Bandsaw advice

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Fisherman
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Bandsaw advice

Post by Fisherman » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:51 pm

Hi all

I'm looking to get a bandsaw that will handle my guitar building needs. Cutting through plywood by hand to create forms does not sound like fun to me! I don't know much about them - can you please recommend a decent brand? The books I have suggest 14" for guitars, but that's bigger than the table mounted ones available at Bunnings.

There are a couple of used 14" Carbatec saws on gumtree, but unfortunately some distance away from Canberra. Is that a decent brand?

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Steve.Toscano
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Steve.Toscano » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:42 pm

I recently bought a 12inch hafco from machinery house. Does the job for anything I need in guitar making and more.
I cut out a new solera from 30mm marine ply only on Sunday with no problem at all.
Cuts the scarf joint on rock maple like butter (probably the hardest cut/timber a luthiers bandsaw will need to do).
A lot here will say you will need 14inch or bigger, but as long as you aint wanting to resaw, the 12inch hafco is sufficient and very affordable.
The only downside is the blade that comes with is pretty ordinary, I got a new good blade made up straightaway.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:46 pm

Fisherman wrote:Hi all

I'm looking to get a bandsaw that will handle my guitar building needs. Cutting through plywood by hand to create forms does not sound like fun to me! I don't know much about them - can you please recommend a decent brand? The books I have suggest 14" for guitars, but that's bigger than the table mounted ones available at Bunnings.

There are a couple of used 14" Carbatec saws on gumtree, but unfortunately some distance away from Canberra. Is that a decent brand?
Unless you intend doing some serious re-sawing then a 14" bandsaw is the way to go. You'll find that most of the Bunnings machines are "toys" and too small and underpowered for luthiery work.

The Carbatec saws are ok..I've got one that's done good service for the last 10 years. There are other brands around that are basically the same machines out of the same factory.

The fence and guides that come with the Carbatec saws aren't the greatest so I upgraded to a Kreg fence and I also fitted better quality bearing guides. If buying second hand check the tyres for flat spots and wear and also check bearings.
Martin

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by simso » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:40 am

I have two bandsaws, one is just a 14 ". machinery house unit which is used for general purpose cutting, make sure to use a quality blade, I use a 6mm blade from Gregory's machinery in qld.

The other one is a dedicated resaw unit, Laguna, cannot speak highly enough of the unit, one of the best bandsaws I have ever owned

Steve
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by kiwinoz62 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:26 am

Hi,
My 2 cents worth. . .

Don't mess around with a toy, buy the best bandsaw you can afford. You will kick yourself if you don't.

Their was a discussion awhile back on bandsaws and most blokes gave good reviews on the Laguna LT14 SUV from Gregory Machinery.
I got one, plus accessories and for the money, well worth it. A bit pricey but well worth it. Great for general work and super great for Re-sawing.
The re-saw blades are costly but their are other supply outlets that charge a fraction of the price for the same blade.
I love my Laguna and it slices timber like a hot knife going through butter.

Good luck with you're decision.
cheers wayne . . .

'keep on strummin'

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Nick » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:58 am

Unless you intend only cutting up to a maximum of 6mm thick material don't even consider table top saws, before the wealth of info and advice that was available on the internet (we're talking pre-internet here!) I mistakenly bought one when I started down this crazy path, worst purchase I ever made! The blade never tracked right, it was WAYYYYYY under powered and kept stalling and the blades kept breaking. I lasted about two months with it before I ditched it and saved up for a proper one. If you are serious about this craft then a new 14" as the others have mentioned, if that's beyond the budget then keep your eyes peeled for a good secondhand one, you won't regret it.
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rocket
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by rocket » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:21 am

If you're serious about cutting timber Laguna LT suv is the go, heeps of grunt without the huge footprint.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by peter.coombe » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:31 am

