I find myself browsing band saws again... Help me compile a shortlist?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
335
Location
devon
I'm wanting it for resaw work.

I have a like of old cast things. My table saw is a wadkin ags, my metal lathe a smart and brown from the 1950s, donkey saw from the 1940s etc.

But I've got modern Japanese cnc kit also, so it's function rather than misplaced nostalgia.


I came close to buying a walker turner, but it was only one of the 14" ones and the resaw height was little better than I could do with the table saw, with a 12" blade.


I know very little about bandsaws, so I'm trying to find an unobtainable sweet spot of many things and wondering where to compromise.

I'd like -

*As much resaw height as I can get for the other compromises. Throat depth unimportant really.

*Preferance for old cast, but I won't be buying new whatever.

*As little floor space as possible

*I would like to be able to spend around £1k or less with, say, 6 months of looking for the right one.

*I don't want to be welding broken cast, but I don't mind fabrication / restoration.

Out of all of the above, resaw height is the most important. No point in buying if it won't do what I need.


I've been searching dominion, wadkin, startrite, walker turner etc but not really knowing one from the other.

Has anyone got any quick suggestions to add to my shortlist?

My £1k ish restoration price with the time searching probably translates to £2k items on eBay today, but, even still, I'm aware it won't be an easy set of criteria to match.

I'm really after pointers at this stage.

Thank you
Julian
 
Last edited:

deema

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2011
Messages
3,018
Reaction score
659
Location
chester
There are a few things to look out for:
Tyres, are they in good condition, not grooved or chunks missing. They can be very expensive to replace. However, proper Resaws usually don’t have tyres.
Blade guides, there are lots of varieties out there, I wouldn’t get too hung up about which flavour a saw has on it. In reality they shouldn’t be touching the blade and are there purely to stop the blade bending too much if you apply too much pressure feeding stuff. Although a lot of users have the blade guides touching / haven’t tensioned the blade up enough so it bends and touches.
Stiffness of the frame. A simple test is to place the maximum width of blade the saw is supposed to take and without tension on the blade, measure from the table up to the head where the blade is. Tension Up the blade and measure again. There should be negligible movement, if there is the frame is acting as a spring and the saw really can’t handle that blade. A lot of modern machines fit into this category, advertised as taking a blade width they can’t tension.
So, what to buy, well, at the moment all secondhand woody stuff is selling for serious prices, once out of lockdown I suspect prices will calm down again. Anyway, I would look for a Startrite 14S1 or 14S5. The S5 will double as a metal bandsaw and can as a consequence take a lot of blade tension. These saws are probably the best I’ve worked on, simple, very robust, the best fence I’ve come across as long as it has the micro-adjust. Really quick and easy to change blades.
Any of the Wadkin C range.
If you a full on Resaw you can’t do any better than a Wadkin PBR. It doesn’t need a pit and will cut anything you throw at it.
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,657
Reaction score
500
Location
In me workshop
I have no experience with old cast iron, but if you're looking at welded saws,
weight is probably the best idea of how well it will tension a stout blade well.
More weight, means a quieter machine,
i.e... as little contact with thrust guide(s) as possible.

If wanting to have a 3/4" stout blade to be permanently on the machine, then I would be looking for no less than 200kgs.
That width blade tensioned correctly, will have enough 'beam tension'
so you can kinda discount side rollers/guides out of the equation.

Don't discount 3 phase, depending on how comfortable you are with this,
it might be worth sticking with 3 phase 'dual voltage' machines, rather than fixed star wound 380/400v motors, which needs to be doctored,
or buying a far more expensive VFD/inverter.

If supply is proper, then just stick a single phase motor on it either.

Middle of the road, if you're looking at the performance of Jack Forsberg's big heavy duty PBR videos to compare,
would be the popular ACM and other Italian machines,
Meber, Griggio,Saggitario,Agganzani,Felder, and others very similar.
The extra '40' will be a better build probably matching the slight bit more beefy Centauro if you're looking for more.
Wadkin. Multico, Old Startrite worth looking at also.

And if you happen to find an old Bauerle it would likely be in the same league as the PBR.

Small footprint would be the middle of the road machines above with
500mm/20" wheels and compact tables.

