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Bandsaw Guides, Discs V Rollers

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Bernard Griffin06/12/2013 19:00:13
7 forum posts

I am about to purchase a new Bandsaw. Are there any Engineers out there who can advise on bandsaw guides. Two types of guides appear on most mid- range bandsaws i.e.flat discs on sides and back of blade as on Record Power BS300E, or roller bearings to sides and back of blade as on the Axminster Trade Bandsaws.

My only experience is with an old Kity 613, which had flat discs above the table and wood blocks below the table. The discs revolved occasionally in use and quite often sparked under load, indicating too much friction ,even when finely adjusted clear of the blade.

Logic points me towards roller bearings. What say you ?


Oddjob07/12/2013 11:00:24
1635 forum posts
79 photos

Follow your logic. "You know it makes sense!"

It is inevitable that bandsaw blades will contact the guides. The sides some of the time and the back almost always. Rollers offer less resistance to the blade therefore less friction - less wear to the blades and bearings and less energy used.


Doug07/12/2013 17:37:19
3415 forum posts
35 photos

I used to have a Record bandsaw with the disc type guides, they were fine on the sides of the blade but a groove was worn in the rear thrust guide from fairly early days of owning the saw.

When I upgraded I went for a machine with roller bearings & have been much happier with them.


Bernard Griffin08/12/2013 23:11:54
7 forum posts

Thanks Richard and Doug.

Roller bearing guides it is. That rules out the Record Power machines .

I make furniture and curvy chairs in the style of Sam Maloof, so I need a bandsaw with a 1 - 1 1/2 HP motor that will run off a 13 Amp domestic supply. Running a 16 Amp supply into my garage would be an expensive nightmare because of the geography of my house, So that rules out the Startrite saws.

My bandsaw of choice would be the Jet JWBS-14DXPRO which must be one of the most successful and popular saws sold in the USA. Its not available in the UK because it has not been assessed for CE compliance and so cannot be legally sold in the EU. ( If thats not a good reason for getting the hell out of the EU, then i don't know what is !!! ) Evidently Jet are currently working on a new range of bandsaws for the EU market and they hope to have them available late 2014 or early 2015. So thats Sods Law again, as I am 85, and couple of my projects are somewhat pressing !

I am informed by Axminster that their SBW3501B Trade bandsaw is made by the same people as the Jet 14DXPRO , but it doesn't have enough power with only 0.737 HP, and perhaps its a tad light at 84 Kg.when a fair proportion of the weight is in the sheet metal base.

I have taken a look at the Jet JWBS-14Q which is again only 0.737 HP, and the fence carrier block is bedded onto the fence riel with grotty glued - on plastic anti-friction pads which fell off at the demo. Perhaps there are two separate Jet manufacturers, one for the Americans, and one for the rest of us mortals ?

There must be a bandsaw for me out here somewhere,so if anyone can point me in the right direction i will be eternally grateful.


Edited By Steven on 09/12/2013 17:49:41

Bernard Griffin08/12/2013 23:44:08
7 forum posts

Hello Richard,

I had a look at your photos. Nice work, and a lot of gear in the workshop you have there! Did you turn Oddjob's hat for him ? Must be lethal if its Ironwood !


Derek Lane09/12/2013 17:17:49
3219 forum posts
1004 photos

Bernard I have the Axminster saw and that also has the bearing guides I have been using it for just over a year and have had no problems with them at all. As you may already know time spent setting up makes one hell of a difference(along with a good blade).

The saw I have has a cutting depth of 180mm and a motor rated at 550w. I quite often cut 100mm on a regular basis with no problems, i can understand wanting a larger sized motor especially as you may cut on a more regular basis as a hobbyist

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