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Bandsaw advice - 2 wheel v's 3 wheel

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Jensmith

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If you had to choose between your current 2 wheel old Multico BS35 bandsaw V's an old, University owned 2 wheel Startrite SP147 bandsaw with 10 speed gearbox which would you choose?

The Startrite specs from my Dad are: "It’s 3 wheel with 6” under the guides maximum and 17 ½” throat (blade to frame distance). The table is cast iron (16” x 16”) with mitre slot fence etc. I didn’t measure the wheels but they are probably about 10 – 12” diameter. I couldn’t feel any play in the wheels on their arbors. It’s on the custom stand and the motor is in the base of the stand. It’s 3 phase but that’s not a problem. "

Really interested in the differences between a 2 wheel and 3 wheel - I think the 3 wheels break more blades?

Opinions appreciated. Bandsaw is currently at a scrapyard. The guy's known Dad a long time..
 

9fingers

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I've only just seen this after someone told me about it a the Axminster trip.

Bite both his arms off Jennifer!!

With a 17 1/2" throat the wheels will be quite large (12" is a Startrite standard) and not stress the blade. I have a similar sized Startrite 18-s-1 and never broken a blade. I can help you with the 3 phase motor so it has a nice gentle start on your modest workshop supply.

there are pictures of mine here modifications-to-a-startrite-bandsaw-t38613.html

hth

Bob
 

Jensmith

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Really? I'd kind of written it off because I spoke to Ian at Tuffsaws and he said there wasn't the range of blades available so I'd probably have to use a carbon one and the one's I'm using are the M42 with vari pitch which is ideal for what I'm cutting. He said I could try a thin M42 but he wasn't sure how it would perform. Based on that I wasn't sure as I need a fine blade and the M42 lasts best with what I'm cutting.

The motor is in a separate cabinet in the base.

Yours looks much bigger than this one. Is yours a 3 wheel?

It looks very much like the one Hudson Carpentry has except that the motor is in a sperate cabinet in the base. Typical 3 wheel design with wide bottom and narrower top.
 

9fingers

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Yes Mine is a 3 wheeler and in the same case size it can have a 5 speed pulley drive with two speed gear box just like the 147 only it is called an 18-s-10.

I would assume the 147 is essentially made from the same components.

Far be it from me to contradict Ian but I don't understand his comments. He has made all sorts of blades to fit mine both thin kerf and M42.

With the range of speeds 56 -3200 feet per minute, you will be able to cut the full range of materials thick steel to thin wood.

It was Alan Hudson who I was talking to on Friday and he mentioned your saw.

Bob
 

Jensmith

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Thanks Bob,

Dad has photos so I can see if I can get those and post them up. I'll ask Ian again about the blades. I don't know what length they are but since yours looks bigger then I guess it can't be longer blades.

There's so little information out there on 3 wheeled bandsaws I felt pretty lost. I'll talk to Dad again. It's not going anywhere as Dad would sell the stuff for the chap anyway.
He had a few bits and bobs.

What would you do about the 3 phase? I think Dad was planning to swap the motor for a single phase like he did with my existing bandsaw.

What I didn't say in the original post is that's it's a 10 speed gearbox which is apparently rare. It also has a light.

Dad couldn't find a model number on it so I'm just going off it looking similar to HC's.
 

9fingers

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I was more concerned about the starting current blowing your low current supply or maybe you have got that sorted now with type c breakers?

I should be able to find you an inverter to run the existing motor from a 13 amp supply. Not sure what power motor it would have - i assume bigger than your current saw. Inverters have a well controlled start up and so none of the peak current draw that you get with a single phase motor.

Sorry if I have put the cat amongst the pigeons?

Bob
 

Jensmith

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Yeah, you have a bit!

No, in the end I ran an extension cable out to the kitchen and run everything off the main ring - up to 3kw which is the rating for the extension cable. Not sure what motor the Startrite has in it. My current saw is a 1hp motor.

When Dad said it was a Startrite I was practically jumping up and down in my chair but when I saw the photo and it was a 3 wheel I wasn't sure what to do.

I've attached the photo that Dad had originally - I assume from it's location at the University. He had some more photos of it at the scrapyard. It is undercover at least.

I'm struggling to get an impression of size - Dad says it's big.

00024khunovn7rls.jpg
 

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9fingers

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My guess is that this Startrite has the motor in the lower cabinet in order to house the pulley drive and maybe the gearbox too. Alan's is probably a direct drive from the motor to the bottom wheel.

Not sure what to suggest now. I've stirred the pot and now maybe I should run away? and go back and hide under my stone :lol: :lol:


Bob
 

Jensmith

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Yes, Dad said the motor is in the bottom cabinet so guess you're right.

I'm feeling confused. Don't know what to do. Startrite build quality and gearbox over fettling and 3 wheels.
There's no doubt my current bandsaw is far from perfect and it doesn't even have enclosed doors so bits fly at me from everywhere which is ridiculous, and there's the slightly dodgy wheel.

"Not sure what to suggest now." In what sense - not sure about the bandsaw having seen the photo?

I'm told they're not popular - is this for a good reason?
 

