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View Big_T's profile

Are bandsaws only for forest dwelling artists?

by Big_T
posted 07-31-2016 06:31 AM


29 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4016 days


#1 posted 07-31-2016 06:39 AM

I am neither artistic or a forest dweller but think the bandsaw is one of my favourite power tools. An example of what I use it for is on the project I am currently working on (a craft table for my daughter) I will use the BS to cut a bit of a curve into the front legs to lighten the appearance of the leg and make it more appealing for a 13 year old who is artistic:-)

A few years ago I used the BS to cut the curve into the bottom of the side panel of the small boat I made. A BS is a tremendously versatile tool beyond resawing. I’ve yet to try a bandsaw box:-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2691 posts in 3225 days


#2 posted 07-31-2016 11:16 AM

I have recently started making and selling band saw boxes. I bought my band saw in 2008 to use to re-saw cedar and maple. I make small crafty items including a 24” long trunk made of cedar. In order to keep the weight of these trunks down I opted to make it of 1/2” cedar. I bought my band saw to re-saw the 1” rough cedar I get down to 1/2”. I also use 3/8” cedar and maple and walnut to do inlay work. I have cut up very few logs with this band saw. Mine is a grizzly GO555.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11334 posts in 3731 days


#3 posted 07-31-2016 12:00 PM

A Bandsaw is a very versatile tool. No shop should be without one.
Eventually, you WILL need it’s capabilities.
Like you, my native tree selection is limited. I buy hardwood of varying thicknesses and resaw to the project’s requirements.
I’m no artist either but, I often find a need for curved pieces. And, bandsawing a box is enjoyable and not all that difficult.
And, you may find you’ll need a small cut in a piece that a bandsaw could make far quicker and safer than on the table saw.
In my shop, a bandsaw is as essential as a router or table saw.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View RandyinFlorida's profile

RandyinFlorida

257 posts in 2371 days


#4 posted 07-31-2016 12:23 PM

buy it

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2161 posts in 2292 days


#5 posted 07-31-2016 01:20 PM

I didn’t have a need to resaw, but I kept running into situations where a bandsaw would have helped. I got the 10” Craftsman, thinking for a couple hundred I could see how things worked out without a major investment. It’s worked out well. With the proper blade it works great. It has enough power to “resaw” 4-1/2” hardwood, and has no problem with smaller cuts. The circle jig I made has come in handy on quite a few occasions, and lots of thin material, wood, plastic, etc gets cut with it vs the TS or jigsaw. If I ever do need a bigger saw for resaw, the 10” will stay for everything that can be done with it. Here’s my review.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2063 posts in 2101 days


#6 posted 07-31-2016 02:05 PM

If you see yourself working with solid wood.Then a bandsaw is a must Esp rough sawn.
If you see mostly plywood then no to the bandsaw.

Aj

-- Aj

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1202 days


#7 posted 07-31-2016 02:26 PM

If you had one you will find lots of things you can use it for.
It’s not an everyday tool but does serve many purposes.
I cut a lot of plywood with mine! (sleepers for bottom of cabinets for one.) corbels, ...

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2413 days


#8 posted 07-31-2016 02:36 PM

It all depends what you’re doing.

Fine furniture and really good cabinetry often looks best when grain and figure is oriented to best fit the part. For example, I like straight grain on stiles and rails, so I’ll often cut a diagonal line down a board to create a new edge to work from parallel to the grain. I’ll often do the same with thicker stock, at a bevel angle, to create perfectly rift sawn legs with similar figure on all four faces. This is easiest and safest with a band saw.

Look carefully at the nicest stuff, and you’ll see what I mean. If you want your work to look like it came from a big box store, by all means maximize your yield and work from a mill edge. If you want to build things that harmonize your available material with the design, and truly look created vs. manufactured, you’re going to have to do more. Most people don’t notice this until you show them, but once you do, you’ve ruined them forever. ;^)

Also, resawing isn’t limited to veneer… It’s far faster and more efficient to get thinner stock for drawer sides, dividers, case backs, and dust shelves to resaw than to turn a bunch of material into planer shavings. I use lots of 1/2” drawer sides, and 1/8”, 3/8” and 1/4” materials for other parts. Selecting 5, 6, or 8/4 stock lets me do this quickly and efficiently.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3089 posts in 2476 days


#9 posted 07-31-2016 03:02 PM

A bandsaw is a very versatile tool. I started with a 12” Craftsman because that is what I could afford at the time. Cut a lot of curves much easier to control than a handheld jig saw as skills improved began to resaw lumber rather than turn into planer shavings was limited by capacity. I now have a 14” jet with riser block and the 12” Craftsman. I have never made a bandsaw box. I might try one in the future.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

979 posts in 1756 days


#10 posted 07-31-2016 04:20 PM

We make a lot of pipes. The cutting and stem shaping can only be done on a band saw.

