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Thread: Review: Grizzly G0555X Bandsaw

  1. #1

    Review: Grizzly G0555X Bandsaw

    .
    My accomplishment for the day yesterday was tuning my new Grizzly G0555X BS. I FINALLY got it right on the money! I removed the table and I put a new 3/4" 3POS Timberwolf blade on it and made necessary minor adjustments so that the blade is tracking perfectly. Then, I readjusted the lower blade guides from scratch. There are two bolts that hold that mechanism on to the base of the trunion....lots of play for movement when the bolts are loose. The whole mechanism was out of line.

    I used a known true thickness shim (1/8") to make sure that it's parrallel to the trunion before re-tightening the bolts. Before setting blade guides against the blade it's very important to FIRST set the forward/ backward position of the guides because when you tighten the thumb screw that sets that position, it moves everything to the left as it tightens.

    I then painstakingly adjusted the upper and lower ball bearing guides. It requires patience because the blade guides are on an eccentric bearing. For the wider blade you can get about 1/8 inch extra forward positioning on the guides by gently pushing them from the back of their housing. Again, I used a known thickness shim to make sure that both sides are the same distance forward. Then, you position the guides as best you can so that the front edge of the guides sit just behind the gullets of the blade. On this saw, with a 3/4 inch blade, you can't get them quite as close to the gullets as I've read is recommended. It doesn't seem to matter. The important thing is that both the upper and lower guides gently and firmly touch the blade behind the gullet and that the edges of the guides are parrallel with the blade. When I hand spin the upper wheel all of the guides roll. Furthermore, I can independtly spin each roller guide with my fingers. Then I set the thrust bearing according to instructions in the manual; a dollar bill folded 4 times as a spacer.

    I put the table back on it. My prior setting for the positive stop at 90 degrees for the blade was perfect. The blade was perfectly square to the table using an 8" square. My test cuts on 9 inch wide appx 16 inches long, cherry were perfect and consistent, 1/8 inch slices the length of the board with no blade drift at all. None.

    I've read reviews of the resaw fence that comes with this saw, both good and bad. Mine is perfect. It too is perfectly square with the table and parrallel to the blade the full 6 inches height of the fence. I couldn't ask for a better fence. It's very well designed and milled. It's also quick and easy to remove the higher part so that you're back to the standard cast iron fence that comes with the saw for sawing smaller boards.

    I ruined the 1/2" 3POS Timberwolf blade that I purchased with the saw because of the lower blade assembly not being set right. The blade got bent and wouldn't track correctly again. Grizzly customer service replaced that blade for free, no hassles. Though Grizzly sells Timberwolf blades, they don't sell the 3/4" 3POS Timberwolf blade in 105 inch length (length required for this saw with riser block). It seems logical that they should sell that blade for this saw for resaw purposes. Afterall, this saw is made for 12" resawing (with the riser block) for small shops. Since Grizzly doesn't offer the ideal blade for tall resawing where a really fine finish isn't required, I purchased mine from Timberwolf directly. The 1/2" Timberwolf 3 POS that Grizzly does sell is fine for heights up to 6 inches but doesn't cut the mustard for taller boards.

    I had pondered long and hard before buying this Band Saw. I was torn between it and the Rikon. I decided to go with the Grizzly because of other Grizzly tools that I've purchased and the 5 Star customer service that I've experienced with Grizzly. Their customer service is second to none.

    One needs to remember that there's a learning curve with Band Saws. They are a bit finicky and require some patience and thought to properly tune.

    The G0555X is indeed an extremely fine saw in it's size class. Properly tuned and with a good blade installed I'm a 100% satisfied customer with my purchase. It does exactly what it's supposed to do. I recommend this saw to anyone who's decided to purchase a 14" inch bandsaw with 12" resaw capacity.

    Just remember, it's not a high speed production machine for large commercial shops that do a lot of 12" resawing, nor is it advertised as such. For the serious hobbyist or small shop it's perfect!






    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,999
    Do think or feel that the issues you experienced with the Grizzly G0555X would be the same or different on a Powermatic 14" bandsaw?

    I'm very torn between these two saws. They are very equally equipped out of the box and have a riser block available. With the 10% Woodcraft promotions and the WMH/Powermatic promotion for the free riser block, these two saws are about $30 different in price to get either to my doorstep.

    At this time I don't have the space for a bandsaw, but the space making is a must do and is in the process. While I work on the space issue, I'm looking for reasons to purchase one saw over the other and haven't found anything definitive or that can't be outweighed by a factor on the other saw (such as local support vs. 5-star phone support).

  3. #3
    Hey Anthony,

    I don't know anything at all about Powermatic nor have I ever dealt with Woodcraft, though I do understand that both are good companies.

    What I do know about is Grizzly's customer service support...not to be confused with their technical support. I'm not sure if the tech support folks are woodworkers or not. I don't know. I get the impression that they're working from a spec sheet rather than experience. But I'm not sure about that. When I called about the ruined blade and asked for a free replacement the tech guy, his name was Hays, said that there was nothing he could do about it because they are just resellers of the Timberwolf blades.

    THEN I called Grizzly customer service. I explained to the lady what had happened and she said that they would send out a new blade immediately. It arrived in two days. That's what I mean by 5 star customer support or customer service.

    I had the same experience with a new jointer that I recently purchased from Grizzly. I bought the G0604X 6" Parallelogram Jointer. On that machine the outfeed table was a bit out of alignment. In this case the tech person stepped me through the fix to that problem very efficiently and patiently. Now it works perfectly.

    One other minor issue with the jointer was that the handle that locks the fence into position at 90 degrees, or whatever angle you choose, was bent. Actually the bolt part of it that screws into the fence locking mechanism was bent. I was still able to use it to lock my fence at 90 degrees....which is where I keep my jointer anyway. Then, I carefully unscrewed it....a bit of a wobble as it came out.

    This was a packaging issue. The manual tells you to attach that handle to the fence during assembly when in fact the handle is already attached to the fence. In my opinion, that's the problem because in the box during shipping that handle attached to the fence comes in contact with another part of the jointer and probably gets bent during the several stages of shipping the product.

    When I called customer service about this the lady said we'll replace the handle free of charge for you but we're out it right now. It's due to be in in May. Within a week I received a new handle. Unfortunately, it was the wrong handle. When I called Grizzly again they apologized and said not to send the handle back, just keep it and they'll send the right one when the shipment comes in. I'm sure that they will, too. Since that part is out of stock I speculate that it's a common problem with that jointer's packaging. I mentioned that to the lady. Perhaps that will get passed up the line and that issue can be solved simply by not attaching that handle before shipping.

    Both of my new Grizzly machines work perfectly, as advertised. They stand behind their product and ship free replacement parts that are damaged without hassle. If had to do it all over again I'd order from Grizzly. Part of that is because they have quality products to begin with. Secondly, they have earned my loyalty as a customer because of their customer service to go along with their quality machines. I plan to order more machines from them in the future. Also, I keep in mind that the problems with both my Grizzly purchases were minor. Perfection is a goal. Problems are going to happen with a large organization. When a company treats me respectfully and doesn't question my integrity when I report a problem, but rather solves the problem, I think that is part of the process of striving for perfection.

    So, that's my take on Grizzly. I'm sorry, I can't speak for Woodcraft or Powermatic because I have no experience with either.

    If you'd like to see some photos of the resaws that I've done on the G0555X I'll be happy to take some and send to you. If you decide to buy this machine I can give you some pointers, now that I've been through it myself, on what to check for to be sure that your BS is properly tuned. It's not a big deal to tune it, just takes a little thought and patience to understand how the guides need to be set up properly. And when that's done, it works like a champ!

    Best wishes with your decision!

