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Mark Hockett
08-31-2005, 02:40 PM
I have a dilemma with a band saw purchase and would like some opinions about my situation. On Monday I went into town to buy a 7X12 horizontal band saw. On my way to get the saw I stopped at a local used machine tool dealer to look at another tool. I asked him if he had any 7x12 band saws and he said he just got one in. He showed me the saw and it was a Wellsaw model 58BW.

The saw looked like a decent saw with a ¾ HP Baldor motor, coolant, a great caster system for moving it and it is made in the USA. I asked him for a price and it was very close to the new 7x12 Taiwan saw I was going to get. I was in a hurry and didn’t look at it in great detail because the saw looked very new, and also getting this saw would save me going 45 miles to get the other one so I bought it.

Well I got the saw home and set it up and realized I probably made a mistake buying this saw. The first thing I noticed was it would only take a 93” x ½.” X .025” blade. Most 7x12’s take a 93”x ¾” x .032” blade. When I called to order some blades even the guy at the industrial supply store said it was an odd size. The next thing I noticed was the feed mechanism was just a spring on a cylinder with a collar you have to slide to adjust. This design is comparable to the Chinese 4x6 saws. At least on the 4X6 you can adjust it without tools, This saw every time you need to adjust the feed you have to get a tool out and mess with it.

I spent about 30 minutes trying to get it to feed properly and never was happy with the results. It would either be too slow and stop before it finished the cut or too fast and ruin the light duty blade.

The next thing I noticed was the coolant tank was leaking. The tank had a big crack in it. I also noticed that someone had welded on an extension to the table where the blade cuts. I looked in the manual and saw that the original tip off block was missing. This block is where the adjustable stop would also mount.

The saw does have some nice features like the caster system is on of the best I’ve seen on a band saw and the Baldor motor is cool. It has a nice latch to hold the saw up while you clamp the stock. The saw also looks well built except for the down feed spring.

I called Wellsaw and got prices on a new coolant tank, tip off block with the adjustable stop, blade brushes and some other parts the were missing. They also gave me a price on an upgrade kit to use a ¾” blade. The upgrade kit was about $400.00 and the other parts were about $300.00.

Even if I spend the money to fix this saw up to usable condition for my purpose it will still have a poor feed system. I called a friend who has a Jet saw and the hydraulic cylinder is the same length, so maybe I could modify it to work on this one but that would be even more money.

Whatever saw I end up with will be cutting hundreds of pieces of 3/8” x 1” stainless steel so I need something reliable. I also don’t have a lot of time to work on fixing the saw. I make my living in my shop so any time spent working on tools takes away from making money. I called the dealer that I bought it from and he said he would take it back if it won’t work out.

So my question is do I return the saw and get the new Taiwan 7x12 which would end up costing me hundreds less and have a feed mechanism that works, or do I try to fix the Wellsaw up and take a chance that I can adapt a real hydraulic cylinder to it.

Sorry about being so long,
Mark

Alistair Hosie
08-31-2005, 02:50 PM
In my opinion perhaps you are panicking slightly this is understandable when you head out for something and end up changing you pre-arranged plan.But an American machine with a baldor motor has got to be not a bad machine perhaps and I hope when you get time to relax a little, you will realize that it could be fixed with less money spent on it perhaps by yourself doing or making the parts.I hope it works out for you but ask yourself how much would a baldor motor cost alone this will still operate when the chinese type of motor is shooting flames I hope it works out for you regards and good luck Alistair

Michael Az
08-31-2005, 02:51 PM
Mark, we may have different ideas to come up here, but if it were me I would be tickled to death if I were you. I have a 7 X 12 made in Asia that works out very well for me but I would much rather have the Wellsaw. If it were me I would put the cylinder on it to fix the feed and fix the leaky tank and go from there to see how it works out before upgrading to 3/4". I can't imagine the tank not being repairable.
Michael

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-31-2005, 03:00 PM
I would return it if you can and get the new Taiwan saw if it was around the same price.. If you got the used Wellsaw for a LOT less, then that would be a different story... 3/4" blade vs 1/2" blade is also a big difference IMO.

I have went to a few used machine sellers and felt they generally seem to charge twice what you should pay (Or what I felt I should pay).

To me personally, "made in the USA" only means you'll be paying more for it.

-Adrian

Tinkerer
08-31-2005, 03:27 PM
You did not mention the brand/make of the new saw you would of bought. But the Wellsaw is in need of major upgrades to meet your needs. If it were me I'd most likely take it back and go after the new saw. Most sellers have good parts replacement policies so even if the motor crapped flames in a week they'd send a new one right out. My band saw motor started acting sluggish on startup call the customer support and they sent out a heavy duty sealed twin capacitor motor. I'd get the new saw and start makin' parts. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

garyphansen
08-31-2005, 03:29 PM
Are you sure it will only take a 93" inch blade. Most band saws will take a range of sizes plus or minus 1" or so. The size 93 1/2" is a very common size. I would be happy to weld up some 1/2" Starrett blades for you in any size you want for $1.50 a foot plus shipping. I have Starrett coil stock in 10 teeth per inch and 18 teeth per inch. If you are cutting Alu. 1" or thicker stock I have some 1/2" 4 teeth per inch coil stock of another brand but I would need to charge $2.00 a foot for it.
Gary P. Hansen

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-31-2005, 03:37 PM
I keep wishing my el-cheap-o $169 China special HF H/V 4x6" bandsaw craps out so I have a reason to buy a bigger and faster 3/4" 7x12 saw. My 4x6" is slow (annoying), but it just keeps on cutting everything.. Damn thing is going to drive me crazy.

-Adrian

Mark Hockett
08-31-2005, 04:33 PM
Thanks for all the replies, The saw That I was going to get was the Jet or the Grizzly 7x12 that is made in taiwan. I live close enough to Grizzly to pick the saw up so wouldn't have any shipping fees if I went that route.
Mark

Your Old Dog
08-31-2005, 04:43 PM
I looked at the Jet and thought it was a nice looking saw. That's the one I'd opt for. I also liked their hydraulic feed setup. I got a HF 4x6 and it works for my HSM needs. But the spring feed sucks http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

cam m
09-01-2005, 06:49 AM
Mark

The basic issue should be a decision between a new Jet saw admittedly made offshore, but a fairly good name and an additional expensive project with an end result you've said you wouldn't be happy with re: the feed. Add into the mix that you make your living with your shop, you cannot donate the time to do the repairs and mods. Time spent working on the used saw is time not making $. For similar initial cost and the additional cost in time and parts for the mods and repairs, I would say "RUN, DO NOT WALK, BACK TO THE DEALER, USED SAW IN TOW, AND BUY THE NEW SAW".

My $.02 FWIW