M

-- Madmark - [email protected] Wiretreefarm.com

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2237 posts in 3247 days


#11 posted 07-31-2016 04:58 PM

I have a Unisaw. It only cuts around three inches into a 3-1/2” 2x. My band saw has no problem cutting six inch stock and about twelve inches with the riser I installed.

For quick, rough cuts, my band saw is, as often as not, the go to machine. All I need is a line on the wood, touch the on switch [of the saw and the dust collector] and go. You couldn’t claim to be intelligent and try to free hand a two inch wide piece through my cabinet saw.

Then there is the “I didn’t know it would open so many doors” thing. I have many tools in my shop that I got by without, but, after getting them, I found all sorts of projects I could do that, before, I could not or had to work much harder to accomplish.

I have the Powermatic you are looking at. Mine is about six or seven years old and an indispensable part of my shop. I sold or gave away three Craftsman saws that were little more than inefficient horizontal surfaces, before I got the PM. As soon as I got it, it was a night and day thing. Instead of a horizontal surface, the saw is a regularly used pieces of shop equipment, right up there with my Unisaw.

To qualify the foregoing, and their limitations (e.g., motor size, re-saw capacity) aside, none of my Craftsman ever got to run a quality blade. They were all equipped with crapsman blades. If they had ran good blades and if I’d known then what I do now about setting up a saw, I might have kept one. I don’t know.

A friend has a Grizzly and you couldn’t pry it from his cold, dead fingers. Or maybe that was something else. Regardless, he seems to like it – a lot.

I have my roller guides for re-sawing. You will kill bearings, so, to avoid paying twenty bucks a pop, look for some backups for about five bucks for eight on line, through bearing suppliers.

For day to day stuff, I run a quarter inch, 3TPI blade on a Carter Stabilizer guide. I love it, but see the bearing thing in the previous paragraph. It is a less common problem with the Stabilizer though.

I moved the light on mine and, now, rarely have to move it for blade changes, and it pinpoints cuts better. I did a post on it somewhere on these pages.

I swapped the tension crank and love the after market ones.

One of my favorite things is, the mobile base (heck, they’ve become my passion for everything, even though my shop is 30×60. It makes furniture rearranging so much easier in the dog house.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30265 posts in 2641 days


#12 posted 07-31-2016 05:37 PM

It’s one of the most important tools in my shop.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7741 posts in 2310 days


#13 posted 07-31-2016 05:55 PM

I cant give you any specific reasons for getting one. But I CAN tell you that for years I thought I didn’t NEED one. Then I received an old Delta 14” and ever since I cant seem to imagine how I ever got along without one.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

153 posts in 1543 days


#14 posted 07-31-2016 06:27 PM

Big T,

Even if you live in a forest, it’s not guaranteed you’d be chopping down your own trees to cut for veneers considering the time it takes to dry out wood so it’s suitable. And then there’s variety. Once you visit a hardwood store and try different kinds of woods for projects it gets addicting—and the primary tool for cutting all those woods is a bandsaw.

Instead of viewing a bandsaw as artistic, look at it as a more efficient way to breakdown and dimension wood due to the flexibility of the blade. Huge tree processors are bandsaws. Have you ever tried to cut through an inch and a half of maple on your TS? The amount of energy is incredible and then likely burnt wood and possibly unsafe. But it will glide through a tiny 10” BS.

Now, if you’re assuming you will do all your projects (as I did) with sanded plywood and trim from Home Depot, with an occasional cut of surfaced, dimensioned hardwood (dimensioned by a bandsaw) then you can can do a lot of stuff still, but it’s more like finish carpentry rather than “wood working” per se.

