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Thread: Grizzly Bandsaw Guide Upgrade

  1. #1
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    Grizzly Bandsaw Guide Upgrade

    I have a Grizzly G0555 bandsaw with an upgraded motor and riser kit. It performs quite well but I sometimes get annoyed by the frequency the blade guides require cleaning and replacing. The ball bearings clog and fail, and the arrangement easily gets out of alignment. Has anyone upgraded these and, if so, what are your recommendations?

    Hope everyone is well in these stressful times.
    Last edited by Russell Neyman; 07-29-2020 at 2:30 PM.
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    Past President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  2. #2
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    Are you cutting a lot of green wood? If so, I'm not sure it's a design flaw with the saw. Though I don't own a GO555. With green wood you have to clean often. Does the saw have brushes? If not, can you add some? The blade type will matter too. Deep gullet blades leave larger shavings which are less likely to coagulate like fine power will when their is a lot of moisture. I don't cut that much green wood. But when I do, I haven't noticed an issue with the guides. I can prep 10-15 logs at a time with no problem. The inside of my saw will be full of chips but no issues with the bearings. My blade is aggressive, 3/4" with ~5/16" gullets. It cuts green wood like butter. Can you get sealed bearings? I doubt they'd fail quickly as the saw dust cannot get in them easily. Of course you could go to cool blocks or a carter guide. But if you have a lot of pitch, you'll just have to keep it clean. An air compressor and vacuum are your friends. Make sure your dust collection is working good.
    Last edited by tom lucas; 07-29-2020 at 9:16 PM.

  3. #3
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    I have a G0555LX that I bought last fall. I cut dry and wet wood. When setting it up and adjusting the guides, I noticed how cheap and sloppy the original guide bearings were so I ordered better quality bearings online, not from Grizzly. They are a common size and decent quality bearings are available pretty cheaply. Good thing I ordered them as the original guide bearings failed within days.

    Wet wood and ball bearing guides do not go together. The guides pack wet goo from the wood onto the blade and gunk up the wheels as well. I changed mine out for solid guides. Solid guides work just fine for dry wood also. I still have the ball bearing on the back edge of the blade but solid guides on the sides.

    Grizzly sells solid guide holders for the G0555 saws. Part number for the guide holders was P0580085 and they cost less than $10 for the pair. You also need 4 thumb screws to secure the guides, part number PTS003M for a buck a piece. The product listing said that they might require some modification for the 555LX but they did not. They bolted right on and adjusting them took only minutes.
    Guide size for those holders is 1/2 x 1/2 x 3/4.
    They also sell nylon guide blocks but they are crap. I tried them and they melted quickly when the blades ran against them. Now I am using cool blocks that I ordered off Amazon and they are holding up great. I understand there are ceramic guides that work well also. I may try them next time I need new guides but it's going to be a while as the cool blocks seem to last a long time.

  4. #4
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    Bumping this thread, hoping someone has some advice. I'm still not happy with the arrangement of guides on my Grizzly bandsaw.
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    Past President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  5. #5
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    Russell -- I do not have the Grizzly G0555. However, the Grizzly is basically a clone of an old Delta design, so my vintage Delta and your saw are fairly similar. I upgraded my saw's blade guides using Carter Product's guide upgrade kit. (I just checked on their website and it appears your saw and mine use the same model number upgrade kit.) I like the upgrade. It doesn't prevent sap and sawdust from gunking up the blade guides, but the guides are far superior to what came on my saw.

    The guides are available from a number of retailers or directly from Carter.

    HTH
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  6. #6
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    I'm not going to be much help here, just a repeat of what has already been said. I have a Grizzly GO555 with riser block and about 5 or 6 years ago I installed cool blocks. I also installed a brush on the lower wheel. This has served me well, but when the cool blocks need replacing I'll probably look into the Carter upgrade.

  7. #7
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    Especially for a turner cutting green wood, I too would consider solid guides over bearings. I have a Rikon band saw so I imagine the blade guides are different but I cut some pieces of Corian for the side guides. The back bearing is still there, it doesn't seem as prone to gunking up. A second advantage of blocks over bearings is with narrower blades. I found it difficult to set the side bearings to ride on the solid part of a 1/4" blade without touching the teeth. I understand that having bearing guides running on the base of the teeth can affect the set of the teeth and cause tracking problems.

  8. I also have the G0555LX. I’ve cut lots and lots of green wood with it. I have owned my saw for 5 years, and it still has the original bearings in the guides, both upper and lower. It will get covered in sawdust, but I usually clean the blades every so often.

    Note: this could be dangerous if someone does not have good motor coordination in their hands and good eyesight! Also, I ALWAYS KEEP TO THE REAR OF THE GULLETS AND BEHIND THE TEETH!!!!

    Also, wearing thick gloves, and using a green scotchbrite abrasive pad, with some cleaner sprayed on it, AND WITH THE SAW UNPLUGGED, I occasionally will pinch the scotchbrite pad from the rear of the blade, and rotate the upper wheel by hand. One has to stand to the side of the saw in order to reach both the blade and the wheel. One must use good judgment here, and the rotation is slow and methodical, and the THICK GLOVES ARE A MUST. ONE COULD USE A CLOTHESPIN TO KEEP THEIR HANDS AWAY FROM THE BLADE. That would be safer yet. The gloves I use are thick, insulated, very heavy weight work gloves, and I mean thick!

    I use the Woodturners Blades from Highland Hardware or Lennox Diemaster 2 blades, 3 tpi.

    Disclaimer: I do not advocate anyone trying this proceedure, just saying what I have done. Should one do any of this, it should be known in advance, that it may carry some risk. Not everyone has fine motor skills/control of their movements, and not everyone’s eyesight is the same, SO PERSONAL EVALUATION. OF ONE’S SKILLS/ABILITIES IS IMPERATIVE, AND EVALUATION OF THE RISKS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN ADVANCE OF ANY ATTEMPTS USING THE ABOVE METHODS IN LIGHT OF THESE RISKS.
    Last edited by Roger Chandler; 04-03-2021 at 11:46 AM.
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  9. #9
    Well, not much help from me. I do have an old PM 14 inch bandsaw, and have never needed to replace any bearings after 25+ years. My big saw is a Laguna with the ceramic blade guides. I do like them, but think their adjustment set up could be a lot better. I should replace my thrust bearings as they have a pattern of grooves from lots of use. I run only Lennox bimetal Diemaster blades. I don't think anything keeps madrone gunk from sticking to the blades. I will use a piece of wood, and even a flat screw driver against the blade back side, not the teeth, to clean the gunk off, and I do this while the saw is running. Probably not a good idea for everyone to try. I have also spun the wheels by hand and done this also. I did have the small saw stall out once because the madrone gunk had stuck things in place. I have also had to take 80 grit to the wheels to get the gunk off. Saw off of course for this one cause I had to take the blade off...

    robo hippy

  10. #10
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    I'm about to take the plunge and purchase the Carter Products guide upgrade -- for $180!!
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    Past President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  11. #11
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    Be sure to let us know what you think of the upgrade!
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  12. #12
    Been dying to tell anyone about my recent purchase from Carter. Used their conversion on a Jet 17" that originally came with the metal discs. Was seriously considering buying a new machine, but dropped the couple hundred and what a difference! Was able to re-saw reasonably well with this machine for at least a decade, but never really happy with those goofy discs, which over the years developed grooves, started catching, causing blade to dodge off saw line.
    Can't say enough how happy I am with that conversion - just completely blew me away how much smoother and accurate the tracking is, especially re-sawing operations.
    Anyone thinking about it, I say go for it. Like a new machine!

    Jeff

  13. #13
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    and that's the point of this forum-- sharing the gained experience. Will let you know.
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    Past President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  14. I went to Carter's guides for both my GO555 & my GO636X bandsaws.

  15. #15
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    The major benefit on the Carter's for me was the improved bearings. I bought sealed bearings for another saw's stock guides and have been happy with them. I do use the Carter Stabilizer on a 14" saw and find it great for curves (once you get past the learning curve) and acceptable enough for straight cuts that it hasn't been off in years.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

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