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Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

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  • Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

    I've come close to buying one of these a few times, stepped back either because I did not have the space, couldn't justify the need, or couldn't fit the budget and didn't want to buy trouble.

    So, I think my best approach is to save my pennies and buy a good machine that doesn't take a guru to keep tuned, has good dust collection and enough power to upgrade with a riser kit should the need arise (and be machined well enough to take the riser without going out of spec).

    To be clear, I am looking at nothing larger than a 14" machine as I simply don't have the space and have 110V service with no intent of adding 220.

    Thanks as always for your advice.

    -John
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  • #2

    Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

    My first 10 years of woodworking were spent without a bandsaw..... Then I purchased one for the hell of it..... Its amazing how much I use it now and could not live without it.
    A 14" is great size for 95% of all tasks. The bigger the hp the better.
    The trouble is picking one.... there are dozens of 14" bs's on the market. Most are pretty good.

    Chris

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    • #3

      Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

      What not to buy

      Can't help you with what to buy but I have a 14" craftex bandsaw and I would never buy another.

      Very cheaply built!
      The only good thing is that the price was cheap as well.

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      • #4

        Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

        The US made Delta would be a safe bet, but at a price (~$1200).

        There's the Chinese Delta at half that price, but I don't know what has been lost in lowering the price. Would be really interesting to see a head to head comparison between these two saws...

        DC
        DC

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        • #5

          Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

          Originally posted by Denis Chénard in Ottawa
          The US made Delta would be a safe bet, but at a price (~$1200).

          There's the Chinese Delta at half that price, but I don't know what has been lost in lowering the price. Would be really interesting to see a head to head comparison between these two saws...

          DC
          Denis, I have the US made Delta and a close friend has the Offshore made version.
          The parts on the USA Delta are clearly of better quality, heavier etc.... But both saws work well. With the american having a sustancial HP advantage.

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          • #6

            Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

            Bandsaw choice

            Like you I held off for a long time to buy a bandsaw and now having made the purchase do not understand how I lived without it. Am doing a bench with lots of mortise joints and use it all the time. Has also been great for some pieces I have had to make.

            I had an opportunty some time ago before buying mine from Busy Bee to use a Delta jigsaw and am just as happy with the performance of mine as I was with the Delta model. I bought the 15" BB and the Delta was 14". I have not tried it for resaw but did get the riser kit; the people at the Ottawa store were great in helping me get it installed.

            Irregardless of what kind you buy, keep saving those pennies; you will like me wonder how you did without it.

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            • #7

              Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

              Same here,
              The bandsaw is the power tool I use the most. Buy the best you can afford, it's really a versatile tool that will expand your WW possibilities. I can't really help you with brand...I bought a General 690 which is not in most people's budget. Each time I use it I'm happy with my purchase though.
              Frank
              SPCHT

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              • #8

                Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                I just purchased the Grizzly 17 inch X series for $895 USD. I am surprised at how well they are put together. It has a 2 hp, 220 volt, motor, the quick release for the blade tension and will handle up to a 1 inch blade. What surprised me most was the quality of the casting for the table. Very smooth and clean on the underside. I have it sitting in the shop but will probably be a couple of weeks before I get it running. I paid $50 PA sales tax and GST and PST at the border as I picked it up at the store in Muncey PA.
                Brian
                If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                • #9

                  Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                  I have the U.S. made Delta with riser kit. With quality blades, the 1hp motor has been adequate if at times a little slow but I'm retired and my time belongs to me. It is a quality machine which becomes apparant when making comparisoms to Asian units at half the price.

                  Lee
                  Lee

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                  • #10

                    Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                    John,

                    I have the 3/4 hp offshore Delta, and though I have never used a better bandsaw, it is obviously not close to the quality of the USA one.

                    That being said... you can get one for under $500 and it is well worth that amount of money IMO. I have used it to resaw 5" stock for laminations as well as other occasional resawing and it has not been frustrating to set up to do this, even though this was my first bandsaw. I have set it up with a modified old delta ts fence and I can cut slowly and straight with the fence not set to accommidate for blade drift. The tension release feature is great.

                    That also being said... After owning it for a year, I already look forward to replacing it in the future with something that is more solid. What I would like to have would be a #1 stiffer table, #2 more power, #3 not such a sloppy adjustment system.

                    For my purposes (smaller projects, no turning, tablesaw in shop) and size of shop I think the 14" size is great and would not buy anything much bigger - just better quality.

                    I don't know what your electrical situation is... but, getting a 220 outlet installed is often not much of a big deal... and if you are in a rental you can always take the outlet, breaker, and big extension cord with you when you leave. I just mention this in case you came across a great deal on a used 220v saw.

                    hope some of this was helpful,

                    Matt
                    SPCHT

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                    • #11

                      Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                      Guys this is great - exactly what I need to know.

                      Matt, I'll take your comments on the 220V to heart. As it turns out, I will be bringing in an electrician to do some wiring for a lighting project, so perhaps this is the smart time to put in a 20A 110V as well as provisions for a 220V setup.

                      So here's what I understand from the consensus so far:

                      - 3/4 hp is OK, but 1 hp or better IS better
                      - I should expect to pay more for quality, but a bit more money gets a lot more quality, then it goes up from there (interesting mixed reports on the BB/Craftex line - does it depend on which BB Model?)

                      Any thoughts on noise and dust collection? How about table size?

                      Thanks for the input. Much appreciated!

                      -John

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                      • #12

                        Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                        New Bandsaw

                        I've been following this thread closely as I am also in the market for a bandsaw. I don't need a big Italian job or along those lines. I'd love to, but my use would not warrant the cost of the purchase. I had a close look at the Chinese Delta 14" and one by King. The King seemed to have a little better fit and finish AND a 1 H.P. motor / 3 speeds. It is actually cheaper than the Delta. Has anyone had a look at this thing? I know there are a lot of Mini-Max, Laguna and Delta owners out there who'll say go this way.....the bigger the better. Naw! A simple 14" with a riser kit will suit my purposes nicely.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                          Originally posted by John in Ottawa (YOW)
                          Any thoughts on noise and dust collection? How about table size?
                          A good dust port at the bottom of the saw that you can hook up to a shop vac (or DC) is an asset. Some people go the extra mile to collect dust at the source (underneath the table), but you'll probably have to make a custom adaptor for that.
                          Table size: bigger is definitely better, but that's what takes up the most space (footprint sizes are quite similar between bandsaw sizes), so if you have a small shop you'll have to set a limit.
                          Frank
                          SPCHT

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                          • #14

                            Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                            I'm pretty much exactly where John is in my shop. I currently have an opportunity to pick up a 3/4 hp 14" King for $350. Is this a good deal?

                            Regards
                            Hans Braul
                            SPCHT

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                            • #15

                              Re: Saving for my next addition - a bandsaw?

                              Popular Woodworking just did a review on steel frame 14" and the Rikon got top honours, even better than the Laguana and General. Only problem is its only available in the US, so I don't know what it would cost to get to Canada. US price was (I think) $799.

                              Warren

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