I have an old Delta bandsaw. I had put carbon guides in a while ago
and have noticed that they are badly worn. Considering how little I
use the machine, I guess they don't last very long.
I saw that a place sells ceramic replacements.
None that I have been able to detect. Laguna claims that you can even have
the guides actually touch the blades on both sides for more control. With
the Laguna guides you have 4 ceramic guides on each side of the blade top
and bottom for a total of 8. The back upper and lower ceramic guides are
larger and bring the total up to 10 pieces of ceramic guiding the blade.
The back guides actually tend to smooth/round the back edge of the blade.
They do help keep the blades clean of build up and rust free. Strangely,
when a new blade is mounted you do get some "normal" sparking.
I bought a set of "cool blocks" for about $15 when I got my 14" Ridgid about 5
years ago, thinking that I'd go through a set every 6 months or so..
Still using them, though I've rotated and flipped them several times..
Please remove splinters before emailing
You asking me? Who has stood in close proximity to a drummer onstage for a
good part of his life, not to mention being in the Artillery, in earnest!
Actually, I have excellent hearing (... that is until just recently,
according to SWMBO) and I have not noticed a big difference in the sound
level between cool blocks and ceramic blocks. AAMOF, my Delta 14" still has
"the sound" with either ... that unique sound of a Delta bandsaw that one
can identify in the dark, blindfolded.
My LT16SEC came with the euro guides - beariings on either side of the
blade and a thrust bearing behind. They were easy to set up and great
for wide blades - but kind of a hassle for 1/2" blades, which I use more
often. Got the LT ceramic guides at their "introductory prices" from
Torben at a WWing show. He's a Bandsaw Phreak and is always working on
ways to make bandsawing better (Resaw King blades which are reputed to
be pretty amazing, the 10 points ceramic guides).
The LT ceramic guides work really well on 1/2" and 3/4" blades (and
probably just as well on 1/4" blades). BUT - they are a royal PITA to
set up - at least on an LT 16SEC, especially the ones UNDER the table.
The side guides mounting set up allows them to swivel - and that means
it's tricky to get them parallel to the blade without touching it. When
you go to tighten their set screws they rock out of alignment easily.
AND tightening and loosening those little set screws on the thrust
block - with an allen wrench ain't fun either, especially under the
table - lots of fishing around to find the set screw and then working in
a tight space. Why they didn't go with small knobs is a mystery to me.
All that said - having four guides, two on each side of the blade, both
top and bottom does reduce blade twist.
Though they say sparking is normal with ceramic guides I still worry
about sparks and saw dust being sucked into the dust collection system.
Seems like a recipe for a problem. So far though, no BOOOOOOOOOOM!
I have the LT16HD and between the time I ordered it in early 06 IIRC and the
time I received it the guides indeed have been equipped with thumb screws.
The whole guide must still be adjusted with a hex wrench to insure proper
location of the side guides in relationship of the front of the blade.
You might want to look into getting the 6 thumb screws to replace all of the
veramic guide adjustment screws. I simply "lightly" press the ceramic guide
up against the blade and tighten.
I'd probably be more concerned if the sparks lasted but I have not observed
any sparks lasting much more than a flash. If there were big chunks of
metal being heated up there might be more of a problem.
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