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  • Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

    "The Ridgid bandsaw can be good to exceptional, if you're willing to put some extra money and effort into tuning it, replacing the tires, getting a quality blade (these two things are likely necessary on every mid-tier BS). But you would also be well served by adding a good fence, new guides, a link belt, and stabilizing the stand.

    All told, I think I put about $225 into all of the above (the fence alone is about $100; riser kit ~ $60) and can resaw 12" logs now with very nice results. I haven't resawn anything less than 1/4" so I can't speak to that. But for 1/4" resawing it does very well.

    So, the real question is: Can you get a comparable saw for $600? Yes, you can. But most will still require some more work (blade, riser, tires)... so, perhaps it's a wash either way." [from another post]

    Could you post specifics on what you used,cost [and were to purchase] and maybe some pictures of your upgraded bandsaw and maybe a little how to install and why we would need the upgrades if you could. I have seen many post on upgrading other makes of saws, but nothing on the Ridgid. Now I just make little junk out of big junk with it.
    Thanks Dave

  • #2
    Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

    Well... Im not woodjunkie, but I can comment on the Ridgid bandsaw. Ive added the Kreg fence, Carter Quick Tension Release, Carter Bandsaw Stabilizer, Powertwist link belt, Grizzly riser kit, Hartville Tool urethane tires, Shop Fox mobile base, balanced the wheels, strengthened the stand, and added a 4" dust port to the lower door. I use it as a second bandsaw, with an 1/8" 14tooth blade for bandsawn boxes and other small blade cuts. I have added all the accessories over time. I bought a big Grizzly BS and then grew tired of having to change blades back and forth all the time. I like to use a 3/4" blade on the Griz for resaw and rip cuts, and you just cant cut curves with that size blade. Since I had just bought the Griz and the tool budget was depleated, the Ridgid was a good choice because of the low initial cost. I had bad tracking problems right out of the box, and the Urethane tires fixed that. I didnt have much vibration issues, but balancing the wheels and shoring up the stand made it as smooth as silk. Although not completely neccesary, all the other added things make it a joy to use. I dont resaw with the Ridgid, so I cant comment on how the performance of the 3/4 horse motor is in long deep cuts, but with a sharp blade, it cuts through domestic hardwoods with ease. I have cut 8" blanks into boxes without too much trouble, but it didnt handle 6" of purpleheart very well. In its defense, purpleheart is very gummy and the blade clogs quickly, so its not really the fault of the motor.
    I think this bandsaw is a good start if you dont have a bandsaw. You will learn alot about the bandsaw as a tool, by tuning and tweeking, and I havent found anything yet that is cheaply made or wont hold up. I use this saw regularly and have had it for 4 years now. Another nice thing, its a clone of the Delta style cast iron saw, just like the Jet, Grizzly, Wilton, Steel City, and Im sure there are others Im forgetting. Replacement parts are available, and all the accessories made for these mentioned saws are interchangable.
    Search for my posts and you will see pics and comments about my Ridgid BS 14002.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

      Originally posted by wannaBelkhuntin View Post
      Could you post specifics on what you used,cost [and were to purchase] and maybe some pictures of your upgraded bandsaw and maybe a little how to install and why we would need the upgrades if you could. I have seen many post on upgrading other makes of saws, but nothing on the Ridgid. Now I just make little junk out of big junk with it.
      Thanks Dave
      Hi Dave,

      Let's see if I recall it all..
      Well, first and foremost, and this is free, balance the wheels. This may involve drilling the wheels or adding weight (epoxy works). Search the forum for info on this process.

      As far as add-ons.... I've tried to organize this better, but can't do columns in this reply.

