Great Saws from Harvey | Popular Woodworking Magazine
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Harvey Tools recently released a new line of shop tools for the hobbyist under the name Ambassador. We had a chance to put both 14“ the C200-30 band saw and table saw worked in the shop and overall we were pretty impressed, especially considering the bang for the dollar factor.
Band saw C-14
MSRP: $ 1399 Buy Now
This floor band saw has everything most carpenters want, including many features found on more expensive saws. It is a steel frame band saw with dynamically balanced cast iron wheels and weighs approximately 350 lbs. The saw has a 13“ throat and a 14“ cutting capacity. Paired with a 3 HP 230 volt motor (bigger than what I’ve seen on most saws of this size) and included 3/4“ lama, did a great job of remaking the wide boards. The surrendered surface wasn’t as pristine as I’ve experienced on other high-end band saws, but that’s not a big deal. When most people are cutting boards, they plan or sand them to their final thickness anyway. Under load, the saw was surprisingly quiet with very little vibration on the table.
The cast iron table is 193/4“ x 153/4“and sits around 35 years old“ from the floor. The table includes a gas piston to assist when tilting the table and the rack and pinion tilt mechanism allows you to adjust cutting angles from 45 ° to -15 °. The ball bearing guides can be adjusted without tools (both above and below the table), making switching between blade sizes much less tiring than with other saws. The two position fence is another nice touch. Two 4“ Dust collection ports (one under the table and another at the base of the saw) keep dust at bay. With a foot brake, a quick-release tension lever, and even a handy holder for the Allen keys you need to assemble the saw, Harvey has really nailed all the details on this one. At $ 1399, it’s priced in the upper range of most 14s“ bandsaws, but unless you need more capacity, it’s probably the only bandsaw you’ll need in your shop.
C200-30 cabinet table saw
MSRP: $ 1309 Buy Now
At first glance, the C200-30 appears to be a fairly standard entry-level cabinet saw. It has a 2 HP 115/230 volt dual voltage motor, a 30“ tear-off capability, cabinet-mounted pins and 40“ x 27“ cast iron table: all the standard things you are looking for. But there are a few key points that really make this saw stand out.
The blade guard is one of the most interesting models we have seen. To switch from full guard to splitting knife (for a blind cut, for example), it is not necessary to remove the throat plate. There is a small quick release tab towards the back of the throat that releases the guard or cutting knife. Once you get the hang of it, you can switch between them in seconds. It’s comfortable and leaves you with no excuses for not having the guard on your saw.
The square T-shaped fence is covered with a two-position extruded aluminum. In an upright position, the fence works like any other table saw fence. In the low position, you can bring the guide closer to the blade for thin tears without having to remove the guard. Plus, with the built-in cam lock system for securing the fence, you can easily connect auxiliary fences for specialized tasks without having to use external clamps.
The dust collection points on the saw are also well thought out, both above and below the blade collection. The enclosed guard connects via a flexible hose to the 4“ under the dust collection point of the table. The dust collection port is located on the right side of the saw (not the back), which means you can rest the saw up to an exit cabinet or table without worrying about dust tube space.
Here’s the kicker: The saw retails for $ 1309. With the features this saw includes, that price is hard to beat. Just like Harvey’s band saw, it’s an excellent tool for the price. And, if you need more power or capacity, there are two more table saws in the Ambassador line.
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