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6 x 12 Horizontal/Vertical bandsaw

Discussion in 'HARBOR FREIGHT, CENTRAL MACHINERY & BUSY BEE' started by StanR, May 12, 2017.

  1. StanR

    StanR Iron Registered Member

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    After reading a lot of posts here and there, and watching once YouTube video after another,
    The bandsaw I just purchased arrived....nearly perfectly in tune.
    I'll admit there are a lot of issues that one may face with these saws, but this one has been a big surprise.
    I went down with a checklist and found everything good with the blade cutting about .001 off square in inch-wide bar stock. I'll get that corrected tomorrow night.
    Maybe I got lucky...or maybe there have been changes...who knows?

    Later

    StanR
     
  2. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    If I had a saw that was that close, I wouldn't touch it, adjustment wise. It's hard to get one that close, let alone closer. Just my opinion.
     
    FOMOGO and Silverbullet like this.
  3. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Active Member Active Member

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    Shoot I had a saw once the DERN THING would cut oval or sideways no mater what I did . I bought new tires and guide bearings ,and blade, lined everything up got her cutting straight then all of a sudden it started it again . I sold it had enough told the man who bought it , it's possessed . He didn't care he wanted it. YUPP if it cuts that close I'd be super happy. I like there bigger saw if I ever get the money ill buy one.
     
  4. randyjaco

    randyjaco Reserved Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    +whatever on that. Very few expensive saws do that well. Be happy with what you have and start making chips
    Randy
     
  5. StanR

    StanR Iron Registered Member

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    This saw...

    Isn't too difficult to adjust for square. The rear jaw on the vise is not fixed. I squared the rear jaw to the blade, tightened it, and there it was. The blade nearly tracks square to the vise, but you can see that it appears to be a little off compared to the bed, but there is no machined surface I can square to. All the perpendicular surfaces are rough castings, with the exception of the back where the scale is-which is riveted in place. I couldn't set square off the rivet heads, so I squared off the back jaw of the vise.
    If the saw is cutting off at .001 to .005 over the width of a cut, it's plenty close as I can square it up in the mill.
    This saw is also rather quiet. The pulley cover doesn't close properly, it's bent, so the faces don't even line up. It should make noise, but it doesn't. The blade cover doesn't buzz or rattle.
    The roller guide on the left side of the cut can be adjusted outward to get the blade to track a little closer to being "square" to the base, but it is not necessary when it's this close. All that matters on the bandsaw is the blade being square to the material being cut, so the back vise jaw need to be squared to the blade.
    The legs for this machine were frustrating to fit, and I still don't like them.
    The power switch is installed too low for the auto shutoff feature to work. I raised the switch; the piece of steel that is supposed to kick the switch was installed too high. I adjusted it, getting it down as low as possible, and it still doesn't reach the switch. I suppose I can drill and tap a new hole so that tab will do what it's supposed to do.
    Of course, I'll need to decide on how to get the head to lower with more control over the feed. The factory arrangement offers little control. I will also hack up a coolant system for it. This will be a plastic bucket with magnets in the bottom, a 10-dollar pond pump, small hose and a control valve. I know you can saw dry, but nobody ever went broke from using too much lubrication!
    It is possible this saw was a return. It may have been adjusted by a previous owner who found it wasn't large enough to cut what was needed. I don't mind if it was a return, at least parts weren't missing (not even a washer) or damaged. It is also possible QA showed up and watched the process. I have no idea, but I am quite happy with the saw, I just didn't get it with one of those "FREE" coupons.
    The blade tracks nice on the pulleys. They aren't wobbling.
    What can I say? I don't regret the purchase. After assembling, I printed off the 9-page adjustment instructions, grabbed my coffee, and went down to go through the process of initial setup. I found everything in the saw in good order; I didn't get the chance to cuss or get coffee stains on the instructions. I ended up sitting there looking at the saw, puzzling over what I had found. I then started cutting the 1 x 1/2 bar stock to help clamp one of my milling jobs.
    Most of all, my shoulder thanks me for buying this saw. There was a time that I would use a rigid-frame hacksaw with Starrett blades to cut stock. I was good at that, and I thank my high school teacher for showing us how the hand hacksaw was used. I got straight cuts, and the blades would last a LONG time. Now I have just too many pieces to cut, and my shoulder has aged with the rest of me. The bandsaw keeps my sessions in the shop longer, rather than getting tired after the cutting.
    I didn't expect a $1000 saw for $200. But I can make it think it's a $1000 saw without a lot of work.


    Cheers!

    StanR
     

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