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  1. #1
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    Default Small Shop Bandsaw Recommendation

    G'Afternoon All,

    I'm working in an extremely tight space, and need to make sure I'm using every square foot the best way possible. To that end, this saw isn't really doing me any favors:

    untitled.jpg

    It's a 1hp/3ph with a pretty decent capacity - but I don't really need it.

    Because of how little space I have, I try to keep very little stock on hand, and because my time is generally better spent doing other things, I try to never spend it cutting stock, when I can buy blanks to size.

    Obviously there are times when I need to be able to cut stock, but the goal is to make that as rare as possible.

    So I'm looking for a saw to fit my needs, and hoping for some guidance from the wise ones.

    Anyone running one of the little bench-top bandsaws? Chop saws? Cold saws?

    I'm not cutting anything exotic, typical steel and aluminum mix with the occasional plastic stuff.

    I'm going to be getting rid of this thing - any opinions/ideas on what it's worth? Works fine, never had a problem with it - it's just beat up and old.

    Danke.

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    What is the maximum dimensions of the stock you will need to cut?

    Ken

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    Is that an old Kysor-Johnson? Since that is what I have and I love it I can offer you nothing but a reassurance it should have trade value for stepping down in size. Mine is battered and ugly yet cuts straight and strong and in spite of acquiring it when it was almost 30 years old a couple decades ago it requires little maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMoffett View Post
    What is the maximum dimensions of the stock you will need to cut?

    Ken
    It's job shop work - as soon as I tell you the largest piece I'll need to cut, I'll need to cut something 1/2" larger.

    Realistically, I try to keep it to smaller stuff, which I just seem to be better at. Stock sizes under 8" square would probably encompass everything, and along the lines of 2" x 4" (±1" in any direction) is typical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Is that an old Kysor-Johnson? Since that is what I have and I love it I can offer you nothing but a reassurance it should have trade value for stepping down in size. Mine is battered and ugly yet cuts straight and strong and in spite of acquiring it when it was almost 30 years old a couple decades ago it requires little maintenance.
    You betcha - your guess is as good as mine on year and model (probably better, honestly.) It was dropped into a giant vat of paint at some point from the looks of it, and I haven't been able to find any markings to figure out the specifics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny SolidWorks View Post
    G'Afternoon All,

    I'm working in an extremely tight space, and need to make sure I'm using every square foot the best way possible. To that end, this saw isn't really doing me any favors:

    untitled.jpg

    It's a 1hp/3ph with a pretty decent capacity - but I don't really need it.

    Because of how little space I have, I try to keep very little stock on hand, and because my time is generally better spent doing other things, I try to never spend it cutting stock, when I can buy blanks to size.

    Obviously there are times when I need to be able to cut stock, but the goal is to make that as rare as possible.

    So I'm looking for a saw to fit my needs, and hoping for some guidance from the wise ones.

    Anyone running one of the little bench-top bandsaws? Chop saws? Cold saws?

    I'm not cutting anything exotic, typical steel and aluminum mix with the occasional plastic stuff.

    I'm going to be getting rid of this thing - any opinions/ideas on what it's worth? Works fine, never had a problem with it - it's just beat up and old.

    Danke.
    you will never be happy with anything smaller. Newer / smaller = flimsy / junk. Keep what you have unless you need to start production sawing, lots of top quality automatics out there, be prepared to spend big $$$.
    I wish I was closer, I'd do a deal with you for it and send my Kalamazoo down the road. They had one at a race team I used to work at. The owners / partners got in a bit of a spat and split up all the equipment and everything, a bit like a divorce and went their own ways and the Johnson band saw went out the door to be replaced by one the parts guy thought "looked good". Big step downward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny SolidWorks View Post
    ...Stock sizes under 8" square would probably encompass everything, and along the lines of 2" x 4" (±1" in any direction) is typical.
    I think your saw is perfect for what you are cutting.

    That is a Model J if it's a 3/4" blade, a JH (IIRC) if it's a 1" blade.

    Anything you replace it with (same or smaller footprint) will not be nearly as robust.

    I bought one just like it a couple years back- good condition with a couple spare impellers for the jabsco pump and 17 new Lenox bi-metal blades for $800 total for the package.

    For smaller stuff a Cold Saw is much faster and a smaller footprint, but anything over about 3" goes to the band saw (except extrusions which I cut on a larger Cold Saw).

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    If I could only have one saw it would be my Roll-In saw.

    http://www.rollinsaw.com/band_saws/E...l_band_saw.htm

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    A cold saw with a selection of blades would likely serve your needs. (at about 1/2 the foot print) There are many trick things a cold saw can do that a band saw can't.

    But there are size restrictions, that a band saw can usually get around for "common work".

    With the cold saw, Bring money! ;-)

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    We are loving the old Marvel series one Mark 8 tilting head bandsaw we just got. 18" square capacity, should be a while before that 1/2" bigger part shows up! We are saving so much time with this thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    We are loving the old Marvel series one Mark 8 tilting head bandsaw we just got. 18" square capacity, should be a while before that 1/2" bigger part shows up! We are saving so much time with this thing.

    But Gary......
    The issue is the foot print!

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    One of the portable models of Ellis bandsaw might serve your purposes. They have four portable models, and four larger stationary models. Even the smallest 1100 model will cut 10" flats and 8" rounds at 90 degrees.

