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Value of a closed vs. open base for bandsaw and sander—Also belt vs. direct drive

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Forum topic by Sark posted 10-04-2020 11:00 PM 1965 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sark

426 posts in 1598 days


10-04-2020 11:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw open base closed base tool support sander 6x48

I’m shopping right now for a bandsaw and 6×48” belt sander. It seems that the manufacturer gets a pretty big premium for providing an enclosed base. On the jet, the difference is about $300 for the enclosed base which is almost a 30% premium. Not seeing the legs worth the extra money? Looks better, that’s for sure.

And while we’re on the subject of sanders, Jet has 3 models with 1.5 HP. A new but discontinued model with belt drive and closed base for about $900. The equivalent model, but direct drive (no belt and open stand) for $1,170. Or the closed base version for $1,500. $430 for the enclosed base seems like quite a premium.

I’m inclined to get the belt drive model because its cheaper, and looks better and a hidden belt on a sander doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Unless I’m missing something. Comments?


20 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8652 posts in 4886 days


#1 posted 10-04-2020 11:12 PM

Closed base usually has less vibration, added storage, and better dust control. The cost difference isn’t so much about the better performance as it is about material and production cost. Technically they made the open base option as a cost effective solution. If you are ok with all of the above you should be ok with either.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Rich

7439 posts in 1827 days


#2 posted 10-04-2020 11:41 PM

Check out the other stats on the saws. I know the main visual difference between the Rikon 324 and 326 is the enclosed base, but there are other differences that make it a substantial upgrade. Definitely worth the extra money.

I’d suspect you’ll find the same on the Jet models. If they are otherwise identical, then $300 for an enclosed base is a lot of money.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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ibewjon

2634 posts in 4031 days


#3 posted 10-05-2020 02:29 PM

Plywood and screws make an enclosed base.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2281 posts in 2887 days


#4 posted 10-05-2020 04:18 PM

Check out the Harvey BS. Open frame saws may also have lighter aluminum wheels and other less desirable features. It is almost a rule to choose tools by the pound.

I spent months going back and forth, Rikon, Laguna, and then found the Harvey.

I only have a disk and spindle fixed sanders, so no help there.

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Madmark2

3091 posts in 1826 days


#5 posted 10-05-2020 04:37 PM

$1500 – $1170 = $330, not $430 …

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7224 posts in 3731 days


#6 posted 10-06-2020 01:26 PM

I had a direct drive combo sander (a Grizzly) and when it had a motor problem (under warranty) I had to disassemble the entire unit just to send the motor back (Grizzly made good on all costs, except my time). I had sold that unit many years ago for a number of reasons, and earlier this year bought another. I went with PM, mostly because the belt tracking mechanism was abetter design, but it had the motor in the base and a belt drive to the sander. Now if the motor has a problem life won’t be so complicated. So I guess I prefer belt drive, even though motor complications are generally rare.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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PLShutterbug

86 posts in 241 days


#7 posted 06-06-2021 08:45 PM



Check out the Harvey BS. Open frame saws may also have lighter aluminum wheels and other less desirable features. It is almost a rule to choose tools by the pound.

I spent months going back and forth, Rikon, Laguna, and then found the Harvey.

I only have a disk and spindle fixed sanders, so no help there.

- tvrgeek

TVRGeek,

I have the Harvey Ambassador 14” arriving tomorrow (at least that’s what the shipping manifest says …).

I bought a Grizzly all-swivel base to set it on but I think I need to increase the footprint beyond the bare saw’s 15¾” x 24” base size.

I have a 22½” x 34” piece of 1-1/8” plywood I will use to expand the footprint, fastening it to the base and the saw to the plywood. Any suggestions for how big I should cut this to minimize footprint while retaining good stability?

For my Delta 18-900 drill press I used more of the same thick plywood, cut to 22½” x 29” on a base with fixed rear and moving front wheels. This works for the drill press but I’d like a smaller footprint for the band saw if it won’t make it too top-heavy.

The wheels and stands on the base are outside the base perimeter so add extra width.

-- Washington (the other WA - the state)

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PaulDoug

2621 posts in 2941 days


#8 posted 06-06-2021 08:59 PM

Closed bases are nice, because to me they make wasted space useable… I has four machines that came with stands as opposed to close bases… All for are on close bases that I made for extra storage space and easier to add wheels to to be able move them around…. I don’t has close to $300 tied up in all four bases… they are rebuilt kitchen cabinets that I got for free.. These cabinets were from houses built back in the ‘40’s… You couldn’t buy that kind of plywood now days, unless it was Baltic Birch…. But, if you had to buy the plywood at current prices…. $300 may not be such a bad deal for a nice metal base…....

