Was paging through a woodworking catalog the other night and I noticed
round ceramic replacement bearings for bearing-based guides.
Wonder if these would have alleviated your issues with pitch build-up
on your guides or if the fixed guides provide more of a scraping
action which is really what you needed?
I am sure that the ceramic guides would have eliminated that particular
problem I was having. IMHO the problem with the roller bearings "on any
band saw" is that any green wood dust that sticks to the blade also sticks
to the roller bearings. Because the roller bearings should only be close to
the blade and not actually touch except when forward or side pressure is
exerted on the blade they should normally not be spinning continuously.
Once the build-up starts however, the bearings spin more and the build-up
between the blade and spinning bearing creates vibration and a pounding
Having said that, IIRC Larry has reported that products like TopCote help to
prevent this problem when applied to the blade and bearings.
With that in mind, it is still a good practice to have sufficient clearance
between the blade and the bearings so that the bearings are not constantly
spinning. Because many blades are not perfect and the blade can have some
slight waver as it passes through the bearings the bearings tend to spin
more often than not. With ceramic guides and because they are resistant to
heat and heat transfer they can be placed very close and per Laguna actually
touch the blade with no deterioration in performance. Because of this
feature I find that setting up the guides to a different blade to be pretty
quick and I typically use a piece of paper as a spacer guide on "1" side of
the ceramic guide assembly.
As a benefit and as you mentioned, the scraping does indeed keep my blades
shiny clean and quiet.
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