Don't mess around with a toy, buy the best bandsaw you can afford. You will kick yourself if you don't.
Couldn't agree more. I bought some pile of crap bandsaw second hand to get me started, but it didn't last long because it wouldn't cut straight no matter what I did. Gritted my teeth, went into significant credit card debt, and bought an Inca. Best small bandsaw ever made bar none. Big enough for mandolins, but not guitars. 22 years later still have it, still use it every day, still love it and would be lost without it. Best thing I ever did, it has paid for itself many times over. Bought a Hammer (made by Felder) for guitars, big powerful brute that eats Jarrah for breakfast. Don't use it much, just for the stuff the Inca can't handle.
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Fisherman » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:57 am

Thanks all for the advice, saves me buying the wrong thing! Also cheers for the heads up on Gregory's and Machinery House, I didn't know about those either.

It sounds like 14" is the option... And I shouldn't be stingy as it is an important bit of kit. Now to find the best one for the budget, which I should have mentioned earlier - am hoping to keep it under $1000 (as I need to buy a couple of other things too).

The Laguna does seem to be the bees knees tho ... Might be the best way to go long run?

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Jeremy D » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:17 am

I have one of these that I got from a local dealer floor stock for $800 http://www.jettools.com/us/en/p/14-clos ... 0v/708115K. Although I think mine was called the deluxe at the time, just has a larger motor I think. While I would love something for playing around with resewing in the future, it works great for guitar building. Properly setup cuts really straight. I bought the jet fence at the same time. Really happy with it for what it does and I think I would keep it if I got another say for small jobs.
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by blackalex1952 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:29 am

If checking out second hand bandsaws, I have the following suggestions:
The nice old school machines are solid and heavy. They don't vibrate. The wheels also have weight in them, aluminium alloy doesn't seem to cut it in the cheaper models. When the wheels have weight they have torque. Check the bearings on the wheels and pulleys. The rubber on the wheels should have no flat spots, be in good condition, not old and hardened, and the rubber should be domed in the centre. This causes the blade to ride to the top centre of the wheel. I have a small Haco, an old Aussie made iron 12". I had it re rubbered (vulcanised,I think) at a rubber factory then used an angle grinder to form the doming on each wheel as I spun the wheels slowly. Check that the adjustment controlling the wheel angle is easy to turn when the band is tensioned, and also check the tensioning adjustments. The fence needs to be solid. Also, the table needs to easily take clamps for odd improvised fences and guides, end stops etc. Check the table for flatness with a straight edge. The bandsaw guides are critical, the best kind are bearing type. Mine has brass rod guides either side and rear bearings. I have to keep the brass filed so that it is square. Upgrade one day, but I enjoy the fine tuning of planes, bandsaws etc. If you buy a second hand unit with the ambition of changing the blade guides, check out what is available in the market place first and make sure that the process will be straight forward. An effective dust extraction manifold is also something to take very seriously. My bandsaw is the most used machine I have, apart from my trimmer/router. For just about everything else I use hand tools. I recommend a 14" rather than a 12", and for re saw a bigger solid machine. One friend who does my resawing for me uses "Stellite" coated blades. They are the best and cut the finest 3.2 mm spruce slices(or less) with a very fine kerf in between, I think it is 1mm. Less wastage, less dust, finer cut, high blade tension, blade cools faster, longer life and run very straight.
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Fisherman » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:10 pm

The Jet machine looks good ... I'll aim for one of those (looks like Gregory's has one second hand at the moment).

Re old school = solid, stumbled across this 36" beast on gumtree just now ... http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mitchell ... 1098458610

Just around the corner from here too.... But it's taller than the roof! Maybe of interest to someone else?

