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New 7x12 ENCO Bandsaw ... some impressions & pix

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  • New 7x12 ENCO Bandsaw ... some impressions & pix

    Sometimes having friends with the same interest as you (Lane & Henry) can be hazardous to your wallet---

    I recently wrote about Henry and I finding a Peerless 9x16 bandsaw in the scrapyard and were in the process of "rehabilitating" it, During the rebuild process I took quite a liking to the prospect of a "big saw". I had already been around Lanes and admired it, so doing the rebuild wasn't helping, ----after having one of the popular 4x6's for many years, I really didn't NEED another saw, but when you re an addict, you have to slip occasionally ---(What did you say, Russ?,-- some snide comment?)

    So, when the ENCO "Hot Deals" catalog came out a couple weeks ago with their 7x12 bandsaw featured with free frt, it only took a few days to give in and place the order.

    I did a good bit of searching to find some comments/impressions on this size (7x12-6 1/2x10-7x10 1/2, etc) and came up with mostly nothing, so I thought I would give first impressions and some pix that you wont see in the catalog, And ... first impressions are ---well, very good! Fit and finish is quite nice, hardware (nut/bolts) seem quite a bit better than some previous experiences, and, everything --so far-- is tight. I had to tweak the on/off switch paddle, wouldn't quite complete cut before switching off. Came with the usual sample slice off a piece of round (cant figure what the .020 number indicates .. not mms?) so my first test cuts was also a piece of round out of the scrap box and it cuts very nicely.

    The saw was shown as being delivered from MSC by the trucking co, -- decal sticker on saw arm says its made by ENCO, with Nevada address! Transaction was handled like the last 2-3 large purchases made from ENCO on phone, very efficiently and politely by a young lady with a decidedly "suthan ahkcent" ( I think they are in Ga, -- Atlanta?) and delivery was 4 days ------ so far, so good!! The motor as a bit of a surprise also, a big ole honking thing, that doesn't even look like some of the previous Chinese stuff, The whole package has added to my impression that the more recent tools coming out of China are definitely improving!

    Anybody else got one in this group/size saw, whats your experience?? .......

    These shots are just as I took the plastic off, and the first 2 cuts...

    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

  • #2
    LOL! Nice saw Bill! I'm pretty impressed with the accuracy.
    That is a disgustingly low price you paid.
    Cheapest I've seen a 7X12 up here is $999.
    BTW.. what happened with the ol' Peerless?
    Saws! It's funny.. I got that Wells 9X16 and thought I'd rarely use my old swivel head 4X6 anymore. Wrong! The swivel head makes for such easy and quick angles and overall it's just darn handy for the little stuff that gets lost in the vise on the Wells.
    You have fun with that !
    I have tools I don't even know I own...


    • #3
      Oops! I did intend to give an update on the junkyard Peerless ----

      The old boy turned out pretty nicely ....Lotttts of work! .. many hours!

      Trimming/cutting back from the 1" blade size on the tires to accept a 1/2" blade worked out just fine,-- we did have to do a little finaggling to get the narrower blade to cut completely through and a little adjusting on the guides, but, that was minor after some of the other problems the saw had.

      Turned out nice enough to make me want a larger saw----
      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


      • #4
        Thanks Bill! Glad to hear you saved it from the scrapyard.
        I have tools I don't even know I own...


        • #5
          I got (almost) the same saw 10 years ago made under the "TrunPro" brand name. Everything is identical with yours except on mine the feed cylinder extends down the leg instead of attaching to the lower frame. I tweaked mine a tiny bit and drilled a few pin holes in the fized jaw to make rapid setings to common miters and return to square. Outside of that it's mostly neglected between saw jobs. I probably have 2000 cuts on it by now mostly in structural steel.

          Mine has the handy flip up for vertical saw use. Remove the jaws, pad the lower frame with a stack of clean shop towels, attach the table to the saw guide, and setting down for a session of contour sawing in stuff as thick as you can push. Your saw has the same config on the lower guide. Did a table come with it?

          One thing is a PITA: changing the band. You have to open the cover by removing screws which are hard to replace. Why couldn't they install a couple of overcenter catches? Another is the saw with the frame up tips over backward easily. So be careful when moving it around with the frame up.

          The often neglected trick to owning a band cut-off saw is to not skimp on the bands. A bi-metal costing double a carbon steel band will last 4 to 5 times as long. Even a cheapskate like me can work out the ROI on that one. I seem to prefer Lenox band which I have made up for me at Eastside Saw and sales in Enumclaw Wa. I get 5 for the price of 4 when I order them. $100 in saw bands lasts a year or more and generally brings me several times that in labor savings.

          You made a shrewd purchase judging by my experience. That $700 saw fits perfectly between the 4 x 6 starter saw and one far more expensive having not that much more capacity.


