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Thread: Ceramic bandsaw guides for green wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northeast Georgia

    Ceramic bandsaw guides for green wood?

    I didnít post in the main section because Iím primarily interested in green wood issues. I have the usual bearing style guides on my Jet 14 bandsaw, and in general they work great for me. I set up my saw using the ĎAlex Snodgrassí method and Iíve always had great success- except with green woods. I get a ton of build up on the blade and bearings immediately when cutting any green wood blanks. Iíve considered just not using the guides at all- Iím usually roughing out bowl blanks or other blanks that will either go straight to the lathe or drying rack, so I donít need Uber precise cuts.

    but I came across space age ceramics who make aftermarket ceramic guides. the concept makes sense to me, instead of a rolling bearing that just compresses all the trash against the blade the square ceramic edges help scrape the blade clean. Thatís one of the reasons folks seem to like the Laguna style guides.

    Itíd be $70 to upgrade my saw. I think Iíll try it but wanted to see if anyone here had experience with them.
    Where did I put that?

  2. #2
    I only use the ceramic guides. I had the same problem with buildup when sawing green wood so I switched to ceramic guides, they work great.

  3. #3
    My Laguna saw has them and I think they are an improvement BUT I still have to clean my blades if I'm cutting sticky green wood, just not quite as often as I did with rollers.

    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  4. #4
    Some woods will mess up the blades no matter what you do. I also have a Laguna and love the ceramic guides. I have tried spraying Glide Coat (used to be called Top Coat) which is great for getting things to slide like on the tablesaw and bandsaw tops and it really reduces friction and keeps it from rusting, but it doesn't seem to keep sticky madrone from coating up my small saw blade (1/2 inch 3tpi).

    robo hippy

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I use a spray can of PAM (kitchen non stick spray) to lub the blade and guides, works great.

  7. #7
    The reason the Lagunas work so well for green wood is that they are square and wide but have a small contact area. They are designed to be in light contact with the blade across the entire band (other than the teeth, obviously). They basically scrape the gunk off and prevent it from getting fused to the band by the wheels.

    It may be that not all ceramic designs do this. I know Space Age Ceramics sells replacements for "euro" style guides that are round and have a very large contact area with the blade. Are they designed to actually touch the blade the whole time? I'm skeptical about that, but maybe they are and they work fine. I don't know.

    Last edited by Bob Bouis; 06-13-2018 at 12:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northeast Georgia
    The kit Iím looking at replaces the bearings with square blocks.

  9. #9
    I replaced bearing type guides with square ceramic blocks on my band saw when I restored the old saw. I mostly cut green wood with it and love the ceramic blocks. It is true that some woods still cause build-up on the blades but does not affect the function of the ceramic guides. It is still a good idea to clean the blade occasionally but I would never go back to bearing style guides on my shop bandsaw.
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    The ceramic block guides will result in a significant reduction in buildup on the blade, just know it isn't 100%.
    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.

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