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Andy Ferguson
(@andyferguson)
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24/03/2021 9:22 am  

Hi everyone,

Been here lurking for a while but this is my first post.  Did the course with Mark a couple of years ago and have built a couple of guitars since, on which I’ve made many mistakes and learnt a lot of lessons.  For my next build I want to up my game and try to get everything as good as I can (obviously). 

Part of this means upgrading my bandsaw from the tiny 70s 3 wheeler I have (to give me at least enough clearance to cut headstock angle etc).  I searched the forum and found chat about bandsaws- seems to be the general consensus is “buy the biggest one you can afford”, with Mark saying that 200mm clearance will enable you to bookmatch tops.  I don’t intend to do that any time soon, but who knows what the future holds.

I am also considering getting a pillar drill.  Despite getting decent results with a hand drill up until now, I’d obviously like to get closer to “perfect” than “good enough”.  As you’d imagine, my budget is far from limitless and I am trying to decide between buying the biggest and best bandsaw I can afford and carrying on with the hand drill for the foreseeable, or buying a smaller bandsaw and a pillar drill.

Looking at axminster (although by no means decided on buying from them), I’m jumping between buying this guy;

https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-craft-ac2606b-bandsaw-105095

Or these two;

https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-craft-ac1950b-bandsaw-105093

https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-craft-ac220rd-bench-radial-drill-105107

Appreciate questions like this have probably been asked a million times, but would appreciate any advice.

Cheers.

 


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Koendb
(@koendb)
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24/03/2021 3:52 pm  

I thought 120 mm to 150 mm is enough for most guitar building? But I am just getting into building myself, and I dont even have a bandsaw. So dont take my remarks as advice. I am interested in this discussion, since I am saving up for a bandsaw myself. 
That pillar drill looks like you have plenty of reach
Perhaps consider used market too? that way you might end up with both without compromises?


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Peebee
(@peebee)
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24/03/2021 5:30 pm  

I use a Record BS 300 bandsaw and so far it’s great, even better with a new decent blade.....bloody heavy though! I am no expert but seems to be ok. I plan on getting that Pillar Drill, let us know how it performs! It had been out of stock for sometime.

Give up the news folks, it’s liberating!


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Russ
 Russ
(@russ)
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24/03/2021 5:40 pm  

@andyferguson.

Hi Andy, Axminster have got a good reputation. I've looked at a lot of reviews which are generally good. Record Power have also got a good reputation and are arguably better quality but a little more pricey. As Mark says, get the best you can afford. Compromise a little on the Bandsaw if it means you can afford to get the pillar drill as well. We can always spend a fortune getting something better. 

🎸🙂🎶🙏

🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


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Andy Ferguson
(@andyferguson)
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24/03/2021 6:18 pm  

Thanks everyone, good to bounce the idea and hear other people’s take on it. Think getting the drill and the smaller bandsaw is the way forward.  Will let you know re: drill PeeBee - it does look like throat depth won’t be an issue in any scenario I can imagine using it in.


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Likeakite
(@likeakite)
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24/03/2021 6:50 pm  

I have the Charnwood W730 14" bandsaw. I bought it as there was an offer on a couple of years ago and got a good deal. I had to fettle a few things on it over that time but wouldn't buy again given my experience.. I think I would go for a Record Power bandsaw or the best Axminster you can afford. 


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mikeyrjiom
(@mikeyrjiom)
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24/03/2021 7:49 pm  

Hi @andyferguson

I have a Kity 613 I picked up second hand which is good on our little island. Its decent enough not a huge cut maybe 8" max but I've never used that. The throat is 12" without the guide and that can be tricky sometimes but not surmountable. I would love to upgrade it when I next get chance and the cash. Only so I can cut my own Billets though but for what I paid secondhand I got other stuff as well. You may find there are a lot of people buy these then give up, so a bargain can be had if you look around.

Agree with @peebee regards the record power BS300 that seems a good one. It's not a 12" depth of cut through if you read the spec it says 190mm (7.5") and the other thing is the table size so you can easily work on a body blank or soundboard. He maybe able to give you a better idea on that bit.

