More Bandsaw Details

SBW-4300CE 17" Carbatec Industrial Bandsaw

A bit more info on the new bandsaw (and I’ll take some detail photos shortly to show some features not seen in this collection):

2HP Motor

The bandsaw is a 2HP, 240V using an induction motor (near silent running).  The bandsaw has two speeds, achieved via a belt drive/pulley system, giving 850 or 430 m/min (51km/hr 26km/hr).  These are not unusual speeds for a bandsaw, but are curious when compared to the cutter tip speed of a circular saw (around 200km/hr).  Having a bandsaw blade running 4 times faster would be freaky at best (and downright scary).

Even so, as much as I find a bandsaw significantly safer to use than a circular saw (for one, the direction of cut being down, into the table below the workpiece, rather than towards the operator), the quietness of this saw, and long stopping times means care is still definitely required, especially in a workshop with more than one user.

Part of the reason for the slow stopping time is the solid cast iron wheels. They are very heavy, so retain a great deal of angular momentum when the motor is stopped.  There is no electronic brake (and that again is not unusual for a bandsaw).  There are some very good reasons for having cast iron wheels: for one, cast iron is an excellent vibration absorber.  Secondly, having a large amount of angular momentum results in a very even cutting speed, and this can translate to a smoother finish (and makes operating the machine easier).  Thirdly, a cast iron wheel can be cast then machined very accurately, and will then result in a particularly round, balanced wheel.  One advantage of wheels that run true is they are not micro-flexing the blade – rapidly increasing and decreasing blade tension.  I haven’t any specific evidence that this would result in a decreased blade life, but it won’t help it!

Speaking of cast iron – it has a 610 x 440 cast iron table as the main work surface, with a mitre slot.  It tilts from -10 to +45 degrees, however if you use the “positive stop”, you cannot get to -10 without removing the stop.  (The stop being a simple bolt with a nut to lock it in position, which would have been much better if it had been designed to fold out of the way when it was in the way!  The tilt is done via a rack and pinion, making is easier to set the angle than trying to balance a large table of cast iron, and locking it when you get the angle close enough.

There are two 4″ dust collection points – one directly below the table where the dust is generated, and one at the bottom of the cabinet.  In the lower cabinet there are two brushes to ensure as little dust gets compressed between the blade and the rubber on the wheel.  The less dust that gets pushed into the rubber surface, the smoother the machine will run.

Aluminium alloy fence with magnifier

It comes with an aluminium box section fence which is higher than the typical bandsaw fence.  I haven’t tried as yet to see if the angle can be changed to account for blade tracking. A bit disappointingly, the fence didn’t have a post guide – for resawing/cutting veneers.

The bandsaw can take blades from 1/8″ to 1″ width.  Not specifically sure why the minimum blade limit (although in the past I’ve tried narrower than specified blades, and not been able to get them to track correctly).  The maximum size is valid – it comes down to how strong the frame is to resist the compression caused by the tension in the blade.  Blades need to be run with a high degree of tension – and from what I’ve read, more than is typically applied by operators.  Unfortunately a blade-tension meter is too expensive for the average workshop.

Rack and pinion positioned blade guard

It has substantial bearing guides, top and bottom, with the side guides mounted on eccentric posts.  The top guides are mounted on the guard which is raised and lowered by rack and pinion.

Blade detensioning lever

Finally, a particularly useful component is the blade detensioning lever.  Unlike some other levers I’ve used, this one completely removes the tension out of the blade.  At the end of the working day, it is a good idea to wind tension off the blade.  Having a lever to easily take that tension out (and reapply it next time you want to work) will increase the life of the blade and bandsaw components (especially the tensioning spring), and because it makes it easy to do, you are much more inclined to do so!

So that is a bit of an overview of the 17″ Industrial Carbatec Bandsaw.  I’ll source some decent blades for it, and then we will see what it can really do.

21 Responses

  1. Stuart,

    I *may* be wrong, but it seems to me this is the 17-inch Grizzly, just like the one I have in my shop. I have a feeling you will absolutely love it!

    — Al Navas

  2. I suspect you are correct, Al! The saw seems identical to the Grizzly G0513x2 17″ Saw with Cast Iron Trunnions. Total price (including delivery) direct from Grizzly to anywhere in the mainland US is US$1069. That’s A$1170: seems a bargain!

  3. That is pretty cool – the thicknesser I have is a Carbatec, identical to the Grizzly, and now the bandsaw is as well – my shed is looking good!

  4. Stuart and Adeben,

    My copy is the original 17-inch version of the band saw; it has aluminum wheels. But the rest seems to be identical in every way.

    Could you provide photo details of the blade support? I bought the Carter guides, and have never looked back – I can use the 1/8-inch blades – they make it feel like I am using the scroll saw! Just did not care for the Euro-style blade guides, at all. But I believe your version has the bearing guides. And, if I am correct, you won’t have any problems with the very narrowest of the blades, unless yours is missing the notch on the thrust bearing.

