Band saws for wood and metal

I would like to purchase a band saw in the $1000 price range capable of cutting both wood and metal. I've found some information on two
possibilities: Wilton's 14-inch 8201 Tradesman band saw and Craftsman's 15-inch wood and metal band saw, but I haven't seen either saw and I don't know anything about Wilton's reputation. I'd appreciate recommendations for other saws that might work and any information others have about the Wilton and Craftsman saws. Among the things that would be helpful are knowing where the saws are made (Taiwan, PRC, etc.), whether speed change uses gears or belts, and how the saws compare to JET band saws in general quality and features.
Thanks for the help.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

May I suggest two saws. The infamous "$200" 4x6" metal saws are really quite good and seem to be readily available on sale for considerably less than $200. That would leave you $800 which probably more than you need for a pretty decent wood cutting bandsaw.
The idea of doing woodwork and metalwork in the same room scares me spitless! Consider grinder sparks landing in that pile of sawdust you missed sweeping up yesterday. Also, I've not been overly impressed with the one-saw-does-all products.
Ted
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I just posted a Boice Crane 14" wood/metal bandsaw on eBay. Just search under Boice Crane. This item has a hi-lo gearbox and works very well for all sawable materials, given the correct blade and speed. The only reason I am selling, besides getting money, it that I have a 16" DoAll also. I have had the Boice Crane for several years, sometimes it was the only saw I had. Another very fine wood/metal saw is the powermatic model 143. It also has the hi-lo gearbox. I have sold maybe 15 of these in the last four years. They are very popular with knife makers because they can cut steel, bone, phenolic, plastic, horn, wood, etc, used in making custom knives. And they don't take up much room. In the case of the powermatic model 143, it is just a model 141 (wood) with the addition of the gearbox. The model 141 Powermatic is arguably the best wood cutting bandsaw of its size ever made. And, the 143 also cuts metal like a dream. I only use the Lennox diemaster II blades for metal. Anyway, the Powermatic 143 sells for about double what the Boice Crane will go for, but in use, they are about the same. If you have the room, and access to material handling equipment to get it in, The big heavy DoAll 16-18" bandsaws will spoil you. Paul
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I have the Wilton and have been happy with it. Lane
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Boy I'm getting tired of writing this! Where are you located? - GWE
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Grant, I don't understand why it matters where he is located. He is just asking for advice on saws. Lane
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Because very often when a guy writes that he's looking for a machine, someone else pipes up that he lives right in his neighborhood and has just such a machine available. Or else someone says go check down at Joe's Salvage because they have 4 machines like that for scrap prices.
That's why. - GWE
lane wrote:

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I apologize for leaving out my location. I live in the Tucson, Arizona area, about 15 miles north of the city.
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You might also want to consider one of the older Delta 14-in horizontal bandsaws, which were sold in woodworking only and WW/metalworking configurations. The latter seem to fetch $200-600 depending on condition and source. The Yahoo OWWM (old woodworking machines) group has some resident experts there that are quite helpful.

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On 22 Jan 2004 09:02:05 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I have the Wilton and have been happy with it. It's made in Taiwan but I found nothing to criticize other than the plastic tension knob. I replaced that knob with a metal one. Other than that, fit, finish and function have been completely satisfactory.
It has both belts and gears; the gearbox is engaged for lowrange speeds and disengaged for highrange speeds. It's very easy to engage and disengage.
Wilton is a US company based in Elgin IL that has been in business since 1941.
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Well I just have to be satisdfied with my homebrew 20" bandsaw. I have less than $100 into it and it does what I need to do. So far it has performed just fine. Last night I cut up some 3/4 and 1" steel plate for a home made press brake, and it cut it fine. I cut a bunch of thinner sheet stock for the saws cover with it using a rip fence (angle clamped to table) and its a straight as it gets.
While it may not have the optimum speed for wood working, I do very little except to make patterns for my castings, and with a wood cutting blade it works just fine at my highest SFPM range. Besides I hate wood working with a passion. Guess its because as a kid I was forced to work in wood with my dad. I prefer metal slivers in my fingers than wood splinters ;-)
I had looked at JET and Wilton but all were way out of my range.
Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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Agreed.
I have a Wilton 14" at home and a Delta 14" at work. Both have the two speed gearbox. They are VERY similar ... the Wilton (ca. 2001) is essentially a 'clone' of the much earlier Delta (ca. 1960). They are nearly identical. There's little to choose between them. The Delta's been going strong for over 40 years ... I hope the Wilton will do as well. With care. I can't see why it won't.
Both are currently available, but the Wilton, an import, is perhaps half the cost of the Delta. And even some of the Delta stuff is imported now (I don't know about the saw).
Dan Mitchell ========Don Foreman wrote:

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I don't know if it's "$1000", but I have a delta 28-306. I have cut from heavy bolt steel to light wood with it, all worked fine. I've also cut disk drives in half (great way to make sure they cannot be read, DO wear your goggles), and other such odd projects.
The difference between a "wood" and a "metal" bandsaw seems to be the blade speed range, until you get into high end metal saws, which will have a blade welder.
I'm not sure where it's made, but aside from the dust port being sort of silly, and the v-belt cover housing being attached with mickey-mouse clips that I replaced with screws, it all seems OK to me.
Mine is on Delta's wheeled base, which makes it easy to move. I recommend that.
Iturra designs sells bigger dust ports, brushes to keep sawdust off the wheels, and so on. I've not ordered their stuff yet, but looks good in the catalog.
The blade that it comes with is, uh, not wonderful. But bandsaw blades are consumables anyway. And first rate blades are easy to get.
The $200 saws always seem to be cut-off/miter saws. Which is great if you want to cut some straight edge at some known angle onto a steel pipe or bar. They have the merit they can divide parts of limited width x height but arbitrary length. So they're clearly great for parting turned stock, sizing stock for the metal lathe, cutting tubes to be fabricated, and lots of other useful tasks. But they're not set up to work on wood at all.
The Delta (and I think the Wilton you speak of, I bought the Delta instead), are verticle saws. They cannot divide (cut off) a thing of arbitrary length at a right angle. But they can cut curves. They can "rip" pieces of any length, by large heights, up to just less than 14" (for a 14" saw) from the edge.
The delta has a miter slot (but no miter gauge that I can recall, you'd have buy one or build one), but with a little work a bandsaw will cut quite straight. There is a rip fence option for the Delta, I bought it, haven't used it yet.
As for metal and wood together - most of us don't have a choice. However, do disconnect the wood dust vacuum before cutting metal, since sucking hot metal cuttings into a pile of sawdust with 1100cfm of air blowing over it will make quite a fire. (Then again, if all the dust is in the dust collector or the waste basket, hot metal cuttings falling on the concrete floor are no big deal, are they?)
I find that small vices improve the value of the saw. A small part (a bolt, say) can be held in a small machinists vice, then slid past the blade to cut it off very close to the head (say), or at a funny angle. [By analogy, miter fences, rip fences, setup gauges, and push blocks make any wood saw faster, easier and more accurate.]
I personally love this saw, because I trust it much more than a table saw, and it lets me do so many of the odd projects I want to do, quickly.
good luck bmw
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This isn't EXACTLY to the point, but the February (I think), 1934 issue of Popular Mechanics has an article on making your own bandsaw. It was a 10 or 12" benchtop model, using mostly plywood. I made one, one cold Minnesota winter in the 1970s. It was a very gratifying project and the saw worked great. I took a shortcut on mine and didn't put in a tilting table, so it was extra easy. At the time all I had for machines was a drill press and a small power hacksaw. I think I used a hand jigsaw for the cutting, and turned the wheels on a friend's woodlathe. I recommend this project to anyone, and it could be built of any material at any scale. Paul
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6e70 wrote:

The current (iron model) Delta wood - 12/14" bandsaw I got some years ago - not many - has an optional pulley for slowing down a wood into a metal.
The metal version I don't think can go upwards, but you might check.
Martin
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