9fingers

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My uncertainty is only that I seemed to be suggesting you go for the Startrite and prior to my comment you were going to stick with the Multico.
We have different requirements for a BS and any little things that need fixing I can do whereas you might have more difficulty.
I'd value the multispeed too but this might not be useful to you.
I also don't have any problems with a three wheeler - but they are the only type I've used. For a given wheel size, you get a bigger throat with a 3 wheeler. I'm not sure why some people dislike them. There are many professional saws that are 3 wheelers including so really huge beasts.

I feel there is little doubt that as new, the Startrite designs are superior to Multico but we don't know how much abuse the Startrite has had although your Dad seems to think it is OK.
Is it feasible to try it 'on approval'? or if you can get it for small money then even if you can't get on with it, you can sell it on. Almost anything Startrite will sell on Ebay

So do I say go for a different unknown machine or stick with the devil you know?????

Bob
 

Jensmith

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I've e-mailed Dad this morning and he says it looks like it's been looked after and that the University doesn't nomally heavily use it's equiment and looks after it so condition wise it should be ok. It also still has it's original fence. Don't know about the blade guard.

I'm not sure how much the guy wants for it but Dad would have bought it and Clarke matal lathe and milling machine combo for £500 if I'd wanted them and the Clarke is worth £1k new so I guess the bandsaw would have been the cheaper of the two.

I've e-mailed Ian at Tuffsaws again to see exactly what the crack is in terms of the blades and I think in the end it will come down to that.

Thanks for your help Bob.
 

9fingers

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Another calibration on price is that Alan can't shift his at £150 ( overlooking that yours is the gearbox model).

Bob
 

Jensmith

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Yeah, that was at the back of my mind too though I guess metal workers may see mire value in it?
 

9fingers

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True but it is not exactly being snapped up by anyone from the scrapyard and I doubt that they will have given the University much for it.

I was involved with a school clearance recently and the school were letting I and other have stuff for silly money as the scrappies were going to charge the school to remove decent working machines!!

You could always play the unemployed, destitute female card!

Good Luck

Bob
 

Jensmith

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Yes, that looks the same apart from the dust extraction element.

Still waiting to here back from Ian about the blades.
 

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Startrite is excellent build quality and the multi speed could possibly give you the range to cut Steel as well as wood. I'd love it. Generally speaking 3 wheel saws have smaller wheels than 2 wheel saws which can influence the blade breakage ratio. Some startrite machines come with a blade welder and that would be a plus for any pierced work.
I guess it all comes down to price.
 

9fingers

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I've always wondered why blade breakage is stated as higher on 3 wheelers.
For a given wheel size, the blade wraps around 180 degrees on a 2 wheeler and less on a 3 wheeler. The flexing is therefore less for 3 wheels than 2.
The cutting is done between two wheels on both types so that should make no difference.
The only logical explanation that I can come up with is that for a given capacity of saw, manufacturers can get away with smaller wheels on a three wheeler and so there is more stress on the blade. Startrite don't do this and use wheels that are at least 10" diameter and more often bigger. Mine uses 3 x 12" wheels and I have never broken a blade.
The one that the OP is considering looks to have 2 x10" and 1 x12" wheels.

Bob
 

Jensmith

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Dad has found this old advert for the same spec as the one I'm looking at. Assuming the information is correct it provides much more accurate detail about it's specs:

******

BANDSAW - Startrite 3 wheel - rare 10 speed gear box Model!
BANDSAW - Startrite 3 wheel bandsaw - rare 10 speed gear box Model
SP 147 Floor Standing - professional robust machine.

Fitted with ¾ hp 240 volt induction motor and henec reasonably quiet.
10 speed via 5 pulley arrangement and a reduction speed gearbox.The original 3 phase fitted motor gave 56, 70, 100,180, 320, 560,700, 1000, 1800 and 3200ft/min thus covering most metal and woodworking needs. I swapped this for a ¾ hp 240 v motor and this may have changed the quoted speeds, please bear this in mind.
General Details
Throat Depth 18"
Depth under guides 5¾ "
Table 16 x 16 "cants in one plane 45 degrees
Blades up to ½ "
Straight fence
Overall dimensions height 66"x 20" width x 16"depth.
needs new metal guard (eg bent metal shroud) and no blade fitted.
Pick Up Only - will separate (4 bolts) into the top machine and lower motor housing cabinet stand. Possible transport in van, large estate further information on sizes on request. Additional photos on request.

*****
 

AndyT

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What a nice problem to have!

If it is possible, I suggest that you run a tape measure round the saw and see what length blades it will take and how big the wheels are. I think the simplest explanation for Ian's comment is that when you said "3-wheel bandsaw" he will have naturally assumed it's one of the little Burgess / De Walt desktop models, which take a blade about 56" long and have wheels around 5" in diameter. But from the pictures, and the fact that it needs a 3-phase motor, I think the one you have a chance to get will be much bigger, and so will be able to take a much wider range of blades. Also, the blades won't be turning such a tight bend around little wheels, so are not likely to snap.

It looks to have the best of several worlds - much bigger depth of cut (Burgess = 3") and throat depth (18" not 12").
 

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