question about bandsaws - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-09-2020, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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question about bandsaws

I'm shopping for a bandsaw and can't figure out what they mean when they say 9", 10", 14". I know it's not the size of the work piece I can cut through so what's that number referring to? I'd like to find one that let's slice 8" boards.

My other question is, would a bandsaw allow some curve into the work for something like a guitar body? Or would a scroll saw be better suited?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-09-2020, 09:07 PM
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That is the throat depth, the distance from the blade to the back frame of the saw. The other critical dimension is the resaw height and that's the distance the guide rises above the table. I have a 12" that resaws 6" and a 14" that resaws almost 15" (it's a beast!!). I also use both for my acoustic guitar work, including resawing backs, sides, and tops from thicker pieces or billets.

Yes, you can use a bandsaw for cutting curves. Depending on the radius of your curve you'll need anywhere from a 1/8" blade to a 1/4" blade. I keep a 1/4" blade on my 12" bandsaw and a 1" blade on my 14" resaw bandsaw.

If by slicing you mean resawing from thicker stock to cut backs/sides/tops and you want to cut the 8" for Dreadnaughts, or other shapes and sizes, then you'll need at least a 14" bandsaw with a riser kit or a serious bandsaw like our Laguna 14 SUV. There are other brands available but I'm sold on the Laguna. You're going to want a bandsaw that can properly tension the widest blade the saw can handle, at least 1/2" but preferably 3/4" or 1". Many of the Rockwell/Delta/Jet, etc. 14" with riser kits won't properly tension blades greater than 1/2" even though many will allow you to put a 3/4" blade on and get it tracking.

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Last edited by difalkner; 02-09-2020 at 09:11 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-09-2020, 09:19 PM
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Did you do any sort of a search for yourself?

A simple google search, taking only a few seconds, using this search string:

"bandsaw size meaning"

brought up this, which is part a larger article at the this link

"A bandsaw is nominally sized by the diameter of its wheels. The throat width is then immediately recognizable as about 1 inch less that defines the widest board that can be passed between the blade and the column. The resaw capacity is the maximum height (thickness) that can be cut."

I have mine set up with a Carter Products "Stabilizer" guide (top guide only) and use 1/8" wide blades. I'd use narrower blades, but haven't found any. I have done very tight turns, on the order of 3/16" radius. I also have it set up with their standard guides for conventional bandsaw work.

Do a YouTube search for Alex Snodgrass bandsaw" and watch his video about how to set up a bandsaw. In one, he demonstrates Stablizer guide to make a reindeer.
.

I like this one for general setup. I have seen it several times before and he does demonstrate the reindeer at the end also, but the key take away is the use of the standard Carter guides.

I cut the items pictured below using the Carter Stabilizer, the first one shows it.

Rick
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-09-2020, 10:06 PM
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bandsaw sizes .....

Bandsaws are named by their wheel diameters, 10", 14", and 18" for instance.

The wheel diameter determines the LENGTH of the STOCK that will fit between the blade and the frame laying flat on the table.


The cutting HEIGHT is the distance above the table surface to the upper blade guide when raised to it's maximum. It is also the RESAW capacity when the stock it placed vertically or on edge.



A 10" bandsaw will cut 10" lengths off a long board. It may be able to cut 5" thick boards into thinner slices like 1/4", or 1/2" thick and as long as the board is, or resawing.


A good size bandsaw for a home shop is a 14" model. They will typically have at least a 1 HP motor, but more is better for resawing which demands more power, like 1 1/2 HP or even 2 HP.


Blades come in different WIDTHS from 1/8" to 1" for home shop saws. The general rule is the smaller the wheel, like 10" the blade will be THINNER, like .025". A larger wheel will take a thicker blade like .032" or .035". Blade width and blade thickness are totally different.



Blade LENGTH is determined by the wheel diameter and how far apart they are located. When you cut a blade and lay it out flat on the floor next to a tape measure, that will show you it's length.
Some blades are 60 1/2" long for a 10" bandsaw, others 93.5 " long for a 14" bandsaw, and for a 18" bandsaw, 143" long.


So, you have wheel size or throat, resaw cutting capacity or height. Then there's blade width and blade length. The first two terms describe the machine itself, the next two describe the blade.
There YA GO!

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-10-2020, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickKr View Post
I have mine set up with a Carter Products "Stabilizer" guide (top guide only) and use 1/8" wide blades. Rick
Hi-jack alert:

First I have seen of this stabilizer guide.
Very interested.
What kind of saw are you using this on?
What kind of things do you make w/it?

I run a Laguna 14/12.
I run 1/8-3/16-1/4" blades in the mini guides.
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I have really good results.
Very curious if these guides could improve on that.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-10-2020, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Is there anything you guys would recommend that can handle the height/resaw I'm looking for? I see a lot that are under 5", a WEN that did 6" (for under $300) but anything higher seems to get very expensive. I'm just a hobbyist for the most part so I can't see spending $1k on a grizzly.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-10-2020, 11:42 AM
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Are You Looking for New Only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaelax View Post
Thanks guys. Is there anything you guys would recommend that can handle the height/resaw I'm looking for? I see a lot that are under 5", a WEN that did 6" (for under $300) but anything higher seems to get very expensive. I'm just a hobbyist for the most part so I can't see spending $1k on a grizzly.
Are you looking only at new saws? Have you looked at used equipment? I have not looked and your location is not shown in your profile, so I can't look at anything local to you, but decent used bandsaws can often be found in the used market.

My Powermatic 140 is from 1960 and cost around $350 in very good condition, not requiring any restoration or repair work, only my choice to add the Carter guides. I think it would be easy enough to avoid getting one where there would be as much trouble with the bottom guide, as I think the PM140 trunion design was abandoned and not likely to be a problem.

Rick
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-10-2020, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaelax View Post
Thanks guys. Is there anything you guys would recommend that can handle the height/resaw I'm looking for? I see a lot that are under 5", a WEN that did 6" (for under $300) but anything higher seems to get very expensive. I'm just a hobbyist for the most part so I can't see spending $1k on a grizzly.
Are you wanting to cut thin stock for acoustic guitars? If so, and you're wanting to do it on a small budget, then pass on the thicker stock and buy backs/sides/tops that are already cut to just above the thickness needed. Save the resawing for the guys with the big, expensive saws. Unless you already have some lumber you want to use so in that case you might see who's around you with a larger saw.

That's another reason to post your location in your profile, as Rick mentioned. Also, as Rick said, look for used iron. You'll spend far less and get a lot of bang for the buck.

David

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post #9 of 10 Old 02-19-2020, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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I always forget to check craigslist for tools. I took a peek there and fb marketplace, didn't find much under $600. I'm in the central ohio area. The guitars was just an example, I don't plan on trying to build any acoustics but I might do some solid bodies. I just have a specific project in mind right now and a bandsaw is the best way I can think about doing it. It'd be hard to explain without drawing a picture.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-17-2020, 05:27 PM
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I bought an old Craftsman 14" on Craigslist for $100, I spent $100 on a new motor, pulley and belt and about $75 on new bearing guide, bands and cool blocks. Add $25 for a new blade and I'm all set for $300. IMHO rebuilding an older "Made in America" tool is so much better than buying brand new offshore crap.
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