsman also has cast iron wheels, whereas the Grizzly has the cast aluminum. Being as those two things seem to be extremely important I might have to go with the craftsman. Also, sears has an excellent deal going right now on the bandsaw and I think on many other big power tools and that is you get a certain percentage off your tool if you buy a piece of safety equipment. That includes everything from a $6 pair of safety classes to $40 respirators. So, after calculating everything I could pick up the saw and a decent little respirator for just a hair over $400, which is a good deal. Like I said in the first place, it has been a tough choice between the two. One has better features, the other has better price, and so on. I will keep researching for a few more days before I decide, but it now looks like the craftsman is in front. So, glad I asked for help here! You guys rock!

JM I have the grizz 14" ultimate with riser and is a very good saw for the $ I will be upgrading soon to a 17" or larger for resawing and using the 14 " for smaller work. My upgrade will most likely be anotner Grizzly as well. Unless I can find a great deal on somethng considered Much higher end like a Laguna.

Just my .02cents

MK

Edited by MiKro
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Thanks much Mike! I was hopin' for some input on the Grizzly saws! It is still up in the air. While, I want a nice machine, this is only for hobby building and that 12" resaw makes a big difference in what wood I will buy. Honestly, I see a ton of boards that I would love, but could not resaw with 8" and cutting a board to fit the 8" would be a bit of a waste especially for some serious exotic woods, although I know I would find some use for it. I think it's going to come down to a coin flip for me, both models are nice and will work great for what I need. The grizzly sounds like it will need less upgrades and adjustments out of the box and has that nice big resaw (w/riser block.) The Sears has cast iron wheels and is likely heavier which as Woodenspoke says makes a big difference and if I buy it while it is still on promotion will be cheaper, although with all the upgrades it might be about the same. I could also go pick up the saw from Sears whereas I have to have the Grizzly brought by freight, which is a pain because after reading their page, some freights won't even lift the thing out of the truck and must be done by the customer(I was slightly amazed by this). And I have a wrecked back and my family and two of my friends are out of town and the others work, so being able to time the delivery so I can have a lot of help might be tough.

Oh well, we shall see I will keep analyzing until I decide, I bet either way I will be extremely happy. I have looked around to find out that either saw will suit me great. Thanks guys!

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Good luck with your new saw! Just be careful of the fingers! (and eyes). The Grizz, by the way, has a 1.5hp motor and a great table system. A saw like that from Delta or jet with the accessories the base Grizzly has is at least $900- 1100. The base saw without fence and other items start about $800 from those companies. I like the wheels also. I don't know why the haven't been designed that way in the past. By the way, Grizzly has there huge tent sale this weekend in PA.; a lot of scratch and dent stuff with greatly reduced prices.

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I agree with Woodenspoke. Larger industrial saws(especially with auto feed systems) are awsome. Unfortunately cost, size, weight make them out of the range of most hobbiests.

One thing I can say for sure is that proper tuning of the machine is key. Some machines are easier, and hold a tune better. Even the best saw is going to work like dung unless you can set it up and run the material properly. I personally feel high quality reliable guides are very important. Good quality (sharp)blades are very important. I can tell you that if a board is fed through a saw properly, and the machine is tuned well with a good sharp blade. Your machine will cut even the hardest wide boards like butter. I am a fan of woodslicer blades for their smooth low loss cuts, but your machine must be tuned well or they will not work well. Lennox makes one of the most durable blades you can find for very hard woods. When cutting I listen to my saw, and can hear when something is not right. You can also feel it when the machine is not cutting properly.

Peace,Rich

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Bandsaws sure do cause a lot of worry.

I go to the IWF show in Atlanta every two years just to walk around and see everything made by nearly everybody and drool a lot.

I have an Inca 10 1/2", an old Grizzly 14 and a really old Parks 20".

The Parks did come from Sears in the early 60's, but I just haven't liked their stationary tools for the last thirty years or so. This may be a personal shortcoming that I have.