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2758 posts in 2494 days


#15 posted 07-31-2016 09:58 PM

I am a hobbiest woodworker, so take my advise with a grain of salt, and here goes:
I started my amateur woodworking aggressively when I chanced upon a contractor table saw on major clearance markdown at one of the big box stores. Since then I’ve added an “on sale” bandsaw (also big box), a Harbor Freight – on sale – lathe, a Craftsman also on sale table top drill press, and a full price Shop Vac.
The majority of my projects have been of the large variety as requested by family, so I think they are fairly similar to what you mention being interested in making.
Since I obtained my bandsaw, I seldom use the tablesaw. I use the bandsaw for quick cross cuts and rips, for smaller components in cabinetry, like for drawer components, cutting small stock to turn knobs – pegs – etc., bracket feet, and for the legs of my son’s trestle table – cut from 8 X 8 stock, and my wife’s spare bedroom headboard from 4 X 4 stock.
Mostly, I use the bandsaw for resawing lumber from 4 or 5 quarter down to thinner stock ( half inch ) for drawer sides & bottoms. I’ve installed a 3 tpi resaw blade in the bandsaw and have only swapped it out once for something, can’t remember what.
So that’s my 2 cents, hope it helps with your decision.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View richimage's profile

richimage

44 posts in 2033 days


#16 posted 07-31-2016 10:24 PM

I am a learning padowan who is getting very invested (pun intended) in my woodworking hobby – when I finally retire, I want to be able to handle any project my CSU (Chief Spousal Unit) comes up with. I graduated from an antique Delta 14” to a Grizzly 17” and it’s been a huge difference; this thing is a beast! I can resaw over a foot, and swap out the 3/4” Timberwolf with a 3//8” Supercut for finer work. I still think the table saw (mine is SawStop, your mileage may vary) is the king of a woodshop, but a Bandsaw is a great addition!

-- "Women are like modern paintings. You can't enjoy them if you try to understand them." Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury)

View Kazooman's profile (online now)

Kazooman

1285 posts in 2255 days


#17 posted 07-31-2016 10:28 PM

I agree, bandsaws are essential for many operations. You will not regret owning one.

Here’s a question I have thought about. Bandsaws are used a lot for resawing stock. Given that common use, why are the tables so small? I use infeed and out feed roller stands, but a longer table would go a long way towards supporting the stock as I feed it through the saw.

Just for your information, the largest bandsaw I have ever operated was from way back when I was nineteen. I had a summer job at a lumber yard that stocked timbers ranging up to 12 X12’s forty feet long. We had a bandsaw mill that took 6” blades running on wheels about three feet in diameter. The lower wheel was down in a pit below the floor. The saw was housed in a dedicated building and had a bit set of outdoor rollers on the in-feed and out-feed ends. Why on earth they ever let a kid run such a beast is beyond me, but I survived and actually learned a lot that summer.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7250 posts in 2502 days


#18 posted 07-31-2016 10:50 PM

I am constantly using my BS… and I rarely re-saw. You will never know how useful they are until you get one.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View JayT's profile

JayT

6112 posts in 2514 days


#19 posted 07-31-2016 11:20 PM

I actually got rid of the table saw in favor of a good band saw last year. Far more versatile and less of a space hog. Haven’t regretted it at all.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2413 days


#20 posted 08-01-2016 12:08 AM

Here’s a question I have thought about. Bandsaws are used a lot for resawing stock. Given that common use, why are the tables so small? I use infeed and out feed roller stands, but a longer table would go a long way towards supporting the stock as I feed it through the saw.

Lots of experienced people clamp on MDF or Birch Plywood tables to smaller saws. Just clamp a jointed board to the new table for a fence if you need one. The bigger table can be especially helpful when cutting curves or blocked-up parts like later cuts on cabriole legs.

View SenecaWoodArt's profile

SenecaWoodArt

444 posts in 1922 days


#21 posted 08-01-2016 01:47 AM

I guess that I am not qualified to answer this question as I am a forest dwelling wanna be artist. However, I use a Grizzly GO555 and I don’t resaw logs either. I would probably run out of space if I tried to list all of the things I use it for. I addition, I just ordered a metal cutting bandsaw. Get you one.

