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El Cazador
08-17-2008, 09:00 PM
I assume Central Machinery is made in - Taiwan? Any thoughts on the quality of a horiz bandsaw for a hobby guy like me? Thanks. Vic

Optics Curmudgeon
08-17-2008, 09:10 PM
Nope, it's made in the other China. As for being OK, it's like any other machine of that lineage. Mostly OK, some little problems here and there. There are loads of discussions anywhere HSM's gather, including here. Hard to beat for the prics, but be prepared for all of the usual stuff. I have one, and it works. The blade that comes with it works well on salami, but for metal something better is required.

Joe

Just Bob Again
08-17-2008, 09:36 PM
They work, mostly. Built very cheap, of course. For the price, hard to beat. Mine wasn't from HF, but cost maybe $125 at the time. Very useful for cutoffs. I made a table for mine and use it as a vertical. If you don't have a better metalcutting bandsaw, they're real handy. You have to treat them gently. Not a lot of capacity. Underpowered and easy to stall. They have a tendency to throw blades. An awful lot easier to use the saw and hog away stock roughly, then machine it. Saves a lot of stock. Also real nice to set a chunk of 4" stock in the vise and do other stuff while it cuts. For what it does, I think they're a bargain and good for a home shop.

pcarpenter
08-17-2008, 10:21 PM
Nope, it's made in the other China

I don't know about the new model, but my HF (Central Machinery) 4x6 has a date of 2001 on it and it very definitely says "Made in Tiwan".

If it fell apart tomorrow, I got my $125 out of it (mail order, back before we had a local store). I still have plans to build a better base for it. I scavanged some sort of angle iron fixture with castors already on it at an auction for $1. The saw is sitting on top of this now and I eventually will remove the crappy sheetmetal base and weld up some more angle to make this thing a base for the saw.

I also have a real Dayton 1/2 HP TEFC motor I found surplus that is going to go on it some day. I am surprised how hot the original motor runs..and that it has not melted itself.

paul

MTNGUN
08-17-2008, 10:25 PM
My Central Machinery 4x6 is labeled "MADE IN TAIWAN". This is the "green" model purchased 5 - 6 years ago for $119.

It was a good machine that was rode hard and put away wet. After 5 years of abuse and neglect, it started misbehaving. I suspect the frame has warped and I may try to un-warp it.

x39
08-17-2008, 10:32 PM
I've got one that I bought in 1987. I don't know how many thousands of hours the little guy has run, but it just keeps on tickin'. I've had to mend a few minor items on it through the years, and keep a small fan blowing on the motor when I cut anything large, but overall I think I gotten more value out of that machine than any other in my shop.

pcarpenter
08-17-2008, 10:35 PM
It was a good machine that was rode hard and put away wet. After 5 years of abuse and neglect, it started misbehaving. I suspect the frame has warped and I may try to un-warp it.

While these are not the carefully adjusted and tuned items that say a milling machine is, they do need adjustment. I have read a lot of threads from guys who bought them new and expected it to work out of the box without touching anything. Guide adjustment and blade tracking are critical. The first adjustment is to get the two wheels running in the same plane. Second is to adjust the uppper wheel tilt until the blade wants to stay on. Third is to adjust all the little guide bearings for square blade travel. The bolts that hold them in place are eccentric to allow you to bring the bearing up to just touch the blade on each side.

You may already know all this, but I figure adjustments are the first thing to check since they are held only by threads and are prone to movement. Adjustment for one blade will not always be just right for all others...especially if you change blade thicknesses.

Paul

Bill Pace
08-17-2008, 10:54 PM
HF has recently changed up the little saw, where it was green, they are now offering it in red, and from the accounts I've read they sorta "dumbed?" it down -- its not quite as good as the green was.... However, that doesnt take away from the fact that, for the home shop guy, its still one hellava good buy!

I've got 2 of the older ones....and they been rode hard and put away wet, and still 'keep on tickin'....