    Kind Regards,
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Calvert County, MD
    Posts
    222
    I can't come close to such a thorough review, but for what it's worth I'm very happy with my G0555x. I've done a fair amount of resawing ranging from 3" - 11" and the machine has performed excellently. The only issues I've had were operator induced. The one thing I've found after 8 months or of use is that most of my use is re-sawing or very gentle curves, despite the fact that I initially bought it for detailed curved work.

    The G0555x meets my re-sawing needs (i.e. I have been able to re-saw everything I wanted to), but if I had to do it again, I'd opt for one of the larger machines with a lower (and larger) table. It gets pretty awkward hefting a 12/4 x 10" x 8' piece up onto the higher table of the G0555x and keeping it under control and safely supported while re-sawing. Again, the saw works great...but be sure to think about your real uses for the saw. At least think about it more than I did ;-)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Kinn View Post
    I can't come close to such a thorough review, but for what it's worth I'm very happy with my G0555x. I've done a fair amount of resawing ranging from 3" - 11" and the machine has performed excellently. The only issues I've had were operator induced. The one thing I've found after 8 months or of use is that most of my use is re-sawing or very gentle curves, despite the fact that I initially bought it for detailed curved work.

    The G0555x meets my re-sawing needs (i.e. I have been able to re-saw everything I wanted to), but if I had to do it again, I'd opt for one of the larger machines with a lower (and larger) table. It gets pretty awkward hefting a 12/4 x 10" x 8' piece up onto the higher table of the G0555x and keeping it under control and safely supported while re-sawing. Again, the saw works great...but be sure to think about your real uses for the saw. At least think about it more than I did ;-)
    Sean, I think that you've hit the nail the on the head! Many of us are kinda shooting from the hip when we buy a new machine that we're not familiar with and that we want to do a particular thing. That's part of the learning curve, at least for me!

    I couldn't afford to drop 2 grand on a BS. So, I bought what I considered to be a good saw that would suit my needs for resawing. Most of my cuts will not be long boards nor really heavy boards.

    I agree with you, a person really needs to think through their needs before purchasing and then buy the largest and best suited machine for their needs that they can afford. We live and learn! Sounds like in your case that even though you wish you'd have bought a larger, more expensive machine, the G0555X does do what you need it to do, even though there are things about it that you wish were different for your particular application.

    Do you feel that for the money that you paid, you got a good machine in that price range? I do.
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Calvert County, MD
    Posts
    222
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Edwards View Post

    Do you feel that for the money that you paid, you got a good machine in that price range? I do.
    Absolutely!! It performs great, and the fit and finish is great. I don't have any complaints about the machine itself, I've just determined that my real world needs are a bit different than I had planned. I may just mount it on a lower stand someday, and fabricate a larger table. For as much trouble as some people seem to have getting band saws dialed in, mine performed perfectly from the start.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,999
    I haven't had much experience with larger power tool service at the local shops (there are three) but that's not much of a concern, most of the people in the three stores are great. My primary focus is Powermatic vs. Grizzly and haven't found a really good unbiased reason to lean in either direction. Atleast I feel at this point that I won't get taken with either saw.

    Luckily in early July, I'll be in Pennsylvania about an hour away from Muncy. I plan on visiting the showroom and talking with them directly.

  8. #8

    Excellent, thorough review

    Stephen,
    Thanks for the great review. I've been considering a band saw, and the G0555X is high on my list. I have a G1023SL table saw, and I'm extremely pleased with it. If I get the band saw, you may hear from me with some questions in the future. Thanks again.

    Walt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Longview, Washington
    Posts
    91
    I just bought the powermatic 14" BS. I also thought about the grizzly. Just fired mine up yesterday after assembly. Extremely happy! The powermatic had a few extra options like the carter quick release that made me go with it. And also, I bought a Jet long bed jointer recently and was very impressed with packaging and assembly. I'm not sure about there customer service,,,,,,,,,, haven't had to call them. Just my 2 cents!

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