While all the courses I educate are hand-tool primarily based, I do use equipment; I’d not wish to prep the lumber for an English tool chest class by hand! But if I had to decide on solely one tailed tool as an adjunct to my hand instruments, it might be the bandsaw (a tool I don’t use for tool chest prep, because it occurs). In explicit, it might be a no-frills 14-in. U.S.-made, circa 1980 bandsaw, just like the Delta Rockwell we have now within the store.
With a 14-in. bandsaw I could make straight ripcuts all day lengthy – or at the least straight sufficient that I can simply clear up the cuts with a jack or jointer airplane. Working by hand, I could make only some lengthy ripcuts earlier than I would like a nap. I can use the bandsaw to chop tapers for legs, and reduce the occasional curve. And I can resaw boards as much as 6 in. huge (which turns out to be useful when making ½-in.-thick tool until components). I can trim the ends of boards, reduce tenons, reduce hundreds of wedges (my flooring are uneven, and we use them in lump-hammer meeting)….
And the bandsaw might be the most secure stationary power tool (so protected that we let college students use it in stick chair courses to chop curved bevels), as a result of it pushes the work down onto the desk (as an alternative of presumably throwing it again at you just like the tablesaw).
So why a 14-in.? It’s lengthy been the most typical dimension in small outlets, so it set the usual for aftermarket add-ons must you want them (fences, zero-clearance inserts, miter gauges, guides…). And it’s useless straightforward to search out the 93-1/2-in.-long blades which might be customary on this dimension. (We sometimes use Woodslicer blades from Highland Woodworking – for which we pay full value, in fact). Plus, the machine is sufficiently small that we will simply tuck it right into a nook (on its shopmade cell base) when it’s not in use.
We used to have a 17-in. bandsaw on the Lost Art Press store; neither Chris nor I used it. (OK…I used it on occasion; its desk was conveniently situated for the stacking of components.) If I turned bowls or reduce a whole lot of huge veneer, I’d miss it. But I don’t.
And why older and American-made? It’s not a lot the age or nation of origin that issues as it’s the high quality that was current in older, American-made fashions. The trunnions are forged iron, the metallic handles are straightforward to grip and switch, the wheels are a less-spindly aluminum than what you discover at present.
There are a couple of “upgrades” on the Delta, nevertheless, which might be price mentioning. The unique belt has been changed with a PowerTwist V-belt (about $50), we’ve a zero-clearance insert ($5), and a Kreg fence ($119). Oh – and aftermarket Carter guides, however solely as a result of the unique ones gave out after 40 years (a reasonably good run). And I’ve an apple field to face on whereas I take advantage of it. (This is what occurs if you share a store with somebody virtually a full foot taller!)
And if I bought so as to add a second power tool to my listing? It can be the thickness planer. Using hand instruments may assist hold you in form … however a couple of power instruments make it easier to to make use of them for extra satisfying duties than ripping and thicknessing (and assist to maintain the arthritis at bay).