This was going for 800 pounds a few years ago
$_86.jpg
 
Last edited:

TFrench

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2015
Messages
1,548
Reaction score
328
Location
Leics
Startrite are good, not cast iron though. A lot of them don't have a massive resaw height. I have the 10 speed model which I can use for wood or metal. A Wadkin BZB ticks most of your boxes, although again its a fabricated not cast body. They can go for as little as £300 which is insane value for money. A wadkin MZF is cast and pretty looking, but tend to go for a lot more money.
 

KingAether

Eternal noob
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
269
Reaction score
110
Location
Dorset.
There are two large cast iron wadkin bandsaws on the fb marketplace for £500-800 right now, both look like solid deals if close to you. The DR looks like a great piece of Kit with sliding table etc
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,657
Reaction score
500
Location
In me workshop
And since you're searching, looking for band saw, bandsaw,bansaw, and even table saw will come up with a hit from time to time....
Aswell as trying wood working machines, woodworking machines, wood work machinery, and wood working machinery, as well as three phase machinery, 3 phase, joinery... workshop...and so on.
You'd be surprised how much stuff comes up with a vague description.
It might be a technique for weeding out the time wasters.

Good luck with your quest Julian!
Tom
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
335
Location
devon
I have been building up a shortlist in a spreadsheet.

It's interesting how resaw capacity and size of unit relate.

I mean, I'm not interested in throat depth at all, and somthing like the wadkin Dr 30 has a way way larger footprint than the wadkin C5, however the distance under guides of the dr30 is 355mm Vs the C5 at 410mm.

The dr30 looks a much more interesting machine, with greater stability etc. and would be a much more pleasing thing to own, but, from what I can tell, it's huge in comparison to the C5, with less capacity where I want it.

I'll take a screen grab of the spreadsheet and upload here tomorrow. All I'm logging is wheel size (which gives an indication of machine footprint) height between guides and horse power.
 

Bjukspg

New member
Joined
5 Nov 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Malvern
I'm wanting it for resaw work.

I have a like of old cast things. My table saw is a wadkin ags, my metal lathe a smart and brown from the 1950s, donkey saw from the 1940s etc.

But I've got modern Japanese cnc kit also, so it's function rather than misplaced nostalgia.


I came close to buying a walker turner, but it was only one of the 14" ones and the resaw height was little better than I could do with the table saw, with a 12" blade.


I know very little about bandsaws, so I'm trying to find an unobtainable sweet spot of many things and wondering where to compromise.

I'd like -

*As much resaw height as I can get for the other compromises. Throat depth unimportant really.

*Preferance for old cast, but I won't be buying new whatever.

*As little floor space as possible

*I would like to be able to spend around £1k or less with, say, 6 months of looking for the right one.

*I don't want to be welding broken cast, but I don't mind fabrication / restoration.

Out of all of the above, resaw height is the most important. No point in buying if it won't do what I need.


I've been searching dominion, wadkin, startrite, walker turner etc but not really knowing one from the other.

Has anyone got any quick suggestions to add to my shortlist?

My £1k ish restoration price with the time searching probably translates to £2k items on eBay today, but, even still, I'm aware it won't be an easy set of criteria to match.

I'm really after pointers at this stage.

Thank you
Julian
Hi julian i have cast iron bandsaw in my yard cant remember if its 3 or 1phase but doesnt matter as you could put either on as its flat belt drive needs cleaning oiling up but i have motor for it i bought it but never used it if you can use it you can have it for what i paid for it £300 cant remember make but can find out probably about 7ft tall and heavy.
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
335
Location
devon
Hi julian i have cast iron bandsaw in my yard cant remember if its 3 or 1phase but doesnt matter as you could put either on as its flat belt drive needs cleaning oiling up but i have motor for it i bought it but never used it if you can use it you can have it for what i paid for it £300 cant remember make but can find out probably about 7ft tall and heavy.

In truth I'd be interested even if I wasn't wanting a bandsaw!

If you can check the make and model next time you're close to it, then I can look up the stats and go from there.

