Band Saw Sanity Check

Rob in NC

Rob
Senior User
Evening, folks
Looking for a sanity check here on a band saw. I'd like to first give a little description of the proposed usage of this tool and see if I'm on the right track.

Despite this being a woodworker forum, I cant call myself a woodworker. I mainly do blacksmithing and make knives. Secondarily and more recently, I've done wood turning. Bowls and rings mainly and rather enjoy it.
I have a small 10x10 grinding shop with belt grinders, metal cutting portaband, small metal lathe and mini mill and random buffers/grinders. I also have a 12x20 shop with benches, assembly areas, forge, anvils, press, welder and my wood lathe. That said, I dont have a ton of room.

Currently on one bench I have a Ryobi 9 inch rattle trap band saw. I mainly use this for cutting handle scales for knives. I've recently got a vacuum pot and will be experimenting with resins and stabilized wood. The Ryobi is sufficient in that I've rarely (if ever) felt the need for a larger tool, I would just like something a bit more precise and refined.

I realize there will be the crowd that says 'get a 14 inch bandsaw at a minimum' but I'm struggling to find the space and also wondering if I 'really' need that large. Sure, if I can find the space, a 14 is going to be better than a 10, but I dont resaw lumber. I dont work with larger pieces to make furniture, etc. I typically only work with small items. As mentioned, I've not felt my current setup is too small, just not refined and accurate. I think probably the most I would use this for that needs some level of precision is breaking down larger sections of wood into bookmatched knife scales or small ring blanks. I would like the ability to cut out some bowl blanks for bowls around 8 inches or some small burl pieces for turning.

I've looked at a 10 inch Delta or a 10 inch Rikon. I'd like it to be easily adjusted and set up. It will be bolted to my workbench. I'd love to build a stand that I could put casters on to move around, but the footprint on a 10 v 14 isnt much and so I'm back to the space issue.

So some advice... given my space constraints and intended use, am I on the right track here? Is there another model I should be looking at? If not, is there a preferred consensus on Delta v Rikon? With either of those two mentioned really be an upgrade over my current Ryobi given the investment? FWIW, I've checked locally as best I can and found nothing used. I think Facebook has a for sale section, but I dont do Facebook.

Appreciate any feedback!
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Delta advertised their model 768 as the best 10" band saw ever made. To this day, I tend to agree. The guides and trunnions are interchangeable with the Delta 14" saws. Cast iron frame and table. All ball bearings. Made from 1939 to 1941. Competition for these classic little gems can get steep so if you find one grab it and restore it. Its well worth it.

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Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Bob-Agreed this and the Delta 14 inch brother both have a small foot print. I have been looking for one for awhile without success. Worth having. They usually come with a 3/4-1hp motor
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
I found the key difference for vibration is cast iron wheels and tables which you will only find on vintage small saws. In machine tools, it seems the more iron the better.

For new, the Rikon 10-3061 may be the only real upgrade short of a 14. From the forums, owners seem to like them.

Have you tried to balance your wheels? Are they round? Without a quick release tension, are your tires flat-spotted? Quality blades with smooth welds? What kind of drive belt? Chinese V-belts are never round or smooth and cause a lot of vibration. If it is a flat multi-rib, than probably not an issue if correctly tensioned. ( or never been rolled on and off. That damages belts internally.) You can make things, maybe you can make yours better.

The catch-22 is that to make a 10 inch of the same quality as a really good 14 would cost almost the same, so the market would be very small. If you found a heavy old vintage Delta or General saw that was on a base, I bet you could convert it to benchtop.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
The difference between a great small band saw and a mediocre one is more about reliability than anything else. If the blade stays on the wheels and the guides can be adjusted to your needs stay with what you have. The most used power tool in my shop is a 9" Craftsman model 124.3299 that is straight off the same line where Rikon is made. Other than the label it has a cast Iron table vs the cast Aluminum table on the Rikon produced at the time.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Keep in mind that its the blade's teeth that does the cutting. The machine simply runs the blade. A good blade on a cheap saw will cut great. A cheap or badly made blade will make any saw unpleasant to use.
 

Woodman2k

Greg Bender
Corporate Member
Rob, I'll answer the question you asked up top. Delta does not exist so if your looking for a new saw that goes on a bench top , is not a project in it's self, go with the rikon 10" saw. It will give you what you want and get some good blades .
BTW, I have to ask since i do alot of metal fab and woodworking. I saw your description of your second shop that listed a welder, forge, and wood lathe. So what brand of overhead fire control system is in your future? a lil humour.

PS If you want to buy your Rikon bandsaw at the Extravaganza buy early cause there is a rumour that rikon BS's are in short supply

How am I a new user if I joined 14 years ago?
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Webmaster
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
Greg, it shows as new member as it has been more than 30 days since you last logged on. It will reset after midnight tonight.
 

Woodman2k

Greg Bender
Corporate Member
Neal,
thanx for the info
Usually I'm always logged in but my internet provider resets frequently so I didn't notice that I was not logged in.
 

Rob in NC

Rob
Senior User
Thanks for the replies, all. I'm still pondering here and just today while trying to split in half a 2x2x1/2 section of stabilized spalted maple, my brand new blade twisted up and bent. Thank goodness for push blocks. I did see that with some moving around, I can fit a larger band saw, especially if it's on casters that I can move about.

