View Full Version : Bandsaw???!!!!!!

11th Mar 2009, 03:35 PM


I was in bunnings today. I broke another drill bit. They are VERY TINY!

Anyway, while I was in the tool section I looked at a scroll saw. Next to it, they had the tiniest bandsaw I've ever seen! It was only $139. Next to that was a slightly larger one, it was $229 (or something like that).

I'm clearing the art materials out of my "shed" so I'll have a table to put it on (small dinning room table).

Seems obvious that I should get the larger one - except that one of the reasons I wanted a scroll saw was that I want to do fancy tops on hair forks. (http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&um=1&q=hair+fork+wood&btnG=Search+Images)

Now, will the small bandsaw allow me to cut the basic fork shape? Or would I need a scroll saw for that?

Also, I want to be able to cut pen blanks in half, and split the occasional piece of wood down the middle if it isn't square. Will a scroll saw do this, or do I need the band saw?

And I already have a jigsaw - but it gets VERY heavy in my hand quickly.

Which machine would I be better off buying?

Thanks :)

11th Mar 2009, 03:52 PM
You could do the forks and cutting pen blanks on either a scrol saw or a bandsaw. My opinion is that a bandsaw is smoother in operation than a scroll saw, because the blade always moves in the same direction rather than up and down. OTOH a scroll saw can cut out in the middle of a piece where a bandsaw can only do that if you cut the blade and re-weld it. A scroll saw will usually have a hold down device to help with the smoothness.


11th Mar 2009, 04:24 PM
I don't do turning, but I have both, scroll and band saw. If I was
limited to one, it would be the scroll saw.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
11th Mar 2009, 04:26 PM
It's like this: for thin material and tight curves, a scrollsaw gives better results. You can drill a hole in the wood, feed the blade through and cut a pattern totally inside the wood without needing a cut run to the edge. The blades tend to be rather fragile though. (I've a nasty habit of breaking a scrollsaw blade or two on almost every job I tackle... :- but that's really operator impatience.)

For thick material (let's say around 1.5"-2" or thicker) and/or straight lines, a bandsaw is far quicker and more robust. But all cuts must start from the outside edge - unless you hae specialised equipment :rolleyes:


For your hair forks, a scrollsaw would be more user friendly. It'd handle small, tight curves more easily with far less need for trimming up later by hand.

Either will handle pen-blanks.

For cutting logs & small branches, a bandsaw is the only choice, IMHO. Too heavy a cut for a scrollsaw. And even then you need to build some sort of support ( a v-jig or similar) to prevent it rolling and jamming - or worse.

A bandsaw is the better work companion for turners.

A scrollsaw is better for ornamental work.

(Does it sound like I'm saying "buy both?" :innocent:)

Oh... FWIW, I dislike small bandsaws. Anything with under 14" diameter wheels bend the blade through a tight radius, causing it to become fatigued over time just by running. Even without actually cutting anything. But I refrain from poo-poohing 'em 'cos I know others who've had some success with theirs.

You might try PMing Lubbing5Cherubs for her opinion... :wink:

11th Mar 2009, 04:33 PM
If I can do penblanks with them as well, I'm probably better of getting the scroll saw, which I planned to do before I saw the small band saw - especially if the size of the band saw is an issue. I can't get a free standing one - no space and I'm not allowed.

Carba Tec has an entry level scroll saw for $139 (I think). After I get paid for the art I sold, maybe I'll get it. Or on Monday, after I win lotto this saturday.


Skew ChiDAMN!!
11th Mar 2009, 05:04 PM
Good luck!

Both with the sales and with lotto. :wink:

11th Mar 2009, 07:54 PM
From my humble experience a bandsaw is a great all rounder, but it will not do what a scroll saw can, and that is the fine work. Normally you can pick a descent scroll saw up at a cash converters for around $70 ~ $90 they rarely are used that much that's why the people sell to second hand shops I guess. But when you need one YOU NEED ONE!



11th Mar 2009, 08:07 PM
beware of the cheap small bandsaws they aint all that good. infact i think tehy are a waste of money. i had 2 and neither worked well at all.

11th Mar 2009, 08:46 PM
I'll back up Weisseyboy here - most of the small bandsaws lack the adjustments that are present in the larger (14") bandsaws and that ARE NECESSARY.

