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  • Bandsaw advice

    I need a small horizontal bandsaw for cutting off stock. The latest Busy Bee Tools flyer (Canadian eh?) has one on sale at what seems a good price [cdn dollars] (stop snickering). I don't know if the Craftex brand is known in the US but this is probably very similar or the same as units sold by HF in the US. I don't need it for heavy use or extended duty, just very occasional light duty cutting to save my badly decrepit right arm from the hacksaw. Nothing more than a couple of inches of mild steel, at most. Any comment? Anyone have one like this? Does it work acceptably?

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  • #2
    Evan...I bought their(Craftex) swivelhead saw. Absolute best money I've ever spent in my shop! The swivel head is suprisingly accurate and really easy to use. The stand is really heavy duty and lent itself perfectly for a coolant tray setup. And something you will appreciate...in the verticle mode it cuts curvy aluminum quite nice as well..even with the little table. They sent a bigger table with it but I've never seen the need for it. Got mine on sale for $325 if I remember right. BTW...I've cut LOTS of 3 and 4" thick solid bar with it...most of that was 4140.
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

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    • #3
      Thanks Russ. That's what I was hoping. I really need something like this as after carrying a 40 lb tool kit for Xerox for 23 years my right arm is pretty much toast. Hacksawing is a real killer and really slows me down. I don't have a steel cutting bandsaw and this looks pretty good. Now I have to find out how much it will cost to ship. No way I can hide this, it will have to be shipped to my wife's shop I think I better sell some more computers...
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      • #4
        I sure have cut a lot more material since I got the bandsaw, same size as that one you're looking at. I would shplurb for the better blade right away, and go for the .020 thick. It will live longer on the smallish wheels on those machines.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          Evan,

          I have an old import...bought it used. Works great. Once in a while it cuts a little crooked...but hey, so did I when I was using the hacksaw I think that is corrected when I tension the blade properly.

          I have had no problems with it...buy a good blade though. If you have trouble getting one shipped to you because of UPS costs to Canada, tell me, and next time I make a mcmaster order, I'll order an extra blade and ship it USPS to you.

          I use starret brand blades if that means anything.

          The only problem I've had with mine is the step pulley. The bore on the pot metal aluminum wore out...resleaved it with mild steel and haven't had much of a problem since.

          -Jacob

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice Jacob. I have no problem with blades as I can order them from my wife. I get good pricing
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            • #7
              Does she give you a discount or a price hike?

              :-D

              -Jacob

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              • #8
                It depends on how I pay.
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                • #9
                  I have an RF 128 (rf being rong fu) that looks just like that. I've cut lots of steel with it...sq tube, angle & shafting & haven't had any trouble with it. With a quality blade & the guides set right, it's surprisingly accurate.
                  Imo, very good value for such a low priced tool.

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                  • #10
                    Evan, I have one exactly like the one pictured. The stand on mine is too flimsy, but I intend to mount the unit on a sturdy wood table. It has met my needs perfectly well; over the last weekend I used it to saw through a 2" diameter piece of 1018 and it went through it like a hot knife through butter. I've also used it to saw aluminum, brass, and bronze. Mine was originally purchased from Horrible Fright but not by me. The fellow who bought it paid $195 (US) and then a few weeks later needed cash, so he sold it to his uncle for $125. I bought it from the uncle, who had never even unboxed it - brand new. The uncle asked only what he had paid for it so I gave him $125. Seldom do I find good deals like that.

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                    • #11
                      I have one similar that I've been using since 1980. Get yourself some bi-metal blades as mentioned and it will give you very little trouble.
                      Here is a site for some mods if you want to increase the usability of your saw.
                      http://www.mini-lathe.com/Bandsaw/Bandsaw.htm

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                      • #12
                        Good morning Evan,
                        I have hadf a King for about 5 years and don't know what I would do without it. I will give it a 10 for what it is! Now as has been mentioned before the stand is crap and I mean crap, replace it with something more sturdy. I have tried carbon blades, but have gone to bi-metal and never looked back. Hope this helps. By the way, thats, a hell of a good price, and I can almost garantee it is made by the same outfit asd mine and a lot of others.
                        Regards
                        Jim

                        PS the belt cover is also a piece of crap. Gotta make a new one one of these days, but it wont be plastic like the original...

                        [This message has been edited by shaque (edited 01-25-2005).]
                        Jim

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                        • #13

                          Evan,

                          I have one just like that from HF. I don't know what I would do without it.
                          The motor gets hot when slicing through 5" aluminum rounds. Still working fine though.

                          There is a 4x6 bandsaw yahoo group to help you adjust the blade for straight cuts, make mods etc.

                          The stand/legs are weak.

                          Use a bi-metal blade, they last a long time. I use Lennox.

                          These can be converted to use flood coolant, which helps a lot. Kool Mist, blue stuff, water soluable, works great and has yet to get rancid.

                          I find myself wanting a larger one for cutting plate.

                          FWIW
                          Lenord

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                          • #14
                            They have been impoting those saws for 25 years or better,I have customers which have had no problems for 10 years or better.The only thing to watch is the lube in the gearbox,sometimes Won Hung Lo forgets to fill them with oil

                            I can highly recomend adding a small air cylinder and needle valve for a variable rate down feed in place of the spring they use from the factory.Addding this will make it perform like a $2000+ saw.
                            I just need one more tool,just one!

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                            • #15
                              I have one of the 7 X 12 made in Taiwan and couldn't live with out it. Bought it used for $350. Just yesterday I had to cut some 3" 6061 and had to push it through using the table, too short for the vise. It is one of the best bargains I have ever got.
                              Michael

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