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Bandsaw, planner/thicknesser & router table Choices

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pnchad, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    Finalizing a little shop but want to upgrade from HD level tools

    Bandsaw recommendations <$1200???

    Router Table options <$800 (I'd love a pin or overhead but...)

    I have a little planner that seems okay for small stock & a thicknesser by Ryobi that's okay but shaky

    Maybe a drum sander???

    this community will know
  2. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    a compact router for stuff in between
  3. For Bandsaws, it depends on what you want to do with it. If you're just going to cut out bodies, almost any decent 14" will do. If you want to resaw, then what capacity do you want? I have a Laguna Resaw 16 with a 2 hp motor that's fantastic for that, but out of your price range new. If you are in a large urban area, then there could be a nice used market.

    I haven't checked the new Bandsaw models in the last 15 years or so, but at that time, for the money, the Delta was still far superior in the 14" models. The Powermatic was more expensive, and the Jet had MUCH weaker table trunnions, plus the Delta had about 50 times more aftermarket accessories available.

    If you have a cabinet saw, you may not need a router table. I modified my right hand extension table for an insert and use that as my router table. I have the old Unifence, so changing fences is nearly instantaneous. If you're going to get a dedicated router table, then it's all about what you want from the fence. Maybe I've been out of the loop for too long, but who spends $800 on a router table? Are you talking about a Shaper?
  4. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    my choices for setting up a shop:



    Widebelt sander:


    but there's no location in your profile, so I have no idea if these are local to you (country and/or city)

    now you simply need to figure out how much $ for each item to build into your cost per instrument

    all the best,

  5. It really depends on your budget and the size of the shop.
  6. Bandsaw; buy the biggest, best quality one you can afford. Between this and your smallish thicknesser, you should be able to do 90% of anything you'd want to do on an electric guitar/bass. I bought a jointer as well, but you don't really need it, same as you don't really need a router table.

    Not sure where you'd get this in US, but I got this table earlier this year...


    I expect it would be about half that price where you are. Look, it's chinese and not perfect, but it's pretty flexible. All you need to add to it is a big power router and it's pretty awesome for the price.

    The thing to remember is, disasters can still happen easily on router tables. They throw the job at you instead of having the powertool jump off the job.
  7. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    For a bandsaw look at a Minimax MM20. Put a nice 1" Lennox carbide blade and you're in resaw heaven. A combination Jointer/Thickness planner (Felder, MiniMax, etc) around 14" is also good for preping stock (especially of the narly woods that look cool for instruments). The Euro combination machines will combine a decent jointer/thickness planner with a sliding tablesaw and shaper. The shaper is very nice for some neck profile work over a router table. As for router tables I built a "Norm" cabinet with a Bench Dog top with a ProLift and a PC 7518 router - a very robust setup. Skip the drum sander unless you get a good one (i.e. Griz 24" Drum sander). A decent oscilating spindle sander is very usefull (Griz makes a very nice one BTW).
  8. Tom Drinkwater

    Tom Drinkwater Commercial User

    Dec 7, 2010
    Oakland Maine
    Owner/builder: Oakland Axe Factory
    I recently upgrade a number of my tools. I now have a 17" Grizzly bandsaw which I believe is the absolute best deal on the market. Sure it's not a Laguna but it's half the price. If you plan on resawing I recommend California Carbide Lenox Tri Master blades. I use a 1" 2/3t that slices ebony like no ones business. It's nearly impossible to wear out the teeth and if the blade breaks on the weld California Carbide will fix it for free.

    I also acquired a 6x80 edge sander (absolutely indispensable) and a SuperMax 19-38 drum sander. Both of those tools are worth every penny.

    I've been using a Shop Fox pin/overarm router for 5 or 6 years and I find it to be all I need for stationary routing. If you take the time to make some decent templates you won't need a regular router table at all. I have a nice Rockler router table but I just use it for assembly work and as my router bench for when I use my little Ridgid palm routers. I have a bosch 1617evs in the Shop Fox.
  9. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    that was what I was looking for - experience

    I can google search all by myself

    the Grizzly does look like best value

    I'm interested in the Shop Fox overarm router but I think it's discontinued - seems like I tried to find a source some time back
  10. Tom Drinkwater

    Tom Drinkwater Commercial User

    Dec 7, 2010
    Oakland Maine
    Owner/builder: Oakland Axe Factory
    I just did a quick search for the shop fox pin router and I can't find it either. That's a shame, it's a pretty good tool.
  11. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    that they had injuries and law suits so it's discontinued

    a shame