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  • BS1400?

    Well, with the Christmas money burnin a hole in my pocket, I jumped to the Ridgid site as soon as I got home. I've decided I'd like to get a band saw (I have some black walnut chunks courtesy of the neighbor's tree removal activities over the summer). I am seriously considering the Ridgid BS 1400. Does anyone have experience with this band saw? If so, what are your likes and dislikes? Is there any one thing that would make it a no-no for a relative beginner?

    Thanks in advance. I definately value the opinions and help I've found in these forums.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

  • #2
    We need to know what you plan on doing with the saw. If you have large portions of that tree and plan on cutting slabs I think you should look to a much larger saw. If you only plan on resawing 6" or less (without a riser) then you should be fine. If you do buy it then buy a new timberwolf (or other quality blade) for it as the stock one will cause you nothing but headaches


    • #3
      Thanks, WBrooks.

      The lion's share of my woodworking involves work with pre-cut board stock. Mostly cabinet-making and various other small projects. The BS1400 looks to be a decent saw, and Ridgid's reputation makes me think it'd be a good choice.

      The chunks of black walnut I have were cut into large pieces intended for a fireplace. They average around 24" in circumference, however. If I can find a way to (safely) cut them into manageable board size, I was going to use them for smaller projects like wine racks and shelving. I would probably use a chain saw with a rip blade to cut them to size.
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


      • #4
        if you use search feature on this forum you will find lots of info on the BS1400. Makes me sick to hear that a mature black walnut got bucked into firewood, not only because its owner lost out on many thousands of dollars but also that the wood working community lost another tree


        • #5

          Interesting comment about the "loss" of another great tree. I agree totally!!

          Now to my question for you, my son recently purchased a home in Binghamton, NY and he has a black walnut tree in his front yard that his wife hates and they plan on hiring someone to take it down. I just about freaked when I heard this. The tree is about 24 or so inches in diameter and is in good health. She just doesn't like the fall out in the yard.

          I've looked in the local phone book, but I don't see anyone obvious in the business of taking a tree for its lumber. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right area. I would love any suggestions that you may be able to offer. While I would certainly like to have some of the lumber if possible, I'm not equipped to take a tree down in the middle of a city residential area. Yet, I do know that there is value here and sure would hate to see it go the way of so many other great trees that are lost to "removal" people.

          Thanks in advance,



          • #6
            There're out there (sawyers that is), don't let that tree go to waste as firewood!!



            Or go to Woodmizers web site and send them an email and ask if they know of a sawyer in your area. I did this and they sent me the names and numbers for two people. Of course they are only going to know about people who have a woodmizer saw, but its something.

            I got lucky and found a guy who is retired and saws on the side when not driving a school bus. I got a red oak from a friend about 50 miles from home who offered me the logs for free (he has all the wood he could ever want). I called Don (the sawyer) and arranged a Saturday to cut. We were done in about 5 hours and it cost me $275, 50 of that was for 2 blades that hit nails. Took me 4 trips in my pickup to bring it all home. I am now aiting for it to air dry (about a year). but Don said there is about 700 bd. ft., most of it is quartersawn. I have 4/4, 5/4, and 6/4 boards from 5.5 to 10.5 inches wide and from 6 to 9 foot long.

            It was well worth the work and time invested, the only painful part is waiting for it to dry. You will want to enlist someone other than yourself to help with handling the wood as a portable bandsaw mill will be sitting idle half the time without some help. don charges by the hour which I think worked out well for me. I had the three 30" x 9 ft logs all lined up anad ready to go before he got there. It was just a matter of rolling them over to the saw and then he grabbed them and started cutting. My friend John and I were busy stacking the boards as they came off the mill.

            Here's links to two photos of the oak I got. The first is the logs and the second is the boards stacked in my garage drying. You can't see all the wood but that scaffold is filled all the way across, and I have more in the other bay.



