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Cheap drive belts Vs premium and bandsaw blade advice

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Bilvis

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Newbie alert - please be gentle! I'm a site chippy/jack of all trades builder, however bench joinery is my real love, and I'm currently putting together a home workshop. I have next to no handsaw experience however.

Just bought an Elektra Beckum BAS 316 off ebay, cos they seem like a decent mid level tool. It needs a new drive belt and blade.

I can get 2 of the cheaper Pix belts for roughly the same price as a Continental made belt. Wondered if anyone had any thoughts on whether the conti would last twice as long as the pix?

Blade suggestions; would like to make
occasional rips in fairly thick hardwood. I understand I'd need to go slow as it's not a big machine, but could anyone recommend a blade.

The other use would be curves in man made boards and 1" timber. Again, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tend to do everything else with my other gear, hence the lack of bandsaw knowledge.

Thanks in advance.
 

Trevanion

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I always try to get Gates belts as they're a really nice belt for about a medium price compared to the Continentals. I would imagine it would take years and years before you would need to replace a cheaper belt though. If they're both going on the same pulleys (IE a row of 2 belts) you'll need to get a matched pair from your supplier though as different batches of belts always are slightly different in length and you can have one belt tight and one slacker if you don't specify matched set. Unless you're only looking at just having a spare Pix belt as well as a new one for the price of a single belt from conti, then it doesn't really matter

Ian over at https://www.tuffsaws.co.uk/ makes excellent blades and if you send him an email he'll give you his best advice on which blades would suit best. I would imagine a Fastcut blade would be best in thicker hardwoods on a smaller machine, and then a 1/4" premium blade for curve cutting.
 

Bilvis

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That's great, thanks. Was just thinking of using it as a spare belt. What would be the advantage in using 2 belts simultaneously?

Going to check out tuff saws now
 

Trevanion

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Bilvis":1bnq0alt said:
What would be the advantage in using 2 belts simultaneously?
Some machines such as a bandsaw, planer or a table saw will sometimes have multiple belts on a pulley (I've seen table saws with 5 belts). All it really does is transmit the power better from the motor to the operation so that your belt doesn't slip while your using the machine, but this doesn't really matter until you begin getting over 3 horsepower.

Looks like this:


I probably wouldn't bother buying a spare belt, in the time it will take the belt to break you will have forgotten where you put the spare one and you'll have to buy another anyway #-o
 

Bilvis

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Sage advice. Got mounds of things in a 'safe place', just waiting to be rediscovered 2 years too late.
 

sunnybob

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Buy cheap = buy twice.
That motto is as true today as it was 50 years ago.
bandsaw blades?
Youre going to get sick of hearing TUFFSAWS. =D> =D> =D>
 

Ttrees

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That saw if the same as the 315 which I believe it is, uses a single belt, but has two speeds hence the two pulleys.
There is no place to put a second belt on the machine even if you wanted to.
Ian at Tuffsaws would be my choice.
I wouldn't hold my breath on being able to cut thick hardwoods with that machine though.

Good luck though
Tom
 

sunnybob

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If the hardwood will fit under the guides, it will cut. But you might want to have a nice radio play to listen to while you inch the thing through :roll:

Let the blade do its job, dont force the wood. if it has wheel bearing guides you can easily see when youre going too fast, the blade deflects and the wheels start turning. back off, let the blade centre itself, and move VERY SLOWLY onwards. =D>
 

Bilvis

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Thanks everyone, really useful stuff. May be back fairly shortly for some advice if I can't get the belt/blade changed.

Had a look at tuff saws and really impressed tbh. Prices seem very reasonable compared to other sources. It's worrying that I've gotten pretty used to paying 5 times that for circ saw blades. Could see me using this bandsaw thingy a bit more often!
 

Ttrees

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Leave it on the faster setting.
I suggest you make allowances for massive blade deflection if cutting thick hardwoods on that machine, as it will spoil your day if you intend to be cutting with minimal wastage.
Especially as you have been used to the results a tablesaw can give, this may disappoint.
I wouldn't use the fence on that machine.

Dug up a link about the BAS315 belt
post1105975.html?hilit=bas315#p1105975

Tom
 

sunnybob

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The other speed is for cutting metal. Leave it on the fast one.
I know Tom is a bit fixed on giant bandsaws, but at the moment I have a 1/8" blade on mine, and I can cut through 5" of solid hardwoods consistantly. It just takes time.

