Bigger kit….

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.

13 thoughts on “Bigger kit….”

  1. I am considering this Fox bandsaw (F28-191) but I have some 100mm thick oak beams to rip up. I know the max cutting height is 150mm so this wouldnt be a problem but having used this model would you think the 370W Induction motor is up to the task? What thicknesses have you cut and have you got any negatives now youve been using it for a few months?

    Sorry for all the questions but it will be my first bandsaw and I want to make sure I purchase the right machine


    1. I regularly cut up to six inches with it, and at that thickness it is definitely under-powered. A very sharp blade is a necessity! However, most of the 6″ that I cut is green wood. On 4″ dry walnut, a regular task, it copes pretty well, especially with the correct blade (1/2 ” 3 or 4 tpi)
      The only real fault is that the table tends to tilt when heavy pieces are put on the outside, but I do mean heavy (i.e. wet logs) but I overcome the problem with a brace under the table down to the stand shelf. (Stretchers, but I put a shelf on it)

      The blades I use for the thick stuff are these , You need to order a custom length and get the 3tpi version.

      Hope it helps. Any more questions, just ask.

    2. Incedentally, the (F28-191) has a 750w motor (i.e. 1 hp) and is twice as powerful as the (F28-186) that I have.

      1. I had looked at the F28-191 buts its around £287.28, which is £100 more than the F28-186

        Dont know if I need that extra power that much!

  2. Hi there,

    I know this is really old ground again, but I too am looking into buying this machine, well actually the larger motored version. I make electric guitars and need something with a decent depth of cut. I stumbled across your review, and wondered how it was performing now that you’ve had it for a while?
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.


    1. Hello Chris,

      The machine has done me well over the last two years. The bigger motor would be a boon, as this one is a little under-powered at the full depth of cut. Use sharp blades (Try Tuffsaws )
      I now have a Record BS 400 (12" depth of cut) for the bigger stuff but have kept the Fox for smaller stuff with a narrow blade.
      Hope it helps.

      1. Thank you so much for giving this review, it’s so hard to tell the difference between a quality machine and a bad one some times. I’m just getting started in business really and as you can imagine the budget is tight so didn’t want to buy without a little knowledge. I’m a cabinet maker by trade and as such have always used the big workshop machines at work and my little hobby saw at home, fitted with Tuffsaws blades.
        Nice to know the fox should perform well.

  3. Admin (funny not to have a name!!)
    Old ground (as Chris says) but this is by far the best dialogue about FOX bandsaws I have found. I’ve been looking at the FOX28-194B (2hp; 3-35mm blade width) I will cut some curves in 2″ green oak and will re-size a lot of pitch pine. Do you think I could get away with the 191 or would you go for the bigger sized 194B … and lastly in your two years of use was that daily, weekly?
    Thanks for any help.

    1. Hello David.
      Pitch Pine can be very tough to resaw, so I would go for the most powerful you can afford. You would not regret spending the extra on the ‘194.
      The two years use refers to daily, often 7 days a week and although it has now been reduced to my ‘small’ bandsaw, still gets used more or less daily, although not to quite the same extent.
      Whichever you decide on, make sure you use the correct blades for the timbers you are cutting.
      Ian :)

  4. Ian,
    Thank you very much. I enjoyed reading about you and wish you very good health for 2014. May all your Ukeleles be perfect!! I’ll put a note on here once I have set up the 194 and re-sawn some pitch pine with a Tuff Saw blade (universally recommended) Thanks again for the really useful posts.

  5. hi sir,
    I’m building my first guitar and require a band saw, after 3 to 4 days of scouring the internet looking at the best band saws on a tight budget I am shocked to find there being so little information on the subject, very little reviews and very vague reviews to be frank.
    I accidently stumbled across your site when looking for reviews of the fox band saw you own, i’m just wondering if the machine will meet my needs, I am only looking to cut straight lines and outside curves, probably the most heavy duty it will need perform is cutting neck blanks and making moulds out of 4 x18mm ply wood stacked on top of each other, do you think this band saw could cope with such use?
    does the band saw come with a good blade or will I have to replace the existing one?
    I am really only looking to do basic work on it at first but I also feel that this band saw has enough attributes to suit my needs as my ability starts to get better, I’ve looked into cheaper model but they have either terrible reviews or limitations. I just want to make the right choice with a machine that will last and perform well, as you can see by my ramblings on I am a little worried and unsure of myself so if you could help me I would greatly appreciate it.
    sorry for the essay and thanks for taking the time to read it. cheers Jason.

    1. Hello Jason,
      Sorry it’s been a while since your post, but somehow it ended up in the spam folder. Only just seen it.
      From your description of the work youo I would say this saw would be fine.
      My only reservation on your comment is why would you be cutting 4 layers of 18mm ply. I would (and do) cut a single, half mould, then rough cut the remaining pieces and router them to get exact copies with a bearing guided router cutter. Cut 7 copies and the join together to make the two halves of your mould. As far as blades are concerned, I get mine from Tuff Saws

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