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Opinions on Grob vs. Do-All vertical band saws?

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BGHansen

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#1
OK, here's your opportunity to help me spend some money! I recently posted this POTD making a couple of metal trays to restore a collectible Erector set.

https://www.hobby-machinist.com/thr...-in-your-shop-today.67833/page-13#post-587098

I listed the set on eBay and sold it for my asking price of $1500 (item# 132658422814)., so now I have some money burning a hole in my pocket . . . I've been looking for a vertical band saw for both metal & wood. I have a 12" Craftsman and a HF 7 x 12 horizontal / vertical (vertical is very inconvenient and limited). I have a number of <100 mile options for both Grob and Do-All band saws. All on my list have blade welders. Sizes range from a 18" to 24" Grob and a 20" to 24" Do-All.

Any preferences out there on Grob vs. Do-All? Any thing to look out for? I figure condition of the tires is something to look at but they're <$50 to replace. All of the saws we have at work are Do-All's, so leaning that way. They're all 3-phase also so I'll add a VFD. Some have variable speed, others are step pulley. I suspect that even with a VFD, I'll need to use the step pulley on those type of saws as 30 vs. 3000 fpm is quite a bit of a change in the Hz.

Thanks for the opinions and help,

Bruce
 

benmychree

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#2
The DoAll saws that I have seen have all had a dual range transmission for low to fast speeds; I've not seen a Grob, but the saw guides on the DoAll are chevron type and vastly better than the simple block type; as far as I am concerned, DoAll is at the top of the heap. Certainly, the condition of the tires is a consideration, I have two Delta/Rockwell saws, both use thick urethane tires, and cost me in excess of $50 (each) to replace on both machines, one a wood cutting, the other a combination wood/metal cutting, and they are DAMNED hard to install, being a very hard/tough urethane that does not easily stretch.
 

4ssss

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#3
Why bother. The Craftsman saw does the same as the Do All except for the welder and the amount of space it takes up. Put the cash into something else. With the things you make I'm surprised you don't have a bench press and die set to knock them out.
 

benmychree

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#4
I would definitely want a band saw with a welder, my Delta has one, and the convenience of having coil saw stock on hand to make up blades as needed is a real plus for me, and occasionally, the ability to thread a blade through a drilled hole in a project to saw out an internal feature is a real plus.
 

projectnut

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#5
I have never used a Grob saw, however I have used several Do-all machines. The company I worked for had several a bit larger than you're looking for, but they were all excellent machines and tough as nails. In the 20+ years I worked there I never saw one of them go down. They occasionally needed blade guides or bearings, but never anything major.

The ones we had were like this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DOALL-3613...907692?hash=item1c905a17ac:g:Ow4AAOSwsTVaq~gI

The transmission had 3 speeds plus a variable sheave that would allow infinite speeds within the range selected. They also had hydraulic tables for cutting heavy material. In addition they had blade welders, annealers, and grinders. If I had the space I would trade in my Rockwell in a second. My Rockwell is a cheapie like this that was originally geared for wood.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-RO...715236?hash=item1a43af5ae4:g:Gh0AAOSwQiFafNuF

It was a freebie back in 1975, so it doesn't owe me anything

If I were to replace my Rockwell it would be with a Do-ALL 16" machine like this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/16-DOALL-V...040044&hash=item36341582ac:g:kGUAAOSwpixap7Qn

It's got nearly the speed range of the 36", uses shorter blades, and has a much more manageable foot print. A couple things I found invaluable on our machines at work was the blade selection and tensioning guide, and the blade tension indicator.

The nice thing about the welder and grinder is that you can buy bulk blade stock for far less then buying finished blades. A 250' box still costs around $100.00 depending on width, material, and TPI. If you go for one of the Do-All machines make sure the blade annealer works. If the blade isn't annealed after welding it won't last long.

I'll bet those suggesting staying with the Craftsman have never used a Do-All. It's like comparing a Harbor Freight lathe to a Hendy.
 

benmychree

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#6
I quite agree with the post above, my Rockwell has a double range transmission and Reeves drive, and is adequate for wood or metal, but the DoAll is way beyond it in terms of value; it is a true machine tool, the Rockwell is OK, but that is the best thing that could be said. The DoAll has much superior guides, and that means something when trying to follow a layout line closely.
When I was in my apprenticeship, we were shown a filmstrip about the DoAll saw, where it was possible to make a punch and die for blanking a complex shape from one piece of tool steel, for both the punch and die; a layout was done, a small hole drilled at a particular angle relative to the finish cut line, and the table tilted to a particular angle, then the sawblade was threaded through the hole and welded and ground; then the shape was cut out, the slug removed from the center and finish filed/ground to shape at a clearance angle, then hardened, that formed the punch. The punch was mounted in a die set and the die mounted under it, and it still being soft, the punch was pushed (hobbed) through it, cutting the punch's shape closely into it; I assume that then, the die would be filed for clearance, hardened, and subsequently detailed as needed. I think this was done during WW-2 for one thing to save on tool steel.
The welder is well worth having, as projectnut says above, and will save $ on blades. In my shop, I had a Powermatic 20" saw, much better than a "Rookwell", but not nearly as good and nice as a DoAll, they are truly at the top of the heap. I especially like and appreciate projectnut's comment at the end of his post!
 

FLguy

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#7
40 years I've used both, my vote is DoAll. DoAll is a rugged design.
 

chips&more

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#8
Don’t worry, I won’t recommend a Crapsman either. Especially that 3-wheel thing they say is a band saw? I would also recommend a DoAll. I don’t have one but have used them. I have a Powermatic with welder. I got it free so that’s the reason and it works…Dave
 

tertiaryjim

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#9
You cant go wrong with a DoAll. On the other hand I got my 1956 Grob running for evaluation and after just a couple of cuts had to shut it down to repair problems found. Some bearings had original 1956 grease.
It cut 19.5" through a 1.25" thick piece of durabar cast iron with a straight, clean line. I think it's as good as the DoAll.
One consideration is how to setup fences and guides on either machine. Very important!
The blade welder is a must.
 

projectnut

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#10
It's been about a month since this thread started. I was wondering if you had made a decision as to what saw to buy, and if so have you made a purchase? Inquiring minds would like to know.
 

BGHansen

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#11
Haven't bought the saw yet, but am looking at a Doall 20" or larger. I'm emailing back/forth with a seller of a 24" saw about 100 miles from me which is "plan A". He was verifying the welder worked, then I'll go on a road trip.

Plan "B" is a 36" Doall in the Detroit area. We have one at work and it's a great saw. Big footprint however (6' x 4'). At that size it'll be on casters (24" saw will also) and probably shoved in a corner until I need it. I have a space for the 24" one where it'll pretty much set in a permanent spot.

No worry, once I get the saw I'll get some photo posted. It's not like my wife will drool over it!

Bruce
 

pineyfolks

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#12
You can't go wrong with a Doall saw. I have a Grob 4v-18. They have a 4 speed manual transmission and a variable speed pulley setup that gives you a full range of speeds. Mine has air over hydraulic table feed and a blade welder. I've had it about 10yrs. It's been a great saw. I move mine with a pallet jack when I need to.
 
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