Grob Band Saw R & D...Please Help!
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    Question Grob Band Saw R & D...Please Help!

    Hello woodworkers! My name is Jason, and I am the Supervisor of the Band Saw Department at Grob, Inc. We are kicking around the idea of developing a new line of band saws. We are looking at making a smaller footprint, lighter saw, but able to cut at a speed acceptable for wood and metal as well.

    That's where you come in! We would like to gather input from potential customers as to what you would like to see on a band saw. What are the factors that you would consider when looking at an American made saw for a small shop or possibly a quality home shop saw? What options would you like to see? What speeds would you want? What can you not do without, and what would be some things you really wouldn't need?

    Any information that you could provide will go a long way into developing a band saw that would be what our customers want. Thank you in advance for any help!

    Jason
    Grob, Inc.
    Band Saws | Grob Inc. | Made in the USA

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    I have 3 bandsaws - a Laguna 16", a 7x12 metal cutting saw and an old 16" DoAll vertical with a reeves drive. The Laguna is great for wood, but it would be nice if it had variable speed. The DoAll is a very usefull saw, if not cumbersome. With the right setup, I can do almost anything on that saw. So my recommendation would be for a lighter weight VFD version of the old DoAll vertical. Resawing at least 12" if not more is required. I like the metal plate construction of the Laguna (Italian, I think) - that is worth considering. A tilting table is also desirable. Even with a VFD, at least two drive ranges are needed. Blades up to 1" with the ability to properly tension them.

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    One machine doesn't work for me. I've previously owned various bandsaws including Delta 14" wood/metal, Delta 14 wood, Hitachi 13" and others.

    For wood I couldn't do without my 20" Agazzani. Though the upper guide wheel support/vertical adjuster could be improved for alignment.

    For metal I have a Vectrax 7 x 12 mitering (same as Baileigh), vertical/horizontal, 3-speed gear-head. And a Vectrax 18" vertical (same as South Bend), variable speed, with blade welder. The mitering saw could use outriggers for stability when mitering. And there are other small details that could use attention. The vertical saw is waiting for controls and an RPC installation to be completed.

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    I have owned a couple Grob saws, NS18 and NS24. In my opinion one of the strengths of the Grob saws is the guide system: rigid, accurate, impossible to set wrong. I am not sure how that guide would work at higher blade speeds. The NS saws only went to 2000 fpm. If I were working wood all the time I might consider retrofitting my Grob with Carter guides. My only complaints about the NS saws are the huge footprint and the need for 3 hands when changing the range belt.

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    Jason, The design is going to depend on who you want to market it to. Woodworkers in general are pretty cheap. Also, the market is fairly saturated with machines, whether it be new or old. If you are going to come into the game and stamp your well respected Grob name on a saw, you need innovation.

    Some things I would like? (not innovative, just saw qualities)
    -Plenty of Horsepower.
    -excellent guides
    -well balanced and heavy wheels that maintain momentum
    -respectable resaw height.
    -table tilts by hand wheel
    -brake
    -dust collection.
    -easy mounting of a power feeder+ fence

    Pete

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    Thinking outside the box. How about a variable speed band saw with adequacy in power to cut wood or metal (2 up ). Cut would be suggested at 20" throat.
    extension wings for large pieces, holes in table and extension to use as register points in circle cutting .laser line cut guide.good dust removal with dust ports above and below. Take a 1" width blade
    Perhaps 3 wheels for the saw blade to enable compactness
    Just a few ideas for a more desirable saw. Tom

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    I have separate shops for wood and metal so a dual function saw wouldn't interest me. Aside from that, I agree with the other posts...well designed dust collection ports would be high on the list as I've had to retrofit mine to be adequate. Prefer a min 1" blade and stout enough column to properly tension it. My wood bandsaw is 24" w/ ~24" resaw, mostly likely designed as a sales pitch for bigger=better. The reality is I rarely, if ever, have the need to resaw anything wider than 12" but I do like the wider throat as I prefer ripping stock on the bandsaw vs table saw for rough dimensioning.

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    I have a 14" delta in my wood shop and a 20" Delta variable speed (with a 2-speed gearbox) in my metal shop. I'm quite satisfied with my 14", as I really don't do any big scale re-saw work. I could use my 20" Delta for big work, but the guides on that saw are very poor. Not really helping you much, but that's my experience.

    P.S. I bid on some items on an on-line auction and picked up my winnings earlier this week. Because of the poor auction photos, I passed on bidding on a Grob metal bandsaw. When I saw it in person, I realized what a monster it was, with sliding table and blade welder, in very good condition. And the winning bid for it was $400.00!!!

    Jack
    Fort Loramie, Ohio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Illinoyance View Post
    My only complaints about the NS saws are the huge footprint and the need for 3 hands when changing the range belt.
    Yes!
    All the Vert. Metal cutting Band Saws seem to take up a
    lot of floor space for what they accomplish.

    Scale up the old 14" delta wood/metal design with improvements in
    blade tension and a VFD instead of expensive 2 speed gear box. Modern carbide guides as well. Keep the foot print compact. If you use castings, don't hesitate to make them somewhat thicker and robust. Point that out in your sales literature.
    I doubt any customer has ever complained about beefier castings as opposed to cracked or broken ones!

    Lastly go read the Tennsmith Shear thread that's on this site for some hints as how to NOT build a machine or treat your customers. Not implying there is a problem in that respect with Grob machines.

    Tennsmith shear quality issues? Squaring arm?

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    "We are looking at making a smaller footprint, lighter saw, but able to cut at a speed acceptable for wood and metal as well."


    Strictly from my own personal viewpoint, I see no virtue in reduced footprint or weight for a vertical bandsaw. This does not mean that there is no niche for a saw that is reduced in overall size. But once the overall size is determined, I would want to see a generous footprint that would provide a solidly stable foundation, as oposed to a footprint that looked like it was designed as a space saving feature. In a similar vein, I would want a saw that was heavy for its size, with no skimping on the weight of and construction materials for such things as well balanced wheels, a solid table and fence assembly, and a quality motor. In general, even if I were to be outfitting what you call a quality home shop with a small saw, I would want a machine built to an industrial standard.

    I'm sure I don't need to tell you that it might be wise to think especially carefully about the line that separates a quality home shop from a hobbyist's shop. That line is usually a matter of money. On one side of the line is a small shop willing to pay for quality machines to do serious work, and on the other side of the line a small shop where every expenditure large or small is an agony, and with machines made to the standard of "acceptable" and just capable of good-enough work.

    If Grob's consideration of a new bandsaw is driven by the need to produce a lower-price product, generate the saving by making the new product smaller, not cheaper.

    -Marty-


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