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Things to look for when looking at used bandsaws

1306 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TheWoodenOyster
Hey guys,

I am on the craigslist trail again, this time searching for a bandsaw. I am looking for a long-term saw with a decent amount of power (probably at least 2 hp, I do have 220), that has the capability to occasionally resaw boards about 10" wide. I have a decent amount of experience with bandsaws, but my current one is a homemade hand-me-down that doesn't have a ton in common with your common bandsaw.

My question is what do I look for when I go to look at a saw in person? Obviously, a sample cut will reveal some things, as well as a visual inspection, but do y'all have any tips beyond that?


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I have an old Walker-Turner 14" bandsaw from the 1940s that I bought used in about 1960. I still have it and it runs and saws like a dream! I would look for a used light industrial saw like a Powermatic or Delta. The really old ones from the 1940s on are well built heavy cast iron machines. As long as all of the parts are there there should be no problem If it hasn't been badly abused. The damn things just can't wear out! Most of my machines are older Delta machines, most from the 1960s and 1970s and the run just like new. The only "new" feature you see on many of today's expensive bandsaws is some additional vertical capacity for re-sawing.

Most wood working machines are simple machines and the only thing that can WEAR out is the bearings which are easy to find and inexpensive. I have never had to replace a bearing in any of my machines most of which are 45 to 70 years old. In fact, I have never had to replace ANY part of my machines except the side guides in the bandsaw that tend to wear over time and these are cheap and easy to replace.

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