Author Topic: Craftsman 3 wheel band saw  (Read 2328 times)

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Offline Branson

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Craftsman 3 wheel band saw
« on: September 23, 2015, 08:43:04 PM »
We're moving from Sacramento to Woodland, about 21 miles away.  Nice, quiet community.  I went over to look at the house and found the owner there.  Had a nice chat with him.  The house was built in '37, and his parents bought it in '40.  He and his wife raised their son in the house, so it's been in one family for 75 years.  He gave me a tour of the garage, which is about 120 square feet larger than my current shop.  I noticed a Craftsman 3 wheel band saw sitting there on its stand.  I think he might leave it behind.  He mentioned that one of the tires is trashed, so I'm wondering what it would take to put on new tires. Otherwise it's in working condition.  He doesn't use it, apparently, so I might be its new owner. 
The other thing I'm wondering is, if I need to sweeten the pot, how much should I offer?

Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Craftsman 3 wheel band saw
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2015, 09:20:47 AM »
Pictures.  We need pictures.

Some of the little Craftsman three wheelers, for which one term is "camelback," because of the shape, used plain-bearing wheels and were consumer-grade saws, in which case not much sweetening would be called for.

Offline Chillylulu

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Re: Craftsman 3 wheel band saw
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 03:43:56 PM »
3 wheelers aren't worth anything, IMHO.  They are difficult and they are hard on blades. Their existence is based on finding a cheaper way. In their case, the cheaper way was increasing throat depth.

Chilly

Offline Branson

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Re: Craftsman 3 wheel band saw
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2015, 05:36:08 AM »
Pictures.  We need pictures.

Some of the little Craftsman three wheelers, for which one term is "camelback," because of the shape, used plain-bearing wheels and were consumer-grade saws, in which case not much sweetening would be called for.

It looks like this one, stand and all:

http://www.old-woodworking-tools.net/craftsman-3-wheel-band-saw.html

Offline Chillylulu

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Re: Craftsman 3 wheel band saw
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2015, 08:33:08 AM »
I think I owe you a better explanation of my opinion of 3 wheel bandsaws.

I've have several bandsaws, and I've used the heck out of them. Early on I bought a new 3 wheeler because they were so much cheaper. My wife needed all kinds of 3/4" pine cut in shapes to paint on. She was in charge of craft "Super Saturdays" for a church group. That meant hundreds of those shapes cut out. 

I found out you go through a lot of blades on 3 wheel saws. It has to do with the size of the wheels the blade  bends around. The smaller the radius, the harder it is on blades. It is the same effect you get if you bend a piece of metal back and forth in your hands - it quickly work hardens, stresses, and breaks.  3 wheelers bend blades more often and at tighter angles.

The next bandsaw I bought for $15 at a garage sale. It is a 14" Rockwell and it was in bad shape.  The table was flopping all over the place due to a broken trunion underneath. I bought a new trunion ($12), cleaned the saw up, and put it back together. It ran like a champ. The blades never broke. They run until the blade is dull.

6 or 8 years ago I bought a 14" Montgomery Wards bandsaw at auction for $85. I don't think that saw had cut more than a few boards, it was so clean. Runs great, but I don't use it. Last weekend I loaded it up on my father-in-law's truck along with a couple of other woodworking tools. The Rockwell runs so well I just couldn't justify a backup.

Used 14" bandsaws can be found regularly around here for less than $200.00. You can blow that much on blades for a 3 wheeler in short order. Plus the 3 wheelers are notoriously hard to set up for some reason. The 6" throat depth is limiting, also.

Save yourself grief and money. Even if it comes free, don't fall into the blade trap. It is a little money pit.

Chilly


Offline Bill Houghton

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Re: Craftsman 3 wheel band saw
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 07:08:41 PM »
In spite of the advertising text to which you linked, yes, these are consumer-grade saws.  Plain bearings in small wheels.  The one I owned for a while didn't even have proper oil cups for the bearings, just little plastic plugs (all there, surprisingly), and very light duty components in general.  I wouldn't throw anything into the price on the house.  If the owner leaves it, sure, fool around with it.  Otherwise, as Chilly says, start watching for a 12-14" saw.