The Grizzly saws of today are on a par with any of the Taiwanese saws available. In the past they made some pretty unforgivable junk but not any more. A 14"with a riser kit will do nearly everything that you need to do as far as sawing guitar parts goes. They are well made machines that are decently finished. I own an old one that I got at a yard sale for $100 because the owner couldn't get it to work halfway right. I've been doing this stuff for thirtysome years and it took me and the machinist across the street a while to get it right, but this is a 1987 machine. Don't let this kind of story influence you as far as the new stuff goes. The new ones at the Atlanta show last year were on a par with Delta, Powermatic, and Jet. Another plus for Grizzly is the speed that they get out replacement parts if you need them. They developed very good customer service in the days when they sold very mediocre machinery.

The Laguna's are quite a step up, but you would expect that from the cost difference. This is a professional grade machine. Well machined, heavy duty plenty of oomph. I know a bunch of cabinetmaker's that have them and they all love them. I think that they are absolutely worth the extra money if you are going to do production work.

Somewhere in between is the Rikon. This is a good machine that is a little underpowered, in my opinion.

Woodcraft sells them and has sales fairly often.

If the shop burned tomorrow I would buy the Laguna if I had the money, and the Grizzly if I didn't. I'm semi-retired now but I'm still a tool junkie. The Grizzly should be a safe and satisfactory choice.

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Indeed, I'm looking at getting a good bandsaw sometime this Summer.

Darnit, I'm just going to have to save up over three-four paychecks and get into the $500-$1,000 range, including riser type kit for resawing. Expensive for a hobbyist, but I want to do cabinets and furniture too. This one looks good to me.

This really looks like the one to save for. Great cutting height.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/G0513

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Yeah, that one does look nice. I started thinking about that one, which sucks as it's two hundred more than the other one, but it has a lot of nice upgrades, one which Woodenspoke mentioned is that one has cast iron wheels whereas the one below it has cast aluminum. ALso, it has a better motor at 1 1/2 vs the 1 hp of the other one and it will work with the riser block to get that 12 in resaw. It's also heavier, has a closed base, and a nice resaw fence that would be vital when using the 12in resaw ability. All in all, it seems worth it to get that 200 upgrade for all those reason, actually writing it out makes the $200 sound like a very small amount for what upgrades you get. I believe that nice resaw fence alone would make up half of that price increase.

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JM, I think you were replying to my first choice in saw, then I edited changed the post, changed the saw on you. Sorry.

I'm liking that saw, but the edited version, I'm thinking would be the real McCoy. Heck, it might even be fun to take the drive from Portland to Bellingham to see their shop.

I'm very interested in hearing any and all opinions. Thanks. I think I can hack this buy, considering all my other hobby buys, in maybe 2.5 months of saving up.

I mean, next tax return season comes the stainless steel beer brewing setup. LOL

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Yeah, that one does look nice. I started thinking about that one, which sucks as it's two hundred more than the other one, but it has a lot of nice upgrades, one which Woodenspoke mentioned is that one has cast iron wheels whereas the one below it has cast aluminum. ALso, it has a better motor at 1 1/2 vs the 1 hp of the other one and it will work with the riser block to get that 12 in resaw. It's also heavier, has a closed base, and a nice resaw fence that would be vital when using the 12in resaw ability. All in all, it seems worth it to get that 200 upgrade for all those reason, actually writing it out makes the $200 sound like a very small amount for what upgrades you get. I believe that nice resaw fence alone would make up half of that price increase.

If you can get dual bearing guides that is a really nice IMO. European style as that 17" machine has are ok with cool blocks(and I would say cool blocks are about on par with most of the single bearing guides also). The 17" Extream, or the 19" are the first two models I see with dual bearing guides though. Personally I run Carter Dual bearing guides and find I really like the stability they provide with wider re-saw blades (if you ran 1/2" blades single bearings are perfectly cool).

Peace,Rich

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I'll be taking a look at my local Woodcraft store. My last time there, the power tools were all crammed into a corner, undisplay like. The majority the this magical place was huge displays of wood, and the walls of router bits, planes, carving tools, I was wowed.

That's a nice saw. $749. Looks like the one I posted, Grizzly has a 2 hp motor. However, no shipping, greater resaw distance. Thanks dude.

Yes, it's very frustrating indeed when the instructions give you an impression you're sure is right, only to discover doh!!!!

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