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Grizzly 17" Bandsaw

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Review by Kelly posted 02-05-2021 09:27 PM 1453 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Grizzly 17" Bandsaw Grizzly 17" Bandsaw Grizzly 17" Bandsaw Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is my info add for the Grizzly G0513X2F, 17” bandsaw with the foot brake.

[SAW SPECIFICATIONS]

Motor: 2 HP, 120VAC 20 amps or 240V 10 amps

NOTE: You’ll have to run 10 gauge and a 30 amp breaker to run this saw on 120 VAC. The motor really is a two horse unit. I have yet to bog it cutting 12” logs of sycamore or walnut.

Cutting capacity/throat: 16-1/4” left of blade

Max. cutting height (re-saw capacity): 12”

Table size: 23-5/8” x 17-1/4” x 1-1/2” thick

Table tilt: 5° left, 45° right

NOTE: With the stop bolt set, the table will not go five degrees left.

Floor to table height: 37-1/2” (excluding mobile base)

Blade size: 131-1/2” long

NOTE: Finding these blades listed with the usual suppliers is a challenge. HOWEVER, places like Bandsawbladesdirect will make the size you need from Lenox blade stock and sell them to you at about half the price you’d expect to pay elsewhere.

Blade sizes available: 1/8” – 1” wide

Blade speed: 1700 and 3500 FPM

Footprint: 27” L x 17-3/4” W

Overall size: 32” W x 32” D x 73” H

NOTE: I was concerned about getting this through the shop door, but, once out of the crate, I could either roll it in on a mobile base or a hand-truck [with someone helping to insure it remained stable].

Approximate shipping weight: 460 lbs.

NOTE: This unit is shipped upright. I backed my pickup to within about four feet of the lift, had the driver lower the unit to the ground, tipped the crated unit, on its back, into my pickup, then had the driver lift the saw/lift so it was level with the pickup bed. We pushed it into the pickup and off loading was done.

Actual unit weight is about 357 lbs.

NOTE: The weight helps keep the saw stable when cutting logs, including ones up to about 10” x 3’, without an extension table.

[FEATURES]

Deluxe cast-iron fence with 6” tall extruded aluminum resaw fence

NOTE: This saw replaced a 14” Rikon (324?) and I hated it’s fence for the hassle of changing fence heights. Grizzly make this a simple task with the ratcheting clamp. It takes only seconds to swap the fence height.

Quick-change blade release/ tensioner
Blade tension indicator

NOTE: The tension gauge is visible from the front, through a small window. The indicator is numbered to allow you to record settings for different blades.

Micro-adjusting geared table
Blade height scale measurement
Blade tracking window

NOTE: Like the Rikon that went out the door to make room for this, I always have to open the door to get enough light to see where the blade really is tracking.

Motor brake stops blade in under 3 seconds when power is turned off

NOTE: This was a bunch of extra nickles, but the more I use it, the more I like it. The big, cast iron wheels do keep the blade spinning for a long time when I don’t use it.

Foot brake activates manual and motor brakes
Cast-iron table trunnions for greater stability
Rack and pinion upper blade guide height adjustment
Includes 1/2” 6-TPI hook blade and miter gauge

NOTE: As is common with the three quality bandsaws I own, the stock blade seems more for keeping the unit stable than for use. The one mounted on my saw had a VERY notable dip at the back of the weld, so thumping was horrible, until I took a flat file to the black of the blade. That made it quite serviceable, until new blades arrived.

Fit and finish of the delivered saw was great.

The manual is excellent. It would even have been helpful when I was re-aligning the factory mis-aligned lower wheel of the Rikon I sold.

[UNCRATING]

The pathetic looking crate, thanks no small amount to the shipper, did a good job of protecting everything, including the table and other parts needed to finish assembling the saw.

I uncrated the saw while it was on it’s back, in the bed of my pickup. This allowed me to remove the two sides, the top and the bottom, which was held in place by four lag bolts.

Crate foam kept the saw stable, on its back. during removal of the crate. I did strap the saw in place, just to be safe (to avoid it tipping and suffering damage).

Once all but the back of the crate was removed, and after fitting the mobile base, described next, I and a friend slid the saw out of the pickup to the pivot point and eased it to the floor. That was so easy I MAY have even been able to do it by myself.

[MOBIL BASE]

While the saw was on it’s back, in the bed of the pickup, and the bottom, conveniently, at waist level I fit the mobile base to the saw by cutting the minimum, needed to complete the task off the base bars to give me a good fit. Then I set it aside, since I did not want it installed and creating a risk the saw might roll, when it was stood up.

