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Recent band saw purchase


Dec 28, 2005
portage county, wisconsin
This has been a 3 month ordeal.
Company purchase a Clausing/Kalamazoo horizontal bandsaw. 1218vs.

Looked good in the catalog, 1" blade, coolant, power lift, quick vise.

Blade came off on the first cut about an inch into the bar. Of course there is not enough room between the blade and frame so it started cutting it and jammed in between, so it had to be pried out. The manual only showed one adjustment, I messed with that a few times, and every time I tried to cut, it came off.

Our vendor (MSC) sent a tech out to adjust it. He spent a day and half and got it pretty close, but by then the blade was missing a lot of teeth. He had to adjust everything. I'm pretty sure they lost money on this sale.

The replacement blade was not a bimetal and was toasted when cutting SS on the slowest speed with coolant.

A rep from Lenox came in and did some more fine tuning and recommended a blade. He also showed how to the blade should track on the wheels.
We just got that in and cutting good today.

Anyway there are some poor designing going on here.

No room behind the wheel.
The guide blocks adjust for angle and height with the same slots. They do have rollers and carbide guide blocks though.
The coolant by design was angle on one side of the blade, made a new holder to drop on top of the blade.
Guard and coolant nozzle mount on the same bolts as the guide block.
It's a scissor type but the bottom of the blade frame is parallel with the top. The result is that until the cut is complete the coolant is trapped and seeps out the corner on the floor, chip pan isn't long enough to catch this. Pail time.

The electric box is mounted low and I can't get the roller infeed table close and still maintain full cut width. So I am going to have a small bridge piece. Was waiting to see if we were going to keep it, before drilling in.

The coolant drain nipples welded underneath were very short. With the factory coolant tank inside the frame and drain tubes installed, not a problem, but I wanted the tank outside for access with the roller table installed. At least they could have threaded them to make it easier to extend them.

I got an email from Clausing with a speed chart ( not in the manual) and stating they do not engineer or make this machine anymore. Yeah, I sent back that they should reconsider having their name on this.

I think that this will be a good saw now, but was certainly not ready for prime time.
I don't think I would recommend it to anyone else though. With the purchasing influence our company has with MSC, the problem was taken care of.

I wonder if the equivalent Jet would have been as bad. This trashes an old respected brand in my mind.

id be willing to bet that it is from a manufacturer in Taiwan like most of the rest in this size group. Mine is no different, a few quirks, like coolant flow doesn't go twards the drain, the clamping system sucks, and had coolant come off the wheels at the back and kept splashing out, where i had to put up rubber to direct it back in. Also added a part to divert coolant into it when swiveled 45 degrees so it didt take the coolant out back and dump it on the ground also, 1 foot more around it for a drip tray would be perfect, and will add that some day.
I would stay on the vendor or manufacturer with these problems. Bad blades can cause crooked cuts just as much as being out of alignment.

This guide from lenox is very good about explaining the blade selection and setup - https://www.lenoxtools.com/Guides/LENOX_20Guide_20to_20Band_20Sawing.pdf

We only use Lenox blades. If you're a customer, their rep will come out and do an annual inspection on the saw for free. They won't fix the mechanical saw problems, but they're knowledgable enough to tell you what's what.
I would not buy such equipment from MSC, not a big san of them in general from ^prices and okay selection. But the real deal breaker is when I am busy and call to place an order, I want to tell you what I want, get it ordered and move on. What I do not want hear how is your welding rod inventory we have some specials, oh and BTW we have another special on widgets. If I needed those thighs I would ask.
Mcmaster, call place order (before 11 am I get same day) no muss no fuss no what is your account number?
Kinda OT sorry but I ha to talk with MSC today and they really pushed my buttons.
I would not buy such equipment from MSC,...
Mcmaster, call place order (before 11 am I get same day) no muss no fuss no what is your account number...

Ditto. I long ago gave up on buying anything from MSC. Digger doug in post #5 suggests returning the saw. I know that a return would be a beast of a project, but if you haven't considered doing that, it might be worth exploring.

For over 7k, it better run out of the box.
Your lennox guy is probably our lennox guy, he knows how to tune up a saw. But a new $7k saw should not need a doctors attention.

I third returning it.
It was a close call on sending it back, but the same replacement likely wouldn't be any better. With some help from the Lenox vendor it is cutting good now.
The only other one I thought equivalent in the price range was an Ellis but then there is the corporate vendor preference. National contract with MSC.

This is in a maintenance shop, so it will do the job. Glad it is working, I have 13 working days left and didn't want to leave with it dead.

I looked at that MS1218VS and looks somewhat similar to the POS we have. Our saw is pure Chinesium except for the welds, I think they must have sent it to India for their expertise in using coat hangers for filler wire (Welds look like they coughed up by one of my cats.). I repaired the damn thing at least 12 times in the first 2 years, and yes we bought it brand new. From contactor failures, electrical connections just falling apart, coolant and hydraulic leaks.
I don't own the place so if I have to fix it before using it no worries. But maybe I do not understand business but I would spend the extra $$, buy a good American made piece of kit and be done with it. I would not want to pay a guy to fix gear less than 2 years old and is used very little, he should be doing his production work.