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Good Bandsaw for a Wood Turner

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Vic Sinai, May 4, 2020.

  1. Vic Sinai

    Vic Sinai

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    76
    Location (City & State):
    Carlsbad, California
    I've been turning for a couple years off and on, mostly spindles and a few bowls. I'm getting to the point where I want to do more bowls and am finding that a bandsaw would be very useful. Looking to buy one when I decide which one and was wondering if anyone could recommend one they have or would like to have.
    Would like as much power as possible, obviously. 12 inch resaw capacity or so. Price preferred would be from 900 or less to abt 1100 or so on sale, as there are a lot of sales right now. Even a bench top would be fine.
    Also if I can ask is there anything I don't want or need in the way of features or brands, etc. Thank you.
     
  2. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Hoschton, GA
    I've got a Jet 14" bandsaw with a 6" riser kit that has served me well. I've also heard good things about the Rikon bandsaws. Both of these would be in your price range. I don't have any problem roughing out 6" thick bowl blanks. Obviously, there are bigger and more powerful bandsaws out there. You just have to figure out how much you need.
     
  3. Vic Sinai

    Vic Sinai

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    Location (City & State):
    Carlsbad, California
    Yes thank you, there are many, in fact too many, with many differing opinions. The Jet 14 inch was one I was considering. They make a couple with 12 inch resaw capacity I believe. Those were the ones I was considering. It would be easier if there was 1 or 2 choices and that was it. More choice more hesitation. Thx again
     
  4. brian horais

    brian horais

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    Location (City & State):
    Knoxville, TN
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    I have a Laguna 14/12 and have been very happy with it. I got the movable base accessory in case I need to change the saw's position. The bandsaw is very well made and has no problem cutting through 12 and even 13 inch thick log slices. I did some research and looked at the Rikon 14 inch, but chose the Laguna because it looked like it was higher quality. You can get it for less than $1100 on sale
     
  5. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
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    Location (City & State):
    Evanston, IL USA
    What Brian said.
     
  6. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    North Charleston, SC
    I've had my Grizzly for 15 years. No problems.
     
  7. Vic Sinai

    Vic Sinai

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Carlsbad, California
    Thank you all
     
  8. Kent Jaffrey

    Kent Jaffrey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Warrenton, Virginia
    I really like my Rikon 10-325. It is a 14” bandsaw with a 12+” resaw capacity And 1.5 hp. It has done all I asked for bowls and re-saving for guitar work and didn’t break the bank. They have newer models now, but the one I have has been great
     
  9. Larry Copas

    Larry Copas

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    A lot of the 14" saws have small tables which make it hard to balance a uneven heavy block of wood to cut. Delta 20" saws are light industrial with a larger table, 12"+ re-saw capacity, and can be found for less than a thousand. The downside is if they need new tires they are expensive.

    Sawing bowl blanks for a beginning turners class. DSCF0313.JPG

    Full disclosure, I have two. One for re-sawing and one for the curvy stuff. Who wants to change blades?
     
    Tom Albrecht likes this.
  10. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
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    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    One decision you should make early which will help narrow the field is whether or not you want to go with 240 volt or stay with 120V. That decision alone will eliminate 1/2 the choices one way or the other.

    I can't imagine a bench top saw with a 12" resaw capacity.

    Not every "feature" is going to be equally important to you, but here are some to be on the look out for: A brake; a larger table; two miter slots; a fence; resaw & throat sizes; blade tension release.
     
  11. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
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    Location (City & State):
    Eastern Washington
    I've been exceptionally happy with my Rikon 70-326 which is in your price range. The fence is easy to adjust and use, blade changes are very quick with the quick adjust guides. I broke a part when I dropped it, Rikon sent me the piece at no charge, said they considered it a warranty issue. If I had to buy a band saw today I would not hesitate to buy the 70-326 again.
     
  12. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    Location (City & State):
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    I get by with a 14" Delta with a riser block. I put a bigger motor on it years ago, but would much prefer to have something in the 20-24" range. The small table on the Delta (and most other saws of that size) is very limiting. I currently don't even try to prep logs on the bandsaw, just knock the corners off with a chainsaw and round them up on the lathe.
     
  13. Vic Sinai

    Vic Sinai

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Carlsbad, California
    Thank you all again. Exactly what I need to hear.
     
  14. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    Location (City & State):
    Hoodsport, Washington
    The biggest throat height you can afford!
     
  15. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    I have recently obtained a 20" Delta/Rockwell (from 1968) - love it. Did need new tires, and that added about $500 to the cost.

    I also have a 14" Delta with the riser block, which served well for many many years. These (and Jet and other similar saws) are generally easy to find on the used market.

    I upgraded the motor to 1HP when I added the riser, and "fixed" the small table by adding an extension.
    IMG_5497.jpeg
    That went a long way to making the saw more useful (and safe!) for handling bowl blanks.
     
