Central Machinery model 32208 4 speed 14" bandsaw initial impressions.


  • Central Machinery model 32208 4 speed 14" bandsaw initial impressions.

    The Central Machinery Model 32208 4 speed 14" band saw, and its single speed sibling the 32206 (only difference appears to be the pulley setup), can be an amazing band saw bargain. I purchased mine with a markdown from $329.00 to $299.00, and then used a 15% off any one item in store coupon to get the saw at $255.00 + tax. Aside from a well used saw, even 10" saws are hard to come by in that price...

    The overall fit and finish of the saw ABOVE the stand appear to be on par with the bottom end Grizzly 14", the Ridgid BS1400, and lower model Delta 14" saws. The main difference that I can see is features (2" instead of 4" DC chute, 1HP instead of 3/4HP motor, etc...). The BIG difference is where / how the motor mounts. (The CM mounts UNDER the stand, the Ridgid for example mounts behind the saw frame on the stand).

    Assembly of this saw is NOT an easy task, as the documentation is written initially by somebody that does not speak English as their native tongue, and to make things worse, they simply leave out LARGE sections of the assembly instructions. Plain and simple, have good mechanical skill going in, ask a lot of questions, and if need be, use the Harbor Freight tech support number....

    The motor bracket is shown mounted BACKWARDS in the instruction sheet. Both the printed one, and the one online. There are minimal instructions for setting up any of the safety guards, and you can only sort of hit and miss guess at where they are supposed to go... And the blade guides are a quirky design...

    As far as I know, even Powermatic band saws need some tweaking from the factory to work their best, and the Central Machinery saw is no different. It needs a much improved blade like almost every other saw on the market, as well as a decent fence, rise block kit if you are going to do any serious resawing, and at a minimum the OE blade guide blocks should be replaced with Olson Cool Blocks as soon as possible.

    The tension adjuster is a simple knob, as is the tracking adjuster.

    After the headaches and a few unneccesary cuts from the poorly finished metal edges (typical of Chinese construction) the saw is together.

    The blade appears to be tracking straight with a home brewed sled.

    As a test I cut some curve shapes out of a 3" Oak Plywood glue up / waste that was in the workshop. The saw was on the highest speed setting, and did not bat an eyelash at going through this material even with the poor quality stock blade.

    I expect many years of good service out of this saw. It is much smoother than I expected out of an HF saw, and it operates quietly.

    So far I feel this has been money well spent. Ask me in two years if I am still happy I spent the $$ on it and we will see!

    • treetopguy2028
      treetopguy2028 commented
      Editing a comment
      Check out the Iturra Design catalog for your CM bandsaw

      Iturra Design is in Jax, FL and the catalog is free. I have bought accessories and supplies from them for my Grizzly 14" Ultimate and my Hitachi CBF13. They are great to work with.

    • dbhost

      Editing a comment
      I just wanted to post a longer term update on the saw. Over the last 3 years I have hot rodded this saw quite a bit by adding a riser block, cool blocks, a Grizzly tension release, a Craftsman Fence, a link belt, and a mobile base. Overall the basic machine though, has been rock solid steady. I have last night actually, had to finally tighten up the first bolt that started loosening up on it. Like I have mentioned in other reviews of HF equipment, they tend to leave the threadlocker out of their assemblies. Not a huge deal. I added a dab of Loc Tite blue and bolted everything back down. So far so good!

    • chessnut2
      chessnut2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello. I just discovered this forum and it looks great. I just bought the CM 32208 and my manual says 92 1/2" for the blade. I"m hoping this is a typo. I just want to make sure this is a 32208 14" four speed that you're using a 93 1/2" on. Thanks. Jim
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