Bandsaw Selection

Bandsaw Selection

Postby gordread » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:39 pm

I can't think of a group of woodworkers who are likely to do more resawing that this particular group.

I'm looking to purchase a new bandsaw. I currently have a 14" floor standing Ridged saw. I'm not happy with it's ability to resaw. It is alright for softer woods sawing less than 6", which is it's maximum capacity.

I have been looking at online reviews, and it appears that there is a three way draw between Jet, Grizzly, and Laguna, depending on the site and the reviewer any one of these three will come out on top.

I'm hoping that with the amount of experience found on this board that you might be able to recommend one above the rest through your experience, and how you use it. As I do most of my work with the CNC machine, I am mostly interested in good resaw capability (so I think this translates to power, and throat depth) but I look for your experience as well. Cost is less of an issue, as I have a 'hobby' fund that I can draw from if need be. :)

Thoughts? Recommendations?

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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby Xxray » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:25 am

I have the Laguna 14/12 and am very happy with it [Actually 13"resaw capacity, not 12].

Well built, cuts like a champ - And in this regards of course, the blade itself is very important and I invested in a Resaw king.
Laguna ProForce blades are also very good and much cheaper.

Can occasionally find it under $1K [Rocklers right now] and/or with an accessory like depth gauge thrown in.
Wheeled base, near mandatory for most shops, is extra. Really easy to change blades and maintain ,,, I have sliced wood and corian down to 1/8 and probably could have shaved less, to veneer thickness.

Is a continual, sometimes frustrating effort with any bandsaw to keep cuts perfectly square, so much so that I also invested in a top of the line drum sander to compliment and perfect bandsaw cuts that require very accurate and consistent thickness.

Only big downside for me is that it is Asian manufactured, hard to get away from and the others likely are as well.
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby ElevationCreations » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:38 am

We have the Laguna SUV 14 with drift master fence, and use the resaw king blade. Once set up it cuts extremely well and consistently.
We previously owned a Grizzly 14" similar to the Rigid before with the riser block and there is no comparison for resaw.
I'd recommend keeping your Ridgid for a 1/4" blade and keep a resaw setup for your new saw regardless of which brand you choose.

Having both setup will save you time and give you more consistency.
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby garylmast » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:45 pm

I have the Grizzly 17" 2 HP Bandsaw, Anniversary Edition that takes up to a 1" blade, which I mostly use for resawing. Can't beat it. Gary
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby Leo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:05 pm

I have a Grizzly 19" 2hp, since 2005 or so.

I can resaw 12" and have decent throat.

I don't just cut curves. I use it even for rip cuts. It is sometimes just easier than the table saw.

I have never been sorry to have it. Grizzly always gets a good review, and I will highly recommend it.
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby gordread » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:08 pm

Thanks Guys. Lots of good information. I like the suggestion of keeping both saws. Unfortunately I don't know if the boss (my wife) or my shop space will approve. (gonna try though). :)

Part of my problem with getting a new saw is finding where to buy one in Edmonton. (Canada) We don't have a Rockler store. :( There is a place where I can buy the Laguna, and I've found a place that carries Grizzly, I just have to drive 3 hours to get there.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Always like to hear from experience rather than trust to just review web sites and salesmen.

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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby Leo » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:18 am

You should be able to get it shipped to your door.

In Canada - General? -

From what I understand that is a decent brand name.
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby AlbertaClipper » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:26 am

I bought this saw at Busy Bee in Calgary. It was about 4 years ago and i got it on sale for $1200.00. Comes on sale quite often. I love this saw :D
http://www.busybeetools.com/products/bandsaw-wood-18in-craftex-cx-series-csa-cx108.html

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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby gordread » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:31 pm

Hey Mike. How is that Craftex for vibrations?

Have you cut any hard maple on it? How does it handle resawing tall (thick?) wood (more than 6")? How is it on cutting thin slices? That is where my current saw really sucks, the blade vibrates and wanders a lot if there isn't a lot of bulk on either side to keep it steady.

I've been to Busy Bee a bunch in Edmonton, had one of their (granted less expensive) wood turning lathes, and wasn't pleased with the quality, but it was very inexpensive too, so you get what you pay for.

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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby Leo » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:15 pm

When I was looking as saw to buy I noticed that there is very little difference in how they are all made. Sheet steel welded. There are pullys, bearings, and other things like that. The basic machine is a basic machine, but different colors.

