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AXMINSTER CRAFT AC1400B BANDSAW ON OFFER

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Yorkieguy

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Just had an email from Axi to say that their small bandsaw is on offer this month. Normal price is £259.30, offer price is £178.98. I bough one pre-Covid when it was cheaper than that, and included a mitre fence. It's a decent enough small bandsaw. Cast iron table, 80mm depth of cut, up to 200mm width, 10" wheels, 1400mm (55") bland, supplied with a 6TPI blade.

I've been happy enough with it, and it seems to get good reviews.

Expensive at £259, reasonably priced at £179.

Reading recent trials and tribulations from forum members with bandsaws damaged in transit by couriers from 'when it's gone it's gone' Aldi bandsaws, in the unlikely event of that happening from Axi, I don't doubt they'd soon be on the case and sorting things out promptly to avoid reputational damage.

(I've no connections with Axminster except as a customer).

 

okeydokey

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I'm starting to look around to replace my aged but little used Naerok bandsaw (about the same quality as the following) - have just looked at this Axminster £178 but then came across a Draper 82756 £142
Amazon.co.uk: Draper
They look the same to me, any thoughts from any current owners or others please - thanks
 

robgul

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I'm starting to look around to replace my aged but little used Naerok bandsaw (about the same quality as the following) - have just looked at this Axminster £178 but then came across a Draper 82756 £142
Amazon.co.uk: Draper
They look the same to me, any thoughts from any current owners or others please - thanks

I have the Aximinster in its previous inacarnation when Axminster sold it under another badge in 2019 (and yes it probably is the same as the Draper) - excellent little machine BUT the word "little" - I'm only a hobbyist with the odd commercial commission but regret not buying a slightly larger bandsaw - the throat is a bit restrictive if cutting shapes etc. My space is restricted otherwise I would sell the saw and buy a bigger one :(
 

Yorkieguy

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The Draper looks similar to the Axi one but it's not the same.

I suspect it has a pressed aluminium table, though I'm not saying that isn't acceptable, and whereas to gain access to the top and bottom compartments on the Axi one you just turn a knob, on the Draper one you need a screwdriver. Perhaps no great hardship.

A bought the Axi one to replace a Charnwood one which had been a huge let-down. As it was festooned with Union Jack emblems proclaiming 'A Great British Company' I naively assumed the Charnwood one was made in Britain, but it was clearly a generic one made in China, and very poorly made at that. I was half inclined to return it. but I fettled it up and put up with it for a couple of years, then was glad to see the back of it.

All of these small bandsaws have their limitations, and I do have a larger Electra Beckum BS315, which is now 20 or so years old.
 

Owd Jockey

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Hi Yorkieguy, yes I was also suckered into spending £460 for a Charnwood B300 bandsaw, which over the years has turned out to be a pile of Chinese junk. the Union flag emblazoned on the cover of the machine usually refers to a British made blade that the pile of junk comes with. My main gripe is the plastic rise and fall cog gets easily clogged up, which requires the upper wheel and bearing , plus a bunch other thin metal plates to be removed. I've cut alot of the metal away over the years to try and make it easier and quicker to clean out the rise and fall cog. Another of life lessons learnt on my behalf.
 

Yorkieguy

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Triton wrote:

'It's a toy. Capacities too small for anything useful'.

Ironically, I inadvertently clicked 'like' on that post, the contents of which I couldn't disagree with more.

Any tool, whether a hand tool or a power tool, only becomes a 'toy' when it's used beyond it's intended purpose - that applies to routers, pillar drills, electric drills, and hand tools such as hammers, chisels and screwdrivers.

Unfortunately, sometimes, people on a limited budget will but a small budget priced bandsaw (lathe etc) because they can't afford a larger one which would be more suited to their needs. I mainly make small items such as pens, and pen boxes. The little bandsaw with a 6 TPI blade is perfect for cutting pen blanks and making boxes. I also make small comb-jointed cabinets for my home constructed test equipment which I use when restoring vintage valve radios.

In addition I make replica back panels for vintage radios that I restore when the original panel is missing or damaged. These tasks are well within the capacity of my little Axminster bandsaw. Likewise, I use a small cheap trimmer router for cutting ventilation slots in the replica back panels, using the router in a jig I created for that purpose.

If I need to do anything beyond the capacity of the little Axminster, I have a larger bandsaw which will cut up to 15cms thick timber if need be.

I've attached a view pictures. The last two are segmented wood-turned items made by two fellow club members of our local woodturning Club. They look OK to me - am I to break the news to them that they've been going about it the wrong way by cutting the segments on their 'toy' bandsaws? I don't think so.

