bandsaw opinions

Talk about musical instrument construction, setup and repair.

Moderators: kiwigeo, Jeremy D

Post Reply
User avatar
joel
Blackwood
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, Australia

bandsaw opinions

Post by joel » Mon May 07, 2018 8:15 am

I've researched myself in circles. So I've come here to ask you fine people your advice. I'm shopping for a bandsaw. I want a good one. I've narrowed down my choices to;

Laguna 14Twelve, and
Hare & Forbes BP-355

The Laguna is at the very top of budget. The H&F is cheaper, but physically bigger in footprint. But sometime price doesn't equate to quality. I've read dozens of reviews of many bandsaws and these two have come out as the top two.

Use will be amateur luthiery and general woodworking. Occasional perspex and aluminium cutting too.

If you've got any opinions, tips, or advice I'd love to hear it. Cheers.
- If God had intended us to drink beer, He would have given us stomachs. - David Daye.

- The mouth of a happy man is filled with beer. -

User avatar
kiwigeo
Admin
Posts: 9347
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Adelaide, Sth Australia

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by kiwigeo » Mon May 07, 2018 8:46 am

I've got a Carbatec 14" bandie that has seen good service over the years. Since you're in Adelaide I assume there'll be freight costs involved with the models you're looking at.
Martin

simso
Blackwood
Posts: 1587
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by simso » Mon May 07, 2018 10:13 am

The real decision is what do you want the bandsaw for.

If you want it for general cutting scroll type work, then hare and forbes is fine, if you want to do resawing then the laguna. I have two bandsaws, one the laguna setup for straight cutting and resawing, the other has a 6mm blade for general work

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

Fisherman
Blackwood
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:10 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by Fisherman » Mon May 07, 2018 4:32 pm

I have the 14 twelve and dont recommend it. I bought based on good reviews but have been disappointed with several problems. Maybe I was just unlucky and got a bad one...? I also had poor after sales service from the qld dealer which adds to my dislike of the machine.... (but great service before the sale) so would suggest one of the other suppliers if you get one. If you have your heart set on Laguna (and admittedly it is running ok now after several initial issues have been fixed) Id suggest the next model up instead of the 14 twelve as a 3/4” blade is the largest that can be fitted to the 14 12.

Issues i’ve had are:

- the cogs on the internal vertical adjustment wheel disintegrated - needed to be replaced
- the bandsaw tyres required replacing (now running much smoother without the vibration issues)
- the fence required shimming before it would cut straight (not 90 degs to the table).

User avatar
kiwigeo
Admin
Posts: 9347
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Adelaide, Sth Australia

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by kiwigeo » Mon May 07, 2018 5:29 pm

Perhaps others would like to offer comments on their experiences with band saws....they're pretty much a part of a luthiers "basic arsenal" of power tools. My Carbatec 14" bandie is only used for basic cutting out jobs so it's served me well. It cost me $600 brand new when I bought it around 12 years ago...its the only machine in my shop that hasn't caused me major headaches.
Martin

User avatar
J.F. Custom
Blackwood
Posts: 760
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 9:13 pm
Location: Victoria
Contact:

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by J.F. Custom » Mon May 07, 2018 10:25 pm

Hey Joel.

**Disclosure** I currently work for Carbatec. Those who know me however, know that my opinions are my own and as unbiased as possible, not pushing any particular brand loyalty, but sharing my experience with many brands of machinery over many years in the industry. Apologies, but there is one I'll mention here - take or leave it as you see fit.

Reflecting both Martin and Steve's comments, there are so many machines available now it really depends on your intended use, combined with your budget.

For example, some of the older split body cast iron machines were very reliable, with common parts readily available. They have serviced many woodworkers, including luthiers, for years without issue and are hard to kill. However, they were limited in their capacity to 6" depth of cut and used to possess a 3/4HP motor, often with basic block guides. This made resaw work possible but at 5-6", you were then using the machine to it's designed capacity limit. A 6" riser is available, but you are only adding height - no more power or other modifications to help. You can coax it to work, but... If you were doing thinner curve work, such as templates, front and back roughing out or solid bodies, this machine would be fine. It would also cope with the occasional resaw up to 6" with the right blade and setup. However, if you were going to resaw your own sets more frequently and required that in depths that an acoustic instrument demands, you are better off looking at a more modern offering with deeper resaw capacity and more oomph. These can also do everything the older models can, but budget clearly comes into play.