Things that make a difference:


The wheels - for me personally - cast iron wheels are better

table - again I like cast iron, and a bigger size of table

trunion - again I like cast iron

guides - for me personally, I like roller bearings. on my griz, I need to replace them, but they are readily available anywhere - I got good quality replacements

there are options, like a brake - nice to have

On a 17-19 inch saw, you really need a 2 hp 220volt motor or bigger. You cannot get 2 hp from a 110volt circuit even if a mfg claims that you can - no you cannot.

In my opinion - the Grizzly is a better bang for the buck.
In is less money including shipping to your door (usa).
Even shipped to CA my guess is that the saw would still be lower cost.
The craftex has 3 speeds vs 2 on the Griz. I have never changed speeds.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/17-Band ... on/G0513X2
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby adze_cnc » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:22 pm

Gordon,

Perhaps these two videos (10 and 5 minutes) might be of use?

Michael Fortune on bandsaw setup and resawing tips.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/2011/04/ ... -a-bandsaw

http://www.finewoodworking.com/2011/04/ ... dsaw-video

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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby mike.davison » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:42 pm

I have a Grizzly 17" and am very happy with it. It handles all tasks, including resaw, very well. I have been impressed with Laguna machines as well and own a couple.

Leo lays out what are really important features on any saw -- cast iron wheels, trunnions and tables. Heavy. Strong. Avoid vibration or flexing. Basically, look for 'solid,' 'heavy' and 'strong' on any brand or size bandsaw you consider.
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby SteveNelson46 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:55 pm

Quite a few years ago I had a little cheap Craftsman 12" band saw. I didn't like the performance so I bought a bigger one. When my brother ask me what I was going to do with the old one I told him he can have it but it isn't worth a crap. A couple of months later he told me the same thing that it was indeed a piece of crap. He bought a CD that had step by step instructions on how to tune-up a band saw so we did it together. We followed all of the recommendations and what a difference. Even though it was a little and cheap saw it really cut pretty good including re-sawing.

So, to make a long story short, try tuning up your old saw. Ridgid is known for making fairly good tools and it just might make a difference. Using guide bearings instead of guide blocks, adjusting the bearings correctly, adjusting the fence for drift, new rubber tires, blade tension, etc are some of the things that we tend to take for granted but can make a big difference.
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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby AlbertaClipper » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:34 am

Gordon,

All I do is re-saw maple and oak with my bandsaw. I now live in Lloydminster and all I can get here is 1" S4S boards. The saw is built very sturdy and is very heavy. I haven't had any problems with vibration or wandering. The widest (tallest) boards I have re-sawed would be 7.5" (1X8 S4S). I haven't tried cutting thinner slices than just sawing these 3/4" thick boards in half so I can't comment on that.

There are 3 slightly negative things I can think of with this saw:

1. I can't find off the shelf blades that fit this saw other than the ones Busy Bee has. I have not had any issues with these blades mind you but I would like to try one of those "smooth cutting" blades just to see if there is any difference from the Busy Bee blades. I can get blades made of course...I just haven't...yet.

2. There are two upper wheel alignment adjustment screws that made adjusting the blade tracking very frustrating. I was almost at the point of returning the saw as BB techs were absolutely no help to me as I tried to align the wheels and tracking. I ended up removing one of the adjustment screws all together and I have had no problems adjusting the tracking since.

3. Had to install 15 amp 220v outlet. You will likely have to do this for whichever saw you buy though.

All-in-all, I am very happy with this saw. When I bought it I had whittled my choices down to this one or a General International 17" saw. Both had pretty much the same size and features. In the end price won out :)

If you have any other questions let me know.

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Re: Bandsaw Selection

Postby gordread » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:25 pm

Thanks everyone, what a great set of replies.

For the Ridgid, I've had it for 7 years now (maybe a few more) and I tuned and tweaked it to death. I've replaced the guides, the tires, the tension spring, rounded the back of the saw blade, bees wax, etc. Unfortunately none of that is going to add power to the motor (when cutting through 6" maple), or give me additional resawing capacity.

I'm going to have to take another look at the Grizzly. I've looked at shipping from a US web site, and with the exchange, plus shipping, it is cheaper to buy a Laguna locally. I know that Grizzly used to be available to me locally, but the store that used to sell them closed up shop about 5 years ago (I really miss House of Tools).

I do have a couple of General International tools, which I'm pretty happy with.

I have 220 single phase in my shop already for some of my larger sanders, so that isn't a problem.

So much to think about. What Leo said about heavy, and cast iron makes sense to me. Cast iron is good for vibration dampening. I will definitely be looking for these features in whatever I purchase.

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