  16. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Location (City & State):
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    For sure, the biggest drawback for all bandsaws is that they have very small tables. This means that if you are going to prep bowl blanks on them, you have to be adept at handling big pieces of wood, or you have to build an infeed and outfeed table. The dust collection on every bandsaw I have seen is terrible, well for bowl blank prep anyway. They work fine for cabinet shop work where all the wood is dry, but not for wet wood. Look up my 'Bandsaw Dust Ports do not Suck' video.If you can cut your slabs pretty parallel, then all you really need the bandsaw to do is to cut circles. Look up my video "Chainsaw Chopsaw', which does a good job, but I need to 'new and improve' it. I have the Laguna 16HD which saves a lot of time in prepping blanks since it cuts 16 inches high, and I seldom turn bigger than 14 inch. It has a 4.5 hp Baldor motor and waltzes through anything I can put on it with a 1 1/4 wide blade with teeth at 3/4 inch apart. I moved and don't have the chainsaw chop saw set up again so use the big bandsaw a lot more, at present. Having the proper blade is as important as having the proper saw. I use only the Lennox bimetal blades. They cost a bit more, but have M42 hss teeth which will cut through nails without ruining them. They can be resharpened. I use a 1/2 inch wide blade, which will cut circles down to about 6 inch diameter. Being able to cut circles saves a lot of roughing time.

    robo hippy
     
  17. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

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    Location (City & State):
    Houma, Louisiana
    I've had my Grizzly 17" for years with no issues. It's 240V but so is my D.C. and had to have that in the shop anyway. I know there are varying opinions on Grizzly, but I have had several of their tools (along with Jet, Festool and Powermatic) and have never had an issue with a single one of them.
     
  18. Vic Sinai

    Vic Sinai

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
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    Again, thank you one and for all the good info.
     
  19. Ed Weingarden

    Ed Weingarden

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    Location (City & State):
    Canton, Connecticut
    I bought the Grizzly G0513X2F about two years ago. I'm very pleased with the performance. It has a 17" throat, 12" resaw capacity, 2hp motor (220v), cast iron wheels, and a brake. The cast iron wheels have a lot of inertia when the machine is turned off, so I find the brake to be an excellent feature. Grizzly recently waived shipping charges on their machines. I don't know if that's still in effect.
     
  20. Michael Stein

    Michael Stein

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    Apr 25, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Atkinson, New Hampshire
    Hey Robo, I use exactly the same blades 1/2" Lennox bimetals and could not agree more. I sharpen them with a diamond burr on a Dremel tool with a little lapping fluid. I have a pair of blades that must be at least 6 years old. If you check the lead of the blade and know which direction to cut in you can cut extremely thick wood with a 1/2 inch blade. I have resawn planks 18 inches wide with a 1/2 " 3TPI blade.
    No reason to buy a new saw. You can get great used saws for a song and a dance. Visit the machinery stores in your area and offer them 10% less than what they are asking. If they don't come down smile and walk. Power is very important in a band saw. Us turners like cutting thick stuff. You can easily stall a 1 HP motor with a blank 4" thick. IMHO 2 HP is the smallest I would go with. You might consider running a 220 volt line to the saw. The Grizzly machine mentioned above sounds like a great machine. Northfield Saws are the best but even a small one is going to run more than you want to spend unless you get lucky and run into one that needs a little TLC.
     
  21. Eric Cothern

    Eric Cothern

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Aloha, Oregon
    Great timing on this question. I want to step up to a bigger band saw so I could grow into it and have been comparing the Jet and Rikon. Great input here! Currently I have a small Ryobi bandsaw so I could cut down pen blanks. It was used and I think it had a very hard life as I keep having issues with it. I have told my wife that it will accidentally fall off my table real soon.
     
  22. Michael Stein

    Michael Stein

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    Location (City & State):
    Atkinson, New Hampshire
    Eric,
    Lower end machines would be more of a risk buying used but the heavy duty ones are much less risk. A really old machine might need new bearings but they are standard sizes and just press in. The most important wear sites are the tires and the guides. If they are in good shape and the wheels run true you are good to go. Wood working machinery loses value fast and you can get quite a nice one for between 1 and 2 grand. Even if it required some work you would still save huge amounts relative to a new saw of that type.
     
    Eric Cothern likes this.
  23. Forrest Forschmiedt

    Forrest Forschmiedt

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    Location (City & State):
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    Just for reference and for others who are shopping for a saw and following this thread...

    I bought a Grizzly G0555LX this last November on sale for about $700 including tax and shipping.
    This is a 14" with 6" resaw and an available 6" rise kit.
    This version of the saw has the cast iron wheels and a 1hp motor, which seems to be sufficient for the size of the saw.

    If your purchasing decision is heavily weighted on budget as mine was, this might be your saw. However, expect to spend a bit more to get it to where it does what you need it to.
    If I had a bigger budget I may have opted for a Jet or Rikon or maybe just a bigger Grizzly.
    Given the same budget and needs, I would probably buy this one again.

    It seems to be a solid piece of equipment for the price and its bones are solid but it wasn't 100% out of the box.
    The only real functional issue I have had with it is that the guide bearings were junk.
    I ordered good bearings elsewhere right away and, sure enough, the original bearings spit their guts on the floor while I was waiting for the new ones to arrive. I didn't bother asking Grizzly for replacements.
    If your needs call for solid guides, Grizzly has holders and guides. Buy their holders but don't bother with their solid guides. They melted within days for me. Cool Blocks have been holding up well for me so far. When these are done I may try ceramic guides.

    Customer service and tech support have been very good to me so far when I had questions about the saw and ordered a rolling base for it.
     
  24. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Location (City & State):
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    @Vic Sinai, have you decided on whether to go with 120V or 240V yet?
     
  25. Vic Sinai

    Vic Sinai

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Carlsbad, California
    As always thank you all. As far as 120 or 220 never thought I’d need 220v to saw bowl blanks. Probably won’t do much else with it. But can go either way, just don’t want to overkill it. I don’t need the best or most powerful of anything, just need to accomplish my purpose. Rounding off 6-10 inch bowl blanks. Thx again everyone
     
  26. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Location (City & State):
    Nebraska
    Don't overlook the older 3-phase equipment, you can always power them with a VFD to utilize voltage you have in your house or shop to run the saw.
     

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