Record Power BS350S Bandsaw Observations

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2 Aug 2020
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Hi all, I am new to this forum and have been reading through some of the topics for a few weeks now and have picked up some very useful advice so I thought I’d join. Having gained a GCE in woodwork about 50 years ago I’ve always been an occasional hobby woodworker but after retiring 5 years ago am starting to do a bit more and buy more tools. My latest acquisition being the RP BS350S. I’ve searched through the subjects on here to get opinions on this bandsaw and as it was in the right price range decided to go for it.

After using it for a week or so I thought I would share some of my observations:

1. Reading through some older posts on here some people mentioned the mitre fence and slots. They are now the standard 3/4 inch T slots and I am very impressed with the mitre fence.

2. Some have upgraded the fence but I’m quite happy with it so far. I know you can’t really use it on the right hand side but if I ever want it there I’ll just clamp a bit of wood to the table.

3. When I bought it I didn’t get the optional wheels. Big mistake. I didn’t know it was going to be so heavy. I’ve now rectified this but it would have been easier to fit when I first put it together.

4. I find it a bit tiresome to have to use 3 different Allen keys to adjust the guides, so I’ve replaced them all with stainless steel thumb-screws, very pleased with them and cheap as chips. The only one that I can’t is the lock screw for the lower thrust bearing adjuster but I reckon I could leave that loose as it doesn’t move back or forward. I’ve also done the same for the two screws securing the bar connecting the two halves of the table, thus making blade changing a tool-less job.

5. Can anyone suggest a modification for the upper and lower door knobs, it takes about 30 seconds and 20-30 turns to unlock the doors. Really rubbish design. If I can’t think of anything else I’ll cut the threads down about 75%.

6. I’ve removed the black plastic guard blow the table, makes blade changes and guide adjustments easier.

7. I use a Triton shop vac for dust extraction and I’m making a holder for the nozzle to hold it next to the blade just under the table. I’ll have it held on to the bottom of the table by magnets. The vac was pretty useless when connected to the 4” extractor connection but when I taped the nozzle in place below the table it seemed reasonably effective.

8. I tried a 3/4” blade and found it quite difficult to get it tensioned and tracked properly. I managed in the end but it took a long time and I felt the machine was on its limits so I don’t think I’ll be using it much.

I would really appreciate any advice or opinions.

You seem to have all the problems sorted. =D>
Bear in mind that under table guard is a safety feature. If any one else is likely to use the machine there could be a problem if they stupidly get cut from that part of the blade.
Again, the door latches are awkward for the same reason, but if its just you, a simple 90 degree drop down latch shouldnt be too hard to fit. 8)
I have the RP BS350S, and despite owning it for three years, I have just now started using it. :oops:

I bought mine with the optional wheel kit, and eventually realized the wheels were rubbish. Last week, I replaced the entire stand with a custom-built cabinet, complete with four drawers and lockable casters. Aside from the four drawer pulls, I built it from spare material I had left over from previous projects. I used 19mm plywood for the carcass, 15mm plywood for the drawer sides and faces, and 12mm plywood for the drawer bottoms. The 600mm full-extension drawer slides were excess from my miter saw cabinet build after I changed the design after buying the parts. The result is a stable mobile platform for the BS350S that is easy to move and has plenty of storage for blades and accessories. I'll include pictures later and have the Sketchup .skp file if anyone wants it.

I also upgraded to the Axminster fence, but have just now realized that the magnifying lens in the indicator is also rubbish since it severely distorts the ruler markings and makes it nearly impossible to obtain repeatable results when changing the fence location. I haven't ruled out operator error, but other than this, I like the fence upgrade. It attaches to only one side of the table, but I haven't seen any deflection on the outfeed side, despite ripping 8/4 beech planks.

Here is a thread I started about the trunion roller modification I made to my saw. This thread also includes a description on how to adjust one axis of the table that is not included in the manual that came with my saw.

Record Power BS350S Trunnion Roller

Here is a thread I started about the Axminster fence upgrade. MikeJhn included posts about his fence upgrade that attaches to the outfeed side of the table as well. MikeJhn's fence wasn't on the Axminster site when I bought mine, else I would have bought it instead. I see the new current version of the Axminster Rip Fence Guide has a different indicator, so maybe enough people complained about it. I will likely replace mine with a piece of perspex that doesn't distort the markings.

Axminster Rip Fence Upgrade for Record Power BS350S Bandsaw

I can't help with the door knobs, since my saw has a quarter-turn knob that secures the doors. I also removed the plastic guard below the table and installed a 40mm plastic pipe that connects to my dust collection system (photos to follow). So far, I am pleased with it and can't see any dust accumulation below the table after about 20 minutes of cutting. Sadly, this is not the same above the table, so I might add something for this if it becomes more annoying.

Lastly, for now, invest in good quality blades. I bought blades from the vendor who sold me the saw, and I am not pleased with them. As soon as I find a source, like, that will ship to Germany, or a good German source, I will get rid of the blades I have. I used the recommended blade for resawing the beech, and the resulting surfaces were horrible. Maybe my expectations are too high, but I expected a much smoother surface than what I realized, no matter how slowly I fed the board. The widest blade I will buy is 5/8-inch (16mm), as I think a 3/4-inch blade is too much for this saw to handle. I used another 14-inch bandsaw to resaw 8/4 oak and walnut timber with a 16mm blade, and it handled the task perfectly.
Thanks for the responses guys.
Sunnybob, yes I understand that the little black guard is for safety but my vac mod more or less covers the blade anyway and you would definitely be on the top ten list for Darwin Award contenders to put your fingers anywhere near there. I’ll have a look to see if I can find some of those latches you mention.

MikeK, Interesting regarding the wheels, I must admit the casters on the kit do seem to be rubbish and appear to be distorting already on one of the swivel casters. I made a mobile stand for my pillar drill with swivel casters that are lockable but there is a bit of rocking motion with them which is fine with the pillar drill as the forces are all downwards so are the ones on your bandsaw nice and stable when locked? I looked at the Axminster fence a few days ago after reading posts here but I personally felt that I couldn’t justify the extra cost as so far I’m happy with the one supplied and I’d rather put the money towards upgrading the DX system.
I had read the threads you mentioned which was how I found out about the four little grub screws to level the table, so I did that as well.
I would be interested in your quarter turn knobs for the doors. Do you know if I could buy spares from Record and “downgrade” mine? It’s definitely a retrograde step I think as the micro-switches will stop the saw from starting with a door open.
MGH":13s76ofk said:
Do you know if I could buy spares from Record and “downgrade” mine? It’s definitely a retrograde step I think as the micro-switches will stop the saw from starting with a door open.

My experience with extracting information from Record Power has not been good. However, I just looked at the RP website for the BS350S, and the door knobs are the same as those on my machine. Did you buy an older machine?
Don’t think so. Bought new from Data couple of weeks ago. Do the older machines have narrower mitre slots?
I’ve just re-watched a record power YT video “overview and demonstration of bs350” and it has the quarter turn knobs like yours. They look exactly like mine. I think they have used the same actual knob but changed the mechanism :roll: