On Thursday, I took delivery of two exciting new arrivals in my workshop! For the last eighteen-months, I’ve been considering an upgrade from my 12in. SIP bandsaw to something much bigger. Also, having recently sold my Bosch 12in. sliding mitre saw on eBay (it took a few months!!), I’ve now got a smaller, 10in. saw that I reckon I’ll be much happier with.
My new bandsaw is a Startrite 401E, with 16in. wheels and 150kg in weight, it’s capable of tensioning a 30mm wide blade and, if you really wanted to, you could fit 400mm below the guides! It’s about as close to a resaw as I’m going to get and, assuming I can repair the upper tyre [it was second-hand and I payed an incredibly cheap price, because of this], I believe it could outlast my lifetime! Removing the table and getting the chop saw in to the workshop was easy enough – though, it’s fair to say my cheap Black & Decker Workmate earned its keep as a means of getting a the large bandsaw in under the up-and-over door! It’s hard for you to visualise as we didn’t have a third-party ready to take a photograph – to be honest, if there was a third person, I wouldn’t have let them simply stand by and watch with a camera in hand!!! 😀
In the past, I’ve looked at several other saws; starting with the Record Power BS350-S. Axminster has recently introduced their own AWHBS400N model to their Trade-rated range; as have Record [though not yet available], with a model that’s slightly more affordable than the big BS500. Eventually, I decided that the Startrite 352e was the saw for me. This modern version has several key features that you wouldn’t find on one of the old green ones which frequent the auction sites. Had this offer of the 401E not come along, I would’ve been saving for the 352 while trying to make the most out of my little SIP saw (which is destined for a new home not a million miles away, shortly).
Below, you can see the damage that’s been done. It may not look like much but, according to the seller, it’s enough to throw a wide blade off the wheels as soon as the saw starts. Everything was going fine until a wide blade snapped one-day and he noticed this. That’s when the trouble started. I’m currently looking for some kind of polyurethane filler/adhesive that will patch it up for now. Startrite have advised me that a new tyre is the best option, as the rubber is bonded directly to the wheels. At a cost of over £160 + VAT though, that’s one expense I’m keen to avoid at the moment!! Although, it wouldn’t be ‘unreasonable’, considering the low, low price I payed for this saw. 😉
[EDIT – more recently, I’ve decided to leave this as it is. I can run a 25mm/1in blade fine when it’s tracked centrally on the tyre, where there is no damage. If I do look to repair it at any point, some kind of ‘rubbery’ polyurethane compound sounds like the best solution, rather than something that dries rock-hard and could cause more serious damage it if worked loose![
Again, my ‘new‘ mitre saw is actually second-hand as well. It’s a Makita LS1013 and it’s in good nick for a saw that’s been abused on-site and left in storage for most of the last year. If it wasn’t for the bandsaw offer A couple of small bolts are missing by they’re dead-easy to make and replace. Already, I get a get feeling of confidence from this saw that I didn’t always have with the big Bosch. It just feels so robust and reliable – I think I’m going to like it! If I wasn’t buying that big bandsaw, I’d have gone for the LS1013L model with laser line, which has just been reduced at D&M Tools! (Speculation suggests Makita may be introducing a new saw to the UK market…)
Before I start using either of these saws and report back with my findings, I intend to give each one a good and thorough clean – the mitre saw looks like it needs in, in places! That bandsaw draws 14.6amps on startup so, although it should run at about 8 or 9amps, I’m going to have to install a 16amp socket somewhere before I can check whether the motor actually works <gulp!>.
I’m hoping that I’ll now be happy with what I’ve got in terms of workshop equipment, from now on. I can’t think of anything else in my workshop right now that requires an imminent upgrade. Of course, I’d like a separate planer and thicknesser, a table saw and a drum sander would be nice one-day… But, I really don’t have room for those things. Maybe in my next workshop! What I have now should certainly last me a while, though it remains to be seen how well I get on with the ultra-low table on the new bandsaw 🙂
Thanks for reading.