Once on the floor, I grabbed some scrap plywood and 2x’s that, when stacked under the back of the saw, would raise it enough to allow the mobile base to be rolled under the saw. For all of this, two people was, for the most part, a must.

I tipped the saw forward (the flat, left side in the air) and moved the stacked 2x’s under the bottom ONLY enough to allow me to raise the saw from the opposite side. Once in tipped so the right was in the air, my buddy rolled the base under the saw and aligned it.

By having the saw bottom left only about 3/4” in on the stacked scraps, letting the front down landed it on the short plates in the corner. My buddy held the base still with his foot and the saw slid that last 3/4” or so into place.

I was able to roll the saw from the garage bay into the shop and it cleared the door with room to spare.

Once in the shop, I had to grunt a bit getting the saw up on to the 1” thick horse mats. Once there, it rolled, but it required some more grunting.

Once in place, and a few weeks down the road, I’ve replaced the casters with new ones that raise the base, thus the saw, about 1/2”. It, now, rolls with ease.

Be aware, the caster mounts leave little room for caster swaps, if you are changing sizes. The casters on the front must spin 360, to allow them to set up for the direction the base is moving. Four inch wheels will catch on the angled plates and the back of the mounting area. As such, it pays to check out various caster to find the ones that have a taller footprint, to get that 1/2” rise off the floor.

[FINAL ASSEMBLY AND KEY TURNING]

Once the saw was in place, I mounted the table without bothering to remove the blade. I just lifted it, slid it past the blade, then spun it and installed the bolts. Only after doing that did I note the directions said it was too heavy to do that (snort).

I adjusted all the guides, added the proper cord and 240 plug and was ready for a test drive.

All went well, but, as noted, I had to file the hell out of the blade that came with it, to get past the thumping. That was pretty easy, using a good flat file [with the machine off].

The brake worked well. Be prepared for the burned rubber smell, which, I presume, will lessen with use.

[LIGHT]

The unit does not have a place to plug in a light. Nor does it come with one.

My solution was to resort to using one of three lights I bought a while back. They came with the usual crappy magnets that barely held them on a vertical surface. I removed the magnets and replaced them with pieces of plywood cut to replace them. I drilled holes just deep enough to allow me to install two rare earth magnets, each with about 70 pounds pull. Now, the lights stay where they were put and work well for lighting cuts.

Also, to make the lights easier to adjust, I swapped all the nuts at the articulating joints with jig knobs. I used both male and female jig knobs so I could torque the chose position well by holding both sides.

[DUST COLLECTION]

Dust collection for cutting flat stock is nothing to write home about. I have my three horse, three feet away, pulling through a four inch hose Y’d to pull at the top and the bottom ports. |

When cutting logs, a lot of dust hits the table and gets drawn down, by the blade, into the lower guide area, where dust extraction is far from effective. Accordingly, dust builds up all around the saw guides and the saw itself.

I ran a 1-1/2” hose over to the unit and it laid on top the lower cabinet, just under the table, just fine. Sitting about an inch or so from the guides, it solved the dust problem in the lower guide area. I tried it again, but using the dust collector hose instead and it, also worked fine, so adding a port for a 1-1/2” hose in the Y should work fine for a tidy and permanent fix. I’ll post a photo when done.

[MUST or SHOULD DO’s]

You should have backups of blades and guide bearings. Even a keeper or two of the type that holds the bearings in place on the shaft is a good idea (I have first hand knowledge of this need, but I’ll, probably, find that keeper in the next year or two. Meanwhile, a hammered piece of copper will do, in a pinch).

[RUNNING THE UNIT]

I have cut quite a few logs ranging from 6” to 12” or so in diameter and up to 3’ long without the benefit of in-feed or out-feed tables. The weight of the machine gives the machine a lot of stability for that, even as it sits atop the mobile base.

The motor has yet to give indication of bogging in 10” diameter logs of sycamore, 6” locust and so on.

[GUIDE ADJUSTMENT KNOB MODIFICATIONS]

To make adjusting the guides less annoying, consider at least buying a set of nice T handle allen wrenches to dedicate to the process.

I’m experimenting with adding thumb screw caps to the allen screws and it seems to be working, though I’d be more comfortable being able to add a bit more torque. To that end, I may buy some M6 allens with larger knobs that allow me to tighten down the screws quickly.

[BLADES]

Blades are like hens teeth. Thanks to other jocks, that turned out to be a good thing. They directed me to bandsawbladesdirect.com, where I was not only able to buy Lenox blades in a variety of configurations, I am able to build a blade collection at about half the price I’d pay the vendors from which I bought blades for my 14 inch saw.

