Startrite 352 Performance

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Fitzroy

All the gear...
Joined
12 Mar 2013
Messages
2,677
Reaction score
2,070
Location
Aberdeen
I've owned my Startrite 352 for about 3 years. It's a three phase machine, that I have fitted with a VFD. My main feeling is that I'm frustrated with it's performance and I don't know if I'm just expecting too much. Some of my frustrations and thoughts are below, I'd love peoples experience with this machine and similar machines to pitch in.

It feels underpowered - it has a 0.75kW motor, as standard
- With a brand new blade it will resaw at 200-250 mm deep but very slowly, the motor will bog down if I put any real pressure on the cut
- After not much blade use it starts to struggle at 100-150mm depth of cut, not so much bogging down but I start to smell burning and sawdust becomes black lumps.

Blade life feels terrible
- Aligned with above a new (tuffsaws) blade cuts great, but after not much cutting performance reduces considerably. Is the blade getting dull quickly or is the underpowered motor just making it feel like this.
- How many feet should a blade cut before it's replaced?

Drift
- with a new blade I can set it up to cut with zero drift, but quicker than I would expect it starts to struggle to cut against the fence.

My main use of the machine is rip cutting and much of my stock is 150mm or thicker. I want to be able to set up the machine and fly though this thickness of material for the next 6 months (with weekend hobby use) without messing about with the machine.

I got a nice bonus last year so I'm thinking of moving to a more modern machine, looking at Record Sabre 350 (1.5kW motor). Or I could just upgrade the 352 motor to 1.5kW. Just want a happier bandsawing experience.
 
Not the ideal machine for deep ripping. Too small, OK for the occasional deep rip, rather than long runs.
For 160 runs I'd do it 2 sides over the TS
Anything deeper ditto with 2 kerf cuts and just take out the middle with the band saw.
 
Guessing from your title, you may have read this thread.
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/accu-slice.141507/
I've yet to get back with the answer to my experiments, as I've got the same deal with my machine as your experiences, noticeable spelching on the underside of the cut,
how about noting the sharpness of a dull blade, burning with fine blades, flutter, or fore and aft blade issues what's possibly noticeable on suitable wideish blades, might be worth mentioning.

I'm speculating on it being the biggest culprit of disappointing bandsaw performance and overlooked on any article I've ever seen, regarding actually setting up a bandsaw, that is,
i.e not just simply installing and setting up the blade and guides.

Hopefully I'm onto something.

Tom
 
Last edited:
I'm guessing your machine is an older model. I have a single phase 352E that I bought new about 10 years ago. It has a 2hp motor and only seems lacking when I know the blade needs replacing.

Colin
 
Just checked - my 352 is 1.5kw but still small for a lot of ripping, so 0.75kw is much worse. Bigger the better, 2kw sounds good.
 
There's a lot of variables that might contribute to the poor performance such as tpi of blade, type of wood being cut eg soft or hardwood, bark on or recycled timber, blade tension, feed rate etc.

For example, too many teeth for the thickness of timber can lead to poor performance, burning and blade drift, as might low blade tension. Bark or recycled timber can have grit, sand, cement or other contaminants that will quickly dull blades, some hardwoods have high levels of silica in them too which can dull blades quite quickly. Softwoods can cause resin build up on blades which will affect performance too.

Having said that I upgraded the motor on mine to a very useful 3hp beast many years ago and it will chug happily through anything I can fit under the guides.

Another thought is whether the VFD is set up optimally as I think they can be configured with different settings but not something I know much about, but yes, the motor does sound quite low powered for what you want to do.
 
I bought a 352 about a year ago, mines got a weedy motor too! I sold a kity 613 that I'd put a new motor on ( 1.5hp instead of the original 1hp) and i was very suprised to find the startrite had a small motor.... I'd have to check, but ive got a feeling its a 750 or 920w?
I actually havent had time to use mine! I had a few things to fix on it, which is mostly done now, just got to buy an axminster fence and it's ready. I had drift issues with the kity, so i was hoping the startrite would be better 😬
 
I’m assuming you have a blade that is the right TPI for the depth of cut. What thickness of blade are you using? the reason I ask is that it sounds to me like the blade is rubbing on the blade guides causing it to heat up and the teeth are loosing their temper becoming soft and dulling quickly. I’d check your blade guide setting…..they should not be touching blade. Secondly I suspect that if the blade guides are set correctly you have too little tension set. The thicker the blade the more tension you need. It’s likely the tension springs are fu-bared and the tension meter on the saw is meaningless. If the springs have been compressed by more than 25% they need replacing. Most saws have no bump stops to stop this happening, so it’s fairly common, as people just grind down on the tensioner.
 
Drift is a classic symptom of three things
1. Blade too high TPI and the gullets are getting blocked
2. Blade wheels not tracked / set properly
3. Tension insufficient.

