Originally Posted by WarnerConstInc.
I would start out large and in charge and get yourself a Tannewitz BS.
Phooey, if you are going to sue the space might as well get a great one instead of a good one... and while your at it get THE rare one, women will swoon and men will pay admission for the mighty Oliver 115-R, 38" wheels and a massive two sided swing away feeder, not even a Yate Snowflake can compete for attention in a room with one of these!
Bandsaws with true hobby quality start at 14" aside from the oddball like the Inca. It is like every other machine where condition is king. Are all the parts there and servicable, if not can you source then and what is the price. Motor, bearings, guides, table, fence, tires etc. In the end I feel it is best to ask about specific saws, while the basics are the same many machines have specific things to look for or understand. Take the Powermatic 141 14" bandsaw, it is a MUCH better built saw than the Delta 14" and its clones BUT sourcing parts will be harder and more expensive, a set of the thick rubber tires for the PM will probably run you 3 times what a set of urethane tires will run for the Delta. You don't have to worry about the tracking arm on the PM where many of the old Deltas will be bent. The list goes on and on, just between those two saws.
I think one of the best used saws in the under 1K arena is the Delta 28-350 20" saw. It is not too hard to find, often a school saw in good shape, has standard block guides which are easy to refurb and use and it is better built heavier than all but 3 or 4 of the Asian saws 20" and under. I often see good runners sold for $600-$700. If takes too much room or pushes the budget look for a Delta 14" US built saw, usually a 250-400 saw that is cheap and easy to work on and modify but it does have its limitations.
In the end the more info we have about a specific saw you are looking at the more and better info we can give you, pictures are often really helpful.