      Item: Urethane tires
      Vendors: Rockler,Woodcraft, Lee Valley
      Price: About $30
      Comment: These are a MUST! The rubber ones are junk.
      Links:
      http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...rethane%20tire
      http://www.woodcraft.com/product.asp...&FamilyID=4896
      http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...=1,41036,56060


      Item: Blade(s)
      Vendors: Woodcraft, Rockler
      Price: $20-$35
      Comment: I put a 1/2" 3tpi skip tooth TImberwolf. No matter the teething specifics, get a good quality brand.
      NOTE: These links are for the stock blade size (93 1/2", not with a riser block). 105" with riser...
      http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4812
      http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...andsaw%20blade


      With just the above, you will see enormous improvements already in tracking and cutting capabilities.

      Item: Link belt
      Vendors: Rockler, Woodcraft / Lee Valley
      Price: ~$8 / foot
      Comment: You need more than 3 feet, but less than 4
      Links:
      http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=20051
      http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...at=1,240,41067


      Item: Blade Guides
      Vendors: Rockler, Woodcraft, hardware store
      Price: Around $10 up to $155
      Comment: I got Cool Blocks for a clearance price, so I put those in. You can really shoot for the moon with ceramic materials, roller guides, etc, etc.
      Links:
      http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...andsaw%20blade
      http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...andsaw%20blade
      http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...=1,41036,56060


      Now, I would consider the above to be required enhancements if you want a good serviceable bandsaw.
      If you want to take it another level higher...


      Item: Kreg bandsaw fence
      Vendors: Rockler, Woodpeck.com, Lee Valley
      Price: $110
      Comment: Nice fence, easy to install, drift adjustment and other nice fence add-ons available.
      Links:
      http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5244
      http://www.woodpeck.com/kregbandsawfence.html
      http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...,41036&p=52404


      Item: Riser block
      Vendors: Grizzly, Amazon.com
      Price: $70
      Comment: Easy installation, especially with a friend. Bolts right in place. Requires a switch to 105" blades.
      Links: This one:
      http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-H7316-...0523230&sr=8-1


      Item: Carter quick release tension arm
      Vendors: Woodcraft, Lee Valley
      Comment: A nicety, 'cuz I'm lazy about unscrewing the tension, but not a necessity.
      Price: $160
      Links:
      http://www.woodcraft.com/product.asp...&FamilyID=3932
      http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...=1,41036,56060


      I also put a 3/4" thick plywood base under the bandsaw, and then an anti-vibration mat, just for good measure.. I don't know if the mat really helped, and can't necessarily recommend it for the cost. Perhaps others feel more strongly about this item. The plywood did help stabilize the whole thing.

      I had it on a Woodcraft mobile base, but found it a bit wobbly. I recently picked up a Herc-U-Lift universal base and will be attaching that, so that in-use, it will be standing on its own legs, which are much more stable.

      One final thing... I also hate changing blades, so I picked up a 10" Craftsman bandsaw fairly cheap on CL and put on a quality blade, for sawing pen blanks and hardboard templates and what-not. The Ridgid just does my big work now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

        Hi woodjunkie

        I have the orange Ridgid BS 14002 saw. ($375, Home Depot 20% off sale- purchased October 2, 2009)
        In an effort to reduce vibration and increase accuracy, add-ons include:
        twist link belt ($38.00, Busy Bee)
        Kreg fence with resaw block and accumeasure ($141, Busy Bee)
        1/2" silicon steel 3TPI w/ 10 degree rake ($21, Busy Bee)
        7/8" urethane tires ($54, Lee Valley)
        Cool blocks ($16, Lee Valley)
        Mobile base ($58, Lee Valley)
        2 magnetic level bubbles on table edges ($4, Home Depot)
        3/4" MDF below saw base and at centre shelf ($12, Home Depot)
        Carter ratchet tensioner ($44, Carter)

        Total with accessories: $717, taxes included

        After adding the belt, tires, MDF, a new blade and a mobile base, I put it through the nickel test with my wife there as witness. Turning on, running and switching off had the nickel stay on edge, and this can now occur repeatedly. Soon I will try a penny test!

        Was it worth investing this into this bandsaw? Probably not, especially with so many other units available within this price range. However, I sure did find the 3 week learning curve of value.

