I am buying a 1950s Beaver 2300 12"inch bandsaw.

enter image description here

It was originally made to be used with a 1/3 to 1/2 hp motor. The bandsaw has a semi-steel cast frame (which I believe is somewhere between cast iron and steel), and aluminum cast wheels.

It has been upgraded to a 1 horse power motor. Do you think that is safe?

This is the grooved roller. The blade sites on the left groove (if you face the bandsaw). roller roller2

  • Does the saw still run at the same speed it did before the upgrade?
    – rob
    Mar 27, 2017 at 21:08
  • I don't have the saw yet.
    – Fed
    Mar 27, 2017 at 21:19
  • I think it depends really on the motor. I am thinking maybe to get one that is geared down to keep the speed, but to add the torque. Of course I assume you want the torque and not speed. As for speed the first thing I would think of is the blade heating, and second the band would go around faster with out a reduction which would mean more wear so it would break sooner. Not sure on the wear part but my educated guess.
    – Ljk2000
    Mar 27, 2017 at 21:48
  • Along the lines of what Ljk2000 said, what I was getting at is whether the blade runs faster with the 1hp motor than it did with the original motor. You may get more vibration if anything is off-balance or worn. If the saw runs at the same speed, the only difference is that the larger motor won't get bogged down as easily when cutting thick or hard material, so you may be more likely to break a dull blade or burn your workpiece with a dull blade. It wouldn't be a bad idea to find out how long it has had the larger motor, how much it has been used, and on what types of cuts since the upgrade.
    – rob
    Mar 27, 2017 at 22:39
  • 1
    @ashlar - nice edit :)
    – Ast Pace
    Mar 28, 2017 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


The issue is not HP, but RPM. As long as the motor spins at the manufactures recommended RPM, and you didn't change the gear or pulley that drives the lower wheel, it will spin at the same RPM as with the smaller motor. But it will cut more efficiently under load.

Nice looking saw, BTW. I've never heard of Beaver Brand. Is that a throat height extender, or is that simply the way it's made?

Some things I would check before purchase:

  1. Are the wheels coplanar? If they aren't, it will be hard to get the blade to track right. Usually issues of planar-ness (whatever you call that condition) can be fairly easily resolved with shims or even tightening something.

  2. Are the tires in good shape? Changing tires is a serious pain in the butt. It is a straightforward exercise, however, with plenty of YouTube's to get you through it.

  3. Upper and lower blade guides ok? If they are missing or broken, you can hopefully find replacements, but after market options might be viable.

  4. Deformation in the neck, usually from leaving a fully tensioned blade on for too long. This isn't the end of the world, but it will effect blade tensioning, blade length, and even planar-icity :).

  5. Tensioner spring sprung? They wear out over time. You can extend spring life with washers, but eventually you bottom out and can't apply enough tension.

  • I don't know where those pictures came from, but that is indeed the machine. Beaver is Canadian, bought by Delta a very long time ago. The guy refurbished the whole thing, and it apparently runs true. I will see it Wednesday and keep you posted. But thanks everyone. I will find out about the rpms. Also, he has a 3/4" blade on it. Is that too large? I like it, because I will only be cutting straight for now, and will be doing some resawing of 6" Ipe.
    – Fed
    Mar 28, 2017 at 1:36
  • One of mine is a 10 inch Inca, and all I can run is 1/2 on that one. I couldn't say what the max for yours is - Delta Tech might be able to tell you. I suppose if you can tension it you can run it, and if that blade has been on there a while and the neck appears ok ... but that's just conjecture.
    – Benchwerks
    Mar 28, 2017 at 19:59
  • I got the bandsaw. The wheels are aligned nicely. There is no noise at all with rotation. The whole thing is very clean. There is one problem, however. The blade thrust roller on the lower guide seems a bit off (I think that is what it is called, from the old manual, vintagemachinery.org/pubs/83/5284.pdf, I found online, number 43 on the diagram of saw parts). There does not seem to be any adjustment for the roller. It seems the blade is not lateral enough. Could it be the tires are too thin?
    – Fed
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:49
  • I am inclined to say that the thrust thing (bearing, hopefully) telescopes in and out of a housing, and is kept in place either by a set screw (bad) or that nut/washer setup behind it (82,83,96) (good). Probably rusted. Try your favorite penetrant.
    – Benchwerks
    Mar 30, 2017 at 15:30
  • Also if the crown in your tires is worn, that might push your blade forward (or backward). But I really think you need to focus on that thrust bearing
    – Benchwerks
    Mar 30, 2017 at 15:31

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