A friend of mine has purchased several mini bandsaws over the years and all except the first ( a plastic B&D that you power with a drill, no longer made) have failed to give anything like a controllable cut and all lacked basic adjustment capacity, most parts being riveted or pressed into place. I lent him some of the current bandsaw books & he got his old B&D running like a dream, all the rest were incapable of being adjusted & continue to cut interesting shapes - just not the ones he wants.

So: Save your money & get a GOOD scrollsaw. The better one have a cuting capacity very near that of a small bandsaw anyway, you just have to take your time with the thick stuff like blanks, and it will zip thru' the fine detail stuff.

I'm guessing you know about cutting comb teeth with a hacksaw/framesaw, 2 blades & a few washers, which is better than trying to do it with a machine.

joe greiner
12th Mar 2009, 12:15 AM
A scroll saw works well enough on material thickness less than the stroke, usually about 22mm maximum; more than that, the gullets aren't self-evacuating. Then the bandsaw is a lot better.

How "tiny" is tiny? Large bandsaws are easier to "tune." And they ALL need to be tuned for best performance, e.g. fence alignment.


Skew ChiDAMN!!
12th Mar 2009, 12:20 AM
A scroll saw works well enough on material thickness less than the stroke, usually about 22mm maximum; more than that, the gullets aren't self-evacuating. Then the bandsaw is a lot better.


12th Mar 2009, 09:30 AM
I'm guessing you know about cutting comb teeth with a hacksaw/framesaw, 2 blades & a few washers, which is better than trying to do it with a machine.



12th Mar 2009, 09:31 AM
So - what brand scroll saw should I be looking out for, if I'm looking second hand?

Thanks :)

12th Mar 2009, 10:32 AM
One thing, If I was to buy another one, the one I have is a pawn shop
bargain, I would be looking at variable speed models for sure.

12th Mar 2009, 10:52 AM
So - what brand scroll saw should I be looking out for, if I'm looking second hand?

Thanks :)

Very soon, you will have somebody along here suggesting you spend a scary amount of money on a scroll saw. In a sense they will be correct. The more expensive saws are better. Built stronger, better mechanism for attaching blades etc. Personally I have a Ryobi that I am very happy with. Make sure you get a saw that will take a pinless blade. All is not lost if you don't as many saws can have aftermarket pinless adapters added. I have replaced the pinless adapters on my Ryobi saw with aftermarket ones because I lost one. I think the aftermarket ones are a bit better (and won't get lost - a definite plus). My Ryobi definitely vibrates a bit more than I would expect a heavier saw to - but then I still haven't got around to bolting it down which I expect would help. They come with a box built around the lower arm - I guess for safety and to aid dust collection. FIrst thing I did was take off most of that box for better access to the blade attachment mechanism. Last I saw Carba Tec was selling a saw almost identical to my Ryobi just branded differently. Looks like it's currently on special for $129. That is actually I think a pretty good price for an OK saw. Just don't buy blades from them. They are expensive. I got some from ebay and some from Harris Traders (Harris Traders also have the aftermarket blade adapters).

Overall I guess it depends on how much you are going to be using it - If this is going to be something you do all the time, and expect it to pay for itself, then you might be better with a better saw - but if it's an occasional thing or a semi paying hobby then the cheaper saws I think are OK.


12th Mar 2009, 10:58 AM
I've read your posts with interest. It seems to me most of what you do is smaller stuff and as said above the scroll saw is probably the more useful tool.

Ebay sometimes has well priced scroll saws second hand.

I have a bench top band saw I'd be happy to loan you if you want to play with it and see what it does and does not do. I rarely use it and don't find bandsaws particularly useful, but that's not a universal comment. Different people choose different tools for a task and there is a lot of overlap in what machines can do.

12th Mar 2009, 12:26 PM
the best by far for blades is flying duchman blades. they cut real good. i was just starting out with scrolling and someone said try the flying duchman blades and i did and it was like day and night as far as cuttting and tracking. i cut 3/4 inch white and red oak like it was butter. you do have to take your time with 3/4 inch oak or you will burn the blade. blades are cheap so do not be afraid to brake some as you will. just my opinion. i bought a gross of blades and i cut a heck of lot of wood with them and still have a bunch od blades left.