Woodman... Extravaganza? Overhead fire control consists of limiting the bourbon intake before firing up the forge or welder to decrease possibility of user induced fires! ;-)

I've tried about half a dozen brands of blades on this machine. I just cant seem to get it adjusted or stay adjusted for any period of time. I've literally spent more time messing around with it than actually using it. and yes.... I meant Grizzly, not Delta. I'm unable to find the Delta saws.

off to shower sawdust off and settle in for eats, check back later. Thanks again for the discussion.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, President
Richard
Staff member
Corporate Member
I think it’s great you guys are talking about the extravaganza please come by the NCWW booth and check in, share you pictures of the experience on the site and register for a chance to win a hand plane restored by Mike Davis. I personally am looking forward to seeing everyone come out and have a great time.
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
The Extravaganza is a woodworking show. It is sponsoring by Klingspor’s. It will be held October 21 and 22 in Hickory, NC at the Convention center. If you click on the Klingspoor ad at the top of this page, it should give you more information. North Carolina Woodworker will have a booth there. There will be many different vendors with good deals on equipment. North Carolina Woodworker does demonstrate different things at our booth. Please stop in and say hello.
 

Rob in NC

Rob
Senior User
Follow up... I'm hoping to hit the Extravaganza here in a couple weeks. I did however, just today take delivery of a Grizzly 14 inch band saw. Initially, I didnt think I had the room, but a rolling base makes for easy moving and so...tomorrow I will be setting it up and seeing how goes. Much heavier than I anticipated. Excited to give it a test run! Overkill for what I typically do, but I've never begrudged a dime I've spent on decent tools that at the time I felt was overkill.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Should do small stuff and scroll work most excellently. Don't expect the dust collection to do much of anything. You might see how much vibration as it looks like a V-belt drive. The Chinese can't make a V-belt to save their life, so a quality US ( Gates, Goodyear, DD Drive) belt may smooth it out a bit. I suggest the "cog " type if you can get the correct size. ( AX series) Woodworking machines are infamous for using sheaves smaller than the belt spec. Or even a link belt, but if you go that route, be very aware of the V angle and get the expensive brand name, The knock offs are not the same quality by far. I have noticed a few folks who were not happy with link belts had either Horrible Freight or the wrong angle belt. Next comes accessories. A nice sled, a nice bright light, and whatever jigs you need for your specific projects. Once I got my saw tuned, I almost never use my table saw.

If you are going to do fine scroll work with a 3/16 or 1/8 blade, might see if a Carter single bearing guide is available. As yours has the "flat" rear bearing, it may need a complete bracket. Also be aware, the OEM guide bearings, regardless of saw brand or cost, are pretty much junk and you will probably be cleaning and repacking or replacing them with decent bearings at some reasonably soon interval.
 

Rob in NC

Rob
Senior User
Thanks for the info! I think I'll treat this as I typically do a new gun when I get it...meaning I'll revel in the 'honeymoon' phase a little while before I start modifications, but I know they will come. A sled is something that I never considered and certainly something I'd like to look in to. I'm assuming such a sled could be easily removed when not needed? I need to research this as to be honest, I'm not even sure I've ever seen a sled on a band saw. For now, mainly what I will do with this is cut knife handle scales and small burl sections to turn on the lathe. Perhaps as I get more used to it and branch out, I will find other uses.
I do have a question, though... Some of the scales and pieces I cut are stabilized or are resin hybrids. Is there a particular TPI blade that is recommended over another? Since dulling my first blade on the Ryobi cutting some G10, I started cutting G10 scales and stabilized wood on my metal cutting band saw. If it's possible without ruining blades, I'd like to use the new band saw.
re the bearings, I'll definitely be looking into those, but want to get a good feel for what I find 'lacking' in this before I start modifying.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Sleds are great. Make one for holding your turning blanks so you can knock the corners off easilly. I use a crosscut sled for small pieces. I have a big awkward sled for resewing logs and made, but no longer use, angled sleds for dovetail rough cutting. Google BS jigs. Most of what you find are circle cutting, but there are some other very good ideas out there.

I got a great LED light off Amazon and mounted one on the BS, another on the DP. I posted a picture somewhere. No funny goosenecks, just bright light. My last "mod" was to thin the throat insert so I could use some zero clearance tape on it. Keeps small bits from dropping into the saw. You might think about it for trimming corners off scale blanks.

G10, being fiberglass, will kill a wood blade. Maybe a bi-metal blade would survive. Might talk to the folks at several of the blade suppliers. Laguna carbide blade would probably be too course ( 4-5 tpi) and they are marginal on a 14 inch saw. Stabilized should be fine. What TPI you will have to test. You may find the low speed of your saw to be an advantage for that. I use my jig saw for cutting PCB blanks with metal blades. I think I would make a jig saw "table" if I had to do a lot. Best of luck.
 

Rob in NC

Rob
Senior User
BS Jigs...will do, sir. The lighting is something that I do need to work on. With my shed, I have a ton of overheads towards the back of the shed, but the front I didnt put many there. My reasoning at the time I set up shop was that I was going to do forging at the front part, but now that space has morphed into forging/wood lathe/now band saw space. I've already found a need for a good light with the turning, so may need to invest in a light that I can move around or just get two.

Thanks again... this is all trial and error for me so these little tidbits to start my research is definitely helpful! Headed out to shop to put this thing together now!
 

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