    — Al Navas

  5. Hi Stu

    Are you still impressed with this band saw? I am about to place an order for one, thinking of getting the a 19 inch one as it is only a bit extra for more capacity. I guess there is always an element of wondering if the one you choose is the right one. Just have to trust the decision and live with it.


    • Hi Greg,

      I haven’t had a chance to use it particularly much (despite it being in the shop since mid December) – that just goes to show how chaotic and busy life is at the moment.

      I certainly haven’t had any objections to the bandsaw as I’ve experienced it so far. I really want to be able to test its limits with a wide range of blades to really form a solid opinion – simply haven’t had time to source some blades!

      Before making a final decision (if you have the option available), I’d see if you can’t put the machine through its paces in-store (recognising they typically come with a sub-standard blade), but at least you can really see how the saw goes under heavy tension, its rigidity etc.

      But if it helps at all, I still stand by the observations made above.

  6. Hi Stuart,

    I am thinking of buying the above machine and I need to know what sort of power point I would need and what type of ectension leads are required.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.



    • Hi Kassa,

      It would need nothing more than a standard 10A GPO, and standard extension lead.

      At 2HP, it is drawing around 1800W, where a 10A GPO can provide up to 2400W

      So power is not going to be a problem!

  7. Where do you get good blades for the carbatec? Their webpage doesn’t list much and I haven’t found anyone with the blade size I need (19″ 4800)

    • Hi Al,

      Head over to Henry Bros – if you want their website.

      I always deal with them by phone 02 9627 5486

      Given them a ring, talk with them about the sort of thing you want to do and they will recommend the best blade for the job. They make the blades to order (and post them within a day or so), so there is never an issue getting the blade the right length. You can also bundle up any blades that are broken, and if they are still ok (not fatigued to death), they can reweld them.

      If you are looking for a set of blades to cover a range of jobs, consider something around 3/16″ or 1/4″ (around 8-10TPI give or take) for fine scroll work, 1/2″ 3tpi as a workhorse blade, and around 1″ 1TPI (somewhere in the 0.9 – 1.3 TPI) for resawing. There are other blades in between these as well, depends on how much you want to spend, and how often you will change blades for different jobs.


  8. Band Saw Blades: to lubricate or not to lubricate?

    I have read that there are 2 main camps. Yes and no.(I am referring predominantly to resaw/ripping blades 1/2″ to approx. 1″)

    Those who say yes refer to less noise, longer blade life and better/easier cuts.

    Lubricants include bees wax, candle wax, WD40, 50/50 bar oil and diesel, cooking oil and the proverbial witch’s brew!

    Slippage could be a problem so lubricate only “outside” of blade?

    New machines and bi metal blades make lubricants unnecessary?

    I don’t know!

    Comments and ideas please.

    • I tend to say no for a number of reasons:

      1. The blades are designed to work non-lubricated
      2. I don’t like the idea of the lubricant being carried and being wiped onto the timber I am cutting
      3. The sides of the blade, whether narrow or wide don’t actually touch the work, as the teeth cut a wider kerf than the width of the body of the blade. If it is cutting very straight, there should be very little contact at all (in theory)
      4. Not sure how well the lubricant and the bandsaw wheels would go – certainly it would make it harder to transfer power from the wheel to the blade if the wheel did get lubricant on it
      5. The blade is better controlled by items like cool-blocks, particularly graphite-impregnated ones, or ceramic that will control the blade, provide cooling and increase the longevity of the blade

      • They’re all good clearly explained reasons for me and to say “No” to lubricant as far as I am concerned. Thanks Stu.

  9. Band Saw Blade Storage.
    Pizza boxes could make a convenient storage method. Many sizes available… greased or ungreased an option too!

    • Pizza boxes – what a cool idea! Great shape, stackable, and you need to get some used ones to try the different suppliers before settling on the box of choice!

  10. I have just fitted A Henry Bros. ban saw blade. It is a 1.25 tpi X 3/4″ bi metal. I spent time carefully adjusting guides .etc. Turned by hand, did the ON OFF thing then ran it for longer and longer times. Quietest blade I have ever fitted. Tested on small scraps but no “serious” ripping yet. So far, it is a ripper!

    • Good blades are a pleasure to use. You don’t get to realise how good the bandsaw is with the crappy blade that it comes with.

      All of a sudden, timber is being sliced like butter, cuts you never would have dreamed possible are a breeze.

      And you see the value on changing blades to suit the job at hand!

      • G’day Stu. I am looking at a used 17″ Carbatec bandsaw. Have you been happy with yours ?

        • Actually yes. I can run a particularly heavy blade (such as my 1 1/4″ 2 TPI carbide tipped blade) down to reasonably fine.

          Quick tension release is good, as is the easy to access blade tension wheel.

          Dual dust extraction points, and brushes to keep wheels free of dust.

          Haven’t come across anything specifically negative about the saw

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