Thank you.
 

flh801978

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2008
Messages
1,438
Reaction score
101
Location
Sheffield uk
Just for reference Julian the startrite S14’s that Deema mentioned they are all the same construction wise the 1,5,10 denotes the amount of speeds...the 10 is a 5 with a gearbox for the low ratios so that’s the one for metals..
They are great for resawing but only up to 11 inches
So 1 is single speed fairly rare
A 5 has 5 belt positions
A 10 as above and with a 2 speed gearbox

Ian
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
335
Location
devon
Internet is down here today but I can just about get our neighbours if I lean on the kitchen window...

Below is a sparse spread sheet grab. I added them in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep... Will add more when the ADSL is back up.

Thank you
Screenshot_20210205-185220.png
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,657
Reaction score
500
Location
In me workshop
Have a look at the space around the wheels, and column if concerned about size.

I was quite surprised at the difference in both when I got my 24" machine, after bringing back a shoddy new 20" Far Eastern build saw.
That's regarding the frame only.
Never seen a 20" Italian saw in the flesh, so can't compare.
Checking for coplanar .jpg

SAM_4178.JPG


Things get a lot cheaper, probably half the price of a 500mm/20" machine, if you're looking at 600mm/24" machines like the SNA/STAR above.
Came close to buying a near identical Meber for only 400 euros not so long ago.

Although another consideration is that the table is large on them, compared to the Wadkin pictured in the last post.
Which I see as being safer and a lot more comfortable if your cutting tenons.

And if your a ignoramus like myself, a good bit cleaner as the cabinet will catch a lot of the dust, instead of being practically under the top wheel with a smaller table when cutting.

Example, if giving the machine a clean out, I can open the top door on this machine without being covered in sawdust, compared to the other saw which I got a laugh from, when an old mate nearly choked after his curiosity got the better of him:ROFLMAO:

I wouldn't bother looking for anything less than a 20" machine personally, never mind logging, just for a quiet smooth running machine, which wont eat thrust guides for breakfast.
Beware of the highly edited videos out there, concerning manufacturers or employees of various companies.
They will try an give you the impression that those machines will do half the work
what Jack can do with his Wadkin.
That is a very tall order IMO.
To be honest, I'd reckon my 24" machine would struggle feeding trees through it, at a quarter of that speed, even at all really, and that's with a brand spanking new blade fresh out of the box.

Tom
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
335
Location
devon
Thank you.

Really, the only task i have for it is splitting slabs down the middle. The throat could be 4" for all i care, if it made the footprint smaller.

I've found work where the finished objects need to be about 18mm thick. The rough sawn timber is normally cut to 2" / 50mm, so, if i can reliably re-saw it, i get two book matched parts, which adds that bit of novelty to the sale.

I'm sure ill find other uses for the machine thereafter, as nothing is forever, but for this task, all i want is to be able to resaw at as large a height as i can get away with.

I don't have 3ph, but can suck whatever amps i can get from a 10mm cable. I don't know exactly what that is with the volt drop - i mean, not vast power, but more than a 13a socket. The saw will have a dedicated feed to it. I've no issue with a phase convertor if that's a better plan than just sticking a big 1ph motor on the thing.

The only bandsaw that ive owned in the past was one of those small ones thats badged up by no end of companies. This one -

20dd36953e5be1d3823015e4ec9e47b1a2c1e9b2_708115K_main.png



...i mean it wasnt Jet, but the same saw under a different brand.

I never used it for anything much, as the only thing i ever wanted to do with it was cut straight lines (which it didnt do that well). My work just does not require your normal bandsaw sort of process...

I really like solid machines that just do what theyre supposed to without constant messing about. But, from looking at some youtube, i think it may not be the cost thats the limiting factor, but the size of some of these units.

As KingAether said earlier, theres a wadkin DR30 on facbook now, for £500. Now its resaw height isnt as much as the newer, bendier looking, wadkin c5, and it certainly looks a more desirable bit of kit. But do i really want to "spend" that much space - im not sure...
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,657
Reaction score
500
Location
In me workshop
That metal box bolted to my 500 euro saw above, has a Far Eastern cheapo VFD/inverter inside, its rated for 2.2kw or 3 horsepower.
Cost about 80 quid and the switches cost about 3 quid each.

Since you aren't familiar with them, then I suggest finding a dual voltage three phase machine.
Easy to wire up, runs off a 13a plug.
Look for 240v (household voltage) on the motor nameplate, or the presence of a triangle symbol, 'D' or Delta written down, (all meaning dual voltage)

The benefit of the three phase (dual voltage) motor and VFD combo,
is that you can adjust how many seconds it will take to get up to speed,
meaning you can tailor it to your supply.