-- Bob

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3139 posts in 1690 days


#22 posted 08-01-2016 02:39 AM

While I use mine to resaw and mill my own lumber from neighbors tree trimmings, the main advantages are that you can saw curves and can make much deeper cuts than you can on a table saw. Sure, you can do some of that with a jig saw but it takes forever, yields an extremely ugly edge and can only handle up to about 1” thick board. Lately, I’ve been using it to cut bowl blanks to size for my lathe. Can you get along without one? Yes, but but if money and space are not an obstacle why would you.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1685 posts in 2927 days


#23 posted 08-01-2016 04:31 AM

I rarely bandsaw logs, I have, but not often. I DO resaw rough lumber all the time. Nice lumber is expensive and to get the most out of a piece is important to me. I recently resawed some 4/4 padauk as I needed some 3/8” for a project. I got the dimension I wanted and the rest is 1/4 for a project down the road. After cleaning up the faces on the jointer and planer I essentially doubled my take on the 4/4.
My bandsaw is involved in nearly every project in my shop.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Stewbot's profile

Stewbot

199 posts in 1387 days


#24 posted 08-01-2016 06:32 AM

Among other reasons, I appreciate having a bandsaw because I can use it to make certain cuts that otherwise feel a little uncomfortable on my other power tools.

-- Hoopty scoop?

View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

905 posts in 2655 days


#25 posted 08-01-2016 11:48 AM

I live in town and have trash pickup that only takes certain size wood of any kind. I use mine to cut up scrap that I don’t want but need to get rid of and put it in the trash container. I also use it a lot for various other needs. You won’t regret it if you buy one.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View Big_T's profile

Big_T

119 posts in 1660 days


#26 posted 08-04-2016 08:43 PM



I am a hobbiest woodworker, so take my advise with a grain of salt, and here goes:
I started my amateur woodworking aggressively when I chanced upon a contractor table saw on major clearance markdown at one of the big box stores. Since then I ve added an “on sale” bandsaw (also big box), a Harbor Freight – on sale – lathe, a Craftsman also on sale table top drill press, and a full price Shop Vac.
The majority of my projects have been of the large variety as requested by family, so I think they are fairly similar to what you mention being interested in making.
Since I obtained my bandsaw, I seldom use the tablesaw. I use the bandsaw for quick cross cuts and rips, for smaller components in cabinetry, like for drawer components, cutting small stock to turn knobs – pegs – etc., bracket feet, and for the legs of my son s trestle table – cut from 8 X 8 stock, and my wife s spare bedroom headboard from 4 X 4 stock.
Mostly, I use the bandsaw for resawing lumber from 4 or 5 quarter down to thinner stock ( half inch ) for drawer sides & bottoms. I ve installed a 3 tpi resaw blade in the bandsaw and have only swapped it out once for something, can t remember what.
So that s my 2 cents, hope it helps with your decision.

- Oldtool

Thanks forl the feedback and I will be getting a JET JWBS-14CS plus 6” riser. I’m going to get my feet wet and hope to experience what everyone else enjoys. My wife is the artistic half of this family and I suspect she will learn to use it for her Etsy business (currently makes pillows, candles and soap). Who knows where this will lead. I would get the PM if HD sold them, I just prefer to buy BIG things that I can return locally.

I will now have a kaleidoscope of colors in the garage.
Blue Puma 60gal compressor
Cream white Jet BS
Gray Porter Cable DP
Yellow Dewalt Sliding miter saw
Gray Bosch 4100-09 TS
Have a RED Milwaukee Sawzall if that counts.
Maybe I’ll just drape matching color bed sheets over them when not in use.

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

189 posts in 1662 days


#27 posted 08-04-2016 10:27 PM

you don’t know you need one because you don’t have one. After a month you will never be able to live without it.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2237 posts in 3247 days


#28 posted 08-04-2016 11:04 PM

Of course, that depends of if you have one worth having, if it has good blades and if it’s set up right.


you don t know you need one because you don t have one. After a month you will never be able to live without it.

- MikeUT


View Big_T's profile

Big_T

119 posts in 1660 days


#29 posted 08-06-2016 12:54 AM



you don t know you need one because you don t have one. After a month you will never be able to live without it.

- MikeUT

,

I hope I love it since it will be the most expensive tool in my garage by 2-to-1 bar none. Either way if I feel I need to trade up, HD is now offering up to a year to return something – no questions asked. Then I would jump into a 2-3hp model. I just need to find a place that sells big pieces of hardwood that I can re-saw for my kitchen cabinet project.

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