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Thread: Upgraded to a large bandsaw, opinons needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Phoenix AZ Area
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    2,405

    Upgraded to a large bandsaw, opinons needed

    First, I've read a ton on blades here, I have some more specific questions.

    I've owned a Laguna LT16HD Classic for about three years. I bought the saw used and it came with a Laguna Resaw Master blade. I had the blade sharpened when I got the saw and it's been fine. I have not used any other resaw blade.

    The new saw is a Felder FB540 manufactured in 2005. It has 21" wheels and is made by ACS in Italy, same supplier Laguna uses for their largers saws. It's a larger brother to my LT16HD.

    My Laguna came with the ceramic guides which seem to work fine, not really better than the bearing guides on my old PM141 bandsaw. The new saw has euro style bearing guides. The bearings seem a little stiff, is this normal, or should they spin freely? If I need to replace the bearings which look like they are not standard off the shelf bearings, Would I be better off with the Laguna ceramic guides?

    Questions;
    1) Ignoring price, what is the best resaw blade? The tire on the wheels is 1.5" wide. For resaw, do I want a 1", or wider blade? The manual doesn't give a max width.
    2) I want some other blades for work that is thinner, like up to 1". I think I want a 1/4" blade, 3/8", and 1/2". What do you recommend for these blades?
    3) I've had several bandsaw blades over the years with welds that were so-so. Not flat on the back, not smooth, etc. The Resaw King weld is great, but that is just one sample. Who has the best consistency of welds? I don't want to be sending blades back for rewelding.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    20,718
    1) Ignoring price, what is the best resaw blade? The tire on the wheels is 1.5" wide. For resaw, do I want a 1", or wider blade? The manual doesn't give a max width.
    I'll let others speak to this. I resaw with a 3/4" Timberwolf 2-3 so you are in a different class of re-sawer than I.

    2) I want some other blades for work that is thinner, like up to 1". I think I want a 1/4" blade, 3/8", and 1/2". What do you recommend for these blades?
    On my previous saw I bought a suite of blade sizes and found that the 6 and 12 TPI 1/4" blades got used for almost everything other than resaw with the other small blades just left sitting. The new owner got some new blades ;-)

    3) I've had several bandsaw blades over the years with welds that were so-so. Not flat on the back, not smooth, etc. The Resaw King weld is great, but that is just one sample. Who has the best consistency of welds? I don't want to be sending blades back for rewelding.
    Again, I am in a different class of user so I have only used TW blades and have never had one go back for a bad weld but, I have heard of this problem with TW blades from others.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Forest Grove, OR
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    1,167
    The guide bearings, especially the rear thrust bearing, should be able to move as soon as the blade kisses the surface, but they shouldn't keep spinning long after the blade goes away from them. If they don't do that, they are too stiff. You don't want to wear a groove in the thrust bearing face. If they otherwise move smoothly then either warming them up a bit to get the grease to flow around or a light squirt of machine oil on the grease seal surface ought to get them moving freely. If not, replace them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    490
    The bearings on my MM24 are not super free spinning, but ok. I would guess yours are fine as well.

    I have been using a 1 1/4" carbide tipped blade and it has been nothing less than impressive. I highly recommend it.

    I am now to the point of needing to get it sharpened after no telling how many feet of lumber through it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    2,589
    Joe,
    I bought a Laguna 24" with the euro style bearing guides and didn't really care for them. I upgraded to the ceramic guides when they became available and could not be happier. They are easier to adjust and have been absolutely no problem. I would buy them again in a heart beat. I keep a Timberwolf 1/2" 3tpi on my machine 90 percent of the time and a 1-1/4" Timberwolf the rest of the time for when I'm resawing green wood

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Mosby's Confederacy
    Posts
    657
    For a resaw band, you might try a Lenox Trimaster. I put one on my baby Laguna, and couldn't be happier, and it's a lot less expensive than a Resaw King. Best price I've found on Lenox bands was from Spectrum Supply. I picked up some other Lenox bands (flex back carbon) in various configurations, and they seem to be fine products. Just haven't given any of them a good workout yet but they preform as expected. Time will tell.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Posts
    2,097
    I own a Laguna LT18 which came with the original Euro style roller blades. I upgraded to the ceramic guides and could'nt be happier. As for blades, I keep a 1" standard blade on the machine most of the time. For the bigger resaw jobs I will switch to the Resaw King 1" blade. As for smaller blades; if I am making curvy cuts in thicker material I will use a 6TPI 1/4" blade on the big Laguna. For small cuts in thinner material or just all around small cuts, I got a Rikon benchtop machine to handle them. Check with Laguna-the ceramic guides just might fit your Felder machine with no problem if you wish to go that route.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    2,405
    The bearings spin, just not like ball bearings. I was assuming that they were ball bearings, but it seems like they are sleeve bearings.

    I plan to try them first and see. The Laguna ceramic drops right on as they buy their saws from the same Italian manufacturer ACS.

    Here are some pics showing the new saw next to the Laguna LT16HD Classic.

    I was told by another member that the Felder FB540 while made by ACS, is from their heavier industrial line. A heavier seriese than what Laguna sources. The Felder rep said the saws with the "triangle back" saws. Nice surprise.






  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,377
    Joe,

    They are amazingly similar to my MM-16. I mean AMAZINGLY similar!
    Ken

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