With the timber already mentioned in earlier posts coming in 4″ thick boards, the 3″ depth of cut on the tabletop bandsaw we were using was of little help. An upgrade was the only option but to get a decent depth of cut on one of these machines can be an expensive exercise. Searching the available options in research brought up one example that seemed almost too good to be true and, bearing in mind you normally get what you pay for, we were wary! But to get a comparable depth of cut (6″) would otherwise cost around twice to two and a half times the asking price.
So we took the plunge and ordered the Fox F28-186 bandsaw from Poolwood in Kent. (We like to keep things as local as possible). 24 hours later it was delivered and it was with a little trepidation that it was unpacked and assembled. The pleasant surprises started with the realisation that the table was a cast iron one, as in this price bracket we expected an alloy one. The supplied leg stand was of decent gauge metal rather than the flimsy efforts seen on some kit. The whole thing went together without hassle, with all holes lining up well and a complete compliment of fixings. The next nice surprise was that the blade guides are all ball race type as are the thrust bearings. The final broad grin came when the machine was switched on for the first time to almost complete silence!
The first cut did not remove the grin as the machine sliced through a lump of the aforementioned walnut without too much effort, although a little residue came off the blade. Cutting a shelf from 1/2″ ply a little later proved accurate and easy. (Straight lines freehand on a bandsaw are more difficult than you might think!)
OK, so it is only day one with the machine, but for the price (check the link) I believe that it is an excellent buy. The machine is rigid and vibration free, cuts cleanly and is quiet in operation. The only place I could fault the saw is with the height adjustment of the upper blade guide, which is simple and straight forward in it’s operation but has no means of locking it into position. Time will tell whether this will prove a problem or not. For a bandsaw with a six inch (150mm) depth of cut we are impressed.