In the last part of this series on our new Axminster industrial series bandsaw, I intend to focus on its installation and performance in the workshop. Having had the bandsaw successfully delivered directly into the workshop, the first task was to fix it firmly to the floor.
In a workshop where it’s concrete, this entails the use special bolts. However, as my floor is wooden and suspended I used the original coach screws that attached the bandsaw to the pallet. I just needed to sort out some 18mm plywood packers, a suitable pilot drill and a 13mm spanner to wind them in.
Secondly, the dust extraction components had to be fitted and connected to the existing system. I was initially a little perplexed about making a neat job of connecting up two 100mm ports, but as can be seen from the images, it was very simple to make a really compact installation that was contained within the footprint of the machine. The lower port was joined to the 90° bend with a couple of turns of duct tape and reinforced with a few cable ties whilst the upper port was joined to another 90° bend with an odd piece of 100mm flexible hose. In order to get the ducting adjusted to the correct height for everything to join together, it was supported on a block of pine salvaged from the original delivery pallet and again secured with a couple of cable ties.
In common with all equipment, the bandsaw was delivered with our own excellent user manual and, provided the instructions within it are followed to the letter, setting up the machine is quite straightforward. I paid particular attention to ensure that the blade was a true 90° to the table and that the fence was dead parallel to the blade and for this particular use our Bandsaw Buddy was invaluable.
The manufacturers supply and fit their own 10mm blade which can best be described as ‘adequate’ but which gives no real indication of the machine’s capabilities. Although it will accept a 19mm blade, this isn’t really necessary provided the bandsaw has been set up properly. As a consequence I decided to fit a 4tpi, 12mm, Ground Tooth blade as I had some 170mm wide drawer sides in oak to prepare. Having set up the fence to cut 9mm thick sides and using a brand new GT blade, the machine was a complete revelation. The saw easily sliced through the oak with nonchalant ease to leave me with dead accurate 9mm thick parallel boards which then needed a couple of passes through the planer thicknesser to bring them to just a fraction over size.
I was also impressed with the performance of the dust extraction. Whilst no machine can be credited with a 100% removal of sawdust, the arrangement of the ports means that the vast majority is sucked away.
To conclude, this is a superb bandsaw which is going to see a lot of use in my ‘shop. I’d have no hesitation in recommending it as a worthwhile addition to your ‘shop, either as a replacement (as this one was) or as a new machine, if you’re looking for a top quality bandsaw with a really good depth of cut and small footprint.