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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about getting a bandsaw for resawing. I would be looking for something used, and I have some general questions. Keep in mind, I would generally be working with hard wood.

1) A 14" bandsaw can cut 6" thick material. My understanding is this can be doubled with a riser kit. Nonetheless, cutting through 12" thick (or 6" thick even) material is NOT a task that my 1.5 HP table saw could handle even if it theoretically could handle a blade big enough.

So my question here is, how much better suited for the task is a bandsaw than the tablesaw? In other words, what would be the minimum HP requirements to cut through 12" thick hard wood? Or even 6" thick hard wood?

2) Are there any older models you can recommend that are either capable or can be made capable? There are obviously all kinda of Craftsmen 113 models available for instance, but I am having a hard time believing they could do the task without a serious motor upgrade.

3) I do not actually think I can get exactly what I want with 110v wiring (though I do have a dedicated 20 amp circuit), so what is the best I can expect?
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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This isn't exactly what you're looking for but we bought a Laguna 14SUV strictly for resawing, mainly for acoustic guitar backs/sides/tops. It's a 240v 3 HP saw with nearly 15" resaw capacity and the only blade I've ever had on it is the 1" Resaw King carbide blade, a blade that saw is built to tension properly. I can't imagine trying to do what I want with a smaller saw.

Many 14" bandsaws with riser blocks simply can't tension a wider blade sufficiently and 1/2" is about the largest you should use (just because a larger blade 'fits' doesn't mean it should be used). I realize many have 3/4" blades on their riser-equipped saws but I doubt most are tensioned properly.

What specifically will you be resawing, how wide (always 12"?), how long, how often, etc? I resaw Walnut, Maple, Curly Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Bubinga, Padauk, Rosewood, Purpleheart, etc. on mine and it's a walk in the park. I don't know how a saw with 1.5 or 2 HP would handle all this but maybe it will only slower cutting.
 

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A 2-3 HP bandsaw usually put’s you in the larger saws 16-19”.

There are smaller bandsaws that can resaw well. A lot depends on the blade and the quality of the saw.

Right now they are pretty expensive I can see why your looking for a used one. Where are you located? I have an 18“ 3HP saw I’d like to sell and get a Laguna 18.
 

· where's my table saw?
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Cast iron frames VS welded metal frames. Welded frame saws are better suited to the tension required on 3/4" and 1" wide resaw blades.
The most popular cast iron frame saw were made by Delta for years and were cloned by Grizzly, Harbor Freight and others.
Welded frame saw are made by Craftsman 14", Rikon 14", Grizzly 14", 17" 19" and Min Max among others.
I have both a 14" Craftsman/Rikon and an 18" Min Max I used exclusively for resawing.
I think the maximum resaw height on my 18" saw is about 12", maybe slightly less.
I don't find a need for anything greater than that because the weight of the material or log becomes excessive.
The 18" saw has a 3 HP motor and that's a good amount for resawing.
This is all general information that will help you in choosing a used saw.
 

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Horse power isnt the be all and end all that many think. HP gets the job done quicker, which is what you need if youre running a business.
If you are a hobbyist who only cuts large planks once a month, then theres no point in having a giant expensive to run motor.

I can cut 8" of cherry or walnut easily on my 14" bandsaw, with a 3/16" blade. It just takes longer. I can even cut the same depth of Bubinga, which is a much harder wood again. But that really DOES need patience.
 

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I have a friend with a rikon 14-326 and he seems relatively happy with it for occasional resawing and general bandsaw work iirc a 120v saw. I personally would want a 16" welded frame saw if I was planning on doing much resawing. I've been relatively happy with my 21" 5hp saw, that said blade selection makes a big difference. I prefer carbide blades and carbide prefers large saws.
 

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2) Are there any older models you can recommend that are either capable or can be made capable? There are obviously all kinda of Craftsmen 113 models available for instance, but I am having a hard time believing they could do the task without a serious motor upgrade.
I think you're wrong, I think with proper setup and a sharp blade the old Craftsman units will cut 6" hardwood all day long.