Big is not always beautiful.

Just saying.
 

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TRITON

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Triton wrote:

'It's a toy. Capacities too small for anything useful'.

Ironically, I inadvertently clicked 'like' on that post, the contents of which I couldn't disagree with more.

Any tool, whether a hand tool or a power tool, only becomes a 'toy' when it's used beyond it's intended purpose - that applies to routers, pillar drills, electric drills, and hand tools such as hammers, chisels and screwdrivers.

Unfortunately, sometimes, people on a limited budget will but a small budget priced bandsaw (lathe etc) because they can't afford a larger one which would be more suited to their needs. I mainly make small items such as pens, and pen boxes. The little bandsaw with a 6 TPI blade is perfect for cutting pen blanks and making boxes. I also make small comb-jointed cabinets for my home constructed test equipment which I use when restoring vintage valve radios.

In addition I make replica back panels for vintage radios that I restore when the original panel is missing or damaged. These tasks are well within the capacity of my little Axminster bandsaw. Likewise, I use a small cheap trimmer router for cutting ventilation slots in the replica back panels, using the router in a jig I created for that purpose.

If I need to do anything beyond the capacity of the little Axminster, I have a larger bandsaw which will cut up to 15cms thick timber if need be.

I've attached a view pictures. The last two are segmented wood-turned items made by two fellow club members of our local woodturning Club. They look OK to me - am I to break the news to them that they've been going about it the wrong way by cutting the segments on their 'toy' bandsaws? I don't think so.

Big is not always beautiful.

Just saying.
Yup, I throw my hands up and admit i've been a bit critical on this bandsaw, and im more than sure it will be a good addition to anyone in need of such who doesnt have the budget.
I was actually being humorous to some extent.

However,
Im not sure those workers down the turning club are going to be enamored by your feelings that their work is entirely due to the small capacities of their bandsaw. It is the skill and vision of the maker not the tool that produced such objet d'art.

You can remove your 'like' simply by clicking the 'like' button again. You could even change to to a frowny face.
 
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Yorkieguy

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Thanks for your reply Triton.

I just wanted to make the point that for those such as myself, if most work done on small bandsaws is small stuff well within it's capabilities, it's the right tool for the job. However, it's a fact that many will buy a small one because the can't afford a larger one more in keeping with their requirements. The maximum depth of cut is 100mm, but it would be silly to assume that say a length of 4" x 2" could be ripped into two lengths of 2" x 2" on a small bandsaw, when a table saw or whatever is called for.

I didn't intend to infer that the work of my two fellow Club members is 'entirely' due to their small bandsaws. Clearly that isn't so. I added the pictures to illustrate that they use small bandsaws as they're appropriate for cutting the segments of segmented work, which, for the large hollow (18" tall x 12" diameter) ran into many hundreds of segments.

Segmented work involves a lot of geometry to get the angles exactly right, and the number of segments from one layer to another varies. It involves templates and jigs to set the mitre gauge, and when the rings of segments are glued together, they need to go through a drum sander, which as often as not is home-made. (And then of course it has to be turned, sanded and finished).

Example of a DIY drum sander: Homemade Drum Sander

The two guys are entirely self taught in retirement. One is a retired electrician, the other a retired plumber. Like me, they served craft apprenticeships back in the 1950s when 'good enough' wasn't good enough and 'OK' wasn't OK. When chatting to one of them recently he described segmented work as 'low tech - high skill'. It sets his teeth on edge when people say 'I couldn't do anything like that - I wouldn't have the patience', inferring that patience, some offcuts of wood and a tube of glue (and a little bandsaw!) is all that's required.

One of the nicest things about retirement is that you don't have the commercial pressures of working down to a price rather than up to a standard. Time isn't of the essence and you do things that you want to do - not because you have to. (I speak as someone who retired 28 years ago).

I've only ever made one segmented item, many years ago - a simple lidded box, not much to look at. (see pic below). It was enough to convince me that to ever make another, I'd need to be in prison, and it would have to be as a condition to secure my early release. So yes, I don't have the patience, nor the level of skill that's called for. I keep it in a drawer out of sight and store paper clips in it.
 

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Spectric

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The one thing I have found is that people talk about how much depth the bandsaw can handle but for me I find the larger table on my BS400 more useful than it's 16 inch cutting capacity, especially when cutting curved templates so something to consider and also the max width of blade the machine can use, again don't always believe the OEM as again the BS400 states a 1 inch blade but in reality 3/4 is the max it can properly tension..
 
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