What do you really need in a band saw?


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I'm trying to figure out what I really need in a band saw to do some basic resawing, maybe at the level of some logs from the yard and basic band saw work. I want to stick with a 14" do to the footprint. The way I see it there are two different classes of 14" the standard Delta clones with a 1hp motor and can get 12" of resaw with a riser block and the "deluxe" type with a euro frame and 1.5hp+ motor a native 12"+ resaw. Obviously the deluxe take more of investment, about $300 difference on the models I'm looking at.

 

So my questions is what do you really need to get the job done for a hobbist. I'll spend the extra cash if I will really see a significant difference, but would rather save it for a plane or something else if it's going to only be slightly better. I also don't want to go cheap a then turn around a year later and say "wish I'd done x". 

 

Any help would be great. Thanks!

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I have a Grizzly G0555P, which is a 14" 1HP bandsaw.  I run a timberwolf 1/4" 6TPI blade on it.  I do not have the riser.  The key with this class of bandsaw is a good blade, that is properly aligned, and bearings correctly set.  I have very successfully resawed with this setup up to 6" wide stock, up to about 3' long.  In theory a riser block will allow an additional 6" of resaw.  I have been reluctant to get one for my band saw.  I have heard varying degrees of success (or sometimes lack there of) with getting good alignment with the riser.  

 

That said, I am very happy with my band saw setup, it works well.  I simply haven't had the need to resaw something wider than 6".  However, I think if I found myself needing to resaw wider stock more frequently, I probably would start looking for a bigger band saw.

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Nobody can say what you will be happy with. If your expecting to blaze through 10 wide material quickly then neither will do that. Bandsaw resaw height is a sale pitch not reality. If your willing to relax and just let it go through at a snails pace then you may be happy. I''d suggest you go someplace like woodcraft that might have a saw set up that you can give a shot or have them show you how it cuts the material you intend to cut.

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Particle Board I appreciate you taking  your time to respond to my post.  I understand that no one can define what will make me happy. What I looking for is information from people who have had experience with one or both of the types of saws I mentioned in my initial post and can give a view point or comparison between the two. I will do as you suggest and go to woodcraft, but my local store is pretty tiny and only has one of the machines I'm considering.  

 

MikeM I appreciate your input. I'm looking serious at G0555LX which I believe is the same saw you have in two-tone. One thing holding me back is the riser block issue. I have had couple times I wanted to resaw something 7-9" so I think it would be must have for me. 

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Last year I bought a Rikon 14-325 Deluxe at Woodcraft for 799. It's been a great saw so far, I've cut veneer on it, resawed some 8/4 cherry, walnut, maple, sycamore and hackberry. I've had no problems with resaw speeds or issues with the saw. The key is the right blade for the job. It's a great saw, is it the best saw available? No, but at that price I'd have to saw it's possibly the best bang for the buck for a hobbyist. If I had to buy it all over again, I would, though I'd rather buy a Laguna 14/12. I think there are some things the rikon lacks. The fence is kind of small if you're resawing, the light needs to be in a better spot, and not be on it's own power plug, I think a little bit of a heavier base would be good. 

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Actually the LX is a little nicer than mine.  It has cast iron wheels, and better height adjustment on the guard.  The LANV is the same saw as the LX, just black.  This is an absolutely great time to get one of those band saws from Grizzly with them offering free freight right now. 

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I used to have a 14" Rockwell and currently I am using a 14" powermatic at my club shop and at home I have a 14" Walker Turner (which is a very old machine no longer in business but is built like a tank).

 

I would say spring for the bigger saw if you plan to do resawing enough to make it financially worth your while to resaw. In other words. If you plan to maybe do 1 or 2 boards where you resaw the wood, then its not worth it since you can buy new wood for cheaper. 

 

If you plan to resaw on anything approaching a regular basis then buy the bigger saw. The reason is 1) motor hp. A 1hp motor is pretty skimpy when it comes to resawing, and 2) Better saws have better features like cast iron wheels, and cast iron trunions. These help reduce vibration which make for a better resaw. If you are talking about working on logs, then you will also want those trunions under the table providing better support. 

 

If you are using your saw for well.. bandsaw work cutting curves, then you won't need anything special and a regular delta clone will do fine.

 

I'd be interested in one of the beefy looking grizzly saws if I were in the market for new.

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