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Bandsaw Thoughts

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  • Bandsaw Thoughts

    I'm going to buy a bandsaw for my home shop. I owned a grizzly 7 x 12 about 10 years ago and didn't like it. I thought it was a very good size, but the machine didn't perform as well as I would have liked. I'm wondering what people in the forum are using and how do they like them. Thanks

  • #2
    I have a similar Harbor Freight bandsaw and it works ok. Maybe I didn't expect much since I moved up from a Harbor Freight 4x6. *(I still have and sometimes use the 4x6.)
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


    • #3
      If you can find a deal on a Wellsaw, go for it, they are great saws and parts are still available for most models.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        I have an old Atlas saw, and it has been fine. In almost 20 years, I only had one issue with it, and that was a worn bearing.

        I don't count worn blades, that is an issue with any saw.

        The one problem with it is that the table is really tiny if used as a vertical bandsaw. Usable, for sure, but for much use vertical use I'd want a bigger table. I have a "sometime later" project to put on a quick-release table that I can install and remove easily so it would be no issue to swap from one use to the other.
        3751 6193 2700 3517

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

        If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......


        • #5
          Not sure the size of your Shop,for my Farm Shop I have Westward ( Grizzly sells same Saw)10”x18” dual mitre saw that I mounted on 3 castors with extendable rollers,been happy with it. Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            I bought a new Baileigh 7x12 several years ago and really enjoy it for larger cuts. I end up using my old Shop Fox 6" band saw for 90% of my quick lighter cuts.

            Salem, Oregon


            • #7
              My first horizontal band saw was a 4X6 Clark that I bought from Tractor Supply. Pretty neat little saw but kind of flimsy. I used it for several years until I got a job in that required repetitive cuts in 3" round A36 steel. It took approx 15 minutes per cut with the 4X6 Clark with a new blade in it. The cuts were not anywhere close to square.

              Not wanting to babysit the saw that much I decided it was time for an upgrade. I purchased a 7X12 Turn Pro from Enco. This saw has a one hp motor, 3 speed gear box and a coolant system. I took it out of the crate, installed the carbon steel blade that came with it and started cutting. The cuts in the 3" A36 were taking 3 minutes each and were perfectly square. This was a whole other class of saw, heavy and rigid. I have upgraded to bi metal blades which slightly improved the cutting speed and substantially improved blade longevity. I have been using it now for about 10 years, I have had no problems with it except the coolant pump needs to be cleaned out occasionally after it has set for awhile. Not really a problem as I rarely use the coolant anyway.

              I caught the saw on sale with free shipping. Got it to my door for about $800. This was one of my better investments.



              • #8
                Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                If you can find a deal on a Wellsaw, go for it, they are great saws and parts are still available for most models.
                I bought a neglected Wellsaw 8M made in the early 1940s for $200.

                Went through it, replaced all the bearings and seals, trued up the wheels, bought a few parts from Wellsaw, sandblasted, painted, blinged it up with SS fasteners and trim. Tossed the legs and made up a rolling material cart down under.
                20 years since the rebuild, used almost daily and it will be cutting straight and make the 100 year mark before another rebuild is required.

                Very well made saws.


                • #9
                  Don't get a Carolina 8x13 or whatever. They seem temping but they are junk.

                  I see old Johnsons for reasonable prices pretty often.
                  21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                  1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration


                  • #10
                    I have have had a HF 4x6 for nearly 20 years now. My observation is that speed of cutting has as much to do with using the appropriate blade than anything else, and straightness of cut is all about adjustment and blade condition. My only complaints have been that now and then I'd like to cut something larger, and that switching to and from vertical mode is a nuisance.

                    I have an ancient Kalamazoo 8 x 24 that I have been overhauling and will be reassembling Real Soon Now. When that finally happens I'll have something else to compare.
                    Last edited by mickeyf; 11-02-2020, 07:48 PM.
                    "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


                    • #11
                      No help on the saw but one nice feature if you are using an in feed roller system is to get a saw where the head spins for angle cuts rather than the vise. This lets you keep long material on the rollers while you cut.

                      Ellis saws have this feature but the cost new may prohibit homeshop use.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mickeyf View Post

                        I have an ancient Kalamazoo 8 x 24 that I have been overhauling and will be reassembling Real Soon Now. .....
                        I resemble that remark. I have entirely too many of those. Some I have posted partial progress on here, and still am not done with. And I keep taking on more.
                        3751 6193 2700 3517

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

                        If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......


                        • #13
                          If I could only get one saw it would be a good quality (DoAll/Grob) vertical. Unless you cut a lot of stuff or fabrication projects the vertical does just fine. My DoAll has variable speed and it can cut faster than the little Jet horrizontal saw.
                          Central Ohio, USA


                          • #14
                            Hi Guys,

                            I bought a second hand Korean 6 x 4 bandsaw from an engineering works a few months ago and completely refurbished it. It had been given a hard life.
                            It had fallen on its back at some time and the broken hinge casting had been repaired by drilling and plating. The motor had been replaced by a decent Brooks single phase 1 HP 2800 rpm motor. But the hinge pin was bent and the frame twisted to one side. The sheet metal stand was bent and the wheels wobbled. The blade guide bearings were loose and some were sized up.

                            All in all it was a very good buy, it cost very little to repair. A new hinge bracket, I straightened the bent hinge pin, a set of cheap Chinese ball races and a new motor pulley sorted it out I made a new stand for it and gave it a new paint job.

                            It now cuts within a thou or so of dead straight and vertically. I'm very happy with it. But to those that complain that it cant cut straight need to spend some time setting theirs up properly and getting the cutting weight correct. I found that the spring cutting weight adjuster would be very poor if it were not for the additional weight of the Brooks motor behaving as a counterbalance allowing good adjustment of the spring tension.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Attached Files
                            Best Regards:
                            Baron J


                            • #15
                              I have had quite a few horizontal band saws (home shop). Currently I have a Turn-Pro gearhead 7x12. I got it when it was nearly new (estate sale of a tool-savvy neighbor) and have taken care of it. It works well for me. I think the gearbox makes a difference - the motor is mounted more solidly, and changing speeds is so much easier, I actually do it.