There is a significant jump between the models you are considering. On the lower price spectrum, there are many machines with similar specifications. Pick out which specs are the most important to you over others for your use. Consider warranty and support. I won't go into comparing lots of machines specifically as you can do that, but there is one machine you won't find any(?) or many reviews on yet that is worth mentioning as they are new - the high capacity 14" machines from Carbatec. If you decide on the budget for that Laguna, these are in the same price bracket but specced a little higher. See here:

https://www.carbatec.com.au/carbatec-hi ... -2hp-1500w

They are 2HP with an electronic brake, a 14" (360mm) depth of cut, 3yr warranty, made in Taiwan. There is also a 3HP (15amp) version if you really wanted it, but that's a little more dollars... Anyway, you can check and compare. If I was in the market now, that would be my buy considering what is currently on offer and for my needs. I've had and used previously Hafco, Jet, Carbatec and Hitachi machines and would happily buy any brand, provided it offered the best machine for me and my budget.

As a final note and this can not be understated - your blade choice is crucial to the results you achieve. Tungsten carbide blades cut beautifully and resaw with aplomb. However you pay for the privilege @ $200 +/- but, looked after carefully they will outlast any other blade by considerable margin. Of course, the reverse is true and you feel the pain greater if you ruin one of those... Don't ask me how I know. :roll: The Laguna Resaw King (TCT) blades are great, as are the Lenox TCT (TriMaster) series (Henry Bros and others supply). There are other TCT's around, but I've not had personal experience. Blades that come with machines are generally very ordinary to say the least, irrespective of supplier. Replacement blades off the shelves in Carbatec and other woodworking outlets are better quality - usually of European blade stock, brazed in Australia. These can be as cheap as roughly $20 and cut well, but won't last as long. Some blades you can import such as the WoodSlicer from Highland Woodworking are specialist and offer thin kerf smooth cutting, but again, don't last that long and freight is expensive - best bought in small batches to consolidate. Bi-metal blades are really designed for metal cutting for the most part, but many woodworkers report good results and extra longevity from those, at a moderate price increase. Stellite tipped are usually confined to full resaw machines. Options options.

Nevertheless, the point remains that your selection of the type of blade, the width and the tooth style/pitch is critical to your result. Many users frustrated with their machines are pushing against dulled blades, or poor quality blades, or the wrong type for the cut or have poorly set up their machine tension, guides etc. When you get all of these things lined up, you should be cutting with little stress.

Anyway, I hope some of this helps. Good luck, whatever you choose.

Cheers,

Jeremy.

User avatar
Steve.Toscano
Blackwood
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:43 pm
Location: Hunter Valley

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by Steve.Toscano » Tue May 08, 2018 12:56 am

I have the Hare and Forbes BP-310. 1HP 305mm machine. I bought it not knowing where my guitar making journey would take me - thinking if i got more serious i'd just replace it. Well i did get more serious, and this saw is still cuttin the mustard - see what i did there? :lol:

The last 12months it's copped a flogging, in use for a solid 8 hours a week. Previous to that it had moderate use for about 3yrs, circa 15 guitars per year amount of use :) . Nothings ever failed on it. Once setup properly its a joy to use.


I have never, and would never attempt to resaw backs or tops with it (height isnt enough anyway), although i have resawn some sides at 3mm from a billet successfully.
Apart from that it does every other cut needed as a guitar maker, and just seems to go and go and go. I leave it setup with a 10tpi blade which will just slice off a neck blank from 90 x 90 stock without too much trouble.

With a 4tpi narrow blade on it I was able to cut 100mm laminated hardwood ply molds.

For a cheap saw, im pretty impressed - so far.

So if you're not needing to resaw, or cut up big thick slabs, then the Hafco unit should do you fine.

Trick is, as with any bandsaw, spend the time to set it up properly and use good quality blades and keep them sharp.

