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Former owner of Shadofax
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Discussion Starter #1
This Bandsaw: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?function=Search

is on sale right now, pretty reasonable price. Anyone know if it's decent? Looks like it will handle thicknesses of material that would be perfect for my use and the tool will mitre, just wondering if the cuts are decent and what kind of speed you get out of these.

IIRC someone brought up bandsaws as a possilble rival to chop saws and the more expensive non-abrasive multi purpose saws, so I'm just exploring what the plusses might be to owning something like the HF bandsaw that is on sale.
 

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Wrenching for a Livin'
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link does not work, but i *think* daves bronc 90 bought one a while back....could be wrong thou
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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Discussion Starter #3

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I am curious as well. My bro-in-law has an older horizontal HF bandsaw that works very well. Made real nice & accurate cuts thru 2x6 1/4" wall rect. tubing.

I would want this one for its vertical capabilities.

Did you check the HF thread on Pirate? The one where they talk about "good" HF products?
 

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Wrenching for a Livin'
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A club I'm part of uses that saw with for aluminum all the time, and it seems to work pretty well. The one we have even has a small (6"x6") table attachement that screws on when the saw is in the upright position. I've never used it for steel though. The bearings in the wheels aren't that great, and we've had to re-build it once in the last 3 years, but it gets a lot of abuse from High School kids that don't treat it nicely. If it has the table attachment, I would probably get it, just just realize that your going to probably have to buy new blades and maybe re-work the bearings soon. The stand is very flimsey (sp?) but it seems adequate.

Don

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Also, on the Pirate page, the original poster has a link to a 20% coupon for HF... Looks like it you might have to talk to them to use it because, but it would be worth a try for 20% off...
 

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The saw works fine after a few tweaks. Most of them will throw the blade until the drive mechanisms are aligned / shimmed. Toss the blade that comes with it and buy a bimetal Sterret.You'll save yourself alot of cussage.
Also, as stated above, the stand is next to worthless. I built a 2x4 and plywood stand for mine and it made a world of difference in stability.
There are several articles on the web about these little saws and the tweaks that will make them a joy to own and use. They cant be beat for the price.
 

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I bought one last month. I've been using it on my sliders/bumper builds. I have to say it's the most used and best tool I own! Not the greatest in vertical mode, but still works OK. But for horizontal cuts it's great. It does take some time to get the kinks worked out so that it cuts straight. Not the fastest saw, but the slow speed pretty much eliminates heat build up. The stand and blade both SUCK! Buy a good blade and build a decent taller stand and you're set. I'm cutting up to 1/2" in case you're wondering. You can tell it's not the best quality saw, but for $20, I got a full 3yr replacement warranty. If it last 2 years, it was a steal for $150 if you ask me.
 

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Also, on the Pirate page, the original poster has a link to a 20% coupon for HF... Looks like it you might have to talk to them to use it because, but it would be worth a try for 20% off...
For anyone in the Aug. GA area, the coupons do work. In fact they let me use multiple 20% coups, just had to do seperate transactions:rockon
 

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Billdo
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ive got one and it tends to wander on me when cutting so i dont get a perfect cut and instead, i have bigger gaps that make watever your welding kind of annoying. i just cut a little long now then square it up with the grinder.
 

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For anyone in the Aug. GA area, the coupons do work. In fact they let me use multiple 20% coups, just had to do seperate transactions:rockon
That store rocks! The 20% coupons are supposed to be on one item. Several times, they've taken 20% off of the total of several items. Ive brought back stuff that was obviously abused and they replace it without qestion.

Folks can badmouth HF and China stuff all they want but, Ive yet to be disappointed in HF's customer service.
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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Discussion Starter #14
I found this thread on Pirate:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=652343

It is about that model although they don't say so until a few posts down.
pretty good reading.

So I'm gathering, no one has said it sucks, most like it, and there seems to be some issue with getting straight cuts, though that could be operator error since some folks also report nice straight cuts.

The blade sucks, so no biggy there.
It's slow, which is what I thought it would be.
Could use a reinforced bench.
And right away the tar like worm gear lube needs to be replaced with something better.
 

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the link dosen't show a band saw? anyway, if it is the cheap 150-200 dollar one, they are available at tractor supply and central tractor (if you have those where you live)for about the same coin without shippping. i bought one and it cuts great through thick material but has a tendency to cut a little crooked through thin material. the lube did get replaced too and the blade as well. for most small non production uses its great, small-dosen't take up much room, and it beats a messy chop saw, grinder with a cut off wheel, or torch in some cases.
 