You might take a visit over at the yahoo site (some 2200 members)dedicated to the little saw and read through the posts and look at some of the pix of all the mods and improvements that have been dreamed up for it

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4x6bandsaw/

mechanicalmagic
08-17-2008, 11:34 PM
Mine is working fine. It's green.
With a little adjustment, it is true enough.

Well, true enough to take a single fly cut off the stock cut.

I won't give numbers, but it's very good with a sharp blade.

Dave J.

dockterj
08-18-2008, 08:33 AM
I'm finally getting around to getting my $15 find running. The start winding on the motor was burned out so unless I want to rope start it I need a new motor. Is 1/2 hp going to be enough or will I want to find a good 3/4 hp motor?

Jim D
08-18-2008, 09:06 AM
I've been following this forum for a while. I guess this is a good place to jump in.
I've had my Green HF saw since 2003. I think I've cut miles of stock. The first thing I did was make a better stand for it. I found out that cause of the motor running hot was the solid back of the plastic guard blocking air flow to the motor. The motor is an Open drip proof. The guard pressed right against the intake.

ScottM
08-18-2008, 09:18 AM
I got mine (red) from HF about 4 months ago. It's worth the $140 or so that I paid for it. Never cuts quite strait no mater how it's adjusted. I believe that the hole for the pivot pin is not parallel to the bottom of the clamp. Eventually I'll cut off the "ears" for the pivot that hold s the top of the saw on and replace them with something adjustable.

- Scott

gnm109
08-18-2008, 09:26 AM
Those little HF bandsaws will do a lot of work for the HSM people. I don't have one from HF but I've looked at them and they represent a good value for the money. If you do a bit of work on them, they will eventially cut straight within their capacity.

My saw is a used 1984 Enco 7X12 that I bought used in the mid 1990's. Yesterday I cut through a 4" round aluminum section in 20 minutes and the cut was only about .010 from being perfect. Not bad for an old machine. I suspect it was made in Mainland China though.

My Enco 13 X 40 lathe is a 1994 model and it's given me great service. If not for the Chinese, I doubt I'd be cutting metal. I looked for American lathes and couldn't find one that I could afford back in 1994.

oldtiffie
08-18-2008, 09:34 AM
That's odd Scott.

I have the same (sort of?) 6" x 4" horizontal/vertical band-saw (can't be many that don't!!). I just followed the hand-book for adjustments and it worked quite well. My saw is slower than a "real" one but it suits me.

The instructions and diagrams are typical "Chinglish" and are a bit difficult to follow. I must say that they make more sense when you get the job done though.

I was going to scan and post that hand-book but the relevant thread the the time "faded out" - so I left it.

I can do it in the next few days if needs be.

The items I found needed most attention were the adjustment of the "top/outer/front" wheel "tilt", saw blade tension, the gap between the guide rollers (0.001" maximum wider than the blade thickness) and setting the blade "tilt" to be precisely 90 degrees (vertical) to the base on which the work rests in the vice.

There have been quite a few threads on these saws - with some very clever and innovative approaches and improvements. Perhaps others have them "book-marked" and can post them here on this thread.

ScottM
08-18-2008, 10:58 AM
tiffie,

I determined (still not positive) that it's not parallel by removing the blade guides and putting a square on the base and then moving the blade down the length of the square - if the pivot was correct I would assume the blade would go straight up and down, it moves. As I remember I tried to fix this by adjusting the wheel to the left but it just does not move far enough to do the job.

What I really need to do is strip it down build a jig to actually measure the thing.

I have the book and will go through it and make sure I did not miss anything, but you know how it is - I never make stupid mistakes :-}

- Scott

Bill Pace
08-18-2008, 11:27 AM
From some of the posts over on the yahoo site it seems that on the "new" red saws that HF put the hurt on being able to adjust the blade tracking --- even more so than previously, which, as a lot of you know, can be frustrating. Seems someone said a change, or elimination of the cam on the blade bearings?

Anybody got the red one? can you verify this, or can you describe what they put on it to adjust tracking?

