give you peak performance if all the parts are designed, manufactured and tuned well. Here are the points you should consider in choosing a saw:

Fit and Finish—Check for faults in the castings and for parts that are poorly machined. Then look at how well all the pans fit together, and how smoothly the moving pans operate.

Among our test saws, the Kity, the General and the two Inca bandsaws had the best fit and finish, while the Enlon and Elephant machines scored lowest because they had rough castings and poorly machined or ill-fitting parts. It took a few hours of filing, grinding and tuning to get these two saws running well.

Saw Guides—A saw's guide system, which includes the upper and lower blade guides and thrust bearings (see drawing), directly affects how well the saw cuts. When you feed a workpiece into die blade, the thrust bearings prevent the blade from shifting backward and jumping off the wheels. And the guides reduce side-to-side twist, which can produce bowed cuts or allow a blade to wander off a straight line. To assess these parts, look at how easily they adjust, how rigid they are when you apply pressure side-to-side and fore-and-aft. and whether they remain parallel to the blade as you raise and lower the guide post.

For ease of adjustment, the best performers in our test were the Delta 14-in., General, Jet, and Grizzly, all of which feature "micro-adjust" guides and thrust bearings that you set by turning a knob (see top photo, opposite page). The Kity also requires no tools to adjust, but it didn't have the micro-adjust feature. Most of the guides on the machines were easy to see and reach, though the lower guides on the Grizzly are located so close to the saw table-that it was hard to visually align the guides with the blade. At the other extreme, it took three wrcnchcs to adjust the guides on the Powermatic Artisan and the Sears IS-in.

The Kit}' has the simplest guide system.

The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing

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