            I bought bundles of wood lathe to sticker the boards with. Based on the research I did on Woodweb, I doubled them up to get what seems to be the recommended 3/4" spacing between boards.

            Initially I had the wood stacked and stickered outside, raised off the ground and covered over on the top with a couple sheets of ply and some 30# felt which drapped down a bit on the sides. I later decided to move it in the garage after about 7 weeks outside, mostly because I needed the room to stack firewood behind the garage, and because I figured it would dry a bit faster inside where even though it is an unheated space it would be dryer.

            [ 12-27-2005, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Bob D. ]


            • #7
              I agree completely about the waste of wood! There's lots of more walnuts in her yard, and I told her I'd find a sawyer in the area and arrange for the wood to be pulled out and pay for making the boards. The woman is quite well off and not worried about the payment from the wood, so she's going to give me what I want out of the trees in the future. All I have to do is find a sawyer around here.

              Thanks for the info on these websites. My dad uses a mill in Southern Maryland, but that's a bit far to haul these things. I'll look and see what's in my area for future use. [img]smile.gif[/img]
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


              • #8
                You may find it a little more difficult to find someone willing to mill those trees than you would expect.

                Alot of sawmills will have nothing to do with trees that come from an urban area. There is just too big of a chance that there could be some form of metal in the tree for them to risk damaging or possibly destroying a very expensive blade.
                I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


                • #9
                  Dave makes a good point about the possibility of hitting nails, lag screws, pieces of fence, etc. Like I said in my previous post I paid for two band saw blades at $25 each. If you went to a mill that used a large circ saw, you could be paying $25 or more PER TOOTH.

                  All my logs started out at 9 foot, after the second blade we decided to chop off the last couple feet on the one log (which was the closest to the ground of the three) even though we had found and removed four lag screws. I had a hand-held metal detector which I scanned the cants with as we cut but still missed those two.

                  All in all it was still (to me) worth it. I would have liked to not had paid for the two blades, but its no biggie. Now I get to figure out what to do with that 10x20x30" chunk of oak which will probably take forever to dry.


                  • #10
                    I was in the same position a year ago. A friend of mine who works at a golf course told me they were downing a bunch of trees and I could have all the firewood a person could want. I, however, did not want firewood (don't have a fireplace), I wanted the whole log and wanted to cut it up for lumber.

                    In a nutshell, I have 500 bd ft of red oak ranging from 4/4 and 5/4 mostly 6-8" wide. The boards had to be 7 ft because my trailer could only carry a 7 foot section. About 2 hours of cutting, the oak was back in there and ready to air dry. That was about 11 months ago. I am going to check the moisture content and I hope I can use some of the 4/4 boards. If I cannot, I will take it back to the sawyer and have him kiln dry it for me (he is cool because he will dry it for me for free since I have purchased several thousand bucks of lumber in the last year).

                    Nothing like turning scrap wood into something nice. Oh, I had him quartersaw most of it. I didn't lose as much as I thought I would.



                    • #11
                      Newbie question ?? what is meant by 4/4 or 5/4 and quartersaw ???

                      Thank you !!


                      • #12
                        These remarks refer to the cut of the wood. 4/4 is four-quarter thickness and 5/4 is five-quarter thickness boards. These are nominal dimensions and are generally less then they imply, thanks to kerf (blade thickness) and shrinkage during the drying process, I believe.

                        The "quarter-sawn" refers to how the logs are ripped into boards. Normal cutting would entail slicing the logs across their diameter and would produce a long wood grain for the full length of the board. Quarter-sawn, cuts the log into quarters and then those quarters are ripped into boards. The grain pattern is markedly different with "flecks" of end-like grain prominent in the boards. These "flecks" are actually the ends of the growth rings, as I recall. Quarter-sawn oak is highly prized for certain furniture designs like the craft-era mission style, etc.



                        • #13
                          lumber terms

                          For a good guide to lumber grading, check out