Need Recs for Bandsaw

dean

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Looking to get a bandsaw for some guitar work. The most I would be doing is cutting bodies and necks, so I don't need an industrial strength saw and will probably buy a used one. There are a number of used 9" to 14" saws (lots of Craftsman 12" bandsaws for $100) on craigslist and Marketplace. I'd like to keep the price below $200 for a used saw. I'd appreciate any suggestions, recommendations, and opinions as I start my search. Thanks!
 

trapdoor2

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Yah, 14" is my minimum. I grew up on a 12" Craftsman, currently have a 14" Delta. I would eventually like a more powerful motor...maybe sell the Delta and buy a Laguna...
 

Freeman Keller

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I do have one of the 12 inch Craftsman saws. I think I gave 75 for it at a yard sale, mounted on a little wheeled cart with a 1/3 hp motor. I upped the motor to 1/2 hp, bought several new blades and added a decent rip fence, and took the time to set it up well. It will easily cut 3 inch or thicker necks, resaw small pieces and has built 30 guitars, as much as I would like a bigger saw this one has been fine.
 

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eallen

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For edged cutting a decent 12" is adequate. For resawing the only affordable stock 14" capable of half a guitar body or 6.5" plus are a Rikon or more affordable Rikon made Craftsman capable of 8" resaw. I owned a Rikon/Craftsman for years runing a 3/4" resaw blade & it was equal to any under $700 saw I have used. Those pop on Marketplafe for $300 periodically
 

old wrench

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Delta or Rockwell 14". Those take a 96" blade and you can get a height attachment for resawing taking 105" blade. Buy your last bandsaw first. The Delta is the one that was copied for 50 years. I'd avoid a 3 wheel bandsaw and anything under 12".

For sure!

A Delta 14" or one of the better import copies is a great bandsaw - they are a simple and basic design, and there are tons of replacement parts for them - plus they are very easy to fix when something breaks or wears out -

no problems at all finding parts for them

They use "standard" size (93-1/2") blades that are available in any width or tooth configuration you could ask for

I use an old import 14" that I bought off of CL long ago for $75 bucks - it uses all of the same generic parts that are sold for the Delta and its other copies.

The Delta-type 14's have a simple blade tracking and tensioning adjustment, and the blade guides are easy to set - there is plenty of info on the web that shows how to adjust them so they cut straight and true

.
 

RolandG

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Yah, 14" is my minimum. I grew up on a 12" Craftsman, currently have a 14" Delta. I would eventually like a more powerful motor...maybe sell the Delta and buy a Laguna...
The advantage of a 14” is that you can slice a guitar body blank, and plank trees that are big enough to make blanks. However they need a fair amount of power. Mine‘s a Laguna, bought with retirement funds.
 

trapdoor2

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The advantage of a 14” is that you can slice a guitar body blank, and plank trees that are big enough to make blanks. However they need a fair amount of power. Mine‘s a Laguna, bought with retirement funds.
I don't think my Delta is 1hp, more like 1/2hp. I struggled with resawing until I bought a specialized carbide-tooth resaw blade. Helped a lot!
 

dean

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I've been doing a fair amount of searching, and I'm not finding many 14" saws that are in my price range. There are a ton of the Craftsman 12" saws out there in the $50-$150 range, and that may be the way I go. There are a couple decent 14" saws available in the $300-$400 range (Craftsman, Rockwell, Ridgid) that are older. All of the 14" saws entail a 100 mile drive. The Craftsman looks nicest and has an OBO tag - I may send an offer on that one. Any further suggestions? Thanks for the input, so far.
 

Davecam48

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My advice is to buy a 14" unit and be prepared to replace the tyres on both of the wheels if 2nd. hand. Do a complete blade tracking set up and replace rubber tyres with neoprene as the originals will most probably be rubber.

There are numerous "set-up" docos on the web.

My 14" unit is 23 years old and with the neoprene tyres and a tracking set-up is running better than when I bought it brand new!

DC
 

Davecam48

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As a small funny aside, when I bought mine years ago the shop owner helped me load it onto my trailer, and he showed me a small hole in the base of the unit which seemed way out of place which all of that model seemed to have.

The story goes that when the saw was designed, the proto -type was sent to Japan to be copied and mass manufactured as deck cargo.

However apparently somewhere on the trip it's lashing to the deck worked loose and it moved and came into contact with something sharp like a small nail which punched a tiny hole in the base metal.

