Author Topic: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1  (Read 666 times)

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Offline Omoplata

  • Posts: 18
Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« on: December 01, 2018, 05:00 PM »
Hello, I wasn’t quite ready to add a bandsaw to my shop just yet however I found a deal on a General International 90-240M1 used. Appears to be in very good condition for $700. I am new to bandsaws and have only limited experience with a small bench top cheapo Skill one I have. I see Grizzly has what looks like very similar units new ranging from $895 and up. Just looking for your thoughts on if the General is a good saw and if the price sounds like a deal? Or do I get a New Grizzly? The other thing is it is located about 2 1/2 hours from me. When I was ready for a bandsaw I was only going to go for a 14” or 15” but I don’t think I’ll be disappointed if I go larger. I know that General is out of business. So should I be concerned about replacement parts? What should I look for if I go to look at it? Thank you for any help you can give me. P.S. I posted this on another forum too. Just hoping someone can help me out as I am going to go tomorrow to look at it if I decide to go the used route.

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Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 234
Re: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 06:33 PM »
Available stock of used machines varies regionally.  In my area there's a reseller who buys every used bargain bandsaw on Craigslist he finds.  This is a weird trend in a large metropolitan area where used machines were at one time fairly easy to find and not too costly.   If machines and bargains are sparse in your area, I doubt you'll go too far wrong with the GI saw.    Anything in the 18" and larger class is likely to be a pretty good machine for general woodworking.  Most any larger saw can be tuned to perform quite well in a range of tasks.   All the fuss about guide blocks and whatnot comes down to personal preference - a person who learns the machine's quirks learns to get what s/he wants from it.  Lighter machines can be more frustration than they are worth for some people,  but any band saw bigger than 14" is likely to be solid enough that you can get accurate cuts with it... unless it's been dropped.

I've seen saws in the 18-20" class selling for as little as $250 but they get snapped up right quick.  If you have the stomach for the hassles involved, bargains on 30" and larger saws aren't uncommon.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5156
Re: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 09:32 PM »
I’d have no problem purchasing the General, they’ve been a great brand for many years.

With the 2 speeds you can also cut aluminum.  Good dust pickup. The General you’re looking at is a few years old...so it’s probably still good stuff. A General 17” saw for $700...that’s cheap. I also don’t believe they’re out of business, so parts will also be available.

Email them or call them...that’d take care of most of the angst you feel.

http://www.general.ca/products/1_general/90_bandsaw/90-240.html

I’d seriously lose the Grizzly thought though.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 10:01 PM by Cheese »

Offline Omoplata

  • Posts: 18
Re: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 11:00 PM »
Thanks. Keep it coming. Cheese I did find their website. I found a thread on some forum that said they went under? Since I have never owed a REAL bandsaw what typically needs to be replaced or wears out?

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 178
Re: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2018, 11:19 PM »
Better quality Bandsaws that don’t get dropped, knocked over, etc. tend to wear well. I would say the most common wear items are the tires on the drive wheels. After that if the motor is running and all of the adjustments move freely then you would probably have a saw you could work with. If you have a good straight edge bring it with you and check the flatness of the table and the fence. You can also look at the drive belt. If it is dry rotting and needs to be replaced that is no big deal but if the belt is tensioned properly that tells you owner took care of it. Also look at the bearings / blocks, etc. under the table and see how gummed up with sawdust/ pitch, etc. they are. Again, nothing that you can’t deal with. It just tells you something about how the last owner cared for the saw.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5156
Re: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2018, 11:59 PM »
Ya, I’ll echo Alanbach...band saws are pretty bullet proof especially if they still run. You may want to tweak this or that but if the bones are good, there’s a lot of good service left in the saw.

Check to make sure it runs.
Run some oak or maple through it and see how it cuts.
Does it cut straight?
How sharp is the blade?
Are there any strange grinding noises?
Look at the tires on the wheels.
Is the table flat?
Are the trunions moveable?

This may seem like a long laundry list of things to look at, and it is [big grin]  but the most important thing is to take this saw for a test drive and ask the owner any question if something jumps out at you. It’s difficult to lie in person, although it seems that others in recent times are fully capable.  [eek]

BTW, the sharpness of the blade doesn’t determine the quality of the saw, rather it determines the quality of the cut in the wood.

For instance, if you take this band saw for a test drive and it cuts maple slowly, it may not be a function of the saw but rather a function of the sharpness of the saw blade. If that’s the case, a $25-$30 saw blade takes care of the issue.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 12:12 AM by Cheese »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2382
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Bandsaw Help, General International 90-240M1
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 06:20 AM »
I run a large band saw and subscribe to the advice you received above.

I run a Wood Slicer blade in my saw. Highland Woodworking sells them. They are fantastic for cutting through really thick dense wood.
Birdhunter