[SUMMARY]

This might be best stated with a question and an answer – would I spend the money on this unit again, including the cost and hassle of swapping panels for that extra 240 circuit [and others, of course]? DEFINITELY yes.

I have all the free apple wood, sycamore an so on I need for free here in North Central Washington and this saw makes pumping out boards and beams a whole lot easier than on my little 14” Powermatic.

—————-MORE INFO TO COME——————-

[SLIDING BED FOR MILLING LARGER LOGS]
. . . .




View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days



14 comments so far

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#1 posted 02-06-2021 05:09 AM

Allen head screws with caps:

View mdhills's profile

mdhills

70 posts in 3708 days


#2 posted 02-06-2021 03:14 PM

Ooo… I’m looking forward to seeing your milling setup. The extra hp is really helpful for anything with logs, but logs are still very heavy and awkward to get around on the bandsaw.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#3 posted 02-06-2021 07:02 PM

So far, and the plywood is cut for it, it’s a mix of ideas, some stolen. For example, I like the log holding method of the spendy little jig sold by Stockroom Supply (https://stockroomsupply.com/), which would cost about a grand, for handling four and five foot logs.

The base is just plywood reinforced on both the front and back of the table, then supported by either a roller stand or just a piece designed to come off the base at “about” a 45.

Atop that will be the sled, which will track on it. The sled will have a 4” wide fence, the sole purpose of which is to hold the bars to secure the log, like the little ripper and large bandsaw mills do.

I’ll sand and wax, liberally, the bed and bottom of the sled. IF that still leaves a lot of friction, I have a whole bunch of the ball type roller-ish supports that showed up on a tub I grabbed at a garage sale. Those, certainly, would reduce friction, but I don’t want to raise more than I have to.

The bed will slide left and right for cut thicknesses. A heavy duty toggle, also a garage sale win, should allow me to do quick locks and releases. To that end, the fence will follow the existing fence rail and the back of the table, with about 1/8” slop. Stacked/Laminated pieces of plywood running parallel to the fence rail, and 90 off the sled, should do a fair job of squaring the sled.

Cross your fingers.

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Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#4 posted 02-06-2021 07:02 PM

Because it’s indicated you should not move the saw by the table, because that could throw it out of alignment, I’m going to swap the bolts holding the caster wheels for ones long enough to allow me to add 1/8” to 1/4” flat metal about 1-1/2” wide and about 16” long.

This will allow me to attach wood handles about 3’ long, and to tie the two front wheels together.

When done, this should allow me to pull and push the saw, while keeping the two wheels aligned with each other.

Done right, it should look just fine.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1181 posts in 462 days


#5 posted 02-06-2021 07:59 PM

Great review and good looking saw Kelly. I have a Canwood brand I’ve had for about 15 years that looks very similar although it doesn’t have a magnetic switch or foot brake. I dressed it up a while ago with some cast iron adjustment wheels I bought from Grizzly. They were easy to drill to size and add a set screw. It makes things feel smoother when raising or lowering the blade and looks cool too.

It supposedly takes 131 5/8” blades but 131 1/2” are available locally and work just fine. I usually use Viking ones but may have to try the Lenox sometime.

-- Darrel

View WoodAbuser's profile

WoodAbuser

12 posts in 878 days


#6 posted 02-07-2021 07:45 PM

Nice write-up on the bandsaw.

I have the G0513X2BF, not sure of the difference.

I haven’t used mine extensively, but have been impressed with it on what I have done.
I have milled a few logs, probably 5 feet long, maybe 10 inch diameter.
I don’t have a feed table, but tried to make something with roller stands.
With two people, the logs can be turned into boards.

I bought a Highland (?) 3/4” blade for log cutting, and it works OK, but I’d like to try a carbide blade.

I like your idea for the light; I need to add that.

My biggest suggestion for improvement would be to add an interlock switch to the tensioning lever, so you can’t start the saw with the lever in the down (no tension) position. I’ve done that a couple times, and the blade tends to pop off the wheel, requiring re-installation. My solution so far is to leave the top door open when I de-tension the blade.

For a mobile base, I used a three-wheel Delta 50-345, which is not rated for this much weight.
It doesn’t work well, and the saw is hard to move. I need to get a bigger base !

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#7 posted 02-08-2021 06:37 AM

The interlock idea is excellent, and there is no good reason it could not be a factory standard on any saw with a tension release.

It would be nice to add an amber LED to the circuit (a couple micro switches, for the two legs?) to draw attention to the reason the saw isn’t starting. Meanwhile, just the simple act of leaving the door open is a great idea.

