Bandsaw advice...

AndrewLP1081996

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I'm thinking about a bandsaw for Christmas. What would be the minimum requirements to use it for guitar building? I would use it for cutting out bodies necks etc. my price range is about 200-250$ I've never delt with these so any advice is appreciated, thanks Andrew.
 

evolved_insanity

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Save more money and befriend a woodworker with a good one or borrow someone else's while you do save more money.

All kidding aside, that is a very, very small budget for a decent bandsaw. I wish you luck in your search.
 

Claymore

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I have been using the Rikon 10" for 4 years now, no issues.
If you aren't planning on doing any resaw, and just cutting jigs, the odd body and neck profiles, it works fine.
You just need a good blade - like the Viking...
 

tnt423

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You can find some very nice old cast iron units for that or less. The key is to be patient. I found my 1920-30s Wallace Snowflake for jut the price of going to get it. Wired up a new switch and put a new blade in and started building. Only has a 9" vertical resaw capacity, but I find that more than adequate most times. I have heard of a lot of people getting these for $50-70. Be care full that you don't get one with a three phase motor unless you have three phase power available or are willing to convert it to a belt drive and put a motor down under the lower wheel. You can find info on these old cast iron beasts at vintagemachinery.org. I believe there is classified section there for machines up for sale.
Good luck and enjoy the holidays! :fingersx:
 

dougk

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You sure as hell aren't going to find a new one for your budget... but that's not really a bad thing either. Technology hasn't really changed about bandsaws over the years but quality has. Often older is better.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Ok thanks guys I will keep an eye out on Craigslist etc. are benchtop bandsaws powerful enough to handle guitar work?
 

dinkyguitar

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Here's the one I bought, Craftsman 1/3 hp 3.5 amp 10" Band Saw (21400)



It says $179.00 on the sears site. I lucked out and got it for $98, since the store had an older model that was marked down, plus I had a coupon.

I used a jigsaw to cut my body out and bought this afterwards. But I can tell you I fed it my 1 3/4" mahogany leftovers and it cut through like butter.

It's a little tight when cutting out a les paul body by the inner horn because it needs to be like an inch wider, but for the price I got, it's hard to beat.

Here's a you tube review from a guy who makes guitars.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rifiInv6-b8"]Tool Review: Craftsman 10 inch bandsaw luthier tools resaw guitar project - YouTube[/ame]

dinky,
 

akwusmc

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Ok thanks what's a good blade length to get?
Andrew, your saw will dictate what size (length) blade to get.

Now if you're talking about blade width, you're on your own! The more intricate the cut the narrower the blade. Resawing should use wider blades.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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OK thanks guys When I was referring to blade size I meant what length of saw I'm guessing 10 inches will work. The craftsman one might work since I'm just roughing out bodies necks etc. Thanks for the recommendation Dinky. I will still keep my eye open for a used one though.
 

pfox14

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With that budget you are going to be limited to benchtop bandsaws, which are good, but not really heavy-duty enough for a lot of guitar work. Expect to pay $500-600 for a decent 14" bandsaw, which would be preferable.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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I might be changing my mind to a rigid belt/spindle sander combo that's another tool I want. I just can't afford a 500$ tool right now especially with college coming up next year.
 

emoney

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Look on Craigslist and you'll find a used, 14" that will be just fine for your needs and probably around $100.00. The 10", which I have one, is great for the small parts but it struggles on the bodies and it's of no use for any resawing. You're much better off buying something used, that's quality, than trying to skimp on something new that just won't do what you want it to do.

As for the spindle sander, now that's a good idea. I've heard most say they aren't so pleased with the belt sander option on the Rigid, so keep that in mind. If you've got a Harbor Freight near you, you can pick up the same oscillating spindle sander that Grizzly sells for around $130.00 with a coupon (which are readily available). The spindle sander you will get a TON of use out of.
 

DRF

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Of course getting the best tools you can buy is the way to go -in fact it has always been some sort of a metal/wood/auto worker Mantra, I would never argue otherwise, having said that a lot of guitar builders just don't need production shop equipment. I've actually worked in a serious production shop and there are even a couple hobby sized tools scattered about.

For example that 10in bandsaw is similar to one I've had for 10yrs, how many bodies can you cut out with it?, hundreds. Now theres been times I wish I had a bigger saw but most of that is resawing.

Home despot in Canada has quit carrying that belt sander, I saw one here -last on the shelf for $200, I was reading reviews and apparently they changed some sort of belt drive design for the last ones and there is a vibration problem, other reviewers expressed concerns of where to get sanding belts that size now.

EDIT: so I go into HD to pick up some router bits, not that HD has awesome prices but Wallyworld is next door...drive across town to save a couple bucks naw. Anyway I see they got 3 of those belt sanders in stock, and I think ah what the Hell $200 bucks, the tilting table I always liked and the belts you can get in like 30-50 grit etc etc, my old one is making funny sounds...so what the hell.
 

emoney

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I don't know the name, but that's no too important really. All of these bandsaws like this model are made in China now and you can find them labeled under a BUNCH of different brands. Look on Grizzly dot com and you'll see the exact same saw for $400.00

That would be a great addition to your shop and I bet you can get the guy down with cash. Offer him $100 and go from there. The xtra blades, depending on what they are, are worth $20-$30 at least, assuming they're in usable condition. Parts are readily available for that model, btw.
 

emoney

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You can still get a riser block for that one, btw, in case you ever wanted more resaw capabilities. Cost is about $70.00 with the longer blade.
 


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