If you go with a single phase motor, and only have 13a household plugs,
you will be eating fuses, that's if you can get it to start at all.
Starting a single phase induction motor is what is hard on the supply, not running it, single phase motors have a huge surge on startup.

My saw runs stationary with the same amount of juice as my old laptop did.
Not much to wiring a VFD, just beware that they store power after unplugging,
(big capacitors, be safe!)
and know all the parameters needed (motor commands, like speed for instance)
You don't want to tell the motor to run at 8 times its rated speed!

Example of what to look for underneath (dual voltage)
BANDSAW MOTOR.jpg


Original switch removed
suitable.jpg

SAM_1705.jpg


Plenty of threads on VFD/inverters here.
We will help you...for every step of the way.
Just beware of youtube with some fools getting free fancy pants VFD's which might have some Darwin proof tech, which the cheapo ones won't have!

In the meantime just get familiar with what a dual voltage motor looks like.
If you see that, then grab yourself a bargain.
I wouldn't go bigger than a 3hp or 2.2kw motor on the household plug.

Another dual voltage motor for you to get familiar with. SAM_1739.JPG
planer motor .jpg


Don't have a piccy of the TS motor handy, so grabbed the golden one off somewhere.
Have a look at Bob Minchin's write up underneath, which will have some excellent photo's of more dual voltage motors.

Induction motor information here https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_GZrXNsNxTlQzd6aldlQjJtUDQ/view?usp=sharing

Get yourself a decent machine for the same price as that biscuit tin you linked.
That yolk is nothing but a curve cutter for making reindeer's at Christmas time.
Unless you allready have a wheel barrow of thrust bearings and spare motor somewhere, and like wearing ear muffs ;)

Hopefully that might help someone, if not yourself.

All the best
Tom
 

Keith 66

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2013
Messages
677
Reaction score
244
Location
Benfleet Essex
My first bandsaw was a 30" wheeled Wadkin DNA158, i believe they went out of production around 1926, got it from a demolition site which had been a timber yard in Billericay. It was laying face down in 2ft of mud & i bought it plus a big saw & morticer.
That bandsaw ran for the next 16 years until i closed the workshop. I stripped it down & stored it in a lockup for a year but just before i was going to bring it home the do as yer likeys nicked it for scrap. I was going to stick it in our new extension as a feature & put a breakfast bar on the table, Bloody gutted when it went!
I have a Startrite 352 s which is great but the wheels are not really big enough for deep resawing. I would avoid the later square framed Startrites as they are not in the same league as the earlier ones & the steel block guides are appalling.
I worked at a school up until recently & we had a 20" wheeled Minimax (Italian) which is the same as the Jet ones.
Not a bad saw but the guides screw in & out & are poor quality this lets them go out of adjustment easily not good if you are in the middle of resawing an expensive bit of wood.
I woud go cast iron, Wadkin if pos but there are others Stenner are the rolls royce of bandsaws but tend to be huge.
Most important thing is good quality solid easily adjustable guides. Tyres are not a problem to replace, I did mine on the Wadkin with Polyurethane strip & it wasnt hard.
 

heimlaga

Established Member
Joined
27 Sep 2009
Messages
1,465
Reaction score
221
Location
Österbotten, Finland
A bandsaw with larger diametre wheels can use a wider blade. As the curve of the blade becomes less accute. For wide blades it also helps with a frame that is as rigid as possible and thus able to hold the tension.

You can resaw with a 12mm blade if you want but noone outside the the swankiest streets in Brighton is financially able to pay a hourly rate for anyone doing that. With a 28mm blade intended for ripping and resawing you get a decent feed rate and a better surface which saves lots and lots of time and frustration.

For the sort of work discurred I would not look for anything smaller than what I have myself. I have a 600mm E.V.Beronius probably made in the 1910-is. It was line shaft driven in it's youth but now it is converted with motor and modern guards and modern blade guides.
I bought that particular saw because I had found that 600mm wheels was the smallest size worth having when ripping and resawing are parts of the job. This was the sturdiest 600mm saw I could find within my budget frame.
 
Top