Central Machinery 14" Bandsaw (Modified) + Video

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Review by rawdawgs50 posted 02-20-2010 05:40 PM 40459 views 14 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Central Machinery 14" Bandsaw (Modified) + Video Central Machinery 14" Bandsaw (Modified) + Video Central Machinery 14" Bandsaw (Modified) + Video Click the pictures to enlarge them

My Used and Improved Central Machinery Harbor Freight Special 14” Bandsaw Review

I was looking at buying a larger bandsaw (19”+) for the shop and came across some blogs on the internet about the HF bandsaw and how well it worked for the money. Since I was not in the market for a small bandsaw I filed it away under useful info and moved on. Then I stumbled on a guy selling this bandsaw a 1/2 hour away on Craigslist. I offered him $115 for it and the deal was done.

Total Cost:

Central Machinery Bandsaw #32208 = $115
Throat plate, Tension knob and Riser Kit= $25
Graphite Guides = $13
TimberWolf blade = $25

Total (Plus my Time) = $178

I am a member over at Charles Neil as well…where the original review comes from. There are a lot of pics and video there of what I did.

If you click this link it will take you to Charles Neil for the full review….

This is the link to the video on youtube

Hopefully no one is offended by this link to another site but a review is a review and I already did the whole thing once, and if you are offended…well there are other issues at play-

Update – New Table

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20 comments so far

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#1 posted 02-20-2010 07:15 PM

I bookmarked this review page coz I surely might refer/read the reviews in Charles Neil’s forum one day when I own band saw.
Thanks for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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#2 posted 02-20-2010 07:45 PM


-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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Craftsman on the lake

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#3 posted 02-21-2010 04:09 AM

I’ve got this saw. It’s about 20 yrs old now. Same saw. It does ok in it’s original form but the mods you made look like it’s a vast improvement. Word of caution: Don’t try to move it by grabbing the table to haul it around. The trunions underneath are paper thin cast something or other. They break easily. I had to permanently find a way to bolt it on after that happened.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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#4 posted 02-21-2010 05:16 AM

I’ve got that same saw. Never seen the particular riser block kit you used. I think I like the blade guard assembly on yours (the yellow part) better… I might have to paint or plasti dip mine…

The cool blocks and Timberwolf blades really make this saw shine, there are a couple of mods you don’t have on there, if I could whet your whistle here…

#1. Grizzly tension release mod. I am going to have to take the measurements again and do a full write up… But it was EASY to do, and WELL worth the time and $$. #2. Dust collection upgrade… Upgrade the not quite 2.5” port to a 4” port for excellent dust collection… #2. Link belt. REALLY makes a difference getting the most out of the HF motor… #4. Lower Wheel brush to keep the junk from jamming up the tires… #5. Mobile base. HF sells a decent mobile base for not a lot of money…

I must admit, you got a GREAT deal on the saw, and riser block… Way to go!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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82 posts in 3934 days

#5 posted 02-21-2010 05:40 AM


It was your write ups that ultimately led me to buy the saw in the first place. I did so on a whim. I buy and sell used tools for profit when I see something worth while…that is initially what this was going to be. A saw that needed a little cleaning up and back on the market to put a more tool bucks in the jar for new commercial equipment.

While I like the quick release tension lever you did, for me it was to much of an investment for this saw. I turn the handle 10 times and I am good to go (about 20 seconds). I will be building a ratcheting arm for it shortly. The wheel brushes are in the works right now and that is mostly the reason I attached the blade guard with 1” thick wood to add support for future adaptation.

As for the riser kit. The HF riser kit was once again was to much money for me to invest in this saw as there is a much larger saw for re-sawing…however, when I stumbled upon the riser kit from grizzly for $16 I thought what the hell and took the risk. It was not a direct fit to say the least but it works perfect with a little effort and was a lot cheaper. I now have 10-1/8” re-saw capacity that I will probably not use on the saw (but it is nice to know I have it). The only down side is not having a longer bar for the guide arm.

But like I first stated, your write ups were paramount in me even bothering with this saw..I just took the info from what you gave to the public domain and threw a few other options in the mix.

The main point is that decent tools can be had for a vary reasonable price. I believe in paying good money for great tools…but there are little gems out there like this.


Wetland Wood Works

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#6 posted 02-21-2010 09:18 PM

Nice upgrades. The new Porter Cable 14” bandsaw offering (saw one assembled at Lowes) is almost a dead ringer for the HF saw.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

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#7 posted 02-22-2010 03:09 AM

Nice, been thinking about this HF saw.
Why did you use g4106 and not H3051?

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

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#8 posted 02-25-2010 02:19 AM

you paid only 115$ new for your harbor freight one? i would really like to get my hands on one, mostly because i only have a tabletop version and would like to move up.

-- ---ray suppan--- anger + woodworking = -finger AHHHHHHHH!!!!

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#9 posted 02-25-2010 03:23 AM

Remy- the saw was bought used

Router- I used the g4106 because I had no plans on spending the cash to add a riser block to this. Although it performs well at my tested height of 6” re-sawing, I will use a much larger band saw to re-saw on. I chose the g4106 riser block because I happened to stumble on it by mistake and it was only $16 (compared to $60+ for the other kits) and it peaked my interest considering I could possibly get another 4” out of it for so little cash.

It was not a direct bolt on as described in the write up…so anyone attempting to do this be forewarned…however, it works as if it was after some modifications…..10” re-saw might be pushing realistic on this saw with the right blade and the price was right…. 12”... probably not so much.

