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Thread: Laguna Bandsaw decision - help please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Laguna Bandsaw decision - help please

    I have the opportunity to replace a 2 year old Grizzly 514X2 with an 8 year old lightly used Laguna LT18. I will gain 5+" in resaw capacity, 1 more HP (4 HP vs 3 HP), ceramic guides, and Italian lineage. I will give up quick detensioning and will have to replace a slug of blades, including a new 143" 3/4" Resaw King that has never touched wood and some other new blades of lesser quality.

    The Grizzly's capabilities are beyond my skills and has served me very well. The resaw capacity would be useful in preparing blanks for my wife's 4224 Powermatic.

    Should I pull the trigger?

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Regarding the RK blade, you can send it back to Laguna and have them add the needed length.

    I wouldn't worry much about giving up the quick tension device, agreed they can be nice but pretty much unheard of on bigger heavier bandsaws.

    The Laguna is a better saw and has larger capacities, only you can decide if the trading is worth what extra money it will cost you in the end. I would almost certainly make the move myself, actually I would just keep them both...
    Last edited by Van Huskey; 03-24-2012 at 8:02 PM.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  3. #3
    I have the Laguna, and it's a great machine (other than the idiotic adjustment for the lower guide, which makes blade changing a chore). My electronics went bad after a year so I put a normal switch in. In Laguna's defense, they sent me a replacement switch, but the wiring was beyond my ability. The saw is very rigid and the Baldor motor is a workhorse. I regularly resaw very hard wood up to 15" thick, for which I use an auxiliary fence I built. Two band saws is a great way to go if you can. Leave a wide resaw blade on the big one, and a narrow blade for curved work on the small one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I would go for the Laguna.

    You say the Grizzly is beyond your skills. Don't worry, your skills will improve.

    It's only money.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Central Michigan
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    Tom, kind funny but I had the same Grizzly and now have the LT 18. Were the Grizzly is a good saw in that price range and I was very happy with it. The LT 18 is totally a lot higher caliber of saw.(3 times the price) In my mind it would be a no brainer. Go for the LT18.
    Richard Poitras
    Central, Michigan....
    01-02-2006


  6. #6

    Laguna BS vs Griz BS

    Not a contest. Go for the Laguna.
    I, too, had an 18" Grix BS. Could not keep it fine tune or adjustment. Gave it to BIL. Purchased the Laguna. Trouble free, once I had completed the set-up and fine adjustment.
    I would not even consider keeping the Griz, were I needing to make this decision.
    Ira

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ira Matheny View Post
    Not a contest. Go for the Laguna.
    I, too, had an 18" Grix BS. Could not keep it fine tune or adjustment. Gave it to BIL. Purchased the Laguna. Trouble free, once I had completed the set-up and fine adjustment.
    I would not even consider keeping the Griz, were I needing to make this decision.
    Ira
    In deference to the Grizzly the quality of the 17" and 19" bandsaws in their current lineup is significantly better than the older 18" saws, especially the cast 18" saws.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Valdosta, GA
    Posts
    56
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. It didn't take much to move me in the direction of buying the Laguna. I struck a deal, jumped in the truck this morning anddrove to hours to fetch the saw.

    I go there and the saw was in great shape but it was an LT18/18 which has a 12" resaw capacity, not 17 1/2". The seller was not a woodworker, he had inherited it from his brother. He called Laguna and they told him (erronelusly) what the specs were. I should have spotted this from the picture of the machine spec's lable that wshowed a max blade length of 151".

    So, I decided to pass. The saw was better than my Griz, but not significantly enough to get me to change - relly wanted the increased resaw capacity.. I suggested the seller post it here, so maybe someone will get a good deal and a great looking saw.

    Thanks for the help.

    Tom

  9. #9
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    I tend to agree with you, the main thing is it leaves you open to keep your eye out for a more resent resaw oriented bandsaw.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,268
    I second Van. I had an older LT 18 and while a great small saw it was not a first class resaw machine. It could handle a 1/2 Lenox but not the 3/4". Dave

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davis View Post
    I have the opportunity to replace a 2 year old Grizzly 514X2 with an 8 year old lightly used Laguna LT18. I will gain 5+" in resaw capacity, 1 more HP (4 HP vs 3 HP), ceramic guides, and Italian lineage. I will give up quick detensioning and will have to replace a slug of blades, including a new 143" 3/4" Resaw King that has never touched wood and some other new blades of lesser quality.

    The Grizzly's capabilities are beyond my skills and has served me very well. The resaw capacity would be useful in preparing blanks for my wife's 4224 Powermatic.

    Should I pull the trigger?

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tom
    I have the 10yr old version of the saw you are considering. Some comments:
    - The extra motor power doesn't matter; My saw originally had a 3HP and it was upgraded to a 5HP Baldor... there was not much difference. If I was running a power feeder in a commercial setting then the HP might be an issue.
    - I also upgraded the guide system to the ceramic guides. They are a major improvement over the older bearing guides. If you want to use very small blades then you'll need to rig a cool blocks solution (I just use dense wood plugs). IMO, there is no need to spring for the Laguna narrow blade guide kit.
    - If the guide system is the 8yr old ceramic version then you'll need 3 tools to adjust the guides. They fixed this in later versions. I keep a small can attached to my saw (via magnets) to hold these tools.
    - The brake takes a few seconds to stop the wheels and blade (compared with the high end MM saws where they almost stop instantly). For me, it's "fast enough".
    - The fence is good but not exceptional like the new Driftmaster. This is an issue if you are constantly changing blades and doing a lot of resawing. It just takes a little more time to dial in the drift with the old fence.
    - The mobility kit (come-along bar) works well.

    Overall I've been very pleased with the saw. It will resaw @ it's full height with minimal problems.

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