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Startrite bandsaw

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Claud1

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Hi all, I am thinking of buying a startrite 581 bandsaw and would like to ask has anyone got one or has anyone got any information on the same. I would also like to hear any suggestions on any other makes of heavy duty ones. Thanks Claud1
 

eribaMotters

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Claud,
after looking at the Startrite website it is obvious you are looking at a serious piece of kit. I bought a "cheap" Startrite, the 352E last year. I found it difficult to believe it is an imported machine. The quality and performance are first class. 2hp motor, good true fence, nice cast iron table and good blade guides, First job I did was cutting some curved brackets out of birch plywood I had laminated up to 6" thickness. It coped very well. I am sure the larger machines would be very impressive.
Have you considered the Felder/Hammer range. They are based in Milton Keynes i believe.

Colin
 

Claud1

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Hi Colin, thanks for the reply, I have looked at the fedler and even spoken to them on the phone but I'm still sort of leaning towards the startrite and to be honest I would like to have something even bigger but its all down to having only single phase. I just dont want to make the mistake I have done in the past and buy something I will regret but its very hard to get any information on larger machines. I have a smaller bandsaw for more detail work and curves etc and would like something that will handle larger stuff without any problems. I have looked into a converter for three phase and a larger machine but the cost does'nt warrent it so that is the reason I thought the Startrite would be OK.

Regards Claud1
 

woodbloke

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eribaMotters":5cjwxfgg said:
Claud,
after looking at the Startrite website it is obvious you are looking at a serious piece of kit. I bought a "cheap" Startrite, the 352E last year. I found it difficult to believe it is an imported machine. The quality and performance are first class. 2hp motor, good true fence, nice cast iron table and good blade guides, First job I did was cutting some curved brackets out of birch plywood I had laminated up to 6" thickness. It coped very well. I am sure the larger machines would be very impressive.
Have you considered the Felder/Hammer range. They are based in Milton Keynes i believe.

Colin
Same here, excellent machine and even better with a Tuffsaws M42 3tpi blade :mrgreen: - Rob
 

Claud1

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Hi Rob, thanks for the reply, have you actually seen one or just on the web site like myself, I would like to see one before I make the final decision but my problem is I live north of Aberdeen and there are no dealers up here. Do you think Startrite is a good choice or would you are anyone else who reads this recommend any other make, in my opinion a lot of machinery looks good these days but then when you come to use it you find it is substandard. I have been in contact with Startrite and they will have one in stock in a couple of weeks but it is a long way to go. I also rang Agazzani dealers but they have not bothered to even get back to me. regards Claud1
 

woodbloke

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Claud1":n8xpns3u said:
Hi Rob, thanks for the reply, have you actually seen one or just on the web site like myself, I would like to see one before I make the final decision but my problem is I live north of Aberdeen and there are no dealers up here. Do you think Startrite is a good choice or would you are anyone else who reads this recommend any other make, in my opinion a lot of machinery looks good these days but then when you come to use it you find it is substandard. I have been in contact with Startrite and they will have one in stock in a couple of weeks but it is a long way to go. I also rang Agazzani dealers but they have not bothered to even get back to me. regards Claud1
I bought one from Yandles in Somerset (which is even further from Aberdeen!) last year at their show, so I got it with a bit of discount and free delivery. The 352E is the educational version, so it's key switched, interlocks on the doors and a big red 'kick-off' knob on the floor. Yes, it is made in t'Orient but I've used older English made Startrites and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference...maybe the finish isn't quite up to European standards. That said, it goes together easily, good depth of cut (around 250mmish) there's a good solid table with decent fence and trunions and the dust extraction isn't too bad either. The main point that was demonstrated to me was that the tensioning spring is massive, far larger than the equivalent Record machines that were on the same stand. One awkward thing is that the blade is inserted sideways and then turned through 90deg...sounds weird, but it's OK when you get used to it. Blade guides are hardened discs and are easy to set up. I use a Tuffsaws 20mm, 3tpi M42 blade which the machine will tension when wound up to maximum and the finish it leaves behind is almost planed...certainly veneers will go straight down onto the substrate without further work. If you do a Google search of the mags, Alan Holtham did a very favourable review in Pop Woodworking (iIrc) - Rob
 

ndbrown

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It has been said by many that Startrite's are excellent machines and who am I to disagree. I also visited Record Power's HQ last year during my search for a bandsaw and had a look at the 581S and the 401E and they are great machines. Having also seen the Hammer 4400, in my opinion, it is a better built machine than the 581 (probably similar build to the more expensive 401E), the Hammer is also of european origin and it might run close to the 581 on price if you haggle with Hammer UK as they seem to be receptive to deals. I believe there are a few satisfied users on here with the 4400.
Ultimately, I think I would have ended up with the Hammer 4400 but got a last minute opportunity to buy an Italian Mini Max S45 secondhand and have absolutely no regrets. It is a superb Italian built machine, still available new in Glasgow from the Saw Centre, but they regularly appear secondhand on e-bay and fetch around £500 - £800 and have been in production for more than 20 years.
Again, in my opinion as a mechanical engineer, the difference between Far East and European machined becomes more obvious when you actually see the machines in the showrooms. In general the European machines have better quality fasteners, bearings and in some cases thicker cabinets with better welding. That's not to say that far east machines are in any way poor as they represent great value for money. There are many more skilled woodworkers than me turning out absolutely superb work on these far east manufactured machines.

My bandsaw purchase is described here; https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/my-new-italian-companion-minimax-s45-bandsaw-t54601.html
 
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