Scheppach Basato 3h Vario bandsaw
Tuesday 13 October 2009
Anthony Bailey was eager to see how this compact machine squares up to use in our workshop
The 3h Vario model is no lightweight. We tried it on the wheeled stand which has a long pullout bar for moving it around the workshop, but even with the assistance of this arrangement it is heavy and sits solidly once placed.
The cutting capacity is large, comprising 207mm under guides and a 306mm throat width coupled with a 1.1hp motor. The case shape is similar to other Basato machines and seems very rigid which is important for accurate cutting.
At first glance
The standard blade is a 12mm-wide general-purpose skiptooth.
The fence bar has four quick-lock levers. Once undone the bar swings forward for the blade exchange. A quick-release lever on the rear of the case, for the blade tension, makes for fast changeovers. The machine also has a tension-setting knob and a knob to raise and lower the guard.
The blade can be tracked manually which is useful and the above- and below-table guides have fine adjustment, both having thrust rollers behind the blade as well.
The table can tilt fully from 45 degrees to -17 degrees by lowering the support rod.
There are two cut speeds although you would normally want the higher one for wood.
The machine had no unusual vibrations, was rigid and stayed put. All the controls are easy to access and use. The straight fence is nicely made but needed slight adjustment to perpendicular, easily achieved via the supplied Allen keys.
It is a well-behaved machine that cuts material easily. It only begins to struggle on very deep sections where you need a coarse-tooth blade and a reduced feed speed. Usually when deeping it is better to cut to a pencil line rather than relying on the fence as smaller bandsaws have a lead, that is they cut at a slight angle, so freehanding is the answer here.