User avatar
joel
Blackwood
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by joel » Tue May 08, 2018 2:19 pm

Thanks everyone for your opinions.

My main motivation is to buy a tool of quality, that will last me a long long time, and be a pleasure using. I'm sick and tired of making do. And I've grown to loathe needing to fiddle and tweak second rate gear every time I need to use it. It will also need to withstand a couple of interstate moves (I'm a RAAFie so there will be a few before I retire), but isn't too big as I don't know how much space I may have in future workshops.

As for specs. I want something versatile with a big table and cuts accurately. Uses will be guitars and general woodworking like cabs for amps and speakers and household projects.

I must admit I haven't investigated the more expensive Carbatec models. Thanks for the tip Mr. JF Custom.
- If God had intended us to drink beer, He would have given us stomachs. - David Daye.

- The mouth of a happy man is filled with beer. -

simso
Blackwood
Posts: 1587
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by simso » Tue May 08, 2018 6:24 pm

Bwahahaha raafie, I was one of them once

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

legin
Gidgee
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 10:19 am
Location: Perth WA

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by legin » Tue May 08, 2018 7:29 pm

Why dont you look at the larger units at Hare and Forbes. I have the BP430. Its awesome. You can do almost everything with that including resawing at the same cost of the laguna. The only restriction with the 430 is it wont take really small blades. I think the smallest blade is 1/4". They are also made in Taiwan, you can see the difference in the build quality from those made in China.

jeffhigh
Blackwood
Posts: 1491
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Caves Beach, NSW
Contact:

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by jeffhigh » Wed May 09, 2018 5:36 am

joel wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 2:19 pm


As for specs. I want something versatile with a big table and cuts accurately. Uses will be guitars and general woodworking like cabs for amps and speakers and household projects.
For everything except the guitar work you are better served with some sort of table saw and a drop saw.
The throat width of the bandsaw will stop you from cutting large items such as plywood sheets and it will never have the accuracy and smoothness of a tablesaw cut.

User avatar
peter.coombe
Blackwood
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:52 pm
Location: Bega, NSW
Contact:

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by peter.coombe » Wed May 09, 2018 9:38 am

My main motivation is to buy a tool of quality, that will last me a long long time, and be a pleasure using. I'm sick and tired of making do. And I've grown to loathe needing to fiddle and tweak second rate gear every time I need to use it.
I was in exactly that same predicament 25 years ago. Ended up gritting my teeth, getting the credit card out, and purchased an INCA bandsaw (Swiss precision). Paid it off over the next few years, but I still have it. It still gets used every day, still cuts mirror smooth cuts with a good blade, and is small and light enough to be portable. Best small bandsaw ever made and ever likely to be made, and the best tool I ever bought. Unfortunately not made any more, but spare parts are still available, and very occasionally available second hand. Later I bought a Hammer bandsaw with 4hp motor. Not anywhere near as accurate as the INCA, I very seldom use it, but it will resaw guitar sets with grunt to spare. The INCA was good for all mandolin work, but too small to resaw guitar sets.

It really depends on what you are going to use it for. If you are going to buy guitar sets then there is no need for a big bandsaw, and a big one is heavy, my Hammer is 125kg so not portable. I do everything on the INCA except resaw guitar back and sides. I don't think a bandsaw that will do big jobs and also be as accurate as my INCA exists anywhere, except maybe the bigger size INCA, but that is machine unobtainableum.
Peter Coombe - mandolin, mandola and guitar maker
http://www.petercoombe.com

User avatar
peter.coombe
Blackwood
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:52 pm
Location: Bega, NSW
Contact:

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by peter.coombe » Wed May 09, 2018 10:20 am

Here is the INCA web site. They have 2 reconditioned machines for sale right now for quite a reasonable price considering the sort of quality you get. They do ship international. You can cut veneers, or even use it as a fretsaw, it is so damn accurate.

http://incamachines.com/english/buy-inca-machines.html
Peter Coombe - mandolin, mandola and guitar maker
http://www.petercoombe.com

User avatar
Boe Jonamassa
Blackwood
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:14 am
Location: Jupiter

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by Boe Jonamassa » Wed May 09, 2018 4:03 pm

simso wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 6:24 pm
Bwahahaha raafie, I was one of them once

Steve
Did you fail the exam to get into the Navy Steve? :D

Col

simso
Blackwood
Posts: 1587
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by simso » Wed May 09, 2018 6:52 pm

Nah, I just wanted a pretend job, you know, the 9-5 routine, send the officers to war.

