Bandsaw recomendation (once more around the block)

I think I'm getting close to buying a 14" bandsaw (perhaps after it cools down and I can get into the "shop" again). Searching the web for reviews and comparisons, as usual, leaves more questions than answers. I say 14", primarily because of the weight of larger saws. It has to go in an attic over a garage and though the floor is pretty sturdy (2x8s crossways on 2x12s) and has no bounce, much over 300 pounds worries me.
I've been considering a Rikon 10-325 for some time but some of the reviews aren't very complimentary (blade change and adjustment). The Jet 14DXPRO and Grizzly G0457 also have some detractors and some pretty serious problem reports. The Laguna LT14 3000 is within range, too, but being the low-end it's missing a lot, it seems. I've also looked at the LT14x14SUV and LT14SE, out of interest (and still a possibility). The SUV looks like a really sweet saw and in fact better (and heavier) than the SE, which is a few hundred more. Discussion?
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On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 17:54:01 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I've got one and have to agree that blade changes are a PITA. But I don't change blades very often. Most of the time I leave a 1/2" blade on it. I change to a 1/4" blade maybe 3 or 4 times a year when I need to saw a tighter curve than the 1/2" will handle.
Other than the blade changes, I think it's a great value for the money. If you foresee changing blades weekly get something else. If not, I think you'll be happy with the Rikon.
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On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 17:54:01 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Wuss, we haven't turned the AC on yet :).
Searching the web for

Not a direct answer for a 14" saw.
I purchased a grizzly 17" polar bear series back in the fall and have been more than pleased with it.
I don't recall what it weighs but not anywhere near 300 lbs. All my bandsaw experience was on 36" industrial size machines and I didn't have my hopes set too high with the Grizzly machine, it really has exceeded my expectations.
basilisk
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It's been in the 90s every day since Memorial day. The attic gets *hot*. ;-)

Interesting! I wasn't looking (much) at the 17" models. It's 266lbs (340lbs shipping! - that's a lot of cardboard! ;). How easy is it to change the blade?
I notice that most saw tables are around 35" high (the G0513P is 37"). The Laguna LT14SE is the outlier at 44" (with the SEL back at 35"). Is there a reason for this difference? Resaw vs. curvies? I would think higher is better but perhaps not when resawing a 12" board.
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On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 20:36:01 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Takes about 10 minutes, that includes resetting the guides. nothing particularly tedious in setup.

personal preference and height I guess, I tend to like machines a little higher than my height would seem to indicate. decarpented the shipping crate down to the pallet and left the saw on the pallet, gaining 4 inches or so.
Resaw vs. curvies? I would think

basilisk
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Consider putting a 3/4" ply as a pad for it - to spread the load. Consider putting steel sheet under small feet - so the foot won't dig into the wood. Large washers are good.
Martin
On 7/4/2011 5:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

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On 7/4/2011 5:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Is this a first time BS or an upgrade?
I had a Rikon 18"er for an upgrade saw for about 2 weeks and returned it. It was slightly better than my plastic covered Craftsman.
I had to go with a Laguna and considered the MiniMax to upgrade.
I simply hated roller bearing guides, especially noisy and they introduce a lot of vibration when cutting wood that may be sticky.
Laguna has the guide situation solved.
What do you think you would be missing with that model?
I think you should consider easy blade changes a must. I have often heard with jig saws and band saws that blade changes are not important because they don't change blades often. So either they don't saw much or they deal with a dull blade. If you want the saw to perform as an upgrade you want to be able to easily change the blade when it is dull or is the wrong blade for the application.. Blade tension release IMHO is not important. Most tension releases do not fully release the tension, they simply lessen the tension. What's the point? The blade tension adjustment will accomplish the same thing. Blade brake are cool bet not necessary. My Laguna HD 16 had a break, I seldom use it.
I would focus more on guides that don't introduce noise and vibration, cast iron blade wheels, ease of changing blades.
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@swbelldotnet says...

Increased blade life.

But takes longer. Tension doesn't get released on saws without one unless the operator has a supervisor who makes him do it or is unusually attentive to such matters.

Safety feature. Probably government-mandated in the EU.

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On 7/5/2011 9:05 AM, J. Clarke wrote:

What is the point of a blade tension release if it does not truely release all the tension?

Noe enough longer to make it a deal breaker if the saw comes with out one.

