Jet’s New 14″ Band Saw

overallI’ve been in Nashville, Tenn., for the last 24 hours at an event for Jet Tools and Powermatic. The companies hosted a nice dinner for us on Tuesday evening before turning us loose on a downtown that has more country music bars than one could check out in weeks.

Wednesday we hopped a bus for Ft. Houston, a member-based type co-op for creative professionals and hobbyists in Nashville. After a few presentations we were shown new tools and introduced to the hosts’ new philosophy of industrial design plus clear delineation between the two brands. (More on that in another blog entry.)

One of the new tools we were shown was a 14″ steel frame band saw (model # 714500). This is a nice machine. Yes the upper and lower wheels are solid and well-balanced and you can use from an 1/8″- to 3/4″-wide blades, but what stands out are the details.

jetbladeguidesThe blades guides, both above and below the table, look very industrial. Knurled knobs are easy to use and adjust. The thrust bearing has a notch to capture the blade for better tracking.

The table is set at 39″ off the floor which is 3″ higher than on most band saws. Of course the table tilts (just twist the handle to raise or lower), and Jet has scored big with a retractable stop which makes for quick resets when you tip the tilt to the left; fold the stop down to access the full-tilt ability, then flip it back up to level the table square to the blade. Even the insert around the blade is industrial in design. It’s red anodized and has three set screws to dial in a perfect fit.

jetfenceAnother great feature is the fence – specifically, the fine-tune adjustment. While the aluminum fence can be set 6″ tall for resawing or laid flat so you can get up close to the blade, it also can be adjusted to .01″. That works great if you’re cutting veneer.

The new 14″ band saw was released just today, so I’ll have a few more details once we get one into the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop and get more of a look, including four-sided blade guards, a quick-release handle that has three positions and two 4″ dust ports.

— Glen Huey

4 thoughts on “Jet’s New 14″ Band Saw

    1. Albert Rasch

      Lin,

      No, it was one of the Made in China brands.
      You know, lots of folks buy the Chicom mini-lathes and consider them parts kits. Whereas in all other tool groups, there’s an expectation that they be correct and accurate from the get go. I guess you get what you pay for when it comes to a bandsaw.
      I can see the attraction of a $600 or even an $899 vrs one that goes for $1399 especially when the advertisements read and sound about the same. Justifying the expense is difficult, but getting a piece of scrap metal that ends up sitting in the corner of the garage is worse.
      I would strongly urge everyone considering buying a used dial indicator and magnetic base and learning to use it. The money saved by getting an accurate machine right off the bat would pay for the indicator many times over. Plus you can use it for all sorts of other set ups and stuff like that..
      Next time i’m in country, I’ll find a powermatic distributor and check it out..

      On a similar note though, I did buy a Jet lathe for my son; the 1214 if memory serves correctly. The thing is a beast! Other than a scratched and burred Morse taper on the drive center (Which got stoned the second I got home) it’s all you could ask for. Well, maybe I could ask for a bigger one next time, and carbide tools, and…

      Best regards,
      Albert A Rasch

  1. kfashbur

    Ah Nashville, my hometown! Please don’t limit yourself to just the country music bars. There’s some great blues downtown as well (3rd and Lindsley?). You should be able to find something to satisfy any musical taste.

  2. Albert Rasch

    Folks,
    Industrial in design doesn’t equate to industrial in quality. I’ll reserve judgement until you guys put it through it’s paces.
    As a side note, I carried my dial indicator w/ magnetic base when I went to look at some band saws. The fellows at the shop I went to were rather curious and not very offended. Actually they were kind of curious. Not a single machine was within what I would consider reasonable tolerances (I wish I knew what reasonable tolerances are for a band saw…) 005 to 020 thousands runout on any axises, and in some cases all three. That might explain why some machines get abysmal and glowing reviews at the same time.

    I also took a few blades, unwound them and laid them in a large even circle on the floor. Some of the blades had a jog where the bands had not been aligned properly when they were welded.. That’s something else to check when you buy a blade. otherwise the blade will move forward and backwards on you while you’re sawing. Surely that would make a mess of things wouldn’t it?

    In the end, I didn’t get anything. I’ll be on Craigslist looking for an older machine to rebuild, or keep shopping until I find one that serendipitously came out of the factory all straight and even!

    Y’all stay safe, be alert!
    Albert

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