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Don't buy it for the vertical table option, that sucks donkey balls IMO-cuts too damn slow on steel.
 

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Some assembly required!
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I tried to follow both of those links, but neither one of them led me to a band saw. This is the saw that I have, part number 93762-6VGA. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?CategoryID=262&pricetype=



As far as band saws go, it's just so-so. I don't regret buying it at all, but it's far from perfect. Here are my complaints about it:

1- The base sucks really, really badly. It is made out of the flimsiest metal imaginable and is barely adequate for the job of supporting the saw. If you put it in one place and never, ever move it, it would probably be okay. If you need to move it around the shop from time to time, plan on building a more substantial stand. The first time I moved mine the wheel bracket bent, so the wheels won't touch the ground anymore, so it gets drug around instead of wheeled around. When I'm done with my SAS one of my next projects is going to be building a tube stand for this one, which will be good practice for building my cage.

2- Already covered, but the stock blade blows. I buy Starret blades at Grainger. I find that the courser tooth blades work best for me. Currently I'm running 10 TPI blades, but I think that next time I'm going to try out a 6 TPI blade that they have to special order. Poperly setting blade tension seems to be fairly critical. Too loose and the blade is subject to getting kinked; too tight and it will snap at the blade weld. I went through a pile of blades before I figured this out.

3- I'm actually on my second saw. The motor burnt up on my first one, so I had to exchange it. This saw leaks oil out of the gear box, but I choose to live with that instead of trying to fix it. It only makes a minimal mess, which is barely noteworthy in light of the condition of the rest of my shop.

4- It has a bad habit of letting blades pop off the wheels. I have determined that this is because the two wheels are not perfectly co-planar. I think that there is a fix for this which will involve some shimming behind one of the wheels, but I haven't seriously looked into it yet because it generally doesn't happen very often.

5- It doesn't cut perfectly square. This is caused by the blade not traveling perfectly vertically in it's down swing. There may be a fix, but once again, I haven't looked into it yet.

6- It actually cuts okay in horizontal mode, but it's pathetic in vertical mode. It's a PITA to bolt on the little axillary table that is used in vertical mode, and when you're using it with the saw tilted up the balance of the machine is very bad. It tends to want to tip over as you feed stock into the blade. Also, in vertical mode it's easy to make the blade jump the wheels by feeding the stock a little too aggressively.

But having said all that, I still don't regret buying it. It's nice and quiet, doesn't sling sparks like a chop saw, and it's okay for what it is. It's unfortunate that there don't seem to be a lot of other band saw options on the market for a saw in this size. I would love to buy a similarly sized saw of higher quality, but I've never found one. I have been considering one of these Miluakee dry cut saws as a possible next saw. It's more expensive, has higher consumable costs, and is louder, but I suspect it will do a better job of cutting square and it should cut quicker.
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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Discussion Starter #19
That is the saw I was speaking of. There is another thread on the Rage2 and Milwaukee, etc. etc. dry cuts/non-abasive saws. I'm thinking of one of those, but at 2x's the cost, plus blade cost, plus what material they can actually cut (don't think they can manage a 4x6 cut of rectangular steel like a band saw), I'm seriously thinking of this guy on sale.


Those links I posted are weird....posted up, checked them, all ok, you can even see they reference band+saw, and now when you click them they take you to other HF crap.
 

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Some assembly required!
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That is the saw I was speaking of. There is another thread on the Rage2 and Milwaukee, etc. etc. dry cuts/non-abasive saws. I'm thinking of one of those, but at 2x's the cost, plus blade cost, plus what material they can actually cut (don't think they can manage a 4x6 cut of rectangular steel like a band saw), I'm seriously thinking of this guy on sale.


Those links I posted are weird....posted up, checked them, all ok, you can even see they reference band+saw, and now when you click them they take you to other HF crap.
That's all right man, you'll get the hang of this internet thing in maybe another 1000 posts or so.:toothless

Anyway, I wouldn't shy away from this band saw if I were you, especially if you can pick it up on sale and with a coupon. There just doesn't seem to be a higher quality option out there, even at 2-3X the price. Just go into it with your eyes open, that's all. My recommendation would be to not even assemble the stand that comes with it, just build a real stand right from the beginning. You can thank me later.;)
 
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