Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #360634
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Folks,
    I’m at the stage where, having seen what they can do, I thinking of getting a bandsaw for initial prepwork.
    However, I’ve no real idea of what to look for in terms of features, quality, makers, retailers or price!
    I wouldn’t say “money no object”, but nor do I want to buy too cheaply and find I’m disappointed with what’s possible.

    As a starting point I’d welcome comments/observations on the following, which are at either end of my probable budget scale;

    https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-cbs225-229mm-9-band-saw-230v/

    or

    https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-cbs300-305mm-professional-bandsaw-sta/

    I have been looking on eBay, but the same dilemmas apply!

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Regards,

    Matt

    #360902
    Sarrienne Cousland
    Participant

    The general advice I got when I went looking is “However big a bandsaw you think you’ll need, go at least one larger”.
    Most serious woodworkers seem to favour at leat 14″ wheels thatcan take 1″ blades, if not bigger. Instantly, you’ll be in the £600 sort of range if buying new and a grand for a ‘basic’ machine would not be unreasonable.
    If you’re serious about this, then anything with ‘Hobby’ in the title is possibly too small and underpowered, which certainly looks to be where that Clarke 300 sits, alongside the Axminster 310 and Record Power equivalent.

    Despite all that advice I went with an Axminster HBS310 anyway, because it’s the best I could afford, because their aftersales customer service is highly regarded (even if their kit isn’t always), and because getting older means I need a bandsaw for the donkey work part of dimensioning!!

    #360990
    Dave Ring
    Participant

    My bandsaw is a (now sadly discontinued) 12″ (300mm) Sears Craftsman machine which I think was made in the same factory as Rikon saws. I’m happy with it but would prefer a 14″/310mm model . I wouldn’t consider anything smaller than 12″. Besides their reduced capacity, smaller bandsaws are said to be prone to breaking blades. One of my saw’s coolest features is its huge 2 foot square table. That is a feature i would recommend looking for.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Dave Ring.
    #360997
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Thanks both of you…

    What makes should I be considering/avoiding?
    Also, if I may, what is the “Throat depth”? I’m assuming that’s the max distance between fence and blade?

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Matt

    #361058
    Dave Ring
    Participant

    Throat Depth is the distance between the blade and the frame of the saw. This is what determines, for instance, the maximum length of a piece that you can cut off the end of a board.

    I’ll leave brand recommendations to UK Readers.

    Dave

    #361133
    Clifford
    Participant

    I posted this some time ago.

    On occasion I do resort to a bandsaw for some cuts. After struggling with an inexpensive 20+ year old small benchtop bandsaw (4 inch) from Harbor Freight which would not cut hardwood thicker than approximately 1.25 inch without throwing the blade I decided to look for an upgrade. After much research it looked like a 14 inch Laguna or 14-17 inch Grizzly (price $1500-$2000) was the way to go – until I kept reading such positive reviews of the 10 inch Wen.

    The Wen is placed really well as it has a 6 inch rip (resaw) capacity versus the more common 4 inch for the bench top models. Plus it had a nice fence that is similar to a high end saw which has both a tall and short option for different thicknesses of stock. Couple this with a $250 price and I thought it worth a try. I checked Walmart’s return policy first and found that I had 90 days to return it so I gave it a try. Truthfully I was dubious.

    The first task was to take a 6 inch piece of white oak and rip it. It worked perfectly somewhat to my surprise! Since then it has done everything that I have needed to do. Would a high end saw cut faster – sure. But, since this has met all of my needs with a low cost and smaller footprint I am more than pleased. Now the common 1 inch stock can be easily ripped to make the thinner pieces for projects like the Dovetail Caddy Project and the Coasters. Not to mention that after hand cutting all the pieces for the rocking chair my first use was to cut the rocker rails – it was a very nice experience!

    I just wanted to pass along my positive experience with a relatively inexpensive bandsaw that has worked for me.

    #361275
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Thanks all for your input.
    I’m better informed… but no nearer a decision at the moment!
    Still welcoming more comment.
    Regards,

    Matt

    #361516
    Franiel
    Participant

    Someday I will build one of these…
    http://woodgears.ca/bandsaw/homemade.html

    #361951
    Sarrienne Cousland
    Participant

    Brand-wise… there are several. It depends on whether you want a shiny new one which will cost lots of money, or will be happier with a second-hand one which will likely be bigger and better but may need a bit of servicing to get it up to scratch.

    If you’re going for Record or Axminster, you’ll definitely want the larger ones, probably from their Trade series rather than any of the hobby ones. You can get good results from cheaper bandsaws, but you really do need to fettle them carefully. It’s a bit too much faffing around for some people, but if you get it right it will be great.

    A lot depends on the cutting height and especially the power, especially if you’re ripping and resawing thick hardwood. Avoid anything with ‘3-Phase’ as that’s purely industrial and well beyond 240v mains.

    However, for similar money you can find an older heavy-use models second hand, like a Startrite. Scheppach and Hammer are other brands I hear praised often, especially the latter’s N4400.
    Mostly those that are floor standing, either with legs or particularly cabinet stands, rather than bench models.

    Two bits of advice I see most often are: Get your blades from Ian at TuffSaws and get Steve Maskery’s “Workshop Essentials” DVDs.
    The reason is that both are excellent. Anything you buy will likely come with a naff demo blade fitted, which will work for test cutting but will be blown out of the water by any TuffSaws blade – If you’re not sure which one(s) to buy, get in touch with Ian and he will see you right!!

    #362064
    SmokyRick Crawford
    Participant

    The coolest would be to make your own, as @franiel says. Also, Matthias at woodgears.ca is a good engineer and has good plans. However, not everyone is up to such a build. Being in the US, I will not say anything about brands available to you to buy, but I have a Delta 10″ (254mm) bandsaw and as a hobbyist, it has done whatever I needed. I guess it all depends on how much you will be using it and what use you see yourself as needing. Are you planning on splitting the width of your boards on a regular basis? This is called resawing. Or are you just looking for something that will cut out odd shapes rather than straight lines? Do you have other saws for other jobs, or will this be the place you go whenever you need to cut something? Just some thoughts that may help you decide what you really want and need.

    In the middle of Northern Illinois, USA

    #362070
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Thanks,

    I’ve looked at that make your own… That’s a bit beyond me at the moment. I’ll really be using it for initial dimensioning wood for projects. Fairly accurate re-sawing really.
    Thanks for all the input.

    Regards,
    Matt

    #366013
    leari tee
    Participant

    Jet, and Rikon Bandsaws are worth looking at. The Jet Bandsaw at my local Men’s Shed has never missed a beat.

    Also look at what type of work you are performing (cutting bowl-blanks would mean coarser teeth {3 tpi or 4 tpi})

    #366033
    Matt Sims
    Participant

    Thanks. I’ll bear those names in mind.
    Regards,
    Matt

    #366971
    Nicholas Newble
    Participant

    The Record Power BS series of Bandsaws seem to get consistently recommended and will most likely be what I get, the BS350 would cover most needs very well, but even the BS250 is a decent machine:

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/record-power-bs250-120mm-bandsaw-230v/21725

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.