The Big Think

November 1, 2005

New Bandsaw Tool Gloat!

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 12:30 am

Okay, Erin had the camera at work today, so no pictures. Normally monday is a heavy work day this time of the year, but the big squall line that moved through Texas today gave me a guilt-free excuse to unplug the studio and spend some quality time in the shop (the first in about 5 months). My Grizzly bandsaw arrived last week while I was up at Pigskin and it’s been sitting in its cardboard shipping container for a week waiting for assembly. Wait over.

In addition to the bandsaw I got the 6″ riser block. It’s kind of a no-brainer to get the riser block with this tool since it gives the saw an extra 6″ of resaw capacity and you have to buy new blades, so why not just do it from the start? Smart decision. I also got a movable base because carrying the 200+ lb thing around isn’t good for the back.

The saw arrived without a single flaw, which was probably due to the fact that Grizzly dumped their old delivery service (Overnite Freight) in favor some someone who obviously takes care with their deliveries. There were no parts missing and absolutely no damage whatsoever to the saw, though the driver did plunk it down in my shop upside-down. No harm, though.

It took me about 4 hours to set the thing up, including assembling the movable base with its 32 machine bolts, washers, and compression fittings. It also took some time to decapitate the saw temporarily so I could add the riser block. You have to literally break the saw in half, add the block, and then balance the top on the block while you tighten a huge oversized bolt. I had to make due with vice-grips and a pipe wrench because I didn’t have the 1.5″ wrench to do the job. That bolt could hold the Queen Mary in port.

It took me a good hour to tweak the saw once I got the blade on. The bandsaw blade guides operate at very close tolerances to the blade and I wanted to get it right. Nothing quite says “bad day” like a loose 105″ loop of sharp steel caroming around the shop due to a bad adjustment. Fortunately the Grizzly catalog is very thorough and I got it together without incident…. okay, one minor incident when I was installing the blade onto the (unplugged) saw. I got my left thumb caught between the lower wheel and the teeth of the blade. It’s not deep, but it does smart a bit. That’ll learn me. This minor phalangical damage is the worst to come out of my shop in four years of cutting wood. I’m careful and ALWAYS unplug tools, wear safety gear, preflight my cuts, etc. This musician wants to keep his digits, and some of those sharp spinning hunks of metal scare the willies out of me. I hope they always do.

I got a few non-finger-related cuts in and quickly determined that I need to buy a decent blade (no surprise there… the stock one is terrible), but that’s only about $12. Now I finally get to resaw the maple tree limbs that my dad gave me that came from the backyard where I grew up. Wonder what I’ll build from them?

So now the major tool purchases are complete and my shop is fully equipped: table saw, band saw, planer, jointer, router table, compound miter saw, dust collector, etc (as well as a camera to monitor the security!). Sure, I’ll still have a, ahem, “need” for smaller tools in the future, but the major purchases are behind me. Next stop: some sort of nice jewelry case for Erin.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress