Band Saws?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by NJL, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I'm very, very, very new to instrument making (i have only been able to glue two pieces of alder together at this point, for a replacement body for my Warwick Corvette).

    i would like to invest in a band saw for my girlfriend and i to use, but i have done some research on MIMF and a lot of people said NOT to buy one of those cheapy $99 saws. i am, like most of us here, on a budget.

    i would like to know what my fellow TB'ers (that are the amateur home shop type) have to say about what band saws they own and why they bought a particular model.

    also, it would be nice to know what saws that the big dogs like tobias, ken smith, carey nordstrand, etc. use.

    i don't think this topic has been entertained on TB, so you can actually credit me with my first good post. :D :eek: :D
  2. i been trying to get a good band saw, every one told me to just buy a really good old one from from a acution. i got to a tech high school and my shop is metal fab, we have two tpes of band saw's in my shop so as of now iam useing those. we have plans on how to make a band saw. i think iam going to be doing that if i cant find one at a good price.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I use a 14" Jet with the riser blocks. There are times when I wish I had a bigger/better saw, but when set up correctly, it does 92% of what I want it to do.

    I think I paid $450 for the saw w/o the riser blocks.
  4. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    I have a cheap little 14" Taiwanese saw that I got from Steve Azola and then modded heavily to make it acceptable. I think it was aroun $400 new, but I didn't buy it. It works great for general body perimeter cutting and the many minor cuts that need to be made.

    I also have a Grizzly G0513 that was $750 (plus shipping). It's a big 2 hp 17" saw and with a good blade, which it did not ship with, it works great for almost all resawing anyone would want to do. It has a 12" height capacity, which is rare for saw's in the <$1000 range.

    I do have one problem with it though: Grizzly, in their infinite wisdom, made the saw to accept only blades that are 133" in length. The nearest standard and conveniently available blade is 132". I guess they want to make money selling blades. Well I wasn't having it, and I modified my saw by lowering the top wheel 1/2". Now I can buy 132" blades and not give any more of my money to Grizzly than I have to.:p

    Be aware, that with band saws, the set up is very important. Take the time to set it up properly and you'll be rewarded with a smooth running, smooth cutting machine. This actually is the difference between cheap saws and good (more expensive) ones. The good ones can be set up properly, while the cheap ones may not have enough adjustability to correct any problems.
  5. mikgag

    mikgag Guest

    Mar 25, 2002
    We use a 14" Rockwell. It cost alot but it serves us well.
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    has anyone used a jigsaw to cut body perimeters? this seems to be a poor man's way of doing it..... what do you think?
  7. Hehe... As much as it makes my girend Larry (I'm sure he'll read this ;)) sad, I have no "big tools"...

    That means that I don't have any bandsaw here. However, I use a really powerfull FESTOOL jigsaw that can cut up to 10cm thick.
    This works for me.

    Peace, JP
  8. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

    thanks for your post. i went to the local hardware store looking at jig saws - what type of power do you recommend???

    how do you cut laminated necks?
  9. gyancey

    gyancey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have a 1940's cast iron Walker-Turner 16" saw that I added better guides to. Its been good to me except when my roommate and I were almost crushed to death moving while moving it. It cost me $300 and another $300 to ship but was worth it for nostalgia value (same type of saw my great grandfather had).
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i have a 14" jet that does the trick for me.

    now if i could just find a really good blade !
  11. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    Try Wood Slicer blades from Highland Hardware. I'm sure a Yahoo search will turn them up.
    Excellent blades!
  12. Take a look at the design section of the bunnybass site and you'll find a pictorial of my bass building (well a search on the bass forum should pop the old thread up too)

    Here is the saw I use. Best saw on the market without a doubt. I'm not aware of another one that has such capabilities.

    Peace, JP
  13. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    3/4" cuttting depth in nonferrous metals - that thing is a monster!
  14. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    Well, I haven't done the actual build yet, but I'll be using a small B&D underpowered jigsaw and probably cheap blades. (nothing but the best for me!) for the rough cutout, then use pattern bits in the router to take the shape to the line. I've already created the pattern out of MDF, and I've used the technique on other projects. MDF is great for patterns in that it machines very easily, so it's a breeze to smooth out the curves. Makes a hell of a mess, though, and dents easily, so be gentle.

    For a bass body, you generally need either a giant honking variable speed router to handle 2" long pattern bits, or two 1" bits - one with a top bearing, one with a bottom.

    Trace the pattern on the blank. Cut with the jigsaw to about 1/16th out from the line. Fasten the pattern securely to the top of the blank using two sided tape. Use the top bearing bit to route the blank to exactly match the pattern. Remove the pattern. Flip the blank over. Use the bottom-bearing bit to match the top part of the blank. You'll probably get a fine line difference from using two bits, but it'll sand out easily, as will the inevitable burn marks. God help you if you tilt the router using the top bearing bit, though. It'd be sensible to do that in a router table.
  15. so do all of your pro luthier's prefer to use bandsaws for all of your cutting as opposed to a scroll saw?

    i currently use a scroll saw, personally, but sometimes it's a bit temperamental.

    i've been looking into purchasing a bandsaw though..mostly because i would also like to do bookmatching.
  16. I also prefer/primarily use a scroll saw, but I have a bandsaw for (heh, you nailed it) tempermental wood.
  17. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    wow, i have a scrollsaw as well, but i will not cut through my alder blank (that's what kinda started this thread :D )
  18. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I've never used a scroll saw. I used a jigsaw once on a bass (I didn't enjoy it). I use the jigsaw all the time for roughing out jigs.

    I knew it was time for a bandsaw when I tried to cut bubinga with the jigsaw. I used a benchtop 1/2hp band saw for a couple of years and it got me through.
  19. i've been using a scroll saw since i started with the whole instrument building thing (it's only been 2 years or so) gets the job done, but sometimes it can be a real pain
  20. HannibalSpector


    Mar 27, 2002
    One bandsaw in my workshop is a 30" wadkin another is a little 14" woodfast.

    Dewalt and Delta make a fair priced small bandsaws. Find one with an upper and lower guide.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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