My Laguna does not have one, not a safety feature, it is a fad thing IMHO.
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On 7/5/2011 11:55 AM, Leon wrote:

OOPs my Laguna does have a blade break, not a tension release. Not all BS, even today, have blade breaks.
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On Tue, 05 Jul 2011 08:07:02 -0500, Leon wrote:

But changing a dull blade for a new equivalent does not require resetting the guides. It can be done in a minute or less. It's only when the blade size changes that the change can become a PITA.
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First (and only)

MiniMax is out. I could stretch to any of the Laguna 14s if I thought it was the best choice ($$ included in the calculus).

Good information.

It's really hard to decode their site, but
Rack and Pinion Upper Guide: No <-- seems useful Foot brake: No <-- seems useful but others say no Rack & Pinion Table Tilt: No <-- seems quite useful but it *looks* like the SE and SEL models don't look like they have it either, though are more expensive than the SUV model

I agree, I think. I expect to do quite a bit of curvy stuff, as well as resawing.

I would think a tension release would be very helpful.

Good information. Thanks!
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On 7/5/2011 7:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

When I bought, the MiniMax MM16 IIRC was about the same prioce as the Laguna 16 HD. BUT I had an appointment to see the saw 150 miles away and they even conformed the day before. They had no saw to show when I got there the next day. The appointment was made a couple of weeks in advance.

I have rack and pinion and it is helpful to raise and lower the guide, I guess. You still have to apply the clamp to hold the shaft steady. I am not so sure that it is necessary unless the guides and shaft are too heavy to lift. Foot break is useful if you plan to walk away from the saw after turning it off and there are others present that might get into trouble as the saw spins down, it can take 10~15 seconds to do so. It certainly is not a requirement as a function of the saw to get good cuts. I use mine occasionally but mostly let it spin down naturally. Rack and pinion table tilt again is useful if the table is heavy. The table on my Laguna is quite heavy and that set up is handy to gracefully tilt the table.

Check out the Laguna video concerning their ceramic guides, pretty interesting and educational.

Actually it is useful "IF" the tension release will leave the blade slack. The 18" Rikon tension release simply lessened the tension, to take tension off the tires and blade you still had to unscrew the tension wheel. My Laguna does not have a tension release however the tension wheel is much more smooth to operate than mot other band saws that I have used. The tension wheel is large enough that it gives you quite a bit of leverage.

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On 7/5/2011 11:21 PM, Leon wrote:
FWIW the LT14 3000 has pictures. The upper back picture showing the tension release also shows teeth on the back of the upper guide shaft. It appears to have rack and pinion.
This is pretty interesting,
http://bcove.me/l8o9shs2
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On 7/4/2011 6:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

If the floor is on 2x12's, 16" on center, and the walls supporting it are block or on 16" centers, I wouldn't worry too much about the weight. Buy the absolute best saw you can afford. My BS is the most used tool in my shop, and you want one that works well, and easily.
If I were buying one, I'd probably go with the one Leon has, he seems really happy with it. On the other hand, he has expensive taste.
A band saw has lots of adjustments that must be right before it works well, and a cheap saw has cheap adjustments that will not be easy to make, and probably won't stay right for long if ever. For that reason, my advice is open your wallet, bite the bullet, feel the pain... once.
Oh yeah, the bigger the better if you plan on re-sawing.
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I cut it twice and it's still too short...
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As I said, the floor is 2x8s crossways on top of 2x12s (16" OC - well, the house was built with Mexican labor). The center beam is a laminated beam, something like 15" x 3 1/3". It spans the garage 20', though. I *think* it'll take anything I can throw at it, but I don't *know*. I'm not too worried up to 300lbs, particularly since the 2x8s will spread any weight over more than one joist (there is no movement with me jumping around). The other issue is the 2x12s are sitting on a 2x6(?) sideways (fastened somehow to the bottom of the 15" center beam), then toe nailed into the center beam. I have no idea how strong the whole thing really is.
Getting more than that up there is going to be interesting, too. The Unisaw will be fun. I have a hoist but didn't have enough to buy the sky hook. ;-)

Yes, I understand completely. Like my other tools, I want to do this once so don't mind overkilling it a bit. This is why I'm even looking at Laguna. It's likely above what I need but I'd rather do that than be unhappy for years. I'm a big believer in "It only hurts once".

Yep. I've learned, reading here, that there is a bigger difference between saws than I had imagined. Again, I wouldn't be looking at the Laguna otherwise.

I don't think I'm going to become a lumberjack. I'd look horrible in a brar. ;-)
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