Bandsaw: What do you recommend?

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wrote:

Hey Joe, IIRC you were commenting about the thin veneer that you easily cut, 3/32". When I first got my Laguna and put one of the "throw in, included with the deal", blades on, I was cutting 1/256" veneer. Pretty much worthless but it was consistent in thickness through out the whole piece. If you paid $140 for your Resaw King you got a dandy deal. Typically the Resaw King sells for $1.60 per inch. My 16 inch HD saw uses a 150" blade and the blade cost me $225.00 about 2 years ago.
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wrote: | >> Leon wrote:
| > Joe.... | | Hey Joe, IIRC you were commenting about the thin veneer that you easily cut, | 3/32". When I first got my Laguna and put one of the "throw in, included | with the deal", blades on, I was cutting 1/256" veneer. Pretty much | worthless but it was consistent in thickness through out the whole piece. | If you paid $140 for your Resaw King you got a dandy deal. Typically the | Resaw King sells for $1.60 per inch. My 16 inch HD saw uses a 150" blade | and the blade cost me $225.00 about 2 years ago.
I mentioned 3/32" slices... they are useable slices. I've cut them much thinner than that but they were useless... by the time they were glued up and smoothed I'd inevitably blow holes in them so I stopped trying. ;~)
John
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Yeah the thin stuff was simply to see how thin I could go.
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Leon,
You forced me to go back and look at my invoice, which took some time to find. But you are correct. I paid $237 for the Resaw King. My bad (or wishful thinking, or old age). The other blades cost $23.70 each.
As I said, I use the cheap blades most of the time. I don't think I ever tried to resaw something as fine as you described, but I am not surprised that you can, even with the cheap blades. The Resaw King is very stiff (1 1/4" wide) and last far longer than the cheap blades.
I use my band saw for ripping and resawing rough lumber, almost any size, and I often use it for finish cuts passing the edge over the jointer once. I can't say enough good things about the Laguna, though I can't speak for the 14" models. On the other hand I can vouch for Laguna's technical support. It is very good.
Joe.....
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IIRC I paid about the same and had the mobile base and saw discounted. the 3 extra cheaper blades were free.

So far I have only used the cheaper blades, I gotta try out the Resaw King.

I am been pleased with the support also. Too bad the support was not on hand to help bolt up the motor. ;~)
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On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:58:39 -0800, maico wrote:

I have no experience with Laguna, but I remember an article in, IIRC, Popular Woodworking last year where they reviewed steel frame 14" bandsaws. Their complaint about the Laguna was, again IIRC. that it required the use of wrenches to change a blade - I think they said you had to actually remove the guides.
I don't know if it the same on the model you're looking at, but if you think you'll be changing blades frequently make sure yours doesn't require that.
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Good point Larry, I too looked at the smaller Laguna band saws, both they and the HD series have the ceramic guides and those ceramic guides were what peeked my interest in the Laguna over the MiniMax and less expensive saws. The 14" saw is built in a different factory and in a different country. I have 1.5 thumbs ;~) and for me I could see how the smaller saw would be more difficult when changing blades. IIRC the lower guides were partially blocked from view by the front half of the trunion. Additionally the guides on the smaller saws were smaller IIRC. Having said that, the HD series of Laguna saws have a clear plastic guard over the upper guide assembly. Those guides IMHO served no purpose other than getting the way and obstructing the view specially when the guides are lowered close to the table. I removed those guards immediately and have not replaced them. Also, earlier models required the use of hex wrenches to adjust the guides. My HD saw had the newer design with thumb screws for adjusting the ceramic guides. A hex wrench is required however for adjusting the height of the lower guides. Typically I take 10-15 or so minutes to change out blades and adjust the guides. That said, the smaller Laguna saws may still require more steps to change a blade.
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Well, I went to the last big woodshow (Canadian Homeworkshop Show) in Toronto this year thinking I was going to buy THE bandsaw but instead I walked out without one. I was aiming for the Laguna 14SE as it is close to my price range but there weren't any real deals to be had on it. The salesmen offered the mobility kit and a few standard blades but the price didn't change.
I have since looked into the Mini Max E16 bandsaw but have now found that they don't ship to Canada. The dealers they point to in Canada all buy from Mini Max Italy and the prices start at $3295 (CAN)!!! Support/service/parts would also be a potential issue. Therefore, Mini Max is not a contender for me.
I still want the Laguna but I was also very seriously looking at the Powermatic PWBS-14CS 14" BS and it has a rebate and 6" riser block included. I think it received a decent review recently in Fine Woodworking. I have not yet pursued it as I was wondering if anyone has any experience with it and/or Powermatic? Your thoughts would be great.
I have also looked at the General BS lineup and really, I am not impressed. Their 'lower end' BS's start at $700 plus riser block and the wheels are cast aluminum. If you want cast iron wheels, their 15" BS is $2000 plus. I just think that their BS offerings (pardon the pun) are dismal at best and rather outdated when you look at what everyone else has to offer.
I still think the Laguna 14SE is the right saw for me but the Powermatic is the strong runner up unless someone has something to say about that. Please, any feedback would be fantastic!
Thanks for all your input thus far.
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On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 08:27:13 -0800, maico wrote:

I bought the two speed Rikon 14" steel frame with the 13" resaw capacity. No way is it the quality of the Laguna or the Powermatic, but IMNSHO it was the best for the money. So far I've used it primarily to cut up green logs for turning blocks and 12" diameter walnut goes through on a sled with no problems.
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Well, I did it: bought the 14SE Extended. I also got a deal on the mobile base and a 1" Resaw King blade. Wow, that was the single largest purchase I have made for the woodshop and it was hefty!! I won't see it until after April but I will let you know then how it turns out.
Thanks again for all the advice and feedback, in particular, for taking me WAY out of my price range! : ) But hey, I should only have to cry once, right?!
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Well, I did it: bought the 14SE Extended. I also got a deal on the mobile base and a 1" Resaw King blade. Wow, that was the single largest purchase I have made for the woodshop and it was hefty!! I won't see it until after April but I will let you know then how it turns out.
Thanks again for all the advice and feedback, in particular, for taking me WAY out of my price range! : ) But hey, I should only have to cry once, right?!
You know Maico, you just bought yourself the "cabinet saw" of band saws. When I went 2.5 times past the 18" Rikon cost to get the 16HD Laguna I thought to myself, ahhhh no more compromises. You are going to love the 10 point ceramic guides. BTY don't be alarmed when you see a few sparks fly from them, this is normal and typically dissipate as the blade breaks in and smoothes up a bit. And yes, cry once, this is a piece that will pass down to your kids or relatives one day.
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I truly believe you Leon! It was still very hard to swallow the price being a hobby woodworker but I don't regret it (yet, ha ha). My father will have a S**T when he sees it and figures out how much I paid for it. I think his whole shop is worth less than this tool! My wife was pretty good about it; she sees this as a hobby that the family benefits from when I make things. Hopefully one of my three daughters will take up woodworking and learn to enjoy my tools. Thanks for the advice; I will keep it in mind when I start it up.
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maico wrote:

Show your father what the guys around here are paying for Festool hand tools. I don't know anything about your saw, but you can't have too much quality in a band saw.

Even if they don't, the resale value of a good tool is much better than junk.
--
Jack
http://jbstein.com
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maico wrote:

Have you checked out the Steel City lineup? Their 18" is roughly in the price range of the 14SE or the Powermatic 14". It's almost the same price as the GI 240, but has better table support and a brake.
I bought the SC 18", but have cut off the left half of the blade guard so that I can change large blades without taking it off.
Chris
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