Bandsaw Reno (Ridgid BS14002)

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I’ve been wanting a bandsaw for quite some time so every now and then I would check out craigslist to see what was out there. I randomly took a look and noticed this Ridgid bandsaw listed for $100. I did some research on it and found that it was a about a $400 saw but has some vibration issues that were remedied with about $60 of aftermarket parts.

I contacted the owner and attempted for a couple days to come check it out. After we finally worked out a time I headed over. I found it in his back yard neglected and full of rust. He pulled out an extension cord and said I could test it out but the tires were cracked and broken plus everything was rusted so I told him I didn’t want to start it up in this condition and couldn’t pay him the asking price. I tried to negotiate to $40 but he was set on $60 which I agreed to. I told him I would give him cash right then if he helped me put it in my truck but apparently it was too heavy and needed a dolly of some sorts. I tried to get him to help me move it but he refused even though I tried to suggest that it wasn’t that heavy. He kept refusing and joked that he would knock the price down $10 if I could move it myself. At that, I crouched down, picked it up with my knees and waddled through his back yard to place it in the back of my truck. He gave me the $10 discount and as I counted out the money he gave me an additional discount for a total for $48. (I already planned on spending at least $60 to replace specific items whether they were worn out or not so I was in pretty good shape.)

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When I got it home I took it all apart and found that most everything was full of gunk but the only thing that was really rusted was the table top. I cleaned everything off and wiped it down with a wax to hopefully protect it for a while and got started on the cast iron table.

 

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I spent at least a few hours working on the table to get it back into a good condition. Luckily most of it was just surface rust except for one corner where it looked like a can of some sorts spent a decent amount of time. I started out with with just a scotch bright pad and WD-40 but quickly moved to 120 and then 220 grit sandpaper keeping it lubed while I went. When I was all done I cleaned it up with denatured alcohol and waxed everything up.

 

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I reinforced each level of the frame with 3/4″ MDF and added some locking casters because I have a small garage/shop and things get moved quite frequently.
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During my research I found that replacing the standard belt with a v-link belt would greatly reduce the vibration. I purchased one and put it on the kitchen counter before going on a short vacation just to come back to find it in hundreds of pieces by my coffee table. (My wife’s dog…) I was sad about the $35 loss but quickly ordered a new one so I could get it installed. After testing with the new belt everything seemed to run much smoother and quieter.
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The next modification was the standard urethane tires which I planned on replacing anyways and also couldn’t do without since the previous ones were dry rotted from being outside in the Arizona heat for who knows how long.

 

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All said and done I probably spent about $120 on my 14″ band saw including the 3 pack of different sized high quality blades.  I’ve even tried the nickle test and it has passed. I do get a little bit of vibration but I think it mostly comes from the cheap HarborFreight caster wheels I used. (I can’t get past that cheap deal but I guess you get what you pay for…)
With the modifications I made I think it is a better saw than if I were to buy it new from a big box store. (Yes I know there are super nice band saws out there that don’t need modifications but I’m just a hobbyist.)

 

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The night I got it put together I had to find a project for it so I quickly used the rest of my 3/4″ MDF to build this extended table for my tabletop drill press. I’ve really enjoyed both my new drill press table and the band saw. I have been using it all of the time and already look forward to getting a fence and possibly a riser.

Lessons Learned

  • Most old and used tools can be reconditioned to be just as good or even better than new. If you need a large piece of equipment, don’t throw out the idea of buying used.
  • Removing rust can be a dirty project so make sure you have lots of paper towels around and don’t wear anything you like.
  • Crack heads on craigs list can give you great deals, especially when they have tools they don’t even know the intended purpose of.. (He didn’t know if it was a metal or a wood saw!)

 

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