Replacing saw bench with bandsaw

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TRITON

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I've often though that the saw bench was a must, and even suggested on some threads that was the case, but now im thinking maybe not the case.
I've an Ax saw, the TS250 and after having it about 5 years only recently fitted the sliding table, just basically for one job.
The saw itself has a number of issues, the main being the table sits askew to the base, so setting up for angled cuts and miters I've not bothered with as its a complete faff about, realigning the blade so it doesnt impact the table.

In the pro workshop i was in we never had a sliding table fitted, and most jobs involved ripping, mainly full boards down from an initial 1200, to 600mm and on from there, all of which you can do on a big bandsaw, and as i get my boards from b&q precut to 600, any further machining is usually under 300mm.

The saw, plus side table and outfeed takes up a hell of a lot of room in my small shop, and im wondering if i replaced it was a 16" or 18" bandsaw, would i notice any difference to the type of furniture i usually produce.
If anything the saw and right side extension are mostly used as space to put tools and things, rather than for wide cuts.

Any of you out there with only a big bandsaw, and how are you getting on without a sawbench
 

Spectric

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I think most of us go through this thought process, and numerous times. When I got my bandsaw I did think I would be freeing up space when the tablesaw goes but still have the table saw. It is invaluable for riping real wood down and much faster than the bandsaw, but if you live in the world of sheet material then you could go down the tracksaw route which frees up space and you could get rid of tablesaw and not bother with bandsaw. I will say I do not have a sliding table on the tablesaw which saves space and do not buy in full sheets of ply when I need them, have them pre cut close to size.

I have found that when you have the tool you don't think you really need it or use it enough but once it's gone you wish you had kept it as every job seems to require it.
 

Jacob

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I've always had a Startrite 352 but bandsaw generally much inferior cut compared to TS, and can use a lot of blades, depending on what you do.
My thoughts went exact opposite to yours - when I got my first TS with a sliding table I wondered how I'd managed without it. When I go my bigger next one with a very long sliding table I thought this was best thing since sliced bread!
 

D_W

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my first move away from large tools was to go from 18" bandsaw and TS (saw bench to you guys) to 18" bandsaw only.

But I didn't check to see if the issues with the large bandsaw that I had were solvable. Ultimately they would've been, but I got rid of it early (one of its wheels was drilled off center by almost a hundredth). It constantly knocked its guides out of set by battering them in a heavy cut and then subsequently sanded a cut about half as deep as the wheels were off (somewhere around 3 to 4 thousandths on top of whatever other cut error there may be).

So I sold it to a guy who just needed a BS for rough work, and subsequently bought a portable TS and hung it on the wall for the rare time that I don't rip by hand.

Which is something folks here probably won't find doable -ripping several hundred linear feet for a project by hand. It is if you make the rough work an exercise plan instead and don't get in a rush to do it while doing the fine work (I enjoy it as exercise - and don't enjoy exercise). In the event that you have an hour a day to do it and listen to wireless headphones, etc, you'll end up getting good enough at it to stay ahead of the projects and resent a little bit when there's no physical work to do.

Long story short, try a few projects with your particular BS first - it's probably more common for the import BS's to have accuracy issues than not.
 

robgul

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Axminster's video on YouTube yesterday (18 Feb 21) had a pros and cons of a table saw or bandsaw . . . the fact that Craig, the presenter, only had a bandsaw in his own home workshop was probably indicative . . .
 

Jacob

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Axminster's video on YouTube yesterday (18 Feb 21) had a pros and cons of a table saw or bandsaw . . . the fact that Craig, the presenter, only had a bandsaw in his own home workshop was probably indicative . . .
Had a quick look at a band saw vid. 20 seconds! Axminster are seriously overselling their band saws.

What the chap says is "it's all in the blade".
To get those band saw deep precise rip cuts, bowl blanks etc, you need brand-new or freshly sharpened good quality blades. They loose their edge very quickly. That saw is not good enough for repetitive ripping in my opinion.
Their RIPPER 37 starts at £40 and is for a big saw.
But I do use a BS for deep ripping by first cutting the kerf both sides over the table saw and then just taking out the middle with the BS. The TS kerfs keep a wandering blade in line.
 
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Hornbeam

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I have a multico bandsaw with 24 inch wheels. Yes it is a bit bigger than same but the footprint is on 110 X 70. Absolutely fantastic machine for deep ripping and cutting veneers with a 1 inch blade. If I had been buying new I would have bought something a bit smaller but still at least 400mm. I also use a table saw with a 4 ft table but am considering a track saw for initial breakdown of sheets
 

recipio

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A table saw is so much more versatile than a bandsaw. How do you propose to make square and parallel cuts on a bandsaw ? Also its worth changing blades to suit the material so, for instance if I am cutting laminates I use a hollow ground blade and for thin plywood I use a fine crosscut blade and so on. Maybe its worth trading up to a European made TS ?
 

