When starting FallenWood, one of the first steps was to inventory our tools and decide what was missing. In a previous dream workshop I had (in another life), I had everything a woodworker desired, including a dust collection system with a filtration system, bandsaw, tablesaw, jointer, planer, drill press, shaper, clamps, vices, routers and so on. Ahh the memories. Anyway, we did not have $20,000 to invest in all of those pieces, nor the facilities to use them. So we narrowed it down to what we had to have. One of the most important pieces was the bandsaw.
I spent a lot of time researching bandsaws, their features, and prices. I can tell you there is a lot of information out there. I spent most of the time confused and frustrated trying ot determine the best option. I do not want to take up any more time with this article discussing my end result and how I reached it. Suffice it to say I chose the Rikon 10-326 Deluxe 14" model pictured here.
For some of the best reasons I chose this model, check out this video by EthAnswers of Stockroom Supply https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzRCBLVuuN8
So why is the bandsaw so important for wood working? There is no other tool that can cut wood like a bandsaw. From cutting the narrowest of strips (for veneers), to cutting odd shaped pieces for cookies or disks, live edge boards, to anything in between. With the proper setup and jigs available, you will be amazed at how easy the bandsaw is to use and its versatility. It can provide sawmill capabilities, scroll saw capabilities, and produce some great wood items for you to work with.
There are other products that can provide these features individually if money and space is not an issue for you. With this saw, I can work with pieces up to 13" in diameter and 4'-5' in length (note that these bigger pieces are heavy and hard to handle by yourself). I can produce disks at a rate of 10-15 in 15 minutes. I can slice a chunk of log into boards in a matter of minutes. And the best part is the saw cuts a relatively smooth cut similar to a tablesaw with a finishing blade, requiring minimal sanding to get a great finished product.
A very important disclaimer for the bandsaw is to be careful using it. Given the sharpness of the blade, and the speed in which it rotates, it cuts extremely fast and painlessly. Pay attention when using a bandsaw. My rule of thumb when using this piece of equipment is if you cannot give it 100% of your attention, walk away from it and use it later. Follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer when using and maintaining the equipment. Whenever you open the doors to access the wheels, make sure the tool is unplugged. Its a simple step that takes no time, and it can be a lifesaver.
Most of the products or parts of them available at FallenWood were cut on my bandsaw. One last important fact to note with your bandsaw. Keep it clean when using it. Clean up the sawdust produced b y the saw regularly, especially inside where the wheels are. Build up of sawdust will make the saw work a lot harder and hotter causing problems for you down the road. And try not to cut wet wood (https://www.fallenwood.ca/woodtalk/the-trouble-with-wet-wood).