Inexpensive, smaller Bandsaw or table top saw
I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with a smaller bandsaw or table top saw that would be used for cutting out handle blocks or scales from a larger block or small stuff like that. Anyone try the rockwell bladerunner x2? Thanks
Table saw and band saw... I played with both adn learnt the hardway and the following is my observation.
1. You need more grunt/power if you are cutting hard and thick wood. My Bosch table saw allows me to cut maximum 3 inches thic and it cuts straight with no flex on the cutting blade in addition, the fence system on this table saw is steady and definite. A table saw is not ideal straight cuts only. If you need to cut curves say on a saya, you will enjoy the Bandsaw.
2. Bandsaw required more set up as you need to adjust the rollers 2 at teh sides and 1 at the rear so that the flex is minimized.. ON my Makita, the Fence is not definite as I need to clap the other end of the stem as it tends to move slightly whhen i push teh wood thru. MY model specs says max thickness is 3 inches thick and due to the flex, the cut is never so straight.... My scroll saw has been retired.
3. IN a gist.. each has a different purpose adn being a tool junkie, I prefer to wn both as each has it own advantages
SO if you are just cutting blocks.. thick straight cut is mo,re important a table saw with a a)definite fence system is the one yo shld be gunning and b)do check the max thickness that it can cut. For shaping and cutting thin slices breathwise .. a bandsaw .
4. I do own a miter saw too.. it does cut straight max length 12 inches long and not ideal for cutting blocks....MOst ideal for drop cuts say like a pipe and has no fencing system
So have fun and watch your fingers!.. safety first, , make a push stick, wear goggles and masks if cutting alot of wood.
I have been using a 10" Craftsman band saw with 1/3 hp for several years now, cutting hundreds of knife handle blocks - the only Craftsman product I haven't thrown away after a few months, it actually works quite well for cutting handle pieces from boards or even stabilized wood pieces. That said, you need to invest in a good blade and anything over 1 1/2" thickness is a problem. Tried a 3" rosewood block - no chance, just not powerful enough. For occasional hobbyist use it's fine - never thought I would say that about a Craftsman product...
I've had a ryobi table top bandsaw for around 10 years as apicius said, the right blade is the key. HP can compensate for lack of decent cutting teeth.
I also have the 10" Craftsman band saw. It's worked fine for me the last couple of years cutting all type of stabilized hardwoods. For ripping I use the fence and a fingerboard For cross cutting I made a slide table that rides in the miter gauge slot of the table. These two jigs make it very functional for handle making (see Below).
I really appreciate everyone's input. Maybe a bandsaw is something I could use in the future, I have limited space and I have made do with basic tools. I like buying blocks so I can use them for wa handles and cut off the excess for western ones. Thanks again.