I've got one and it has no trouble cutting thick chunks of maple, you can't push them through as fast as you could on a larger more powerful bandsaw but it definitely cuts them.

Take a look at the youtube videos of Alex Snodgras tuning up an old 113 Craftsman bandsaw. At the end of the first video - WITH THE ORIGINAL MOTOR - he cuts about a 1/8" veneer slice off a 4 1/2" cherry board with the saw. Pretty impressive.



The second video shows how to do upgrades to the guides that are available from Carter, they sell bolt on guides with all bearings to replace the old block style guides. About $200 IIRC.

You could have a fantastic saw by spending $100 on an old Craftsman that still works, $200 on the upgraded guides from Carter and a new blade. You wouldn't want to try earning a living on it because it would be too slow but for weekend warrior projects it serves just fine!

Another note here is that the 6" height of the Craftsman was there for a reason, it matched the jointer Craftsman sold. If your jointer will only face joint a 6" board you don't need a bandsaw that will resaw a 12" board. Likewise if you want to resaw a 12" board you better get a 12" jointer to face joint it before it gets to the bandsaw. I'm guessing Sears decided 6" was big enough for most home weekend woodworkers. I just pick boards 6" or less from the lumber yard when I buy my rough cut lumber.

JayArr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all.

That is a really good point on the 6". I was thinking 12" for the planer, but I did not think about the fact that I would not have a flat face to go in it or the fact I would need a flat face to resaw to begin with!
 

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Seeing that tension is more important than guides, and tensioning requires a well made frame, IMO spending more on guides than what the machine is worth isn’t going to change the limitations.

The downfall of these machines is the inability to tension up a blade. At some point the frame is flexing, or the tension is continually dropping over time. I know this is true because I had one. You could literal watch the frame bend as you tensioned it.

Please take no offense, if it’s working for you great. But if he’s going to do much resawing he should to look for a better machine.
 

· where's my table saw?
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Thanks all.
That is a really good point on the 6". I was thinking 12" for the planer, but I did not think about the fact that I would not have a flat face to go in it or the fact I would need a flat face to resaw to begin with!
The 6" jointers found in most home shops will work well in combination with a bandsaw with 6" resaw capacity.
Before resawing a board, joint one side flat and straight to register on the fence.
This will give you one side already surfaced ready for the thickness planer.
Then joint the face of the board you just finished resawing to register on the fence just like previously.
The process is: joint one, saw one, joint one, saw one, etc.
The jointer is a real "necessity" when resawing for best results, and I use mine exactly as I described.

I am fortunate that I do have a 12" jointer if I need that extra capacity for resawing on my 18" Min Max bandsaw.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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The jointer is a real "necessity" when resawing for best results, and I use mine exactly as I described.
I use my drum sander but most of what I resaw is thin.
 

· where's my table saw?
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This is all good info to think about. I can resaw 6" or less on my table saw. I do not love doing it, do I will probably look into a bandsaw regardless.
Neither do I and since I got my bandsaws, I do NOT resaw on my table saw, because typically the depth is 7" to 10" and the table saw won't accomplish that depth.
If that's all you have, you can cut up on both sides the full 3" capacity and then handsaw the difference remaining, but that's just a whole lot of effort.
The bandsaw is THE most underrated and under estimated machine in the woodshop in many cases.
It can cut straight enough to run the surface through a planer or jointer to make it flat enough to use.
It can resaw better than any other machine.
It can cut curves that a circular bladed saw can't.
It can make tenons as accurately as needed with the fence and stop block easier and safer than a table saw with a blade and jig or a dado set. JMO.
Get one and you'll never look back!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Exactly how i have been doing it on the table saw. And it is not fun to handsaw the middle out. I have seen people that have a saws-all type reciprocating saw but have not gone that route. Will definitely be looking for an adequate bandsaw.
 
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