So since I was buying a new aluminum throat plate and a long tensions knob, the riser kit fit into the lowest shipping cost (just barely) and got everything I wanted from Grizzly for $25.

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#10 posted 02-26-2010 02:12 AM

THX, yes I saw that on Grizzly, 16 vs 60, I would’ve done the same for that saw.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

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#11 posted 03-01-2010 06:48 AM

What did you use to get the rust off of the table? I bought a used joiner and it has rust on the planing surface. I’m new to this game and trying to learn a few tricks along the way.

-- Wow, that was easy. Just follow the directions and use some common sense.

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#12 posted 03-01-2010 04:05 PM


My method fro cleaning off rust is this.

This is what I have always done. I use GooGone and a synthetic steel wool pad and scrub like mad in a circular motion. Then I clean the top very thoroughly because it will become black with residue. After that I put Mineral Spirits on a paper towel and wipe the top until it is wet looking (it does not take much). Mineral spirits takes a while to evaporate and it acts as a lubricant.

Next I slap on 320 grit to my random orbital sander and go at it. Usually I use about 2-3 pads and clean the top in between pad changes. This will leave a fresh looking top, although all rust stains may not come out but it will be very smooth.

You will not be sanding your jointer top away so don’t worry.

After that I use Johnson’s paste wax and apply heavy and rub it in. Let it sit a few minutes until it is hard to rub around anymore. Then using a CLOTH…come back and buff it off (or use a clean pad on a car buffer) Your tool will be clean, slick and protected at this point.

Now for the future, I have heard very good things about “Krud Kutter” avaliable at HD or Lowes and I bought some last night to use for cleaning my bits and blades. The claims also say it removes rust as well so that might be a better alternative to GooGone/mineral spirits, which works well…but from what I heard Krud Kutter is all you need in your shop for everything. Plus it is completely safe (non toxic)

I am about to use it on my a few bits and blades right now so I will let you all know how it compares.

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#13 posted 03-09-2010 04:15 PM

After reading this review and a few others, I found this bandsaw on Craigslist here in Denver and decided to buy it.

I picked it up for $150. Brand new in the box.

The box had seen better days, but all the parts were still wrapped in plastic. The bottom of the box was torn a bit, so there are a couple small rust spots on the bottom of the stand on the rough casting lines, but nothing major. I should just be able to touch them up with some Rustoleum or something and that should be fine. That was the only thing that kept this from looking like it just came off the HF floor. Heck the table was even still wrapped in plastic, slathered in grease.

I opened the box and took pieces and parts out one at a time so I could carry them from my detached garage down into my basement, as I didn’t have a helper.

I’m going on vacation in a couple of days, so the assembly will have to wait until I get back.

I’ll try to post back on how helpful (or not) the assembly instructions were.

I’m also thinking about performing some of the modifications listed above.

I don’t have the stand for it and will probably just end up building one out of some spare plywood and MDF I’ve got sitting around, probably just using pocket hole joinery since it’s fast and sturdy. Although I really do appreciate some of the beautiful benches and work stations on here, I just need something functionally sturdy at this point. I’d rather spend the time and money creating projects that others will be able to enjoy.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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2609 posts in 3968 days

#14 posted 03-10-2010 04:55 AM

OK, so I debated even submitting this post. I have a correction to make to my above post (and it’s sort of embarrassing to admit).

However, in the pursuit of honesty, I humbly admit to my oversight.

I don’t know how I missed it, but the stand for the bandsaw was in the box with all the other pieces and parts. I was just so intent on carrying it all in that I guess I missed it. It was a little “jumble of parts” that had the panel with the switch, which is located on the stand, all bunched-up together. So I got the complete bandsaw, in it’s entirety, new, in-box for $150.

I noticed my oversight when I went back down to the basement to get something for our upcoming trip.

I am anxious to get this thing together, but it does seem like I’ll probably make a few modifications by picking up (at minimum) two different blades: one for resawing and one for finer detail work. I figure that will at least cover my bases in the near future.

I’m sure I’ll also modify the guides, and maybe make one or two other changes. At this point, I don’t have a need to add the riser, but that could change any day. However, for now, I’m just happy I was able to procure this saw, in new condition for such a great price.

I’m looking forward to assembling this saw upon our return from vacation and seeing what it’s capable of tackling. I already have several projects on my “to do list” that this will enable me to proceed with, allowing me to forego the tediousness of a coping saw, etc.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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82 posts in 3934 days

#15 posted 03-12-2010 03:00 PM

I was wondering about that stand thing…good to see you got it all. Don’t worry about the riser block, and don’t worry about a special blade for resaw. The cool blocks are a must

If you were going to get only 2 blades, I would suggest this a 1/4” 6tpi and and an 1/8” blade with the same. The 1/4” is aggressive enough to cut 6” of wood at a steady pace and small enough to make a decent curve. It is the best all around blade for a saw this size for sure. If you think you will be re sawing quite a bit maye a 3-4TPI would suit you better but if it is occasional I would stik wit hthe 6TPI as it is a cleaner cut for plywood and thin stock.
You could even consider a 1/16” blade over an 1/8” if you want depending on how tight you would want to be turning on the bandsaw. Keep in mind though that a very small blade can break easily if you bind it so work slowly and always plan your exits on your piece ahead of time.

Have fun with it. It will do anything you want with wood under 6” thick with a good Timberwolf blade on it.

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