Steel City Tool Works is sticking with its theme of “Welcome to the Stone Age” with the introduction of a granite lower wheel on its Deluxe 14" band saw. Granite was first introduced as the top surface for the company’s 10" table saw, and later added as the material for the beds and fences of its 6" and 8" jointers. Within the last year, the 14" Deluxe band saw started sporting a granite table.
Up to this point, the granite has been used solely for work surfaces, providing a dense, rust-proof, corrosion-free material that also minimizes vibration. Now Steel City has taken granite a step farther and brought it into its band saw as the material for the lower wheel on the 14" model.
“It’s a very stable and very dense material, and it really just gives it a tremendous flywheel effect,” says Scott Box, president of Steel City Tool Works. “You’ve got almost 2-1/2 times the weight of a cast iron wheel down there and with a 1-1/2-hp motor, once you get it up to speed, it really, really provides a smooth cutting action. The blade travels smoother, the granite absorbs vibration better than cast iron, and we found it to be a great material for this particular application on the lower wheel.”
And for those of you who may be wondering if there are any plans to add a granite upper wheel at some point, the answer is a resounding no.
“We found it’s not necessary and you’re adding too much weight to the entire unit,” Box explains. “Plus, I’m afraid of the stresses on top with the tension and the angle as you tilt the blade in or out. We’ve done testing; we’re just not sure of what happens over a period of time to the upper bearing and axle assembly.”
The two-speed band saw features a 16" x 16" granite table that tilts 48 degrees right and 10 degrees left, rack-and-pinion blade-guide adjustment, quick-blade release, built-in mobile base, eccentric adjustable ball-bearing guides, and a quick-release blade tension lever.
In the world of woodworking, with the possible exception of table saws, there isn’t a more competitive machinery market than the field of 14" band saws.
“We feel like we have the best machine with all of the needed options included in the unit; mobile base, lamp, quick change — now the granite lower wheel, granite table, and more at the best value,” says Box.
Steel City obtains its granite from Shandong Province in China, not far from the company’s factory.
“The black granite that we’re using, we found it to be the densest granite, and you’ll find very few voids in it,” says Box. “If you look at surface plates that are used in machine shops, generally you’ll find them all to be black or very dark granite and you won’t see striations in it. It’s a better material to use because it prevents any fractures and is very stable once it’s machined. It’s very uniform in properties.”
The Steel City 14" Deluxe band saw, model 50100G, with the granite lower wheel and table will be available through April 30 at an introductory rebate price of $749.99.
Contact: Steel City Tool Works, P.O. Box 10529, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Tel: 877-724-8665. www.steelcitytoolworks.com
This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue.