What Size Band Saw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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What Size Band Saw?

Hey,

I am looking to purchase a band saw. Any recommendation on a size? I was planning on using it for smaller projects. I'd like to hear some thoughts on what size would be worth purchasing?
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 10:34 AM
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I suggest that the minimum number is a 12Ē saw.


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post #3 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 10:47 AM
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@Folsom88 is asking in other threads about where to find hardwood, how to build a workbench, etc. It would help to know a little more about Folsum's shop, projects, etc.

Based on a serious intent to do serious woodworking, I would recommend a 14 inch bandsaw. They are the most common size for bandsaws, dating back 80 years or more. A 14 inch bandsaw will stand tall, but the "footprint" area on the shop floor is small.

Last edited by difalkner; 10-21-2019 at 11:18 AM. Reason: fixed 'mention'
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post #4 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 10:51 AM
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A 14" bandsaw will take you a long way. With a riser block option, you have more resaw capacity.


I would look for some old iron before pulling the trigger on a new one. They are out there, you may have to look a while.
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 11:20 AM
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I have a 1950 King-Seeley 12" that works just great for everything that fits the size and a big 14" (Laguna 14SUV) for resawing. The little 12" bandsaw is probably the most often used tool in my shop after the table saw.

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post #6 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
I have a 1950 King-Seeley 12" that works just great for everything that fits the size and a big 14" (Laguna 14SUV) for resawing. The little 12" bandsaw is probably the most often used tool in my shop after the table saw.



David

I have a 12Ē Beaver that similarly does what I need.
I havenít had the need to resaw so itís fine. So far :D


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post #7 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I was absolutely going to be looking for a used band saw-- probably won't even consider a new one.
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 05:21 PM
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I've had bandsaws for about 50 years. Used some in production work. The 14" cast iron saws are OK for light work. Forget the riser block, the frames on the cast iron saws aren't stiff enough to decently resaw @ 6" let alone 12. They flex way too much then start vibrating like crazy. Mine is a Delta. The blade guide system is a poor design, cast pot metal that is easily broken. The 1/2hp motor is too weak for anything very thick & hard. I could go on but you get my drift. I came by a used MiniMax 17" for $400, a decent saw with a welded steel frame. SCM didn't make it. I think a company named Samco in Italy. They also put other brands on them. Though they are still not an industrial level saw, they are much better than a Delta. If you end up buying a saw with crappy guides Carter makes nice ones as retro fits. One of the problems with saws like the Delta is the sloppy upper guide column. I think almost all the cast iron 14" saws are now made in China, a race to the bottom. For very light work most any of them probably will do, just don't get a 3 wheel.
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post #9 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 06:35 PM
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size matters for resawing ......

For contour sawing a 14" saw will be fine. It will also resaw up to 6" or so depending on the hardness of the wood. However, you must use a proper 3 TPI blade for resawing.

I don't think you can just say, I'll never need to resaw anything, life happens in spite of the "rules" you set down.

Construction also matters. A cast iron frame 14" wheel size is probably the most common used saw you will find. It will do until your needs are greater, then you will want a welded frame saw, either a Heavy Duty 14" a 17" or even greater. My bandsaw "collection includes a welded frame 10" Craftsman, 2 welded frame 14" Craftsman and a welded frame 18" Min Max, for resawing.

Horse power also matters. A 1 HP is OK for the 14" saws, but bigger is better. I have resawn 6" on my 14" saws and about 9" on the 18" Min Max.

As far as used saws go, keep your eyes open for a weld frame type saw. Grizzly has great value in their bandsaws, no matter the size or the construction. Their 17" is a good deal:
https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...AaAiSEEALw_wcB

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 #10 of 24 Old 10-21-2019, 07:57 PM
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You can put a smaller, finer tooth blade on a larger saw to do detail work, but that doesnt work in reverse. Essentially, buy the largest saw that you can store and fis your budget. For most of us, thats a 14 inch saw. In that size range, youll get enough throat depth for your average garage projects, a fair bit of resaw height, and blades arent too expensive so you can keep several different sizes and styles on-hand without breaking the bank. Smaller than the 14 inchers you usually compromise on power, larger than that and the price of everything skyrockets with little gain

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post #11 of 24 Old 10-22-2019, 01:25 PM
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The 14" as Tool Agnostic suggests hits the sweet spot for most DIYers, used price is reasonable, quality is good, blades are reasonably priced and easy to source and it has the option to add a riser for additional height capacity. There are other brands but search for a Delta to start with.