As for the pillar drill. I was lucky enough to get one a while ago whilst in the UK. It's a bit noisy and you need a lot of workspace as the head will move back quite a bit. The head on mine is jammed back against the wall and mounted on a workbench near the front. I find that I have to remove one of the swinging arms to drop the table a bit more to get some work under with larger diameter/ longer drill bits but up to now haven't found anything that defeats it job wise.

In general Axminster stuff is really good and delivery to the IOM is cheap. Although I've seen people report bad service I never have had experience of that

Hope that helps

Mike


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tv1
 tv1
(@tv101)
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24/03/2021 8:04 pm  

Assuming that space isn’t a constraint ...

I’d buy the biggest bandsaw you can afford, and wait until you can also afford a decent pillar drill.  You can get by without a pillar drill for a little while, using some of the tricks to help keep your hand drill vertical.

If you compromise on the bandsaw now, you run the risk of finding its limitations in the not too distant future.  You’re unlikely ever to say “I wish I’d bought a smaller one”.

I was fortunate to be gifted a large bandsaw, and it’s one of the most used tools in my workshop (router takes first place).  It’s a hugely useful tool for lots of DIY tasks, so wins me plenty of brownie points with my wife!

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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Koendb
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24/03/2021 8:22 pm  

I use a Record BS 300 bandsaw and so far it’s great

I was actually looking for a Record BS250 (120 mm Maximum Cutting Height).
For what kind of jobs do you need more height? Just trying to find out if that would be enough.


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mattbeels
(@mattbeels)
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24/03/2021 8:33 pm  

@andyferguson

I agree with @tv101, don’t skimp on the bandsaw. The common advice is to buy the best (biggest?) that you can afford and that’s true. If you can then buy even more than you think you will need as it gives you room to grow and if you get into re-sawing then you won’t always be running the saw at capacity. (While re-sawing.)

14” width of cut is pretty standard and should be the minimum you get in my opinion.

Depth of cut is important for cutting the width of your headstock and re-sawing for tops (or other woodworking projects). Also great for cutting out the belly carve, (with a jig of course). If you don’t want to do your own tops you can always buy them ready. If you do want to get into re-sawing then my advice is to get a machine with at least 1 & 1/2 HP. 

Those radial drill presses aren’t necessary for guitar building. What do we need all that depth and swing for? All it’s used for is tuner and bridge holes, right? Getting one that has enough depth from the chuck to the pillar to get your bridge holes done is all you need imo. The radial ones can also flex and tilt if extended far enough which is further than we need for guitars, but still...

Hope this helps!

Pratice on scrap...


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Koendb
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24/03/2021 8:42 pm  

14” width of cut is pretty standard and should be the minimum you get in my opinion.

Hmm ok so that Record BS250 is not enough?


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mattbeels
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24/03/2021 8:52 pm  

@koendb

I would say no. Max width of cut is 240mm/9.5 inches. You could manage but you’ll most likely (read: definitely) wish that you had bought a bigger one. Especially if you want to make a V or Firebird or your own whacky oversized body. Maybe not for you but a friend or customer...

Pratice on scrap...


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tv1
 tv1
(@tv101)
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24/03/2021 8:58 pm  

Hmm ok so that Record BS250 is not enough?

Might be "enough" today @koendb, but not enough tomorrow.

2 critical measurements.

  1. The max height of the workpiece it can cut (not so critical for guitar making purposes, unless you're planning on making your own book matched tops!)
  2. The max width of cut - ie between the blade and the upright, what's the widest workpiece you can fit in there.

I'll measure mine tomorrow and post here, but that BS250 *looks* small.

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk


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mattbeels
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24/03/2021 8:59 pm  

@koendb

I’m getting a new bandsaw soon and I’m going for a Record Power. They look great to me, the reviews are very good and I like the company. The 5 year warranty helps as well. There are some great brands here in Germany but they are even more expensive for a comparable saw with less features and specs. 

Pratice on scrap...


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mattbeels
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24/03/2021 9:00 pm  

I'll measure mine tomorrow and post here, but *looks* small.

@tv101

Yeah, that’s what she said mate.

Pratice on scrap...


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