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I have a Dremel scroll saw and Proxxon table saw. I am not happy using either to cut down 3cm cherrywood boards to framing stock etc. Will a hobby bandsaw be useful or pay for itself for future work, or shall I simply pay woodshop to cut it on a full-size table saw? I'm asking because I'm a rather impetuous purchaser of tools and just taken delivery of a Proxxon Thicknesser. 

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Hello Stuglo, I can only speak for myself but I will never be without a bandsaw again. I used them on and off during my working life and when retirement came I was expecting to find a small one useful in the shop. I got a Scheppach HBS20, possibly the smallest proper bandsaw available.

https://scheppachdirect.com/product/hbs20-8-band-saw/

 

It is now the 'go-to' tool in my workshop. I may get a larger bandsaw one day but I will keep this small one till it dies.

By the way, the Scheppach customer service here in the UK is brilliant.

Hope this helps,

Bruce

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Thank you. Unfortunately Scheppach only ships within UK. It looks good value. I checked out the Axminster AC1400 B and Proxxon, but cost of shipping doubles cost. Your endorsement encourages me to continue to consider one favorably. Shipping from the USA is somehow cheaper, but 110v is a nuisance

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37 minutes ago, stuglo said:

Unfortunately Scheppach only ships within UK.

Glad it was useful. They are a German company and distribute throughout Europe, perhaps there is a retailer out there somewhere who can help. There are other good bandsaws besides Scheppach and I would suggest you go for whichever one can be supported in your area as aftersales service can be critical.

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For resawing, a full size bandsaw is the tool to use.  14" will do the job, but I paid extra for a 3HP  220V motor.  My sense of the situation is that they are all of Asian origin.  The bells and whistles on the Rikon and Laguna seem different, but the base looks about the same.  If you do a lot of it, the amount spent on blades will approach or exceed what the machine costs.  With this tool, 1" and 2" (or more) rough lumber can be used.   There is definite sticker shock, but carbide resaw blades are more cost effective.  Steel blades do not last, especially with the denser species of wood that play nicer for scratch building.  A bit shorter life than carbide is bimetal  3T/4T blades, but they close to carbide in duration of use and a lot closer to steel in cost.    It would be good for your pocketbook if your country played nice with the Chinese directly.  Almost anything that you can do with a 9" or 10" benchtop bandsaw, can be done with a 14" floor model.  My 9" is reserved for scroll cutting, there is no 1/8" blade for my 14".  There is a lot that can be done with big bandsaw that a small one can't do.  The foot print for parking is smaller than I imagined. 

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Don't know if it is available to you but I find the WEN 2 speed 9" bandsaw very useful.  Amazon sells them in the US for under US $300 including shipping.  It isn't going to be as powerful as a 12" or 14" bandsaw but is completely adequate for resawing 1" hardwood stock.

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7 minutes ago, grsjax said:

Don't know if it is available to you but I find the WEN 2 speed 9" bandsaw very useful.  Amazon sells them in the US for under US $300 including shipping.  It isn't going to be as powerful as a 12" or 14" bandsaw but is completely adequate for resawing 1" hardwood stock.

I’ve been in the market for a new bandsaw myself and can’t decide to go with the 10” WEN or the 9”.    They both have many great reviews.   

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Having just decided on the Proxxon, I checked up on this post -Wen 9 or 10 inch. Apart from the issue of 2speeds and a stand ( and different motor amp)they seem equally useful for  woodworking. ? Are the blade guides similar and other important considerations? The difference in price is substantial ?Is the extra money for the 10 inch, let alone the Proxxon and other competitors justified. I usually consult my boss(wife) but she would simply ask if I really needed it

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Don't forget the alex snodgrass' adjustment method! When I was discouraged by the $139 cheapest bandsaw, his method gave a new life to my band saw, and I was able to do resawing 90mm cherry woodsheet properly by the troublesome band saw!

 

However, I definitely recommend you to buy 14 inch bandsaw if you need serious resawing work as someone said above.

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For the size of timbers we normally use for ship modelling I've found the Proxxon bandsaw more than adequate. I've also cut 6mm brass sheet and 25 mm aluminium rod with it. Like all their tools it is very well made, if somewhat pricey.

 

Derek

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Just two questions about the Proxxon bandsaw, as well as other small (8-10") bandsaws:

 

1. On the Proxxon specifically I don't see a rip fence, so can you use it to re-saw logs to a constant thickness?

 

2. Several reviews of small bandsaws say they are not very good at re-sawing lumber over 25mm thick. What's the experience of people here? I need to cut pieces 50mm thick as that seems to be the common thickness of wood provided here in the UK, but have been put off buying a small bandsaw because of such reviews.

 

Any advice, as always, is most welcome!

 

Tony

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17 minutes ago, tkay11 said:

2. Several reviews of small bandsaws say they are not very good at re-sawing lumber over 25mm thick. What's the experience of people here? I need to cut pieces 50mm thick as that seems to be the common thickness of wood provided here in the UK, but have been put off buying a small bandsaw because of such reviews.