          • #6
            It's a great saw, I've got the same one from Harbor Freight. I just now stripped the teeth off the original blade last night doing something stupid. Unfortunately, I now feel paralyzed, as JL Ind was out of the blades yesterday afternoon when I went to pick them up. It always works that way, they are out of my "spare stock", then that night, I snap the blade or something stupid. If I ever meet a whimpy little guy named Murphy, that looks like a troublemaker, I'm tyin his butt up and taking him around to all the local machine shops. $5 for ten hits with a wet foam noodle.

            It's a good saw though, I'm pleasantly surprised.


            • #7
              Forrest, do you have a # for eastside saw blade?I 've never heard of them, I'd like to be able to get blades local .
              thanks, brent


              • #8
                mine works great

                Hi Bill,
                I have the same saw (about 13 years old) bought it in Seattle when they had an Enco warehouse.
                It still cuts right on, and the motor, switch, coolant pump and hydraulic feed all work perfectly!

                I cut slots on the sheet metal blade covers to let me just loosen the screw knobs to open the covers and change blades.

                The only problem I have had is the quick release Vice slips and I have to use a clamp to hold the jaws tight. I think I lost a pin in the mechanism and don't know what it looks like to rebuild it. I haven't called to see if I can get spare parts, however most of these ENCO tools don't have spare parts available.

                Overall a great saw.


                • #9
                  $700 = £350ish yet over here in the u.k. that same saw sells for around £700+ talk about pound exchanged for dollar.It proves rip off Britain is still very much in existence. Wow! you guys have it good come over here for $11-12 dollars a gallon for petrol and rising weekly Alistair
                  Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                  • #10
                    I am very impressed with that accuracy!!! I sold my asian 4x6 bandsaw when I got a very good deal on a Rockwell 7v (7x10 with vari-speed reeves drive).

                    The Rockwell is a much nicer horizontal saw than the 4x6, but it doesnt convert to a vertical saw like the 4x6 did. I miss this feature very much. The 4x6 asian saws are inexpensive enough when on sale that I am considering buying another one just for vertical use.

                    Another option is to build a vertical stand for my Milwaukee Porta-band saw. If I could only have one bandsaw, it would be the Porta-band.

                    Real Commercial-Industrial grade vertical bandsaws really seem to hold their value, even on Ebay.

                    Hey Torker, Go Flames Go!


                    • #11
                      There is a definite kinship to the "Turn-Pro" series saws -- the damper system and a speed change gear box seemingly the difference ... along with a price increase!

                      It does have the feature of being able to set it up with a table for vertical cutting, that was one of the attractions to the saw, --that is a fantastic benefit when youve got a largish piece of plate and need some free hand capability... my small saw is one of the swivels and a table was one of the first mods I did to it. I want to look at rigging a table that can stay fixed to the guide, which I did for the small saw, though I can see that it will be more difficult on this one

                      They may have improved the blade change ability since yours Forrest, it doesnt look like itll be too bad, though I'll be doing as Paul did and making a slot in the 2 thumb screw locations

                      I think a quality bi-metal blade is a must and I will have one on order shortly. Surprisingly this area of some 250,000 population doesnt have a single source of blades.

                      Alistair, is your post as bad as Canada's ---- maybe one of us could mail you one of the saws?
                      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


                      • #12
                        Bill your wife is going to kill me . You have spent too much money on shop stuff since we met . And i am so far ahead you cant catch up.
                        Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


                        • #13
                          I also 'gave in' to temptation late last summer when Enco offered their TurnPro 7x12 saw with free freight. One of the first things I saw when the freight truck driver rolled the trailer door open was the "Made in Taiwan" sticker on the plastic wrap of the saw pallet. That was a pleasant surprise, as I'd expected it to be chicom. IIRC, the only thing we had to assemble were the axles & wheels -everything else was ready to go, and it cut straight right off. I bought a few spare Morse bi-metal blades in anticipation of the original blade not lasting very long, but so far, it's still going strong. I've cut a few pieces of surplus mystery stainless with it, but almost everything else has been 6061 aluminum. It works so well that I find myself looking for excuses to use it - over the past dozen years or so, we'd gotten in the habit of using chop saws instead of the old Kalamazoo it replaced.


                          • #14
                            I bought the same saw, as flatlander, and it works great. Though I haven't used it nearly as much as he does, it sure is an upgrade. Before the horizontal band saw, I was using a vice and a hacksaw. It is worth every penny to be able to put the stock in the vice, set the downfeed, set the coolant, turn it on and walk away. I was also very surprised to find that it was made in Taiwan.

                            However, mine does not cut as accurately...maybe I need to find the adjustments.

                            There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.


                            • #15
                              Try Grainger

                              Try Grainger there should be one close to you