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

User avatar
joel
Blackwood
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:55 pm
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by joel » Fri May 11, 2018 9:07 am

Thanks everyone for your helpful opinions.

Once I do choose a machine it seems the best advice has been to get high quality blades. Anyone know where I can get good blades in Adelaide? I've found plenty of places offering sharpening services but not the blades. Carbide tipped seems to be referred to as the best.
- If God had intended us to drink beer, He would have given us stomachs. - David Daye.

- The mouth of a happy man is filled with beer. -

User avatar
demonx
Blackwood
Posts: 1187
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: Ballarat Victoria
Contact:

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by demonx » Fri May 11, 2018 9:41 am

I have the laguna 14SUV, same model as Steve. I’d buy it again without hesitation. I run a 1” blade on it no problems and it’s setup for straight cutting. I read above someone having issues with the Laguna and all I can say is, this is my full time job, I’ve been running the laguna for years now and never had to replace anything other than blade changes. I know other people with the same saw, no issues.

Before this I ran a smaller Ledacraft. Still have it but it’s nothing on the Laguna. I just keep it to run a 1/4” blade.

I nearly bought a Carbatec as in pictures they look similar, I had the opportunity to try their upper range model locally and was unimpressed. I’m glad I tried it as the Laguna SUV is a much better machine.

User avatar
J.F. Custom
Blackwood
Posts: 760
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 9:13 pm
Location: Victoria
Contact:

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by J.F. Custom » Fri May 11, 2018 7:16 pm

demonx wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:41 am
I nearly bought a Carbatec as in pictures they look similar...
For the sake of clarity here on behalf of the OP;

The Carbatec machine Allan (demonx) is referring to is not the units I mentioned and linked above. Those I linked are only new and were not available when Allan bought his Laguna. The SUV is a nice machine and worthy of consideration, albeit in another price bracket again.

It is a good point though that pictures can be deceptive irrespective of brand. Larger machinery purchases are better done when you can physically look over a machine whenever possible. Of course, not everyone can get to an outlet I guess...

Cheers,

Jeremy.

User avatar
kiwigeo
Admin
Posts: 9347
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Adelaide, Sth Australia

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by kiwigeo » Sat May 12, 2018 3:01 pm

Ive had a few blades sharpened and a few made up at Norwood Sawworks. Not sure if they do carbide tipped blades. Most of the high end blades are probably imported from the US. A lot of people seem to rave about the Woodslicer blades. These days I generally just buy the generic blades from Carbatec....Im only doing rough cutting out with my machine.
joel wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:07 am
Thanks everyone for your helpful opinions.

Once I do choose a machine it seems the best advice has been to get high quality blades. Anyone know where I can get good blades in Adelaide? I've found plenty of places offering sharpening services but not the blades. Carbide tipped seems to be referred to as the best.
Martin

Cal
Beefwood
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 7:17 pm
Location: Strathalbyn SA

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by Cal » Mon May 14, 2018 8:20 pm

Hello! New to the forum and also from S.A. I have a Leda branded 19” bandsaw, as you are in S.A. It could be an option for you to go and have a look at what they have, some are of Chinese origin and others from Taiwan (which is what mine is) they are a very well built machine and worth looking at (save on delivery from interstate sellers)
Leda Machines 96 – 98 Mooringe Avenue North Plympton. Hope that helps and doesn’t add to the confusion!

blackalex1952
Blackwood
Posts: 539
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:36 pm
Location: North East Victoria

Re: bandsaw opinions

Post by blackalex1952 » Tue May 15, 2018 6:22 pm

An 18" on eBaY...might be worth researching at that price and a few others on ebay as well...
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Band-Saw-Wo ... 0005.m1851
Also if you have the room and 3 phase power, this one looks like a good pricve too. But DO YOUR RESEARCH! \
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ideal-Bands ... SwKPxa3uUR
cheers! Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests