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Thread: Felder, SCM/Minimax, or Laguna bandsaw?

  1. #1
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    Felder, SCM/Minimax, or Laguna bandsaw?

    I'm looking in the 16" to 20" range of bandsaws, mainly for resawing. I have a 20" Inca for fine curved work, but need resaw capacity for veneers.

    Thoughts?
    Semi-retired, Instructor at SFCC College of Fine Woodworking, Santa Fe, NM.

  2. #2
    I have a Felder FB510. It is a very nice saw. I put the Laguna ceramic guides on it (the Felder guides were not available yet when I bought the saw and Felder version is twice as expensive) and they are very nice. Personally, knowing what I know now, I'd look for a used bandsaw.

    BTW, I have a 10 inch Inca that is my workhorse for curves...

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Hopefully someone here has really dug into the specs recently. For me, I was going to be happy with any of those makes of saws in the 20 range, and so it was about finding the best deal. Ended up with a Laguna 20. Its the Italian made one that isnt even produced by laguna. It was a superb deal for me, and the saw is great to use. Ive resawn multiple boards in the 18-19.5 range, and its surprising how well it does it. The table could be bigger, but thats just how it is with a 20 machine. Overall, I am very happy with the saw.

    If I were buying new, Id need to look at the prices, but Id place the MM line a bit ahead of the laguna, and the Italian laguna ahead of the felder. The Felder bandsaws look incredible, but Ive never read someone rave about their performance and how affordable they were.

    If you have the ceiling height and capabilities, you might want to consider used. I have seen several Italian SCM/MM/Centauro 24 saws for inexpensive prices the last few years. 24 saw is a fair step up from the 20 machine in terms of weight, tensioning abilities etc. Still, I dont think you will be disappointed with a 5hp 20 machine with a carbide blade.

  4. #4
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    MM 20 will tension the highest. If you have the room, a used 24" x 17" with a vfd would be a cheaper option. Dave

  5. #5
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    If you want a 20" I'd go with the MM20, or whatever it's now called. If you want something closer to 16" I would get the 17" Grizzly G0636X. In fact, that's exactly what I bought three years ago after looking at all the specs.. Best bang for your buck and you give up nothing, other than resale value most likely. With a Woodmaster CT 1" x 1.3 tpi blade it will resaw and slice 12" wide veneer consistently and w/o effort.

    The Felder 510 is challenged to adequately tension a 1" blade. Look at reviews here, you'll find actual measured data on both the Felder and Grizzly.

    John

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    If you want a 20" I'd go with the MM20, or whatever it's now called. If you want something closer to 16" I would get the 17" Grizzly G0636X. In fact, that's exactly what I bought three years ago after looking at all the specs.. Best bang for your buck and you give up nothing, other than resale value most likely. With a Woodmaster CT 1" x 1.3 tpi blade it will resaw and slice 12" wide veneer consistently and w/o effort.

    The Felder 510 is challenged to adequately tension a 1" blade. Look at reviews here, you'll find actual measured data on both the Felder and Grizzly.

    John
    not true according to my Starrett tension meter. But high tension isn’t needed for a properly tuned bandsaw.

  7. #7
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    I'm a fan of the SCM/Minimax bandsaws and have been for a long time. But any of the three brands you mention provide good quality tools.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    The stated intention of the Op is resawing . This is an application where higher tension is desired/needed more that any other time. I own a Centauro CO 600,so my vote is for Minimax .

  9. #9
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    Mike, a few months ago another Creeker measured the tension on his brand new FB510. He could barely get to 25 K psi with a 1" blade on it; IIRC, the spring was just about fully compressed to do it. I wouldn't buy a saw for resawing if I couldn't put at least 25 K psi on it with the blade I wanted to use. Maybe Felder listened to what that member told them and changed the spring though I rather doubt it. For comparison, we both could put over 40K psi on a 1" blade on the Grizzly G0636X. Neither of us had any intention of doing that, but it was easy to do and proved that the saw can put 25K psi on a 1-1/4" blade, the widest the saw is rated for. That in itself was a pleasant surprise as most companies claim their saws can run a wider blade than they actually can.

    Believe what you want but if you want trouble free resawing and veneer slicing on wide stock tension is important. Of course the saw needs to be well tuned, too, that's a given. Low tension makes even a well tuned saw behave poorly.

    John

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    ... Low tension makes even a well tuned saw behave poorly.

    John
    Quoted for emphasis. A properly tensioned blade is far more valuable than all of the "expert" advise commonly referred to on youtube.
    I use a Trimaster blade at 30kpsi and routinely go directly from the saw to the vacuum bag with veneer.
    Last edited by John Lanciani; 08-13-2019 at 12:34 PM.

  11. #11
    Has anyone seen or made a video demonstrating the ping from a blade tensioned at 25 K psi?
    It would be extremely helpful if there was one out there, as I don't have that kind of money for measurement equipment.
    Although I have a photo of Matthias Wandel's rough guide caliper version, which I'm not so keen on doing to my nice calipers.

    I would have thought that 40 K psi would damage the blade, does the Grizzly G0636X have flat tires?
    Did it leave any marks on the blade?

    Thanks folks
    Tom

  12. #12
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    I appreciate all the input. I placed my order for the SCM S500P this morning. Now to call the electrician...

  13. #13
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    Great machine, congrats.

    Not to change your mind, but did you see this 2016 single phase machine?
    http://www.woodweb.com/exchanges/mac...ts/519194.html

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    Has anyone seen or made a video demonstrating the ping from a blade tensioned at 25 K psi?
    It would be extremely helpful if there was one out there, as I don't have that kind of money for measurement equipment.
    Although I have a photo of Matthias Wandel's rough guide caliper version, which I'm not so keen on doing to my nice calipers.

    I would have thought that 40 K psi would damage the blade, does the Grizzly G0636X have flat tires?
    Did it leave any marks on the blade?

    Thanks folks
    Tom
    I've shown this here before. You can make your own tension meter for the cost of a dial indicator, some scraps of wood, and a couple of nuts and bolts. I found this basic design on YouTube.






    You can make it any size, but taller gives greater accuracy. My saw has 16" of resaw so I made this one around 12" IIRC. So for my meter, 0.001" of movement on the dial gage is equal to 2500 psi of tension, using 30 x 10^6 psi for the Young's Modulus of steel. If I want 25 K psi on the blade I need the dial gage to move 0.010".

    John

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Kane View Post
    Great machine, congrats.

    Not to change your mind, but did you see this 2016 single phase machine?
    http://www.woodweb.com/exchanges/mac...ts/519194.html
    I did not, but the 20" is about as much room as I can spare for this saw. That's a great deal!

    Not wanting to engage in the tensioning discussion too much as everyone has an opinion, but interestingly Sam Blasco emailed me after I placed the order with a nice note and attached, among other things, a write-up he did on blades and tensioning. He tensions all his blades (of any size) to about 21,000 psi, plus or minus some wiggle room.
    Semi-retired, Instructor at SFCC College of Fine Woodworking, Santa Fe, NM.

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