1st bandsaw, advice solicited

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by magic smoke, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    I'm setting up my 1st wood shop (electric, acoustic and cabinet building) and looking to invest in quality tools on a shoestring budget. I'm going to check out this band saw tomorrow. bsaw1.jpg I've heard that certain old tools were built better than new ones, but I'm not sure what to look for when evaluating a band saw of this vintage. "12 inch, newer tires, working well." What should I check for? I've heard a 14" is preferred, is a 12" too small for guitar building?
     
  2. Mase

    Mase Tele-Meister

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    Assuming its working as it should, the saw in your picture will do what you need, except for re sawing the 8" plus boards you need to build acoustics.
    Generally speaking for re sawing you want at least a 2 hp motor and enough room between the table and( at its highest adjustment) the top blade guides to push a 8" board through.I have had similar saws in the past and just "farmed out" the re sawing I needed done to a local joinery.
    Good luck with it.
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Knowing what I know now...I'd just go for a 14" saw. My first one was a 3 wheel crapsman that couldn't cut pine 1 x material with a new blade on it. That, and the companion vintage crapsman table saw got quickly resold, as it was used old junk with limited parts availability. YMMV.

    IF you want to resaw a 7" wide board for a bookmatched top, you may want a riser block to allow that if the machine can't go that high.

    Occasionally you may need to cut a body out of a blank on the left side of a fence from a wider board, or rip a board along a fence placed away from the saw casting. These are two limitations of a smaller machine.


    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/band-saw-questions.748553/#post-7747468
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  4. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    If you are just setting up your shop I would say go for a 14" band saw at the minimum . There are lots of bargain priced smaller saws out there for sale that can get you started but they will have short comings. In the long run buy once , cry once holds pretty true .
     
  5. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That's a really cool looking old saw. It would do much of what you need done for guitar building, assuming it's in good shape.

    However, you risk buying a project instead of a ready-to-go saw. For starters, the motor looks pretty small, but on the other hand, it may be all the power that the saw can handle. I also don't like how the motor is mounted. Unless you have an over abundance of shop space to waste, I'd think you will want to relocate the motor (and guard that dangerously-exposed belt). But that base doesn't look amenable to relocating the motor underneath very readily. A saw that old could very likely need new spindle/wheel bearings. I'd want to take off the blade and check the wheels for wobble. If it's a budget saw, it could have bushings instead of bearings, and/or use obsolete bearings that are not available any more. If you can find replacements, they may need to be pressed on and off, are you equipped to do that?

    Another big point is that by the time you buy parts, and account for your hours getting an old machine up to par, you may well have spent the price of a decent, new 14" machine.

    Anyway, that's my point, Roger and some others of us like to rehab old machines, so these kinds of things don't bother us, assuming the acquisition price is (very) right. But if you're looking to buy a saw and just start doing some guitar-building, it could be a major disappointment. Herb and Marty are long-time builders with experience most of will probably never accumulate; they both have tried it with lesser saws, and have provided very good advice.
     
  6. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    If I told you all the price is $50 and a case of beer would that change any opinions? Is there a quick driveway test to check bearings and wear??
     
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    For $50 that's a good price.The 14 inch is nice but the price is like an MIA Tele. A lot of us rock a Squier or MIM fine. I've built thirty+ guitars with a 12inch bandsaw.

    You want to check
    -motor runs at speed and can you do a test cut (does it bog down on a 2x4, could be worn blade but evaluate)?
    -bearings on each wheel are quiet and don't wobble
    -tension adjuster, spring is ok and you can tighten/loosen
    -low vibration when running
    -bearing guides at the blade are better than fixed disks/blocks/plates. Make sure adjustment screws are not rusted up.

    Find out the exact size blade you need for that saw and write it near the model plate or somewhere you'll look when you need one.
    Blades... http://timberwolfblades.com/Blade-Selector.php#list

    .
     
  8. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! That's exactly what I wanted to know.
     
  9. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    As far as bearings go, they will need to be replaced if they haven't been since the saw was new. It's that simple. The grease in sealed bearings will only last 30 years or so before drying up. Take the blade off and spin the wheels. If they spin freely with little or no friction, the grease is gone.

    Chances are you can find bearings from Accurate Bearing. You'll need some detailed measurements to give them, though. I can get you more info if you go this route.
     
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  10. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    For $50 and a carton, I'd buy it and set it up for cutting metal and spend some real money on a 14" with a riser for resawing as the guys above have said. My first bandsaw was bought over 20 years ago and added a riser soon after buying it and neoprene tyres recently which made a big difference as well. Perhaps the thing that made most improvement was setting up as per Alex Snodgrass with the new neoprene tyres.

    It's very handy to have a dedicated "metal" bandsaw with the appropriate blade.

    DC
     
  11. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    Check the tires.

    Check to see if the motor spins well and that the belt is in fairly good condition.

    Check to see the size of the motor. If it's at least 1 HP, you should be good to go.

    Check to see if the upper and lower thrust bearings / guides are working and in good order.

    With a 12", you won't be able to resaw boards, but you will be able to do a fair amount of work on bodies, necks, and templates.
     
  12. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    Spin them with your finger and see if they spin fairly free, and without making any noise.

    The same with the motor.

    Usually, those old motors were build like tanks.
     
  13. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Remove the blade and hold the wheels by the outer edges and see how much lateral play they have.
     
  14. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    Thank you all for the wealth of advice you’ve shared! It’s great to have access to the ”hive consciousness” when making decisions outside of my expertise.

    Last Sunday I drove quite a distance to check out the saw and consider the purchase. The saw looked really cool but the bearings had never been replaced. There was quite a bit of slop in the wheels, and the motor bogged out on a 4/4 piece of oak. Old cast iron saws are awesome, and I’m sure once rebuilt it’ll run for another 100 yrs. It was a tough call to make especially for the price. I made the decision that at this point in time I want to be in the business of building guitars not restoring antique machinery.

    The seller was a very nice guy, said he understood my decision and wasn’t worried because there had been several inquiries from other collectors. I gave him one of the bottles of rare beer I had brought for the trade. (I work at a very famous brewery, and we get free beer all of the time!) The guy was so happy, he gave me a stack of some of the prettiest curly/ tiger/flame maple I’ve ever seen! This unexpected score totally made the trip worthwhile.

    Thank you all for your kind advice and guidance! The quest continues…
     
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  15. cleanheadsteve

    cleanheadsteve Tele-Meister

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    I wish I had your common sense. I've been building machines for the last couple of years and have yet to finish a guitar build. But it sure is fun seeing those machines run after throwing together what is usually a bunch of free junk.
     
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