Popular Woodworking 2002-10 № 130, страница 44

Popular Woodworking 2002-10 № 130, страница 44




and saws are versatile and easy-to-use machines that every shop should include. With very little instruction, you can perform rips, crosscuts, scroll work and even resaw lumber. And they don't take up a lot of space in your work area.


Mounting a Blade

When you buy a band saw, it will likely come supplied with a 3/s" steel blade that will handle many ordinary tasks, but it might not be the blade you'll choose to purchase again when it becomes dull. Check the box below for our pref

erences on a couple of top-notch aftermarket blades.

When choosing a blade, remember that more teeth per inch (tpi) is best for fine (but less aggressive) cuts. Fewer tpi produces faster, rougher cuts.

With either your standard blade or an upgraded choice, the important thing is to get the blade in the right location on the wheels and tensioned properly. Most blades are designed to ride on the center of the "tire" on the wheels. With the power off and the blade lightly tensioned around the wheels, you can spin the wheels and see where on the wheels the blade tracks. By adjusting the


BENCHTOP VS. STATIONARY Prices for benchtops range from $100 to $210, but average about $175. Stationary models average in the $500 to $800 range. Benchtop saws tend to run on universal or smaller horsepower motors and also offer smaller capacity in throat depth, resaw and blade width. If cash and space allow, buy a stationary model. MOTOR As mentioned above, an induction motor is prefer-able.The most common 14" stationary model will offer a 3/4 or 1hp motor.This is sufficient for most band saw work. If you will be doing more resawing, try for a larger (11/2hp) motor.

GUIDES Guides are critical to performance.All band saws use a ball bearing rear thrust (guiding the back of the blade), but the side supports can be guide blocks or bearing guides. The blocks can be metal, synthetic or ceramic. In most cases, guide blocks are adequate to the task, though replacing standard metal guides with synthetic or ceramic will allow tighter tolerances. BLADES Don't skimp on your blades, and use the right blade for the task. For resawing on a 14" saw, a quality 3/s" or V2" blade is recommended.We like a 3/s" 3/4 variable-pitch carbide blade from Lenox.Though pricey, it does an amazing job. If you have a larger (18") saw, a wider blade (3/4" to 1") can be tensioned appropriately for resaw work. For tight turns, a thinner Vs" or V4" blade is preferable. For general band saw use, we're fond of a 3/s" Timberwolf blade from Suffolk Machinery (www.suffolkmachinery.com or 800-234-7297).

pitch of the upper wheel (follow your band saw's instructions for this) you can move the blade until it tracks in the center.

To tension the blade appropriately, most band saws have a scale near the tension knob that will show you where to tension the blade according to the width of the blade.

Guide Setup

There are two types of guides on a band saw. The thrust bearing, which supports the blade from behind, and the side guides, which keep the blade from shifting left or right during a cut. There are two sets of these guides, one above the table and one below.

With the blade tracking correctly in the center of the wheels, the thrust bearing should be ad-




• Delta BS200. A compact, easy-to-use benchtop machine, with nice features, that's only $170.

• Grizzly G1052. Similar benefits to the above Delta, this model replaces plastic with metal, making a stouter tool ($180).

• Grizzly G0555. This machine makes it affordable ($375) to move off the benchtop to a 14" band saw with lots of features and the option of a 6" riser block for resawing.


• Delta 28-206. This $600 band saw has a 1hp motor, a quick tension release, an improved 4" dust port and more. A solid buy.

• Jet JWBS-14CS. For $680, this band saw has all the features a woodworker should have.


• Delta 28-241. A new version of a reliable predecessor, this one adds a 1V2 hp motor, improved tension-ing spring to support wider blades and more for $800.

• Jet JWBS-16 and JWBS-18B. Two well-appointed one-piece band saws that offer strength, stability and increased capacity; they price at $890 and $1,240.

• Laguna LT18. Unquestionably a professional-quality saw that's worth the $1,995.

These tools have been tested or used by

the editors of Popular Woodworking

and have earned their recommendation.


Popular Woodworking October 2002

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