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Jeremy D » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:25 pm

If you do go with the jet there are a few small upgrades that make a difference. Some of these http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Clearance-Ba ... ETTW5VDCB8. Also get some cool blocks and replace the tire. I couldn't get mine to track properly all of a sudden, I replaced the tires with Carter Urethane Tires and it tracks beautifully now.
Jeremy D

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Fisherman » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:14 pm

Thanks Jeremy

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by routout » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:23 am

Yep I have had the Taiwanese 14 inch for nearly 30 years still going strong ,I made an extension for it so I could cut end on for my backs and sides 8 inches high :o worked well then purchased a larger machine for that job and also the throat depth ,the 14 is still the go to for most tings I use the old blades for cutting Aluminium.
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by blackalex1952 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:31 pm

Re cutting aluminium on a bandsaw. I find that after cutting aluminium, I have had to use a wire brush to get the aluminium shards out of the rubber on the wheels. Maybe the machines with deeper throats don't have the same issue, but on mine, the aluminium gets embedded in the rubber on the wheels.
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by routout » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:02 pm

Olive oil and kero mix will stop that and I just wire brush them when done also clean i use a small fie brass brush for suede.
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by demonx » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:57 am

simso wrote:I have two bandsaws, one is just a 14 ". machinery house unit which is used for general purpose cutting, make sure to use a quality blade, I use a 6mm blade from Gregory's machinery in qld.

The other one is a dedicated resaw unit, Laguna, cannot speak highly enough of the unit, one of the best bandsaws I have ever owned

Steve

He just said what I was about to type. Two saws, cheap one with a 1/4" blade for cutting curves, Laguna SUV 14 with a 1" blade for straight cuts.

One note on the $300+ blade from Gregory Machinery, it's great until you are lazy and run a piece of redgum firewood through it, kink it and then hang it on the wall to remind yourself you're a dickhead. I'm now running a $200 blade that was made by some mob in melb, it cuts really straight, but not as smooth as the discussed resaw king blade.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Fisherman » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:12 pm

Cheers all

Turns out the second hand Jet was "incomplete" and has now been withdrawn from sale.

Have decided to double the budget to 2k and get the Laguna 14 12 and a 1/4 inch blade.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by demonx » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:50 pm

You won't regret it.

I was originally looking at the more expensive Carbatec models. All the marketing hype lead me to believe they were great, but usually hype is involved it ends out being just that.

After tracking down a local that owned one and going over to use his saw, I discovered that it wasn't much better than the cheapie I already owned and the price was very much that of the Laguna. Sure it looked much better than the cheapies and in pics they do look fabulous, but to use them they're really just another cheap saw with an expensive price tag.

Long story short I purchased the Laguna and after the long wait (there were none in the country at the time) I now have what is the best saw I know of in that price range with no regrets.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by simso » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:30 pm

Yes, its allans glowing review first time around that prompted me to buy the laguna
Steve
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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by routout » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:27 pm

There was one other thing the Hafco BP 480 although it is a good quality saw I would have liked to see the Tires in neoprene instead of cheap rubber that"s it's only drawback in the 5 years I have had it.
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Bruce McC » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:47 pm

routout

If you are seriously thinking of replacing your rubber tyres with urethane tyres, try,:-
bandsawtirewarehouse.com
I was able to get blue urethane tyres for my trusty old Durden B1200. It now runs as well as it ever has.
Bruce Mc.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by John Taylor » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:54 pm

I recently purchased the Laguna 1412 . Not the suv though. Along with a 3/4" resaw King blade. If you want to do any resawing, this is the best thing I have ever bought. I am cutting Blackwood and tiger myrtle backs about 4 mm thick as straight as you would ever want. It would cut them 1 mm if you needed. These are 230mm high. Note, you still have to set the saw up properly and there are a few you tube videos that will set you right here. I also have an old 14" saw for rough cutting curves etc. you could probably get one like this also for under $200.

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Re: Bandsaw advice

Post by Alan » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:40 pm

I also wanted a Bandsaw for guitar making and to do anything from general sawing to cutting 5mm slices up to 200mm wide for backs, sides and soundboards.
At the Canberra Working with Wood Show late 2015, I purchased a Laguna 14BX - a new model. As yet I have not given it a run as I need to buy a collection of different blades.
If you want to check out this model Laguna, send me a private message as the ACT Woodcraft Guild also purchased two of this model at the Wood Show which are up and running at "the Shed" in Kambar. I would be more than willing to organise to meet you there so you can evaluate them. The 14BX costs just over $2000 plus freight so they are not a budget item.

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