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Looking for an older benchtop bandsaw.

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Blxxp

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Hello all. I’ve lurked these forums for a number of years usually getting some solid answers to some sometimes tricky questions. Today, I made an account to ask for some advice which I could not find via the search function.

I’ve spent the last couple of months looking for my first bandsaw. I was going for something big, heavy, and used. Looking at a few Wadkins, Startrites, and Robinsons. Something that was going to last me a good number of years.

The only problem is, my workshop is in a basement, down some narrow stairs. Weight and dimensions therefore become an issue. Now I’m looking for a solid build quality (something that you’d get from back in the day, avoiding plastic parts) smaller machine - maybe a benchtop.

I’m not using it for anything major, mainly softwoods and thinner hardwoods. Any suggestions/input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Fitzroy

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Inca are well talked about but pretty
rare these days.

Fitz.
 

sunnybob

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almost any machine can be disassembled enough to allow the pieces to be put in a basement and then reassembled.
But it is time consuming.
If your workshop is a basement with no fresh air supply, you need a top of the line dust extraction system. :shock:
 

Blxxp

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Luckily it has a large window so there’s a decent amount of natural light that makes its way through. Even so, I’ll still need a good extraction system fitted. It can get cloudy down there quick.
 

sunnybob

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Every day it gets "cloudy down there" youre shortening your life. Dont wait on it.
 

Blxxp

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I’m only a hobbyist and not generating dust on the regular. I have a constant flow of natural ventilation between two windows. I also wear a high spec mask which will protect me more than an extraction system and no mask would anyhow.
 

sunnybob

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Youve taken a step in the right direction, but dont think you can ditch the mask when you have proper extraction.

a hobbyist can breathe just as much dust as a professional.
Try looking up COPD, that will frighten you.
 

Blxxp

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Did you have any suggestions for a bandsaw? Even if it has to be disassembled...
 

Lazurus

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I have an Axminster cabinet mounted saw it can be dismantled easily enough and was delivered that way. So a cabinet mounted one with the motor underneath may be a starting point.
 

Blxxp

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Thanks Lazarus. I was actually going through some of the Axminster models tonight so I’ll keep that in mind. Cheers.
 

Sideways

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There's a stand mount machine called a Kity 613. An out of production model that would be classed as good hobbyist / light trade perhaps. They are relatively small and have a formed steel tube reinforcing the frame. The front is all plastic as it does nothing but cover the wheels. These are relatively cheap on the used market and simple to maintain. Depending on your needs it might be a decent budget choice. If interested, one of my earliest posts on this board was a strip and clean of one of these.

For a truly benchtop model, Axminster have just one in the trade series that is well over a grand but it is quite powerful and more than a toy.

The Inca machines have a plastic front like the Kity I mentioned, but the top and bottom boxes and the connecting frame are cast in one piece from ribbed / braced aluminium. It's small and light but has a powerful induction motor for it's size. Table / fence / guides are pretty basic but they do cut and are (I think) good quality and quite sought after.

I would expect with someone to help you could manhandle a stand or cabinet mount sized saw down some stairs without dismantling it. A the worst and if it's good enough to have cast wheels, taking the wheels off should reduce the weight.
 

MusicMan

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Inca saws are very well engineered. They do come up on eBay from time to time, if you are not in too much hurry.
 

Blxxp

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Sideways":1r990hnl said:
There's a stand mount machine called a Kity 613. An out of production model that would be classed as good hobbyist / light trade perhaps. They are relatively small and have a formed steel tube reinforcing the frame. The front is all plastic as it does nothing but cover the wheels. These are relatively cheap on the used market and simple to maintain. Depending on your needs it might be a decent budget choice. If interested, one of my earliest posts on this board was a strip and clean of one of these.

For a truly benchtop model, Axminster have just one in the trade series that is well over a grand but it is quite powerful and more than a toy.

The Inca machines have a plastic front like the Kity I mentioned, but the top and bottom boxes and the connecting frame are cast in one piece from ribbed / braced aluminium. It's small and light but has a powerful induction motor for it's size. Table / fence / guides are pretty basic but they do cut and are (I think) good quality and quite sought after.

I would expect with someone to help you could manhandle a stand or cabinet mount sized saw down some stairs without dismantling it. A the worst and if it's good enough to have cast wheels, taking the wheels off should reduce the weight.
Nice! Thanks for all the info. I’ll be looking into Kity and Inca models.

I’ve used bandsaws for years but never had to move one so I just didn’t know what I was getting myself in for in terms of weight.
 

Blxxp

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MusicMan":fvotn2w3 said:
Inca saws are very well engineered. They do come up on eBay from time to time, if you are not in too much hurry.
Another +1 for Inca. Not too much of a hurry at all, more interested in getting the right machine. Thanks!
 

MusicMan

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And it's not too heavy. I swap mine regularly from the floor to a stand (exchanging with a bobbin sander) and could carry it down some stairs. When looking for one, if possible get one with the accessories. The fence is not brilliant but works, the mitre gauge is quite good but hard to fit if missing as the slot is trapezoidal rather than rectangular. And there are some often missing end stops. Skinner Design do a neat 3D printed vacuum insert, which improves the extraction. And you can get most replacement parts still, though they are costly.
 

deema

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An alternative suggestion is the Startrite 301. They are a floor standing machine, but a lot smaller than the usual Startrite bandsaws. All steel and cast iron. Two people can move it around easily. Usually fairly low prices on auction sites.
 

twodoctors

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Ultimately this is dictated by what is available on the market. If you just look for 1 particular model, it might be a while before you get something.

Once you have taken the table off, they should all be thin enough to get it down stairs. I guess it depends on how tight the turns are on the way down the basement.

I had a Kity 613 which I paid £100 for. Best of the smaller bandsaws I had before I bought a pre-loved Basa 3. I had a Basa 1 before the Kity. It is smaller, but fairly decent quality. Limited by the throat size and cut depth as I was making bandsaw boxes at the time.

Don't waste you money on budget range machines. I would also avoid the smallest Axminster Hobby series. They are just too small for most things (same size and design as most budget saw, but with better build quality and parts).

Get the biggest one you can get down to the basement.... but you probably know that already!

A
 

Blxxp

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I like the idea of that flexibilty MusicMan. The Inca models do get a good write up that's for sure.

As for the Startrite 301 mentioned by Deema. I originally had that on my list along with a 352. They both look pretty slimline and I guess if the weight was right I could get it around the turn at the bottom of the basement. Can you link any good auctions sites for me to check out?

I've been keeping my eye out in the usual places, but nothing has grabbed me yet in terms of model and price combo. I'm glad you mentioned the Basa 3 (TwoDoctors) as I haven't read much regarding Scheppach at all but have seen a couple for sale over the last month. Maybe bigger is better... 8)

It's a research and waiting game from here on out. Thanks for the help.
 

MusicMan

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No question, you can do more with a bigger bandsaw. It's really a matter of how important and useful it is to you and your work in relation to other tools and the space you have available. I do a lot of with with recycled floorboards, mostly teak, and use the accurate ripping capability of a tablesaw all the time. A bandsaw will rip of course, but less accurately. It's much better for resewing but the Inca will manage 100 mm, and that's been enough for me. The Inca does me well for the occasional curvy thing and quick handheld sizing. Other folk will have different choices and that's right and proper.
 

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