Category Archives: Set-up

Buying a Bandsaw

Well, I decided that I needed to buy a bandsaw.  I’m not sure what my logic was that made me think that buying a bandsaw was the best choice at the time, but anyway.  I eventually justified it to myself and went to a store that sells Jet seconds (items that have had boxes damaged or some scratched paint, but otherwise pretty much perfect) that get sold for about half the normal recommended price.

Jet 10" benchtop bandsawI went there to buy the bigger Jet (14″ closed stand) band saw, but ended up just buying a benchtop Jet 10″ Benchtop Bandsaw (JWBS-10OS) for $100.  Screaming deal.  But I completely agree with the video review at that link – the blade that it comes with travels all over the shop, so getting good straight cuts, even with a fence is next to impossible.  I’ve just ordered the blade that he recommended, which should hopefully help somewhat.  I’ll post an update when I’ve tried it. Things to consider when trying to buy a band saw: What are you going to use it for – resawing (i.e. chopping big bits of wood into smaller workable bits of wood for your project) is one of the big uses of a band saw, but the one I bought is DEFINITELY NOT designed with this in mind.  If you are wanting it to cut wood (2″ or less?) into different irregular shapes, then this saw does just fine.  One thing that I wanted to do was cut a log – roughly 6″ diameter – in half lengthwise, but there is not a great enough gap between the table and the housing to let the log pass, which was a little annoying. If I could turn back the clock, I don’t know if I’d buy a bandsaw, or if I would still buy this one.  For $100, it was a good deal, but if you want to do ANY resawing, I’d recommend that you look elsewhere.  I’d also recommend that you start your tool collection with buying a table saw. 🙂 But I realize that is a tough purchase out of the gate…

Converting the Garage into a Workshop

The first step in making the idea of starting to create things with wood was to build a workshop.garage workshop from east door  A daunting task at first, but with the help of some friends, some books and the internets – you can do pretty much anything you set your mind to.  We were lucky enough to have a double garage on our property with three doors – one on the east side and two on the north side, but as we wanted a back yard for our dog, we got rid of the parking pad on the north side and put in grass – with that, the ability to park two cars in the garage vanished, and freed me up to make the North half of the garage into a workshop.

framing out the workshopAn architect friend, Erin, with hands on remodeling experience gave me some ideas, so I started the project, putting in a small cinderblock wall so that when a wet/snowy car is parked in the ‘garage side’ that it would not leak through to the workshop side (funny slopes because of the multiple doors…).  I then added mortar and some J-bolts to the mortar to give a solid base to attach the framing to.  Then Erin came in to ‘help’ (in a big way!) with framing out the workshop.

garage workshopOnce complete, I wired sockets, boarded up the garage side, insulated and boarded up the workshop walls.  Then, apart from hiring an electrician to run the sub-panel before I boarded up the walls, that was it!




Finished Garage Workshop

While the double-doors opening onto the grass seems odd at first, it gives good access, allows me to work with bigger stock and while losing wall space, definitely makes this half-garage workshop a lot more flexible than if the doors were boarded up.