Perhaps the post above will help. It is always down to the same question: 'What is the job you want a tool to do?'. The job illustrated in the post is bigger than the task you describe but it was still within the capabilities of the tool. I have used the same jig for resawing planed-all-round timber with very good results provided the correct blade is used. After careful setup and some practice, you should be able to resaw on a small bandsaw with ease.

 

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I agree, bruce. I'm also asking whether these small bandsaws manage 50mm thick lumber. I know they say they have 80mm depth of cut, but reviews seem to suggest they have difficulty in cutting to 50mm depth for the hard woods modellers work with. I would have thought it requires a lot of skill in addition to make sure such thicknesses are cut PAR if there is no fence. Are they up to the job I'm asking about? If so, are they all equally so?

 

Tony

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I thank you all but i'm finding that "a little learning is a dangerous thing". Each article, tip, internet reference bounces me between options. I know that whatever the choice- it will be the wrong on. At the risk of irritating you further, let me say that it falls between the proxxon with a smaller table  and lack of fence, and the 9in. Wen with fixed speed, ? weaker motor  and alleged difficulty in setting-up. I welcome comments and  advice. (p.s. the educational videos are really good)

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There are two WEN 9" saws.  The better one is the WEN 3939T 2.8-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Band Saw with the ball bearing guides.  The 10" is more powerful and has a larger throat but costs about $100 more.  As far as cutting thick, hard wood both will do the job but care has to be taken in feeding the wood to the blade.  I think the Proxxon is way over priced for what you get and no more capable than the cheaper and larger band saws available.

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13 hours ago, tkay11 said:

I'm also asking whether these small bandsaws manage 50mm thick lumber. I know they say they have 80mm depth of cut, but reviews seem to suggest they have difficulty in cutting to 50mm depth for the hard woods modellers work with. I would have thought it requires a lot of skill in addition to make sure such thicknesses are cut PAR if there is no fence. Are they up to the job I'm asking about? If so, are they all equally so?

All bandsaws are not created equal. Most, however, have a lot in common. If you have a well set-up bandsaw with the right blade you should be able to do the tasks you have named easily. Like all tools, don't expect to get the good results with bad practice, so get your saw, learn how to use it (safely) and enjoy it.

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Thanks for input. I have decided against the proxxon . BUT decision now between Wen 3939 or Skill 3386!! (difficult to believe I bought in last year proxxon milling and thicknesser tools with relatively little anguish) 

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I hope what I am about to say does not just add confusion.  A key to a bandsaw working well is blade tension, especially when using wider blades for resawing.  If you are able to see these saws in person before buying, I would buy the saw that is most heavily built and has the most rugged tensioning mechanism.  The amount of tension will also be limited by the spring rate (force/displacement) of the blade tensioning spring, assuming that these small bandsaws have one.  I just replaced the spring in my 14in bandsaw with a stiffer spring.

 

Roger

 

 

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9 hours ago, stuglo said:

BUT decision now between Wen 3939 or Skill 3386!!

Just my 2 cents but I think the Wen is the better value and for what you would have paid for the Proxxon you can get the Wen 10" which is a quantum leap forward in performance over both the Wen 3939 and Skill 3386.

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Most of my questions have been answered by an excellent masterclass on bandsaw use on YouTube. It is based on a Record bandsaw, but the lessons apply to any bandsaw. It is also longish at 50 minutes, but very well worth the entire video. It goes into depth about setting up a bandsaw, which blades to use, problems to avoid, maintenance, how to cut various types of timber, changing blades etc.

 

You can find it at

 

Tony

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Good video Tony, I do have one word of caution however: the presenter advises the use of silcone on the table and mechanism of the bandsaw to reduce friction, which of course works and may be standard practice in some environments. The problem is that even minute traces of silicone, from a fingertip or tool, has the potential to really mess up any finish a modeller may want to apply months after it finds it's way onto the wood (or virtually any other surface). 

Others may not agree but, based on expensive experience, silicone is banned in my shop.

The practical approach of the presenter in the video is very helpful. 

 

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I'm a big fan of bandsaws,  My remarks may not be fully applicable to your needs (a 14" with 12" depth of cut, and a 12" with a 6" depth of cut. ), but I think a couple of observations might be useful to you.

 

I watched the sales video of the Axminister AC1400B and read through the manual.  It appears to be a decently built machine for the price ($225USD) and the manual is well written .  But I'm skeptical that it could properly tension a 13mm blade - that's a bit difficult even on  my 1940s-50s era 14" Delta with a  cast iron frame.  Insufficient blade tension will be manifested by bowed and wandering cutting. I think the standard 6mm/6TPI is appropriate, or at most possibly an 8mm blade would be ok (By the way, one rule of thumb is that 3 or 4 teeth should be in the wood when cutting, although an additional 1-2 teeth won't be problem if the rate is slow enough to eject the dust from the kerf.)   Other than that,  perhaps modern blade metallurgy has improved the flexibility of bandsaw blades.  In earlier times,  blades broke quite often on saws with less than 12" wheels.