On the subject of these small saws ---seems Homier raised the price - an unbelievable $199- on their 'swivel' saw to $299, --and the Grizz lowered their -rather ridiculous $550-600- for the same saw to a more reasonable $395. I got the Homier version bout 2 yrs ago, and it is quite a difference in it and the HF & others, very nice fit & finish, prolly still a good buy at the $299 --- Heh, bout the ONLY thing thats any good of Homiers:rolleyes: If you ever wanna feel better about HF's quality, just visit one of the 'tent shows' sometime---------

oldtiffie
08-18-2008, 11:55 AM
tiffie,

I determined (still not positive) that it's not parallel by removing the blade guides and putting a square on the base and then moving the blade down the length of the square - if the pivot was correct I would assume the blade would go straight up and down, it moves. As I remember I tried to fix this by adjusting the wheel to the left but it just does not move far enough to do the job.

What I really need to do is strip it down build a jig to actually measure the thing.

I have the book and will go through it and make sure I did not miss anything, but you know how it is - I never make stupid mistakes :-}

- Scott

Thanks Scott.

I'd agree that the blade should follow a plane vertical to the vice base as the arm is raised and lowered, although I"d make sure it was exactly the same spot on the blade as the blade "winds" between the large wheels and the tilting/guide rollers/bearings.

If that is all OK, the gap between the guide/tilting bearings and the blade (at both ends) has be between zero and 0.001".

The blade, between the guides (where all the cutting is done) has to be perpendicular to the vice base as well.

I found all this out when I changed from the Chinese blade (not too bad at all) and the replacement "Starrett" blade (much, much better) that I put on.

I have found that if too much down pressure is applied while cutting - particularly before the blade is full-depth into the cut - that the blade will "buckle" side-ways and so start "off-line" and continue that way and if not "rescued" can wear one side of the blade so that it is all but useless.

It took a bit of "fiddling" (and a lot of Naval vocabulary) to fix it. I think the swearing had more effect than any skill I might have had.

kendall
08-18-2008, 01:42 PM
Agree, for the price there shouldn't be any complaints.

Not sure about the ones from HF, (they've changed a couple times at least) but some don't have bearings in the top wheel, they just run a plain bushing, not sure how long that would last in average use.

Mine is an old Buffalo from back in 86 or 87, runs good and cuts straight, made in taiwan, cant complain about it at all, if it died the next time I use it, I've gotten my money from it. It is noticeably heavier than the HF models, but castings look identical to the older versions (haven't looked at the red ones)
Only repair has been a motor swap.
Original stand leaves a LOT to be desired, bend/break fairly easily, and is just a touch too low and narrow in my opinion. (wheels are a joke too!)

Ken.

ahidley
08-18-2008, 03:36 PM
I have a new red one from HF. I'm sick of hearing people crying about the tracking. Mine is adjustable to track way to the left or way to the right depending how its adjusted. So spend some time adjusting it vs complaining and you'll be happy. If not spend the 1K and buy a bigger one which you'll still have to "set up initially" before it'll cut straight. I can cut a 5" diameter bar and it'll be within 1/32 when I true it on the lathe.
I paid $90 for mine new. I had a 20% off coupon :) Mine has the 1HP metric motor that puts out about 1/4 american horse power.
I use mine ALL the time and when it dies I'll buy the same thing again. It IS WORTH the $
Like said before the stock blade does suck

hardtail
08-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Bought mine a few years ago used with a coolant pump/tank, got rid of the factory legs and made a stand and pan, used a plastic battery box to try and keep the bulk of cuttings out of the pump (transfer pipe behind the rag). I'm amazed at how well these things work for what they cost. Maybe moving to a bigger saw soon but it's been invaluable.......I should have made the stand another 6" higher minimum as it reminds you of a dog doing bad things to a football..........LOL

http://i509.photobucket.com/albums/s337/corn56/bandsawstand.jpg

This must have been just before I wired it up, waaaaaaay to clean.....can't recognize the shop anymore........

ScottM
08-18-2008, 09:13 PM
Bill,

the one I have has "cams" on the bearings.

- Scott