I am a hobbyist guitar player/repairer/constructor - and have in the past constructed a number of solid body electrics. For those projects I managed to get away with using hand-held tools, including a powered fret saw - whenever that was appropriate. I am now planning to make acoustics - first step is to re-equipping my small woodworking shop. I think the most useful addition will be a floor-standing band saw - which will also serve other general purpose sawing duties. I have a question related the cutting of the outline of the tops and backs. I am interested in the opinion from your contributors as to what is generally considered the minimum "throat distance`' of the band saw (distance between blade and main frame) required for ease of cutting around the three most common guitar shapes (OM, OOO, Dreadnought) ? For example I have been looking at a Scheppach Basato 3 which has a 305 mm throat - but I am concerned it may not be large enough to serve all my future needs.
Richard Higgins
Tyne & Wear, UK

Views: 443

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I mainly do repairs, but have built ukes and banjo necks. I have an old Delta Milwaukee 16" bandsaw that does everything I do, and has for probably 30 years. I can cut stock up to 6" thick.

I currently use a Ryobi 16" scroll saw(variable spd) for tops, backs,& fret board tapering fine for that but not for thick
material.i wish I had gotten a full fledged band saw for the same price!
You wont have a band saw that will do all your needs. I have one that I built 40 years ago that I can resaw a 1 piece back but I don't think I have ever done it. Re-sawing is another art. You need a heavy frame and nice new sharp blades . Don'T try to cut your favorite piece with a used blade. I believe I got about 6 cuts in sitka spruce until it started to go crooked. I now have a homemade resaw that is designated for re sawing only. I traded a guitar to my brother for a craftsman tilting head small saw and knowing I would not like it and I used it dayle. I once had a 3 wheel band saw and that is not a thing I would ever have again. My cheap Sears saw I can cut necks OK with so that is the one I use most.

My thoughts are turning towards buying a 14" band saw for general duties and augmenting that with a bench-mounted scroll saw which I can get new for under $200 here in the UK and which probably will be best for detail work on shaped pieces
This points me in the right direction - thanks
look at for the 17inch resaw you get 12 inches to resaw with a 17 inch wide throat about $800 plus shipping here is the thing buy big so you can accommodate your needs not the guitar building
I would check for resaw capacity too, so the Grizzly (Paul's suggestion) would be great, (I will check that for me!). 14 inches throat distance is plenty enough, just cut your acoustic top right-hand side of the blade, but a moderately strong and high resaw capacity really is a bonus for a shop, if you can spend the extra.
I don't see myself wanting to do much re-sawing of blanks form logs - but thanks for the tip
For a 12"(305mm) band saw, the Scheppach Basato 3 looks to be very nicely set up (it should; it's dear enough). In almost all respects, it just looks to be a larger saw scaled down, instead of being designed as a "hobbyist" machine with alot of compromises. I bought one of the latter from Sears about 23 years ago (12") and used it until two years ago but not without alot of frustration. However, it's big enough to do the shapes you're concerned with.

That said, just stepping up to a 14" saw brings alot of sturdiness, rigidity and amenities and that's what I bought 2 years ago. So stinking glad I did. Wider blades and roller bearing guides together make for alot surer cuts on any stock.

Everyone seems to be fixated on resaw capabilities I guess it might be time to just ask. What do you see as your future needs? What size stock do you think you might have to deal with and do you think you would want to do any resawing? For the latter, you can take what Ron says to the bank. To paraphrase, it's a whole different world of machinery and art to do good resawing accurately, without waste, and without frustration. Better to hand your wood over to someone who does it for a living.

Best regards,
Good advice Bob - thanks. I don't forsee me actually re-sawing blanks from logs, I agree with you that that's probably best left to someone who does it on a commercial scale. However, I also take on board your comments about 14" versus 12" from sturdiness point of view. I'll carry on with my searches around the S/H market here in the UK, and see what turns up. No rush - I've also got to spec out other machine sources - particularly a belt sander and a "bender" for the sides.

I have only built one guitar so far, but I did it without a bandsaw. You can get away with cutting the top, sides and back with a jigsaw. Where you really need a bandsaw is for making the neck, especially at the curve of the heel. I found a way to do that without a bandsaw too, but we don't want to go there. That is why, for my next guitar, I went out and bought a cheap $140 Ryobi from Home Depot.

Obviously it is preferable to get as wide a throat as possible within your budget, but you don't need very much room to cut a guitar shape. Three or four inches in is all you will need.

Good Luck,

Doug Collins


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service