Craftsman BAS350

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  • Craftsman BAS350

    Recently, I became the owner of a Craftsman BAS-350 14" band saw. I thought you would be interested in hearing about it, even tho I haven't had a chance to use it much yet.

    I have owned 2 bandsaws in the past. One was a B&D 10" 3-wheeled job, which I got rid of and bought a Delta 9" model. Turned out it wasn't an upgrade, and I've been watching for a replacement. The wife finally gave me the go-ahead to buy another. Having read good reviews of Sears 10" model here and other web sites, and since it was on sale, I went to check it out. While I was there I also saw the 14" saw and it seemed more substantial.. I am also a hobbyist and enthusiast and not a professional.

    My first observation is that shopping at Sears is makes you feel like you've jumped into a pool of marketing morons Or perhaps they are geniuses, using tricks I can't comprehent. Whatever, they seemed silly to me. The 14" saw was 449, available on-line for 359. Or you could buy it on the spot for 399. The salesman couldn't do any price-matching, but he showed me the on-line kiost where I could order it for 359. Either way, I was going the have to wait 10 minutes to get it.

    While I was punching buttons, the salesman let me know that he didn't get any commission on sales on-line, but because he was "helping" me place an order at a kiosk, he would get a double commission.

    Conclusion... Sears really wants to shut down all their store fronts and become like Amazon or Montgomery Wards.

    Anycase, 10 minutes later they roll out the band saw - Sears views theit saws as "band saws" and most every other model as "bandsaws" - and I note two things right away. The box is a mess, and it won't fit in the trunk of my Hyundai. The box weighs 160 lbs, so it's lucky for me that it won't. I return the next day with a helper and his pickup truck, and get the thing into my basement.

    Getting the box home, I discovered that the styrofoam inside was also beat up. However, the saw didn't show any scratched or marks, so it seems to have been protected enough.

    Setup took several hours over the next few days. During that time I learned that the wheels seemed balanced - as best I could tell by spinning them and marking the bottom. The cast iron table seems big to me, but I don't have much to compare with. A nickel - standing on end - will stand and vibrate for a while before it falls over; a quarter and dime would not.

    The legs are too large to fit in a reasonably priced mobile base that I've found to date; I'm looking for ideas on building my own.

    The saw comes with neither a miter bar nor a resaw fence; the lack of them does not bother me. The miter bar from my 4512, as well as my Kreg model, fits fine. And I'm found several plans for resaw fences when I want to try building one.

    The saw goes through a piece of oak nicely, both cross cutting and resawing. I've only tried the quarter inch blade that came with the saw.

    The blades are an unusal size; 99 3/4s. However, some google searches have found several sources for them besides Sears. The saw claims 8 inches of resaw capability; I haven't tested that yet.

    It is a little irritating that I have to remove the screw from the table top to open the bottom drawer, but not a deal breaker. I can't speak to the accuracy of the tension guage; it works and the saw cuts when it is set.

    Sears marked the saw down another 30 bucks a few days after I got it. I got online and called India (whereever) for help and they told me they corrected my bill.

    The saw vanished from the Sears web page for a week, leading me to suspect that it was on clearance. However, I notice today that it is listed again.

    I'm very happy with the new bandsaw (or band saw); does want I need at I price I'm happy with.

    Thanks very much for reading. If you have any more question, please let me know

    • JR
      JR commented
      Editing a comment
      Harbor Freight has a modestly-priced mobile base that should work fine in this application. It's the kind where you mill some 2x2 to the lengths you need for the tool in question. I have it under a lathe and it works well.

    • LCHIEN
      LCHIEN commented
      Editing a comment
      Compare these? same saw?

      Sears BS350:

      Finnish HBS-350N (have to translate finnish to English)
      HBS 350 N Motor power 1.0 kW Rear Wheel diameter 355 mm Dust extraction Connections 100 mm Table tiltable 0 - 45 desk height 1010 mm Table size 400 x 548 mm Blade speed 440/880 m / min ..

    • mpc
      mpc commented
      Editing a comment
      Is the current height of the saw comfortable for you, and will it be if raised an inch or two on a mobile base? The reason I ask is I've made it a general rule in my shop that tools that came with "leg stands" get those legs replaced with a shop-built 5-side box with a door or drawers on the front. For not much more than the price of a good mobile base I can buy double-locking casters and make a small storage cabinet to replace the legs. That way I get mobility, storage for the blades/accessories, and I can set the tool height to what is most comfortable for me and my lousy eyes. I use simple 3/4 baltic birch plywood for my cabinets, glued and screwed together, covered with brush-on polyurethane. All joints are in compression - i.e. the box sides sit on the bottom panel rather than getting attached to the edges of the bottom panel. The top rests on the sides. For larger/heavier tools I'll include a 3rd (center) vertical panel to supplement the side panels.


      p.s.: Sears pricing makes as much sense as Harbor Freight pricing a few years ago - store prices differed from the Internet prices; stores would honor internet prices but not the other way around, and stuff was frequently on sale at one of 3 or 4 different common sale prices. The sales clerk training at my local Sears seems to be nothing more than "credit card stripe goes this way when you swipe it through the reader" as well.
      Last edited by mpc; 02-05-2013, 10:50 PM.
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