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Opportunity Is Knocking

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  • Opportunity Is Knocking

    A co-worker of mine has a 12" Sears Craftsman Bandsaw to sell for $70-$80. It's 4-5 years old, not used very much, has a 1HP motor, 6" depth of cut, 23"X18" cast iron table with miter slot, 80" blade, can use 1/8"-1/2" blades, has guide blocks with roller bearings in the back, work light, leg set, and the table is stationary while the saw tilts 45 degrees in one direction only. He says it cost about $270 when new. What do you guys think? I know Craftsman seems to get a bad rap here, but this sure seems like a deal. Or is it just going to be a headache? All comments appreciated.

  • #2
    Is it similar looking to this? Not sure of the age, but I think this is from 5 to 10 years old, maybe more. It's the only 12" Craftsman BS I remember that the table was fixed and the blade rotated, but I have not followed their bandsaw history closely.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 10-19-2007, 03:57 PM.
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


    • #3
      Here are the 2 pictures I have of the saw. Your picture sure looks similar Bob D

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      Last edited by Hector B; 09-12-2006, 08:58 PM.


      • #4
        Well I think that for the money it is a good deal. If you don't plan to use a BS that much or are not sure if you will, then this may be a good entry point. I would certaintly take this before considering one of those $99 bench top BS of any make.

        I have an old Craftsman 12" BS, and would like to get a bigger one with more power and greater resaw capacity, but I plan to jump over the 14" models and go to a MiniMax 16" or a 18" from Grizzley or MAybe the Delta, so I am saving my money for the MiniMAX. My BS is a more conventional design than the one you are looking at.

        If those pics are of the actual BS you will be buying, it's very clean and looks barely used. I saw buy it and it will be a while before you outgrow it.

        I think you will find that the table is cast aluminum, not iron. Not a problem.

        Go get it before it's gone. If there was one up my way in that good shape for $70 I would snatch it up. With a good 1/2" blade you can resaw with decent results. And if you change your mind and want to sell it. let me know because my brother is in S. FL and he would like to have it I am sure.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


        • #5
          Thank you for the info and advice Bob D. Being older in years and new to woodworking as a hobby, I have learned to respect advice based on experience. Your mods all make good sense to me.
          You said, "Removed the stock blade tension knob and replaced it with a
          crank handle..." . Is the crank just a stock hardware item that fits the shaft with a set screw to hold it in place?

          The bookmatched 6" resaw pics were amazing. Is that a 1/8" thick cut or less?
          Thanks again


          • #6
            Well, the stock knob on my BS was a real pain in the butt to use. It made it so I did not want to bother with tension and then detension the blade when not in use. I happened upon the crank handle (surplus) for cheap so I bought it for $3 I think it was. Didn't have anything with me to measure it with but it looked close enough. I ended up making a sleeve from a piece of 1/2" Type L copper which fit snugly around the OD of the bolt and also was a close but not snug fit to the ID of the crank. The hand crank had two 1/4" set screws that I tightened up good and it has worked fine.

            You can find similar hardware on eBay or from Grizzley (look at their catalog pages of replacement handwheels and knobs), or try Reid Supply on the internet, they have just about every style and size knob, crank, level, handwheel, etc you could ask for. Check page 78 of their catalog for a nice aluminum crank handle.

            Those pieces of walnut was me messing around with the BS after putting a decent blade on the BS. The slices are less than 1/8" yes. I did save them though because afterward I was impressed with how nice they looked and thought they might have a use someday. So I clamped them up between a couple 3/4" boards to keep them flat and they await a project, maybe they would make a nice center for a jewelry box lid or something similar.
            "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



            • #7
              I bought the saw and will pick it up tomorrow. yaaaahoooo!!!!!!! More to come
              Last edited by Hector B; 09-15-2006, 09:54 PM.


              • #8
                Hey Bob D., mind another question or two?

                How did you get the tensioning/detensioning knob off? I see on mine that there is a hex head bolthead through the knob, and from the parts manual there are 8 parts that it slides through before it hits the retaining nut. It sure would be nice if I just could just unbolt it, slide it out, put it through a new crank handle and then slide it back in and go through all those bits to the retaining nut. Any chance?

                I spent the first of many hours in clean up today. Hours well spent getting familiar with the bearings and blocks, checking out the tires and drive belt etc. I used an old time drying penetrant, "Fabulous Blaster" PB Penetrant on the bearings and they spin great now. Before use the lower bearing wouldn't do one revolution, now it spins effortlessly. Wow.

                The same company makes a Dry Lube, TDL, with PTFE in it. Will it be ok to use in this saw dust environment?
                Last edited by Hector B; 09-17-2006, 10:55 PM.


                • #9
                  On removing the tensioning knob. I think it had a screw under the metal disc in the center of the knob. If your knob is like mine, then the knob is two pieces. Look at the edge of the know and you should see a seam wher the top and bottom pieces meet. I'll take a look at mine and get back to you.
                  "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



                  • #10
                    I looked at mine, and see that the hub is hex shaped to fit the head of the hex bolt and the nob is one peice plastic. I think one of those small rubber belt type gripper/wrenches with a nob screwed to the end might do the job, or maybe a gripper type. I'll just work with the nob. I'll look around.

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