New Tool Fridays: Bandsaw

I really like bandsaws. They’re way quieter than chop saws, and don’t spray dust and metal everywhere. This week’s NTF is about my Harbor freight bandsaw. I bought this thing when I got tired of walking around my gigantic Carolina that took up twice as much space. The funny thing is, they have the same capacity, 8 x 12.

My favorite things about this saw are:
-It’s an extremely common model called the RF812 that’s sold under a lot of brands, so spare parts are very easy to come by.
-It has a 3/4″ blade instead of a 1/2″ blade, and I find that the blade just doesn’t deflect as easy, and makes cleaner cuts. You’re limited to a finest TPI of 14 though, unless you make your own blades.
-It’s an extremely efficient design. It’ll cut up to a 10″ piece of metal with the vise as it is normally set up, but you can move the stationary jaw and get an extra 2″ out of it. I like being able to cut big stuff if I have to.
-It’s available from HF for $700.

My least favorite thing was the motor. So I removed the enormous, cast piece of junk motor it came with and made a new motor mount. It’s spring loaded so it’s easier to change speeds. Then put a nice Baldor 1HP I got from the salvage yard on it, and now it just sings.

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It was also really low to the ground as it came, so I whipped up a steel stand and put some real wheels on it. I hate having to bend over to use tools, and I use this one a lot. Now it rolls over stuff pretty easy and I can move it when I need to.

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They say everything Harbor freight sells is just an incomplete kit, and you have to finish it. This saw is a perfect example.

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