This article is from the Woodworking FAQ Collection 2, by multiple authors.
From: email@example.com (Kevin Dowling)
Date: 13 Jul 87 21:52:46 GMT
I bought the 14" bandsaw from Grizzly Imports a week or so ago and
since there were questions on the net about Grizzly several months
ago I though I'd report my experiences. The Grizzly unit is currently
on sale for $225 and shipping and tax made it a grand total of $272.
The March/April issue of Fine Woodworking had a cover article on bandsaws
and a number of smaller sidelights on two- three-wheel bandsaws comparisons,
blades, and list of companies. The Grizzly bandsaw is made by the Taiwanese
Elephant factory. (Their tools have embossed elephants on the knobs) and was
favorably rated in the articles. The machine is essentially a Delta clone.
The author concluded that the biggest difference in bandsaws is not the machine
but the blade you select. The Sears 14" bandsaw was not rated highly at all due
to out of round wheels, shimming of guideposts, table needs bracing, work hangs
up on grooves on table-top...
The Grizzly sales people were helpful and efficient. The delivery was in 2
working days by a trucking freight company. The trucking firm tilted the box
upside down but other than the movement of parts inside nothing was damaged.
(Lots of Fragile - Precision Machinery - This Side Up stickers too!)
Some assembly (stand, table and guides) was necessary and took part of an
evening. The instructions are not very good, and a clear sequence of
assembly with good line drawings would have helped assembly greatly.
For instance there is a bag filled with 50 or 60 screws and the drawings
don't show which piece goes where in detail. It's pretty logical though
and only took a little thinking to determine assembly.
The machine runs well, little adjustment was needed. A couple of complaints
though - The feet that the saw sits on are a soft rubber. I would much
rather have hard leveling feet, because when ripping, the saw tends to
bounce a little back and forth. Not good for the saw, blade or the work in
progress! I will remove the feet for now and retrofit some more substantial
feet in the near future. The rip fence works ok but there is section where
it cannot move along the table where a slight ridge is.
I called Grizzly about both items and they said the feet are provided for
people who like the vibration isolation they provide but that Grizzly
doesn't recommend using them. The rip fence is an aftermarket item
that they supply and he recommended just having the small block on the rip
fence ground down a small amount which should fix the problem.
So far I've been using the blade than came with it but will try Fine
Woodworking's suggestion of a 1/4" bimetal blade. Jim Cummins, the Associate
Editor of FW, was very enthusiastic in his article and recommended
a hooked tooth, 1/4" wide, 6 TPI, bimetal blade, .025" thick as the
only blade you'll ever need for all operations. Well, I'll give
it a try and do some testing too.
I find most cutting operations feel much safer and more under control
on the bandsaw, especially ripping boards. On my radial arm, it's kind of
fear and respect of that large whirling finger-chopper as it goes berserk
and tries to climb over the work towards some flesh and blood. However,
the radial arm saw can't be beat for fast, clean cross-cuts. The bandsaw
doesn't suffer from vicious kick-back and the action of the machine
tends to push the work down and not out at bullet-speeds.