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My journey into woodworking started with the purchase of a very cheap ALDI own-brand WorkZone bandsaw. I'll include a picture at the end. It's functionally not that bad but they had to cut corners to get this out the door for £79.99.

The most annoying thing is the plate steel table:

  • There's no mitre slot (making square cross-cuts very difficult)
  • It flexes under stress
  • The fence doesn't grip it well (again because it flexes under stress)

So I've found myself doing more freehand and short cuts than anything else. But for all its flaws, there are still moments I need to use it for strange cuts where my table saw just won't... erm... cut it. For example, it's far more economical to use for cutting veneer strips for bent laminations, even if I do spend all day sanding them back.

The next step up is ~£350 and takes up a lot more space. I'm really hopeful somebody's going to suggest a sub-£100 option to give me a rigid, flat table that has better options for accessories. There may be other arguments for throwing this one in the bin and replacing it. Let me know.

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  • I've been contemplating getting the same bandsaw after reading some fairly favourable reviews :-) Anyway you should be able to build a very good work surface for this in much the same way that people build router tables that easily surpass cheaper commercial varieties. Just use board materials (MDF, ply or chipboard) and build it strong (over-engineer) and it'll be plenty stable enough. – Graphus supports Monica Aug 23 '17 at 14:19
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    "it's far more economical to use for cutting veneer strips for bent laminations, even if I do spend all day sanding them back." FYI hand planing will cut the effort required by a factor of ten or more. I can remove rough saw marks from a 35mm strip of wood over a metre long (edit: both sides) in under 2 minutes without breaking a sweat and with no dust generated. – Graphus supports Monica Aug 23 '17 at 14:22
  • I've personally never come up with a good way to handplane veneer. If I plane against a stop the veneer buckles up since it's so thin. I tried double-stick tape but I get inconsistent thickness due to the tape (unless I taped every square inch, which would be wasteful of the tape.) The best I've worked out is clamping the tail to the bench, planing out from there, then flipping it and planing the tail that was previously clamped. Unfortunately this means I'm planing against the grain. – SaSSafraS1232 Aug 23 '17 at 19:04
  • I suppose I should just write this up as a new question... – SaSSafraS1232 Aug 23 '17 at 19:04
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That table looks like stamped sheetmetal with very little supporting structure underneath.

Take a look underneath the table, see if it's possible to fill the empty space with wood to reinforce the entire thing.

Make sure there is enough clearance for normal operation.

If that doesn't work for you, you can just scrap that table and replace it with a piece of plywood bolted to the same hinge construction. Make sure to keep the rest of the sheet for future projects.

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Get yourself a nice piece of hardwood and make a new table. You can include a mitre slot and maybe make it a bit larger too. Looks like a nice little saw for 80 bucks. I imagine it's useful.

You should be able to put together a fence for it that's at least as good as the existing one too. I see a lot of plans/tutorials for building table saw fences on the Internet, so I'd guess that those could be resized appropriately (Example: How to Make a Wooden Fence For Your Table Saw).

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A square block of wood against the fence makes a fair miter gauge for 90° cuts you can make a 45° for the 45's, I have to use this method on my 1930's vintage band saw.

Peter Millard's Bandsaw Makeover P1 video # 293 shows his upgrade of his cheap bandsaw, there is also a part 2.

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