    I have an Ellis 1600, largest of the portable models. The footprint of the 1600 isn't that much smaller than the saw you pictured, but you can move the saw by hand when you want it out of the way. All the Ellis saws are mitering saws, where the table/vise stays put and the head moves to the angle you want. That's another help in a crowded shop.

    Frankly, if you get a portable Ellis, your should get a 1600. The footprint is very little larger than the smaller Ellis models, but the 1" blade is a huge advantage over the smaller blades used on the smaller models.

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    I have the same problem, floor space. About 5 years ago I bought one of these Jet 41346 HBS-812G,8" x 12" Horizontal/Vertical Geared Head Bandsaw – Jet Tool Store

    It sure beats the hell out of a bench top machine and has the added benefit of Wheels. Setup properly it cuts straight. The small coolant tank is built into the base and the coolant really increases blade life. We use the saw for everything from 8" square to 1/2" aluminum bar. It's small size allows us to load it on a pallet and take it with us on large jobs.

    It's not anything like the saw you have now but I think it would work for your purpose.

    Since its only used occasional I got tired of it sitting out in the open so I built a roll in "garage". In it's down position the saw easily rolls into it's garage where it is out of the way and frees up floor space. When needed it simply rolls out and is ready to go.

    Right now the garage is just a three sided box with a top. The top is used to store scrap woods. At some point I plan on making a work bench with a built in garage for the saw.

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    If that saw works good I'd do what ever it took to keep it, put 3 casters on it and roll it against the wall out of the way when not needed? Seriously, a smaller machine is not going to do a satisfactory job because every time you use it you will be making a comparison to the one that got away. I have a cold saw for fab work and love it, cut parts are ready to weld if I take the time to get the angles right but find it is a pretty expensive all around deal to get a package that is ready for any job that comes along. No way would I consider it a replacement for all sawing needs, sometimes the capacity just isn't there and when that happens it's useless. I've learned to work with less space, not always ideal but the county limited my building size so it is what it is.
    Dan

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    I have a damn nice, and expensive, KAMA bandsaw.

    But I wish I'd bought a coldsaw instead, for sake of finish quality.

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    A Wells 600 is a pretty nice little bandsaw. Small and light, but not cheap junk. Or a Marvel 612. I'm guessing both of these saws are 6x12 inchers. As far as the value for the big johnson, they usually sell for $600 or so at auction here in southern MN. Lots of them on c list for $1000 here, too.

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    Thanks for all the input gang - now I'm torn between sucking it up and getting a cold saw (and living with the comrpomises and added expense) or just dancing around this thing all the time until the shop gets bigger. The 'good compromise' bandsaws everyone suggested really aren't all that much smaller than the one I have, and anything significantly smaller just seems like giving up too much.

    I was hoping there was a magic bullet: "Here's a bench top saw that'll cut 6" X 6" steel bar like it's butter!" Oh well, nice to dream I guess.

    I literally cannot get it any further out of the way than what it is (I have to open the overhead door for anything longer than a couple of feet) and I still step around it constantly.

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    I know you said you're looking for a bandsaw, but you also said you are extremely limited for space and don't use it on production basis. If it's truly a machine that will get limited use you might consider a power hacksaw. I have a Startrite H175 bandsaw that does most of the cutting in the shop. However when it's busy I also have a Racine 66W2 that gets pressed into service.

    The Racine takes up less than half the floor space of the bandsaw and does an excellent job. It's a little slower, but it does fine work . It's also extremely inexpensive to operate. This is the type I'm referring to:

    Racine Model W-3B Horizontal Power Hack Saw | eBay

    The price on this one is out of line in my estimation. I bought a nearly identical one for less than $200.00. All it needed was a good cleaning and a couple new starter coils to change it from 440 volts to 220 volts. Mine runs off a phase converter, so if you don't have 3 phase power you'll have to add another $70.00 for a converter. I have quite a stock of of different blades (probably between 50 and 60). I buy them when I see them at the right price. So far I haven't paid more than $3.00 per blade. If the truth be known I probably have a lifetime supply.

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    I have 3 metal cutting bandsaws. If I could only keep one,it'd have to be the Roll In. This saw,with a little fooling around to hold large diameter stock,is capable of cutting 9" round stock.That much can pass under the guides at max elevation. I've got to get around to modifying the way the saw can hold round stock. It will hold only about 2 1/2" round bar. But,it is a simple saw,and can be modified to hold larger. Thus far,I've gotten by with just using a large,heavy duty C clamp to hold stock up to about 6" dia..

    What is most useful about the saw is,it can be used as a cut off saw,or as a contour saw. Its blade guides have grooves in them to hold different saw widths down to about 1/4"(I haven't needed to use the different groves for narrow blades,as I have a vertical contour saw I use for that. So far,I have just used it for cut offs.The saw is made so simply that should a part break,I could probably just make it,except for the gas cylinder that lets the blade creep forwards at different speeds. They really soak you for that part! Another guy here posted how he got by with using a commercially available cylinder.I doubt that mine will ever wear out,though.

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    FMB Phoenix Miter Saw

    Pat Mooney Saws | FMB Manual/Semi Saws

    Almost hits your 8" square requirement, and honestly, does not take up that much space.

    Have two and love them.


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