        There are no questions about this units ability to cut/resaw walnut, cedar, and pine. Now I look forward to taking on jobs/hobbies for myself and my friends using the Ridgid bandsaw.

        edmontonian

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

          Originally posted by edmontonian View Post
          Hi woodjunkie

          I have the orange Ridgid BS 14002 saw. ($375, Home Depot 20% off sale- purchased October 2, 2009)
          In an effort to reduce vibration and increase accuracy, add-ons include:
          twist link belt ($38.00, Busy Bee)
          Kreg fence with resaw block and accumeasure ($141, Busy Bee)
          1/2" silicon steel 3TPI w/ 10 degree rake ($21, Busy Bee)
          7/8" urethane tires ($54, Lee Valley)
          Cool blocks ($16, Lee Valley)
          Mobile base ($58, Lee Valley)
          2 magnetic level bubbles on table edges ($4, Home Depot)
          3/4" MDF below saw base and at centre shelf ($12, Home Depot)
          Carter ratchet tensioner ($44, Carter)

          Total with accessories: $717, taxes included

          After adding the belt, tires, MDF, a new blade and a mobile base, I put it through the nickel test with my wife there as witness. Turning on, running and switching off had the nickel stay on edge, and this can now occur repeatedly. Soon I will try a penny test!

          Was it worth investing this into this bandsaw? Probably not, especially with so many other units available within this price range. However, I sure did find the 3 week learning curve of value.

          There are no questions about this units ability to cut/resaw walnut, cedar, and pine. Now I look forward to taking on jobs/hobbies for myself and my friends using the Ridgid bandsaw.

          edmontonian


          Hi edmontonian,
          Despite the extra cost, it IS an excellent learning opportunity for any bandsaw owner. Although that comes out to more (total) than some other bandsaws, which wouldn't require some of the upgrading, the end result of the Ridgid bandsaw, as you've described above, is replete with quality add-ons. The excellent blade, the guides, the Kreg fence, belt, etc are not generally stock equipment on other BS's either.

          So, congrats on nurturing your machine to a high state of function! Glad to hear you're also finding success with resawing and what-not, and humbly glad if I was of any help in your process.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

            I had a ridgid BS. I put on urethane tires and a riser. I put some plywood on the base to stiffen it up a bit. The saw was good for what it was. The major weakness is the motor. It is way underpowered.
            IME, the ridgid doesn't need better guides or belt. Mine ran vibration free as is.
            Depending on where you live, you can find used bandsaws that are much better for about the price of a new ridgid(with riser and urethane tires). Check craigslist. I've seen Minimax, lagunas and other top quality bandsaws selling for under $1000 occasionally. I've seen a few selling for about $600.
            www.TheWoodCellar.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

              Hi woodjunkie,

              I was happy to hear others have had good experiences with the Ridgid bandsaw. Your comments and a few others are most encouraging when one sees as much negative press on this unit. In this saw's case, I was rooting for the underdog. And yes, you did help me out with the information you shared. Thanks!

              My first real project "test" will be cutting all wood for a cedar strip canoe. I will be re-sawing everything myself and I look forward to it now that the saw is working so well. I have found that going slow on re-sawing is best to obtain good results with this unit. I have not tried any other saw before this one, but I'm willing to bet that a larger motor definitely makes for a faster cut.

              Is it a good idea or a foolish one to replace the motor on this unit to a 1.5 HP farm duty drive? At a stock speed of 3450, I'd replace the pulley set to stay within a 2000 rpm limit.

              edmontonian

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bandsaw ? for woodjunkie

                Wood_Junkie,
                Thanks for taking the time to post your reply to my original question and also for the list of materials and suppliers. I know that took a lot of time and I know I am grateful and it seems others are also. I have done some of the mods you recommended and it is much better but I haven't touched it lately as I have been building a router table/assembly table that has taken my time and tool funds. Thanks again Dave

                Comment

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