On the light, check out the 60# magnets that sell 12 for $16.00 on Amazon. Opening and closing the door does not budge the light at all. I may put a thin coat of clear coat over them so they don’t beat the paint on the door over time.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R8C4N43/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#8 posted 02-08-2021 06:41 AM

The nice thing about bandsawbladesdirect.com is, you can order EXACTLY what you need, and at about half the cost of off the shelf blades. Of course, they have alternatives in widths, lengths, teeth per inch, type of teeth. . . .

P.S. The wheels did turn out nice.


It supposedly takes 131 5/8” blades but 131 1/2” are available locally and work just fine. I usually use Viking ones but may have to try the Lenox sometime.

- Foghorn


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Ocelot

3015 posts in 3713 days


#9 posted 02-09-2021 10:39 PM

I have the same saw without the brake. I have ordered Lennox blades from Spectrum Supply. I’lll have to check out your supplier. I also bought some direct from timberwolf when they had a 2 for 1 sale a couple months ago. I haven’t used those yet.

It looks like SpectrumSupply.com is a bit cheaper than bandsawbladesdirect.com.

You might check it out.

-Paul

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

989 posts in 2537 days


#10 posted 02-16-2021 01:30 AM


[DUST COLLECTION]

Dust collection for cutting flat stock is nothing to write home about. I have my three horse, three feet away, pulling through a four inch hose Y d to pull at the top and the bottom ports. |

When cutting logs, a lot of dust hits the table and gets drawn down, by the blade, into the lower guide area, where dust extraction is far from effective. Accordingly, dust builds up all around the saw guides and the saw itself.

I think some experimentation is in order. I am going to run the shop vac hose and secure it near the lower guide area to see if I can keep more of the dust that plugs even so called sealed bearings. If that does help, I ll add a Y and a reducer to create a third dust extraction point.

—————-MORE INFO TO COME——————-

[SLIDING BED FOR MILLING LARGER LOGS]
. . . .

- Kelly

I agree that the dust collection just below the table sucks. My guides are always full of dust.
However the lower cabinet stays very clean on mine. I have seen where others have built collection boxes that attach at the lower guides. But I have never taken the time to figure that out on mine. I have ran a hose on top for the table. But I quit using it some time ago. Gets in the way, and is really more trouble than it was worth.

I really look forward to the sliding bed, and any other upgrades you come up with.


Nice write-up on the bandsaw.

I have the G0513X2BF, not sure of the difference.

My biggest suggestion for improvement would be to add an interlock switch to the tensioning lever, so you can t start the saw with the lever in the down (no tension) position. I ve done that a couple times, and the blade tends to pop off the wheel, requiring re-installation. My solution so far is to leave the top door open when I de-tension the blade.

For a mobile base, I used a three-wheel Delta 50-345, which is not rated for this much weight.
It doesn t work well, and the saw is hard to move. I need to get a bigger base !

- WoodAbuser

That interlock switch would be a great idea. I have the Go513X2, I little less bells and whistles than yours. lol.
I too have turned the saw on with the blade tension off. Oops.
So I made a little cover that goes over the power switch. Has a couple rare earth magnets that hold it in place.
So when the tension is off, I place the cover over the switch to remind myself.

I use a Rockler all terrain mobile base on mine. works great.

-- John

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#11 posted 02-16-2021 02:40 AM

The stock wheels on the base Grizzly recommended required two men and a boy to get the beast across my horse mats. I installed 4” wheels and it rolls like a breeze. The problem is, the wheels no longer clear the mount, so have to locked aimed and secured.

To keep steering, I’m going to swap the bolts for longer ones so I can run a couple bars up, which will have a push-pull handle at the top and mid and lower braces so both wheels will be directed like a kids wagon would. Also, this will keep me from using the table to move the saw.

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Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#12 posted 02-16-2021 02:41 AM

As to dust at the bearings, I have a 15’ hose off my Dust Deputy. For an experiment, I just laid it on top the lower cabinet, so it’s just below the table and near the guide bearings. It fit well and a simple spring clamp to one of the ribs held it where I wanted it.

I ran a bunch of wood and there was no dust problem. Without it, as you know, they would have been buried in it.

Next step, as previously noted, is ad another Y and reduce it to run the hose and see if that works.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#13 posted 02-16-2021 02:43 AM

Love the simple solutions regarding the tension (rare earth magnets to block switch access or leaving the door open, as a flag). Fool proof with minimal effort.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3529 posts in 4019 days


#14 posted 02-17-2021 10:21 PM

MORE ON LOWER GUIDE BEARING DUST COLLECTION:

I forgot I have a hose with an adapter to run off the big dust collector. I test drove it cutting some walnut and it worked fine for collection too. As such, adding a port for a 1-1/2” hose in the Y or elbow should work fine for a tidy and permanent fix.

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