If you do grow out of it there is still a pretty good chance you will keep it around as a second saw.

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post #12 of 24 Old 10-24-2019, 08:37 PM
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I have very limited space, so was considering a 10", but didn't like the limited thickness you could cut. I was thinking about the Wen 10" that can handle up to a 6" thick piece of wood. I ended up finding a used Jet 12" and am generally happy with it. It's dust collection is very poor, even with a shop vac attached, but that is a minor inconvenience. Overall, if I had the space I would go with a 14" saw, but the 12" or a 10" Wen works as well in my limited space.
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post #13 of 24 Old 10-24-2019, 09:40 PM
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I bought a 14" grizzly with the riser block. I have actually used the extra resaw on occasion, but resawing with precision is nearly impossible over 6", so I can't sys if buy the rider block again. Actually if I could do it all over again I'd buy the 17" grizzly right off the bat. It's only another couple hundred dollars over the 14" with riser kit, and would be much more capable. Even the 17" saw has a relatively small footprint - just stands tall. For furniture I say bigger is better, but even for bandsaw boxes and such I'd say no smaller than 14" - if you buy a tiny bandsaw you really may as well just buy a $40 jig saw and cut your curves with it instead.
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post #14 of 24 Old 10-25-2019, 06:37 PM
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Whatever size you eventually get,there will be times when you wish you had a bigger one.For me a good bandsaw is the most useful power tool I ever bought.
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-25-2019, 06:54 PM
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I agree with the minimum 14 inch. And, it is a good idea to look around for a good used saw. I have an old Craftsman 14 inch bandsaw which does a good job if kept tuned. It came with cabinet attached making it a good working height. I have a small shop so, even though the footprint is small I have it on a BORA Portamate mobile base. Best thing I ever did. I can move it out of the way when not in use and move it anywhere in the shop when needed.
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post #16 of 24 Old 10-25-2019, 10:05 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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size VS footprints

A bandsaw has a reasonably small footprint regardless of size compared to a table saw. The real world size is when you are actually cutting something. You are routinely ripping longer lengths on the table saw. Even crosscutting a moderate length board takes up some real estate. So, I don't understand the "footprint" issue with bandsaws. Resawing or cutting large contours may take additional space, but it's just for temporary supports.


The bandsaw is THE most underated machine in the woodshop.


I can make more furniture with a bandsaw than a table saw. I can make more cabinets with a table saw, however. So what's your project list look like? I can make precise tenons on the bandsaw using 2 stops on the fence. I can easily make thick boards thinner by resawing on the bandsaw. I love all my bandsaws ......
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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 #17 of 24 Old 10-26-2019, 12:57 PM
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The reason I mentioned footprint is about storage, not use. Like many woodworkers, my large power tools are on mobile bases. I roll them out to use them, then roll them back to put them away. My point was that if you buy a self-standing bandsaw, it does not take a lot of floor space to store, especially compared with a table saw, as @woodnthings pointed out.

Putting the tools away is like playing Garage Tetris. :-)
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post #18 of 24 Old 10-26-2019, 01:07 PM
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That was also my point about the mobile base on my bandsaw. If I had a larger shop I would situate the bandsaw so that I could do cuts on longer material. When space is a premium the mobile base allows the saw to be positioned for longer cuts that would not be possible for me if the saw is stationary. It all depends on the real estate in your shop.
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post #19 of 24 Old 10-26-2019, 04:17 PM
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You should state your general location, in case anyone might have or know of one for sale.
I'm in Englewood, FL 34224 (SW) and have a sweet Delta 14" band saw for sale for $200.
It doesn't need anything. A clean saw, good tires and runs smooth.
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post #20 of 24 Old 10-27-2019, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
You should state your general location, in case anyone might have or know of one for sale.

I'm in Englewood, FL 34224 (SW) and have a sweet Delta 14" band saw for sale for $200.

It doesn't need anything. A clean saw, good tires and runs smooth.


Do you have any pictures?


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