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  • Central Machinery horiz. bandsaw

    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

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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
        Paul Carpenter
        Mapleton, IL

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MTNGUN
              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
              Paul Carpenter
              Mapleton, IL

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              • #8
                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/
                If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    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?

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        crooked

                        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

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            A quite good saw.

                            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.

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                            • #15
                              crooked

                              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

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