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mhenry
11-27-2011, 12:00 PM
I recently bought a really cheap bandsaw from Home Depot, and wow is it a piece of crap. It will not cut straight. I have been trying to set it up to cut straight for weeks. I give up, you get what you pay for.

So I am looking for something better I dont have a bunch of room so would prefer a benchtop model. What would you guys suggest? Under $500.00

Thanks, Mike

Marko Tsourkan
11-27-2011, 12:02 PM
Standalone ShopSmith, but you have to find one locally with a stand. Great quality, US made equipment. Better than Delta. You might want to put a larger pulley to slow it down a bit if you cut tropical hardwoods, but that's a minor adjustment. Another things is to replace the blade guides (blocks) to Carter guides (bearings, cost $100). Those will allow you to resaw wood very cleanly up to 4.5".

Pabloz
11-27-2011, 02:28 PM
The two that I use are 1) an old Delta Homecraft that I inherited from my father, this one is phenominal for wood, and 2) is a portable bandsaw used for metal that I built a vertical stand for. The Delta came out in the late '40s and is a cast iron work horse. Parts are still available and the only thing that has been replaced on this one in 50 years of use (between my father & I) is the rubber tires. The metal one is a HF and uses the standard 44 7/8" blades. This one has been great for the small metal cutting I need and also for some quick work outside. I made the stand out of a piece of 1/4" plate for the base and some 1/8" x 2" angle for the upright so that the saw is held vertical by to quick release clamps.

Burl Source
11-27-2011, 02:38 PM
If you could spend a little more I would suggest a 14" Jet bandsaw.
Here is a link to one on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.com/708115K-JWBS-14CS-Horsepower-Woodworking-Graphite/dp/B00006ANS4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322419700&sr=8-1)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/319T2P82VQL._SL500_AA300_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/708115K-JWBS-14CS-Horsepower-Woodworking-Graphite/dp/B00006ANS4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322419700&sr=8-1)

I have 2 of these that I use here.
One is just like the one in the link.
The other has the 6 inch riser block, roller guides and re-sawing fence.

They cut great, easy adjustments and simple to change blades.

HHH Knives
11-27-2011, 02:43 PM
I would second Mark on the 14" saw. Jet or Ridged

I have a Ridged. and its been running strong for 6 years and counting. :)

Eamon Burke
11-27-2011, 02:46 PM
Amazing timing! I'll be watching this thread.

Pabloz
11-27-2011, 05:13 PM
Both of the ones I spoke about before are bench top and the two together would easily be under your $500.00 limit. Please allow me a second try at this with pics.

Delta Homecraft2666


HF Portable w/ home make stand2667

HHH Knives
11-27-2011, 06:50 PM
I have a benchtop band saw (never could get it to cut straight on anything thicker then 1/2 inch) and a deep cut porta band (awesome tool for cutting metal) Yet I still recommend a 14" band saw or larger for resaw work, cross cutting etc. Especially for some of the woods we like as knife handles. Rosewoods and Iron woods and many others including stabilized block are very hard and dense.

SpikeC
11-27-2011, 07:43 PM
Here is another vote for the Shopsmith bandsaw, although mine is powered by the Mark 5 unit. I'm also using the 6X48 belt sander on the mark 5 to do all my blade grinding, and horizontal boring capacity to make handles.

l r harner
11-27-2011, 10:51 PM
i have a craftmen 12 inch and a roll n saw 14 inch
let the saw do the work and get good blades
making sure that you have proper tension on the blade will also help keep the cut on tracck

that is the blade kerf and tooth TPI how wide is the blade all are things that can hell keep a cut straight

tgraypots
11-27-2011, 11:08 PM
mike, I rece tly asked the same question of my friends around here, and they recommended a DeWalt portaband with an attachment to hold it upright with a table. swagoffroad.com has the attachments.

l r harner
11-27-2011, 11:41 PM
wait are you wantig to cut wood or steel that can make a big differance in tools cause of SFPM on the blade

Pabloz
11-28-2011, 01:14 AM
+++++ to LR...it is an absolute fundamental necessity to determine SFPM based on material. This should have been qualified from the start. This is why I use 2 different saws 1) for wood and 2) for metal, even then the variables must be accurately calculated to achieve the best results. I guess the better answer would be a question...what is it you want to cut? The portable may not run fast enough for some materials and the 10-14" may not go slow enough for others. I really wish I could afford the Bob Loveless method and have one saw, drill press, mill, grinder, etc. for each application that way one doesn't have to do tedious calculations and adjustments. Actually, (if I remember correctly for a saw) the simplest method is one published in a machinest bed side reader that says something to the effect of, keep a minimum of 2 teeth in the material at all times and feed as fast as the blade will cut. For some this has become intuitive due to repetitive practice but to others it is an ongoing WIP.

Pabloz
11-28-2011, 01:18 AM
OOOPPPPSSS....should have also put SFPM= Surface Feet Per Minute which is a calculation of feed rate that machinest use which for a band saw can be refernced here:
http://vintagemachinery.org/math/sfpm.aspx

mhenry
11-28-2011, 09:45 AM
Thanks, so far for the information guys. I will be cutting wood.

Dave Martell
11-28-2011, 06:56 PM
The only advise I can give on this subject is to make sure that you can get the blades you want easily in the size the machine you're planning on buying uses.

WillC
11-28-2011, 07:08 PM
Touch wood :laugh:I seem to have been pretty lucky on that little dewalt bandsaw I bought second hand. The blade's that came with it seem fine and it cuts straight. There a bit of a rip off new though I would say.