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Posted in response to Re: Diamond Bandsaw? from Bob Keller on March 28, 2011 at 11:27:13:

Re: Re: Diamond Bandsaw?

I will echo these opinions.

You do not say if you need "production" or "occasional" performance, but all of those machines are in the occasional category, and really do better with stained glass than with agate and jasper.

The best will handle agate/jasper, but do better with 3/16 than with 1/4. The blades are costly (>$50). Rings are a little cheaper, but wear out faster. The plastic pulleys and blade guides also deform and wear out fairly fast too.

I can offer some experience. I had the DB-100, and was totally disappointed in what I could cut, how fast I could cut, how quickly the guides deformed, or the cost of new blades - a non-standard size - available only from Inland. I traded it away to a guy who wanted to cut softer fossil stone.

I now have the Gryphon C-40. I purchased the stronger and more aggressive fusers blade option. This blade will still make turns with just over 1/8" radius, but just under 1/8" like the regular blade. However, it is designed for cutting up to 1/2" thick fused plates of glass, and does much better on 1/4" agate/jasper. Still cutting 3/16 or a softer stone like dolomite is a lot easier/faster.

Replacement wheels and guides are reasonably priced and not too bad to install. But I use it less often than I thought. It is slower than my trim saws, and I am pretty good at getting the shape I want on the trim saw by using multiple short straight cuts. In short, I am a bit impatient with the band saw, and reserve its use for when I need the thinnest and often curved cut between two preforms.

I waited till I saw one used at a rock pow-wow in Oregon, and saved about 50% of the cost. For the relatively little money I have into the unit, it is a nice addition to my shop, but not one that gets a lot of use.

Now, if I was cutting out jasper jig-saw puzzles, or cutting stones in the shape of all 50 states, I would use it more. But for most freeform cab, bolo, or even the occasional heart that I cut, I manage OK with the trim saw and some special grinder wheels.

Hope this helps

From Daniel - March 30, 2011 at 10:10:00

Message: 69745

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Bob Keller