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Thread: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

  1. #1
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    get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    I am trying to decide which way to go for my first real major piece of equipment (the drill press is supposed to arrive tomorrow -- woohoo!) and I would appreciate feedback based on your experiences. I have been lurking on the forum for a couple months now and really appreciate the time you take helping each other out. Would you recommend starting with a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    I know the conventional wisdom is for a tablesaw, and I have wept with appreciation at some of the photos that have been posted of various tablesaw setups. My most immediate projects in sort of prioritized order include making a router table, some adirondack chairs for the patio I toiled over this summer, a small sailing skiff, maybe a bed for my youngest, small arts-and-crafts type tables, and some bookcases. Who knows what will come along in 2010 when I am done with all that. It seems to me that I could get a lot of mileage out of a bandsaw in there. How well can you rip with a bandsaw? I have a copy of Lonnie Bird's Bandsaw Book, so I know you have to correct for blade drift. Can you do a decent enough job for things like bookcases? Or should I just count on getting a tablesaw to do those projects? Thanks in advance for any thoughts you care to share.

    Dennis


  2. #2
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    If most of your projects involve straight cuts then I would say go with the table saw. Do you have a circular saw, if not you will not be able to cross cut any lengths longer than the throat depth of the band saw. You will also be able to cut dados and rabbets with the circular saw. You can always get a saber saw to cut any curves in the meantime.
    Just my .02 cents worth
    Frank C.

    Sawdust Making 101
    http://sawdustmaking.com
    Frank C

    Sawdust Making 101
    http://sawdustmaking.com

  3. #3
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    [font size ="7"]Heya Dennis!
    http://www.fortunecity.com/business/...4/229960f0.gif
    To the Forum!
    [/font]

    What's your budget?

    For about $400 you can get a Ryobi BT3100 tablesaw AND a 9" bandsaw...

    Give us a peek into the ol' wallet eh ;)

  4. #4
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    You ask about ripping on a bandsaw. For ripping solid hardwood stock the bandsaw is quite good; for large panels and sheet goods the tablesaw, or better yet sliding table saw, are the tool of choice. If you want to rip on a bandsaw I would suggest a bandsaw that can properly tension and support a 1" wide, carbide blade; unfortunately bandsaws like this aren't cheap ($2k+). The wider the blade, the truer the cut. When I had my 14" Jet bandsaw I would only rip thick stock with it (>2 1/2") that couldn't be ripped on the tablesaw. The cut wasn't great but it could be cleaned up easily on a jointer. With my Minimax MM20 (20", 4.8hp) I tend to use it more often to rip stock because it's safer than the tablesaw (no kickback) and tends to do a better job with stock that's prone to close up behind the kerf. Besides, with a 1" carbide tipped band, the cut quality is extreemly good (close to that of a tablesaw with a great blade) and generally only sanding is required, maybe a very light pass with a hand plane. If you're looking at lower priced machines I would rip stock on the tablesaw.

  5. #5
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    Steven

    I agree about ripping with a band saw. I have a MM 16 and Mini-Max does not recommend using a carbide blade on a wheel with a diameter less than 20" because of the possibility of work hardening the blade shortening the blade's useful life. I recently purchased a 1" Timberwolf blade from Suffolk Machinery for my ripping needs - works just fine.

    I had to rip some 2x6 at a 5d angle this weekend. The bandsaw was the tool to use.

    I leave sheet good sawing for my CU300S :)

  6. #6
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    Thanks for the feedback. I am attracted to the bandsaw because of its relative safety as Steven points out, but I am afraid I cannot break into the 20" realm. I have read a bunch of reviews and the book that I mentioned, so I know that tension is the key to bandsaw success -- and of course there bigger is better. To answer Marc's question I have a budget of about $800 which gets me into that never-never land of a decent Delta contractor's table saw or for a bit more prying open of the wallet (well, okay, let's be honest, stretching the purse strings) a Grizzly cabinet saw. (And I have read oodles and oodles of archived threads on that -- I won't even go there.) Or a nicely outfitted 14" bandsaw with its admitted limitations for ripping stock but pretty snazzy for doing curves. But it seems the consensus is that if I want to be building bookcases and other rectilinear type stuff I ought to be looking at a tablesaw of some sort, right? Guess I will have to mull this over some more.

    On the brighter side, the drill press arrived as promised. Got some setting up to do and cleaning off the protective gunk. I think I remember people put a wax on their cast iron stuff after that procedure. Is there anything special you use? Thanks again for your input.

    Dennis


  7. #7
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    get the cabinet saw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    Well, although I'm not one of them, many a furniture maker that never owned a table saw. The band saw is the prefered saw for table legs ect. Resaw on one is tons safer, and far less waiste.

    On the other hand. http://www.australianwoodart.com/ uses a BT3000 to make his furniture. Only saw he owns.
    Keystone

    One of the Original Charter Members. Circa 2000

    No longer here. Can now be found at WoW.




  9. #9
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    RE: get a bandsaw or a tablesaw?

    If that's your price range then I would probably go with the Grizzly cabinet saw. I use a PM66 and a cabinet saw is definately a pleasure to use, once tuned up.

  10. #10
    Sonny Edmonds
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    Iron....

    "On the brighter side, the drill press arrived as promised. Got some setting up to do and cleaning off the protective gunk. I think I remember people put a wax on their cast iron stuff after that procedure. Is there anything special you use? Thanks again for your input."

    I use Johnson's paste wax myself. I donno how many years old my present can is. But it is more than several. ;)

    :D

    [link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds]
    "Precision Firewood Specialist"
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    It ain't an excuse, just a fact."

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