I made this box last week, cut completely with the 1/8" blade; Walnut and beech with a 9mm ply middle.11" long x 8" high x 5" deep.
small hefalump.jpg
 

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Trevanion

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That's a lovely box Bob, possibly the nicest bandsaw box I've seen. I've never been a huge fan of bandsaw boxes since the Box-Apocolypse about 4 years ago where it seemed everywhere you looked people were making bandsaw boxes, But that one is a very nice one.
 

Bilvis

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Wow, that box is fantastic! Hope you don't mind me using it as justification to the wife for recent purchases. She's going to be very disappointed when she sees my output :)

Thought it would be metal tbh.

Got spoiled using a big old wadkin rip saw in a previous job. Can just about rip bigger stock down on my Makita table saw, but it's not great by any stretch. Was hoping to make 1/4" ish thick cuts in 4" Oak to begin with and a bandsaw seemed the sensible choice.
 

sunnybob

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Trevanion":3hlcuziw said:
That's a lovely box Bob, possibly the nicest bandsaw box I've seen. I've never been a huge fan of bandsaw boxes since the Box-Apocolypse about 4 years ago where it seemed everywhere you looked people were making bandsaw boxes, But that one is a very nice one.
:D =D> #-o Thank you, it was a bandsaw box that got me into woodworking, yup, 4 years ago :roll:
having exactly zero experience with wood i saw a utube and decided even I could make that.

Bilvis":3hlcuziw said:
Wow, that box is fantastic! Hope you don't mind me using it as justification to the wife for recent purchases. She's going to be very disappointed when she sees my output :)
Got spoiled using a big old wadkin rip saw in a previous job. Can just about rip bigger stock down on my Makita table saw, but it's not great by any stretch. Was hoping to make 1/4" ish thick cuts in 4" Oak to begin with and a bandsaw seemed the sensible choice.
Only too pleased to help :lol: :lol: If you set her down in front of the screen and scroll through my "woodwork projects" link in my signature, there are a lot of boxes in there, and almost all are bandsaw made. I sell them and not only cover costs but actually make a small profit (sometimes). They are also very good gifts.
I use two machines above all else, the bandsaw and the router table. They allow me to make presentable objects without having any woodworking skills at all.
But in all seriousness, if youre going to cut a lot of oak in straight lines, then get a 3/8" or at most 1/2" blade. Dont get fooled into buying anything wider because a small bandsaw just cant tension a very wide blade and your cuts will be awful.
 

sunnybob

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By a stroke of serendipity, This morning I have just cut some walnut for my next box, so I thought I would show what a 1/8" blade (from tuffsaws of course) can do.

18 cm x 5 cm walnut plank;
first pic is the blade in the bandsaw.
second pic is the cross cut.
third pic is the rip cut. Yes, 18cm high and 30 cm long, cut in one operation. Took about 4 minutes.
fourth pic is the surfaces of the rip cut, all I've done is brushed the dust off them.

EDIT; HMMM, first time I've added multiple pics and they are in reverse order to the descriptions, but I'm sure you can work out which is which.
Aint nuffink wrong wiv fin blades mate. =D> =D> =D> #-o
 

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MikeJhn

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Bob

Lovely work, but a quick question where on the wheel do you position your 1/8" blade, assuming you have crowned tyres do you position the teeth just off the centre to help prevent wear?
 

sunnybob

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I find all my blades work best as you say, teeth forward of the crown. I experimented for a while and was measuring the teeth front to the wheel front with a vernier, trying to make a reference table to allow me to change blades quicker. I found that all the blades worked best at 12 mm from the front edge on my 350 bandsaw (thats not a promise it will work on yours).
Then I realised that thin blades could cut just as well as fat, and now I just dont bother to change them. Yes I could have spent 10 - 15 minutes fitting a wide belt, to cut those two pieces, and then another 10 - 15 minutes putting the thin one back so I can cut the tight curves of the box, but hey, I've just saved myself a half hour of tinkering, and all for a cost of 2 extra minutes of cutting slowly. =D> =D>
Cutting that 30 cm slab did not even require feather boards or push sticks to hold it to the fence, just a steady slight pressure on the rear face.
 

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