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Gotwood

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Hi all,

Following some great advice on here re 'what table saw' I have been convinced to get a band saw instead.

I currently cut stock of hard wood, some of which is very dense exotic material, into blanks and scales etc that will rarely if ever go above 100mm.

What should I be looking for in regard to motor power? Cutting depth? Blades?

Is 1hp enough?

Very maximum budget of £1000 but if I can get something at £500 ish I will also be able to get myself a lunch box plaer thicknesser etc.

In a previous post it was recommended I get at least a 16 inch band saw which would allow me to expand my work needs etc. but for what I currently use it for this seems excessive.

I have began my search with the usual charnwood, scheppach, axminster offerings and ofcourse checked out some second hand jet, startrite and wadkin machines. Love to know your thoughts as I'm currently spoilt for choice.

Appreciate the advice
 

MikeG.

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Sixteen inches is a big machine for a domestic set up. Unless you are working with big lumps of wood all the time, or doing lots of re-sawing/ veneer producing, then I'd say it was a tad over the top. My best piece of advice for you is to make sure the machine has a frame. There are umpteen modern machines which rely on their pressed metal body to A/ hold enough tension, and B/ hold the table securely. There is just too much flop and flex with that sort of set up. I should know............my machine is just like that. Anything after that is really secondary. The strength of the body is more important than the strength of the motor, by a long way (in my view).
 

Chris152

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A long drive from you but the one Bremner's selling on the forum at the moment looks good to me. I have the same size from Record and it's rarely been too small for what I do.
 

sunnybob

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A 16" wheel diameter machine is complete overkill for a hobbyist, unless youre into sawing oak timbers for barn rooves :shock: :roll:

I have a 350 mm axminster (350 mm = 14") and thats just over 6 ft tall with a cutting depth of 200 mm (8")
Its a good size, and I can cut anything from shapes in 4 mm ply, to resawing bubinga planks 180 mm high.

Tuffsaws is the most recommended supplier of blades, by far.

you dont need horsepower, a sharp blade and steady cutting speed will handle anything you can get between the guides.
The one bremmer is selling is the same model as mine, and thats a very good price.
 

Gotwood

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Thanks alot guys. I'm very glad to know that I will have some money in the pot for anything else I may fancy.

Will have to have a look at this one for sale on here. I'm based in essex so may wait for something closer but it's a good starting point.

Is an Axy a good way to go for my needs or is there something else I need to consider?
 

sunnybob

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axminster and record are the big names, mainly because they offer very good after sales service.
Any new machine will need some fettling and a learning process to use it properly, thats a fact of life nowadays.
 

woodbloke66

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Gotwood":3p7x2ewi said:
Is an Axy a good way to go for my needs or is there something else I need to consider?
Ax are pretty good as are Record and I would guess are the main contenders at the hobby end of the market. Tuff saw blades are also good but Ax Ground Tooth are equally so; best to closely look at all possible machines within your budget before parting with the hard earned 'folding' - Rob
 

mr rusty

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I ripped a lot of 120mm accoya recently into planks on a record 350 and it was the dogs danglies - cut accurately. no issues. I am using tuff saw blades. I've found it easy to set up and keep set up.
 

Steve Maskery

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+1 for frame strength over actual size and power.
If you are looking at a 16" throat I assume you are looking to work big pieces. So big blades? Just because a BS has wheels that are 1" wide, it does not mean that it is capable of tensioning such a blade.
I have the big Scheppach. My biggest blade is 3/4" wide and the tension for that is at is maximum, despite the wheel being wider than that.
 

Orraloon

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Not quite in agreement with frame strength being more important than horse power. You need both to be doing things right. If I have a depth of cut of say 10'' on my saw then I would expect there is enough grunt in the motor to cut that. The blade needs to have the correct tension and this is where frame strength comes in. Look at the weight of the machine. Heavy is good. That said dont try too wide blades that the machine cant tension. My saw for instance is supposed to take a 25mm blade but it does not work all that well. I can however cut any wood to the full depth of cut with 18mm blade. 1 HP will cut 100mm just fine but is that all you ever will want to cut? Get the most HP and weight your budget allows.
Regards
John
 

woodbloke66

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Orraloon":ht2q9tr1 said:
Not quite in agreement with frame strength being more important than horse power. You need both to be doing things right. If I have a depth of cut of say 10'' on my saw then I would expect there is enough grunt in the motor to cut that. The blade needs to have the correct tension and this is where frame strength comes in. Look at the weight of the machine. Heavy is good. That said dont try too wide blades that the machine cant tension. My saw for instance is supposed to take a 25mm blade but it does not work all that well. I can however cut any wood to the full depth of cut with 18mm blade. 1 HP will cut 100mm just fine but is that all you ever will want to cut? Get the most HP and weight your budget allows.
Regards
John
Agreed, the motor size and strength of the frame are crucial; almost everything else is secondary. I recollect reading that the maximum width of blade used should be a size down from the stated capacity of the machine, so if, for example it will take accept 25mm blade, it may not be able to fully tension it, whereas it will if a 20mm blade is used.
I was deep ripping some 250mm wide oak panels the other day using a 3 tpi, 12mm wide blade which can be cranked up on my saw to max tension. You don't really need a wide blade, the caveat being that the machine must be set up correctly - Rob
 

Steve Maskery

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I think the point is that big heavy machines are unlikely to be underpowered, but smaller machines, those most likely to be found in a hobby workshop, are very often not that strong, even if the motor is a decent size. Of course, it is possible for a machine to be both underpowered and not very stiff, and many are :)
Good luck if you've got one of them!
I agree with Rob about not needing a terribly wide blade, as long as it is the right tooth geometry and properly set up. Setup is not difficult, but you do have to do the right things in the right order, which is why at least two people on here have gone to a great deal of trouble to produce excellent resources so that beginners can get up to speed quickly and then get maximum facility out of their machines.
 

AJB Temple

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It was me that recommend a 16" machine. The reason for that is that once you get a bandsaw, it gets used a lot. My own experience is that to cut exotic hardwoods, oak and suchlike, smaller DIY machines struggle to get the blade tension and frame rigidity that enables really repeatable accurate, perfectly straight cuts. I have a 16" machine and I bought again it would be a 18" or 20". Mine is a Jet, with the triangular frame, which is very rigid. It will tension a 1" blade, but not as well as a bigger machine does.

Set up with bandsaws is critical. Lots of people weld good bandsaw blades (the actual blades are supplied in bulk reels from relatively few manufacturers) and to get the best out of them correct set up and tensioning is key. Took me quite a while to get the hang of this, especially for cutting thin sections (or thick veneers).

Lots of people rate the Record machines. It all depends on your budget.
 

sunnybob

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You dont need a wide blade to cut wood.
I have an axminster 350 bandsaw (12" wheel) with an 850W rated motor.

I often cut 8" high planks of bubinga with a 3/16" x 10 tpi blade (tuffsaws of course).
I have many blades but am too lazy to keep changing them.
The cut is straight the whole length. Obviously not veneer smooth but I dont need or want that.
With the same blade I cut my bandsaw boxes, and anything else that needs to be cut. Only when the blade will no longer cut at all do I replace with another the same. I have a half dozen wider blades hanging on the wall, they have all gone rusty with disuse.

Feed rate is the most important part of a straight cut, not blade tension or brute strength.
 
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