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View PLShutterbug's profile

PLShutterbug

86 posts in 241 days


#9 posted 06-06-2021 10:23 PM



Closed bases are nice, because to me they make wasted space useable… I has four machines that came with stands as opposed to close bases… All for are on close bases that I made for extra storage space and easier to add wheels to to be able move them around…. I don t has close to $300 tied up in all four bases… they are rebuilt kitchen cabinets that I got for free.. These cabinets were from houses built back in the 40 s… You couldn t buy that kind of plywood now days, unless it was Baltic Birch…. But, if you had to buy the plywood at current prices…. $300 may not be such a bad deal for a nice metal base…....

- PaulDoug

This saw already stands 36-38” at the table once I add the mobile base I’ve bought (in that range). Most of my other tools are at that height as well and it works well for me.

My current band saw, a 10” Craftsman, is 48” at the table and that is too high especially if I need to use infeed or outfeed rollers.

I’m in the process of rebuilding my garage shop space from scratch and will factor in extra blade storage for the bandsaw when I build the cabinets and benches for it.

-- Washington (the other WA - the state)

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8769 posts in 3436 days


#10 posted 06-06-2021 11:01 PM

The old cast iron stands were well worth the extra bucks just for their mass. The stamped steel stands of today don’t provide any extra stability or mass, and most I’ve seen actually induce extra noise during operation.

And while you may lose a fraction of power with a belt drive – it also acts as a safety mechanism should something catastrophic happen to seize the driven portion. Would rather replace a toasted belt than toasted motor ;)

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

4064 posts in 3035 days


#11 posted 06-07-2021 02:27 AM

I would pick the one with the best dust collection. Probably the one with the closed base.
Dust collection is very important on a bandsaw even little ones.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View david2011's profile

david2011

160 posts in 4945 days


#12 posted 06-07-2021 08:51 AM



I would pick the one with the best dust collection. Probably the one with the closed base.
Dust collection is very important on a bandsaw even little ones.
Good Luck

- Aj2

I have to agree. My 14” bandsaw is messy even with the cyclone/shop vac attached. It’s an old Craftsman, also sold with many other brand names on it including Grizzly, Ridgid, Delta and Jet.

-- David

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2281 posts in 2887 days


#13 posted 06-07-2021 09:22 AM

I just used the Bora frame. As it has the front casters retract, it seems very stable to me. I think I use 3/4 inch plywood. My DP is not on wheels. So top-heavy I am tempted to bolt it to the floor even with the 4×4 base it is bolted to.

Check out the Harvey BS. Open frame saws may also have lighter aluminum wheels and other less desirable features. It is almost a rule to choose tools by the pound.

I spent months going back and forth, Rikon, Laguna, and then found the Harvey.

I only have a disk and spindle fixed sanders, so no help there.

- tvrgeek

TVRGeek,

I have the Harvey Ambassador 14” arriving tomorrow (at least that s what the shipping manifest says …).

I bought a Grizzly all-swivel base to set it on but I think I need to increase the footprint beyond the bare saw s 15¾” x 24” base size.

I have a 22½” x 34” piece of 1-1/8” plywood I will use to expand the footprint, fastening it to the base and the saw to the plywood. Any suggestions for how big I should cut this to minimize footprint while retaining good stability?

For my Delta 18-900 drill press I used more of the same thick plywood, cut to 22½” x 29” on a base with fixed rear and moving front wheels. This works for the drill press but I d like a smaller footprint for the band saw if it won t make it too top-heavy.

The wheels and stands on the base are outside the base perimeter so add extra width.

- PLShutterbug


View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2634 posts in 4031 days


#14 posted 06-07-2021 02:57 PM

My drill press, bandsaw, and lathe are all bolted to the floor. A drill press on a mobile base is a tipping hazard in my mind.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5843 posts in 2460 days


#15 posted 06-07-2021 04:24 PM

Tall and narrow. A BS may seem stable under it’s own weight, but cantilever out a heavy object, like a log being resawn, and everything can go crazy real fast.

My saw needed some extra height so I incorporated a few inches of lift into a base with a wider stance. Flip down feet hold it in place and prevent wiggling around, but that turns out to be a non-issue so I never use them.
The sections of “C” channel on the sides are 4” wide with 6” casters.

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