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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a small 10" craftsman band saw which disgust me. It has a maximum of 3" thickness capacity which is limiting me when it comes to trying to make a band saw box. Another problem is the blade guides are not bearings, they are set screws. I cannot make sharp turns even in thin wood without the blade coming off the wheels. The overall size of the saw is OK with the exception of the max thickness. I don't need to do any re-sawing so a huge 14" or larger floor model isn't really needed. Most of what I cut is 4/4 or less but I would like to try some band saw boxes in the future. I'm thinking in the price range of $200-300.

At Menards I was looking at a Performax brand 9" model. It looks like it would work well and it can handle slightly thicker wood but I'm still skeptical after purchasing Performax brand sandpaper and then getting the cheap sandpaper at Harbor Freight only to find out it's the exact same manufacturer with different packaging...and different price. Does anyone have the performax 9" band saw and how do you like it?

Another one I looked at was the Masterforce 10" model with a base and higher price. Maybe the base is the only reason for the higher price. Anyone have opinions on this model?

The last one I checked out was Harbor Freights 14" model for $360. It's a little more than I wanted to spend and I know some of Harbor Freights stuff has a bad reputation. I have a lathe and miter saw from Harbor Freight and am quite happy with them and in the same turn there are things from them that have disappointed me. I'm not trying to start the old debate here, just get some opinions from others that happen to own one of these machines. Perhaps there are other ones I am over looking.
 

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Don't know anything about the ones you have looked at, but I'll throw another choice out there for you.

I have the Rikon 10-305 10" bench top bandsaw and have been very happy with it. I probably use it more than my big Grizzly. I put a Carter Stabilizer blade guide on it and it will cut nice tight curves with a 1/4" blade.
 

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I currently have a small 10" craftsman band saw which disgust me. It has a maximum of 3" thickness capacity which is limiting me when it comes to trying to make a band saw box. Another problem is the blade guides are not bearings, they are set screws. I cannot make sharp turns even in thin wood without the blade coming off the wheels. The overall size of the saw is OK with the exception of the max thickness.........

Not sure if that is the way it came...? Never heard of such a thing.
Here's your problem as I see it. A 14" is not huge although it takes up more space because of the floor stand. All the 10" or 9" saws are in the hobby/crafter class and will not saw over 3" with ease or accuracy which is what you need.

My 10" Craftsman/Rikon has ball bearings and works great under 2" but I don't saw much over 1" on it.

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-1-3-...1x000001&kpid=00921400000&kispla=00921400000P



Unless you are willing to go bigger, you will still have the same issue for bandsaw boxes. A very sharp new blade and proper tension may help on your existing saw, ...I donno? But the set screw bearings scare me. :eek::blink:
 

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Recently, Wood Magazine had a review of 10" bandsaws and the 10" Skil got a very good review. Don't remember the model number, but it is the one carreid by Lowes. They sell it for $129 or 139.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure if that is the way it came...? Never heard of such a thing.
Here's your problem as I see it. A 14" is not huge although it takes up more space because of the floor stand. All the 10" or 9" saws are in the hobby/crafter class and will not saw over 3" with ease or accuracy which is what you need.

My 10" Craftsman/Rikon has ball bearings and works great under 2" but I don't saw much over 1" on it.

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-1-3-...1x000001&kpid=00921400000&kispla=00921400000P



Unless you are willing to go bigger, you will still have the same issue for bandsaw boxes. A very sharp new blade and proper tension may help on your existing saw, ...I donno? But the set screw bearings scare me. :eek::blink:
My craftsman 10" band saw looks nothing like the one in your pictures. It's mostly plastic and has 3 wheels. New blades, proper tension and tracking, nothing helps it.
BS1.jpg
BS2.jpg
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BS5.jpg
I read the reviews for the Harbor Freight model and all the complaints were about the sheet metal base not having holes in the correct locations. Everyone said the saw operates great. I'm leaning towards that one, I have 90 days to return it.
 

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great pictures however...

I looks like the set screws are rubbing against the teeth to me.
If that's the case you will have a dull blade in seconds. That particular model is problematic for any serious usage. Blade tension is one of the issues on a 3 wheel saw that is not up to strength.

You may be better off with the HF saw regardless of the mounting base issue.... I donno?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I looks like the set screws are rubbing against the teeth to me.
If that's the case you will have a dull blade in seconds. That particular model is problematic for any serious usage. Blade tension is one of the issues on a 3 wheel saw that is not up to strength.

You may be better off with the HF saw regardless of the mounting base issue.... I donno?
You are right on about the saw being problematic. It's junk:thumbdown:. I adjusted the set screws to almost touch the blade but it doesn't matter because any deflection causes the blade to rub anyway.

I have watched many videos on youtube about re-sawing and proper band saw set-up and the way most of them made it sound as though set-up is KEY and the brand matters little when it comes to performance. I guess I'll get the Harbor Freight model. I don't mind making my own base if needed. I have 90 days if I don't like it.
 

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I wrote a review of the Harbor Freight band saw here. It's also somewhere on this site, but that's harder for me to find, since I already had the blog window open. Short version, I'm pretty happy with it, although I ended up moving very soon after buying it and only used it a dozen times or so. Right now it's waiting for me to sand the rust off the table (make sure you put something on the table to protect it, by the way) and get electricity run out to the garage...

The other thing I really strongly recommend is watching -- in person, if possible -- Alex Snodgrass do his bandsaw clinic. He does them at The Woodworking Shows all over the country; there may be one near you sometime. If you can't find a way to see him in person, watch this video.
I saw him on a day when he was losing his voice, so it was a really short clinic, but I think that 15 minutes was worth the price of admission to the show.
 

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I bought the 14" HF bandsaw new in 1997. It's been a great saw. I've had to replace lower blade guide support, but that's it. I initially replaced the blocks with cool blocks, but eventually replaced them with rollers. It's been a good saw over the years. :thumbsup:
 
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