Drift is not affected by the motor power or indeed the setting of the blade guides…..assuming they are not touching the blade.

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/bandsaw-blade-guide-theory.135481/
 
Thanks all for the input. Aware of blade TPI and cut thickness so I have a selection of blades. For deep ripping I’ve been using a 3/4” 2 tpi extra set tuffsaws. It cuts great for first 20’ of timber and then I have the same issues.

My view is with a razor edge its fine but after a little wear the machine struggles, then as the machine bogs down and I have to misshandle the cut then it causes premature wear on the blade, perhaps as is wanders in the cut, this leads to an ever worsening cycle.

My thought is if a more powerful motor may prevent the cycle and cope with the initial blade wear better.

The inverter set up has also crossed my mind, but it is a 1.5kw inverter so it shouldn’t be overloaded. I ran the saw on a power meter to see if it was drawing the expected load. Unbelievably it would draw up to 1.8kw as the machine started to bog down. I also tried bringing the blade speed up by increasing frequency to 60 and 70Hz, didn’t seem to help and the machine was terrifying at 40% over speed!

From comments above people have good experience with the 352 with a more powerful motor, and .75kw looks weedy. I can’t find a 14” new saw design with less than 1.5kw.

Thanks for all the input, now need to decide on a bigger motor or a new saw.

Fitz
 
Thanks all for the input. Aware of blade TPI and cut thickness so I have a selection of blades. For deep ripping I’ve been using a 3/4” 2 tpi extra set tuffsaws. It cuts great for first 20’ of timber and then I have the same issues.

My view is with a razor edge its fine but after a little wear the machine struggles, then as the machine bogs down and I have to misshandle the cut then it causes premature wear on the blade, perhaps as is wanders in the cut, this leads to an ever worsening cycle.

My thought is if a more powerful motor may prevent the cycle and cope with the initial blade wear better.

The inverter set up has also crossed my mind, but it is a 1.5kw inverter so it shouldn’t be overloaded. I ran the saw on a power meter to see if it was drawing the expected load. Unbelievably it would draw up to 1.8kw as the machine started to bog down. I also tried bringing the blade speed up by increasing frequency to 60 and 70Hz, didn’t seem to help and the machine was terrifying at 40% over speed!

From comments above people have good experience with the 352 with a more powerful motor, and .75kw looks weedy. I can’t find a 14” new saw design with less than 1.5kw.

Thanks for all the input, now need to decide on a bigger motor or a new saw.

Fitz
I get the same mantra over and over re: blade tpi etc and it's made little difference - my experience is much like yours. IMHO if you want to rip massive pieces you're better off with a chainsaw mill or taking it to a local timber yard and using a machine designed for doing that job. Now that I use the bandsaw as it was designed to be used, I have a much more enjoyable experience on it.
 
just to add.......
if ever I have to change a motor on the smaller machines, *if it's a keeper"....
I either double the HP or certainly go 50% above the original....
so ur 750watt motor would def get a 1.5-2hp motor if it were mine....
only hick-up is the foot fitting and the shaft size but with my kit I just remake what I need.....
 
The Startrite 352 has a specified maximum blade width of 3/4” chances of it being able to tension it up fully is probably zero. If you’re using a M42 blade then it’s highly likely that even with new tension springs it won’t be able to tension it up fully.
I’ve ripped 10” with a 1/2” blade, you can RIP with any width of blade. I would have a go with a HSS 1/2” blade and check the tension you are getting in the blade. You need to measure it, none of this flutter, makes a certain note cobbles. You can make a simple blade tension meter with a cheap vernier. For a lot more detail on blade tension have a look at the SCM restoration thread @Sideways and I did a while back. It’s linked in the Blade guide thread.
 
The 2tpi blade, especially being wide set as well, is asking a lot from your small motor, that blade will be trying to remove a lot of material too quickly and will bog the motor down. At 3/4" it will likely be under tensioned too and with the extra set on it as well, together with forcing the cut as the saw struggles, could well be contributing to or causing the drift. I use a 3tpi 1/2" normal set blade on mine when deep ripping, even with my bigger motor, works well.
 
Last edited:
Fitzroy, if you decide to go for a bigger motor, I may be interested in your old one. I have a Startrite Bandit motor with a sheared shaft which may be the same as yours
Duncan
 
Make sure your inverter offers "vector" or "sensorless vector" mode not just "V to F" mode. The former increases the power to the motor when is senses the speed dropping. With V to F, there is no feedback mechanism and the motor can easily bog down. I fell into this trap with my 3phase startrite 18-s-1. Changing to vector made a world of difference.
Just because the inverter is rated at 1.5 kW does not mean it will output that power to a smaller motor. Most inverters measure parameters of the motor and adjust the output accordingly - all part of protecting the motor.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top