View Full Version : Bandsaw Blank Preparation

5th Aug 2004, 10:46 AM
Is a bandsaw an essential part of blank preparation? I procrastinated long enough to miss out on the 14" bandsaw from carbatec for under $300 and I have been trying to tell myself ever since that I didn't need one. After trimming a blank on my table saw and getting close to needing a nappy change I am of the opinion that I am going to have to bite the bullet.
I know that there is no ability to fit a raiser block on some bandsaws so what is the minimum depth of cut that you can have before it is unsuitable for peparation of the most common sized blanks.
How do others cut their blanks to size?

5th Aug 2004, 10:51 AM
get a 14" bandsaw [minimum]
you will never regret it.

5th Aug 2004, 12:05 PM
There is another power tool which is designed to make square blanks round. It is called a lathe!

Seriously, in 9 years of turning, I have never been able to justify purchasing a bandsaw, just for the purpose of rounding blanks. Recently, while doing the TAFE course, I have found a bandsaw very useful, but not essential.

Most of the turning I do is on 'half log ' blanks, which I have harvested myself. Some are turned green, and some have seasoned pretty well over time. Up to a swing of 25 to 30 cm, I determine the centre of the flat face, and then offset this if necessary to meet the centre of gravity, if the blank is very assymetric. Drill a 7mm hole at that point, and mount on a Glaser screw, gripped in my Nova chuck. Turn on low speed, and start by taking 'bites' across the corners, working from centre to edge, using a substantial bowl gouge, laid over to the left to take a slicing cut. The interrupted cut causes some vibration, and needs to be done with caution, keeping the bevel 'rubbing'.

As you reduce the corners to the round, frequently move the toolrest in to avoid cutting with long overhang, as this is where it can become dangerous.

For blanks up to the above size, I find that this is no more time consuming than marking out a circle; nailing an offcut onto the log to hold it steady; cutting; drilling; etc. I have used this for blanks as large as 50cm across, but up at that size, the risk and time become significant.

5th Aug 2004, 01:13 PM
While a bandsaw is not an essential piece of equipment for preparing blanks it sure makes it a whole lot easier and in my opinion a lot quicker. You will also use the bandsaw in a lot more operations than just preparing blanks.
A 14" bandsaw should be the minimum you look at. They will cut a piece about 150mm/6" deep. If you want to cut deeper blanks then you will need a riser or larger bandsaw.
These are one of those tools that until you have one you do not realise their versatility and how you managed without one for so long. :D

5th Aug 2004, 05:46 PM
Depends how much you source timber from the 'wild' and how much from suppliers.

You can get a fair way with an electric chainsaw (but get a good one) breaking down logs.

But I agree with ptc and the others - it's a damn handy tool to have for all sorts of applications.

Don't however bother with a riser kit on a cheap unit - they bind, run out of puff, wander etc etc. If you need 8" or more cut then go for a larger unit. A 14" bandsaw will give you a 6" cut and that's actually often not enough when you've got a choice bit of timber you're itching to turn.

5th Aug 2004, 07:04 PM
Speaking of bandsaws, GPW down the Gold Coast sells this 17 inch unit for $995.00 I've had a look at it ,and it look's excellent quality for the price,I'd be interested on your thought's on this. :D
Ta Rod

5th Aug 2004, 07:22 PM
Yes. I have one of those with the Carbatec badge. Really nice to use. :D
Cut the logs off at 295mm then just slice them up to whatever thickness you need. Usually get 4 bowls per log section. (And then the little bowls from the middles).

5th Aug 2004, 11:46 PM
I use to have a small bandsaw which I sold (thinking I would never use it again) about a month before I got my lathe.

I find that the roughing is part of the fun and adventure of turning, but I do use a 12inch electric chainsaw to roughly take the corners off the blank.

18th Aug 2004, 10:52 PM
I got a Bandsaw from the Adel. Woodshow 12 months ago from Timbecon. Cost about $550 - a reasonably good machine - but it needed a bit of tuning to get it running nicely. Why do you need a riser?? When do you plan to ever cut timber thicker than 6"??? The higher you go - the less accurate the cut. Yas dont need no riser - no need for them really. A cheap/ish B/saw tho for blanks is pretty handy - unless you have a good supply of nappies that is - lol

Red neck
19th Aug 2004, 12:06 PM
I guess each to his own, but I find my 14 inch bandsaw with riser kit very useful.

My primary source of turning material comes from a tree-lopper friend who supplies me with silky oak, camphor laurel, mango, avocado, and anything else that gets dropped in suburbia.

I start with a chainsaw and reduce the log to a manageable block, slab it on the bandsaw, cut it into rounds, seal the edges and store for ultimate use.

A sharp 3 tpi half or three-quarter inch blade will handle ten or twelve inch logs if you feed them through gently and my saw is just three-quarter horsepower.

I persevered for a few years without a bandsaw, converting many ‘corners’ to shavings. Now I find interesting things to turn the log off-cuts into, such as bottle stoppers, pen blanks or as planted features in other turnings.

Go with the largest bandsaw funding will permit. Consider the 14 inch with riser kit the minimum alternative. Unfortunately that was all I could afford, or add to the shed without ‘madam lash’ becoming suspicious. You will find it useful in other areas of woodworking including template making for router work and as a quick crosscut or rip saw for components too small to handle safely on the table saw.

Hare & Forbes have one for $419 at http://www.hareandforbes.com.au/sample_2/home.php


19th Aug 2004, 01:21 PM
A BAS 350 bandsaw is 14" but the depth of cut is 200 mm as opposed to the others at 150 mm , plus the motor is 1 . 5 hp as opposed to the others at .75 hp. I use a 19 mm x 1.2 tpi blade for breaking down logs on mine. It has the grunt to do it and Carbatec in Perth have them on sale at $559-00 including a beautiful cabinet base. For woodturners I rate this as the top 14" bandsaw!

It is possible to rough down the blank just as quick on the lathe provided you have the appropriate low speed setting, a sturdy lathe and a good roughing gouge. The down side is just lots more to clean up. Time wise there is not really anything in it.

I prefer to use my BAS 350 though.

19th Aug 2004, 11:48 PM
i dont have a bandsaw yet. I am going to get one as i want to use it in other work as well. I did however rough down a wild blank today and as smidsy said it was good fun. I had a good time doing the work. I suppose after a while i will want to get it down quicker. Who knows only time will tell.