Jacob

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I have a multico bandsaw with 24 inch wheels. Yes it is a bit bigger than same but the footprint is on 110 X 70. Absolutely fantastic machine for deep ripping and cutting veneers with a 1 inch blade. If I had been buying new I would have bought something a bit smaller but still at least 400mm. I also use a table saw with a 4 ft table but am considering a track saw for initial breakdown of sheets
Sounds good. Bigger and more powerful than a Startrite 352.
But deep ripping and veneers aren't something most of us need to to do except very occasionally.
Most ripping is shallow ripping and is done much better on a table saw
A table saw is so much more versatile than a bandsaw. How do you propose to make square and parallel cuts on a bandsaw ? Also its worth changing blades to suit the material so, for instance if I am cutting laminates I use a hollow ground blade and for thin plywood I use a fine crosscut blade and so on. Maybe its worth trading up to a European made TS ?
Yep. Blade changeover quicker and easier too. Near perfect surface finish possible with a fine blade.
 

paulrbarnard

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A timely thread. I've been doing a bit of work around the house rather than just play projects. I borrowed a 9 inch table top bandsaw from my Dad. I've sliced several planks off of a 100mm thick oak block to make thresholds for the doors. I had to modify the bandsaw to increase the cut depth to handle 100mm. It was 86mm before. Anyway all my previous slices from that block have been done by hand and a massive amount of physical effort. Having received the go ahead to sort out my workshop to get more space I'm thinking a couple of power tools might be a good thing as I'm now 60 and not as fit as i used to be.
The little bandsaw was a struggle for the rip cuts but it did it, albeit very slowly. My current thinking is a bandsaw like the Laguna 14/12 which should have the rip capacity I need. I have been considering a table saw but they take up a lot of space and I think a track saw might be a good companion to the bandsaw.

It seems opinions are mixed on the best approach.
Is a bandsaw and tracksaw combination a realistic alternative to a table saw? The majority of my use would be for dimensioning rough lumber. (A planer thicknesser might be somewhere in the future as well)
 

RobinBHM

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I recently helped a friend set up a wadkin BZB bandsaw -it had been bought 3 years ago, tried once to cut oak beams, failed and then sat gathering dust.

with a tuffsaws blade and stripping apart the guides and resetting them the machine now cuts perfectly -in fact yesterday I was cutting some staff bead down to width for putting through the spindle moulder -and the bandsaw cut within 0.2mm.
 

Cabinetman

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Hi Triton, I find it not difficult to believe, but most unusual that in your large commercial workshop you didn’t have a sliding table fitted to your tablesaw, did you have a large radial arm saw? I think you are missing out not having a good tablesaw with a sliding table as it sounds like the one you have is not really up to the job at all. Being unable to cross cut would severely hamper my work. Ian
 

Hornbeam

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If you only have space for 1 then it depends a b it on what size material you are cutting. If less than about 2 inches then its the table saw everytime and a good quality jigsaw for curves. If you cut veneers laminates and lots of curved stuff the probably a band saw and a tracksaw for sheet material. If you are cutting sheet material on a table saw it need to be pretty substantial with a good take off table and outrigger
 

pe2dave

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....

I have been considering a table saw but they take up a lot of space and I think a track saw might be a good companion to the bandsaw.

It seems opinions are mixed on the best approach.
Is a bandsaw and tracksaw combination a realistic alternative to a table saw? The majority of my use would be for dimensioning rough lumber. (A planer thicknesser might be somewhere in the future as well)

If your 'ripping' is within the scope of a tracksaw (typically 2") then yes IMHO.
The track (and table if required) can be put away (less frequent ripping).
The bandsaw has many other uses than ripping planks.
For me, a much better solution within space constraints.
 

paulrbarnard

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If your 'ripping' is within the scope of a tracksaw (typically 2") then yes IMHO.
The track (and table if required) can be put away (less frequent ripping).
The bandsaw has many other uses than ripping planks.
For me, a much better solution within space constraints.
Thank you Dave. That was my thinking too. Obviously if space and money is no object then a table saw bandsaw combination is golden. I do have a monster Hitachi circular saw with a cutting depth of 120mm which I bought for cutting sleepers when I landscaped our garden. I can always get that out of retirement if I need to break down a thick slab (I have one 3 inches thick waiting for a project). The majority of the time I would be looking to cut 50mm absolutely max, more likely 25mm.
I'm going to start on my workshop redesign this week and factor in a bandsaw and track saw. I'll leave space for e thicknesser :)
 
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