Finally, if the blade tension, tracking, and guides are properly set, then it should be possible split a pencil line without a fence or miter gauge.  Indeed, very fine work can be done - look at this 6cm tall reindeer that Alex Snodgrass (see above) cut out freehand for my young daughter, all the while  conversing with the audience at a woodworking products show.  

rdeer.jpg

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On 3/11/2020 at 4:06 PM, Bob Blarney said:

Finally, if the blade tension, tracking, and guides are properly set, then it should be possible split a pencil line without a fence or miter gauge. 

It's my impression that fences, and to some extent miter gauges, are a relatively new thing with band saws. I was taught the same as above: If the blade is wandering, you need to check tension and tracking. (The guides should not be touching the blade unless it's being pushed out of line.) 

 

I can't claim to be an expert on bandsaws, but I can't imagine doing re-sawing on a bandsaw with anything less than a 14" bandsaw. If I were cutting slabs off of a three inch piece of wood, I'd be using my tablesaw. If I wanted to cut curves in thin stock, I'd be using my scroll saw or old "jigsaw," a Craftsman/King Seeley cast iron beast, not the modern hand-held "jigsaw." It seems that people in this thread, and others, are looking for small bandsaws, perhaps for price, or perhaps due to space considerations, but they expect the small "toys" to tackle work the standard 14" and larger bandsaws are meant to do. 

 

  • MNPC.168.B.gif

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On 3/15/2020 at 10:13 PM, Bob Cleek said:

It's my impression that fences, and to some extent miter gauges, are a relatively new thing with band saws. I was taught the same as above: If the blade is wandering, you need to check tension and tracking. (The guides should not be touching the blade unless it's being pushed out of line.) 

 

I can't claim to be an expert on bandsaws, but I can't imagine doing re-sawing on a bandsaw with anything less than a 14" bandsaw. If I were cutting slabs off of a three inch piece of wood, I'd be using my tablesaw. If I wanted to cut curves in thin stock, I'd be using my scroll saw or old "jigsaw," a Craftsman/King Seeley cast iron beast, not the modern hand-held "jigsaw." It seems that people in this thread, and others, are looking for small bandsaws, perhaps for price, or perhaps due to space considerations, but they expect the small "toys" to tackle work the standard 14" and larger bandsaws are meant to do. 

 

 

Resawing on a table saw has some disadvantages - it wastes (expensive) wood, and there are instances where it could be dangerous. 

 

I've resawn granadillo (a very hard rosewood)  1"Th x 11"W  into   3/32" Th  x 11" W veneer for guitar parts, using a riser block on my old 14" Delta Milwaukee with a 3/8" x 105"  Lenox Tri-Master blade, and a high fence.   But here's one technique for resawing using both a table saw and a bandsaw:

 

1. On the table saw, cut a 3/8" deep groove on the edges of the board

2. On the bandsaw, place a wooden table on top,  drive a 6p or 8p nail just before the blade and clip it about 1/4"  high.  Now you can use the clipped nail to register the edge of the board and  guide it through the bandsaw.

 

There are also 'point' fences, where a board is clamped with a sharp corner just beside the teeth of the bandsaw blade.  That way the board can be skewed to cut thin slices.  I don't find that to be good method. 

But here's the safest way, which I'd do from now on: 

https://youtu.be/VNbq4WuJmRk

 

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17 hours ago, Bob Blarney said:

Resawing on a table saw has some disadvantages - it wastes (expensive) wood, and there are instances where it could be dangerous. 

 

I've resawn granadillo (a very hard rosewood)  1"Th x 11"W  into   3/32" Th  x 11" W veneer for guitar parts, using a riser block on my old 14" Delta Milwaukee with a 3/8" x 105"  Lenox Tri-Master blade, and a high fence.   But here's one technique for resawing using both a table saw and a bandsaw:

 

1. On the table saw, cut a 3/8" deep groove on the edges of the board

2. On the bandsaw, place a wooden table on top,  drive a 6p or 8p nail just before the blade and clip it about 1/4"  high.  Now you can use the clipped nail to register the edge of the board and  guide it through the bandsaw.

 

There are also 'point' fences, where a board is clamped with a sharp corner just beside the teeth of the bandsaw blade.  That way the board can be skewed to cut thin slices.  I don't find that to be good method. 

But here's the safest way, which I'd do from now on: 

https://youtu.be/VNbq4WuJmRk

 

 

I was referring to using the table saw for slicing 3" sheets off of billets. The greater kerf waste on a table saw is a given, of course. For edge-cutting guide slots for resawing on my table saw, I always use a tenoning jig for safety.

 

  • s-l1000.jpg

 

Then there's the old-fashioned way with a bandsaw. Run a line down the edge of the jointed piece you want to resaw with your marking gauge and then just run it through the bandsaw following the marked line.

  • marking-gauge.jpg
     
    • a6fb237f26bcfd76f0132f096bfd396a.jpg
       
      Or you can avoid buying a bandsaw entirely and do it using hand tools. All that's needed is a marking gauge and a shop-made frame saw or hand saw.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

 

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