This was copied blindly by the Japanese factory for several years apparently, but nobody knew it's purpose.

DC
 

Powdog

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I waited patiently and picked up a 1977 (45 years old) Delta Rockwell 14” bandsaw with an enclosed base, Baldor motor and the original retirement light. Replaced the tires and installed a Carter roller guide and it’s better than just about anything new. USA cast iron and solid. At $400 it was worth waiting for.
 

eallen

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Just an FYI, the majority of 14" cast iron stylw saws like delta & similar are 6 to 6.25" resaw. That means the largest width top you could book match is a two 6.25" pieces glued for 12.5". That is the final dimension for strat & tele so not much wiggle room. You can add a riser block down the road with a longer blade getting a total resaw of 12", if they have a minimum of 1hp to handle it. That gets you to what you need to resaw a full book match plus some. It unfortunately is still not the needed 13" plus to resaw an entire body width, which isn't essential for most. To step to 13"+ resaw is a different price range with only two 14" saws available capable of doing it & very few 17" saws capable. The Jet JSW14 like I have is one and Rikon makes the other.

On the other hand the 14" Rikon steel frame (Rikon/Craftsman) is capable of 8" resaw without adding a riser block or larger blade. That gives plenty of room for book match resaw. While not capable of 12" like adding a a riser block the that extra 4" still doesn't bring up to the needed 13" for full body resaw. If you are doing a body more than 16" wide that is where the riser block 12" resaw becomes a benefit.

Bang for your buck, shoot for 8" resaw, IMHO. 🙂
 

jkingma

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I spent many years working with a 2 or 3 hundred dollar bandsaw. And even though it did a lot of work and helped build over 50 guitars and a bunch of furniture, it came with a lot of frustration as well. I recently upgraded to a new King 14" saw and I wish I had done that right from the start. I've bought a lot of sub standard tools over the years and almost every time I have regretted it.

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Davecam48

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I spent many years working with a 2 or 3 hundred dollar bandsaw. And even though it did a lot of work and helped build over 50 guitars and a bunch of furniture, it came with a lot of frustration as well. I recently upgraded to a new King 14" saw and I wish I had done that right from the start. I've bought a lot of sub standard tools over the years and almost every time I have regretted it.

View attachment 1058888
Nice looking unit John!!!! Is there a riser block made for it? I fitted a riser (about 5_ 6 inches) soon after purchasing it. The extra cutting height is very helpful 99% of the time! Your's looks as if it already has a decent height of cut, so should be just perfect for guitar work!

DC
 

jkingma

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Nice looking unit John!!!! Is there a riser block made for it? I fitted a riser (about 5_ 6 inches) soon after purchasing it. The extra cutting height is very helpful 99% of the time! Your's looks as if it already has a decent height of cut, so should be just perfect for guitar work!

DC

No I don't think it will take a riser. But it's got more than enough room for anything I'm going to do. I put a riser in the last saw I had but the motor didn't have the muscle to resaw anything, and I destroyed more good wood than I used. If and when I decide to tackle another acoustic I'll just buy precut wood for the top & back (and sides).
 

eallen

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I spent many years working with a 2 or 3 hundred dollar bandsaw. And even though it did a lot of work and helped build over 50 guitars and a bunch of furniture, it came with a lot of frustration as well. I recently upgraded to a new King 14" saw and I wish I had done that right from the start. I've bought a lot of sub standard tools over the years and almost every time I have regretted it.

View attachment 1058888
Looks like my Jet 14"! My Jet incidentally has an advertised 13" resaw capacity. It has a single cap bolt on the back of the guard post that serves as a stop that I can find no real purpose for that when removed opens thw resaw to just over 14". I don't see the bolt on yours.

If I had the room I wished I had kept my previous 14" saw as well to keep a small blade for cutting shapes. Changing the 3/4" resaw blade I use quite a bit on the Jet is a pain to want to do very often.

Nice looking unit John!!!! Is there a riser block made for it? I fitted a riser (about 5_ 6 inches) soon after purchasing it. The extra cutting height is very helpful 99% of the time! Your's looks as if it already has a decent height of cut, so should be just perfect for guitar work!

DC

Steel frame saws don't have the option for risers as cast frame ones due. They do tend to have larger resaw capabilities by design though.

Eric
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