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Thread: Band Saw Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Band Saw Advice

    Looking at the Harvey HW615P (on sale for $1989 + $499 shipping) vs the Laguna 18bx (on sale for $2519 + $199 shipping). Both have 3 hp motors, the Laguna can take a 1.25” blade vs the 1” on the Harvey, Laguna obviously has 3” more clearance.

    I plan to use this for resawing and cutting blanks for turning.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    When I was searching for a bandsaw I was looking at these as well. Interestingly, the two you listed were on the top of my list after doing an exhaustive search and comparison of all viable bandsaws in this size range that I could find. I think both are a good choice. I was upgrading from a decent Grizzly cast iron 16" bandsaw.

    However, I ended up finding a great deal on a used 24" bandsaw (SCM S600P MM24). I'm lucky to have gotten this bandsaw and it is such a pleasure to use.

    Obviously, the 24" bandsaw was a much larger saw than I was looking for. After figuring out that it would barely fit in my shop with an 8' ceiling, I made the trip to purchase it. The thing that convinced me it was worth it (other than it being a great price for a bandsaw in this class) is that the space/footprint it takes up isn't as much more as I expected. While it dwarfed my previous bandsaw, the footprint wasn't much larger. Having the extra blade height and depth between the blade and throat really makes it terrific. It came with a carbide toothed 1" blade that still makes resawing wide boards like cutting warm butter with a hot knife.

    My suggestion is go big. Go as big as you can afford for a bandsaw. The footprint increase is minimal but the function is exponential.

    24in with Table.jpg

    Old vs New.jpg

  3. #3
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    FWIW - I found my decision matrix and I had the Powermatic PM1500 as my 2nd choice. My top 3 from all viable bandsaws I could find on the market:
    Harvey HW615P; Powermatic PM1500 and Laguna 18BX:
    Decision Matrix Pic.png

    But as my prior post indicates - go big! After my upgrade several years ago - I would change this decision matrix with much more weight on the size.

  4. #4
    No contest there, a 15" wheel vs 18" for the same money.
    If wanting an inch blade (carbide needs more tension) then look for a used CO, or most similar you can find to it.
    Not saying you couldn't put 25000PSI with such a blade on the Laguna, but I don't believe it weighs 200kg, which is probably the
    ballpark starting point in regards to comfortably tensioning and running long term.
    Springs may need be replaced.. see the Swedish article on upgrading the spring on a N4400 to run a CT,
    or perhaps Deema and Sideways thread regarding a s45
    https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads....135069/page-5
    "
    I briefly had a 200KG machine what wouldn't run right, and the shopkeeper and company rep installed a 1" blade
    on it, seemingly in effort to bend it into submission.
    Those carriage assembly bolts made big divots in the thin chassis, compared to the thin kerf 3/4" blades I bought for it.
    Far Eastern compact 20" bandsaw.jpeg
    Not saying don't buy anything but a CO, with foot mounted motor, and perhaps a VFD to tame it, should one wish to go the three phase route,
    more likely regarding availability, and much reduced price of such a machine, and not for the gentle starting of nicer bandwheels.

    But if I were to go shopping new, in this category of larger cast iron wheels, and reckoned it wasn't too much bother to send it back...
    then I'd be looking for something with a slot at the front of the table,
    which is the quickest giveaway that a machine will be heavier, i.e better fence, and the rest of the weight likely making things that much more robust,
    specifically concerning wheel shaft diameters, and carriage tensioning assembly to match.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 11-29-2023 at 11:01 PM.

  5. #5
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    Get the Laguna.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  6. #6
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    CT, CO. what means?
    Bill D

  7. #7
    Here's the article for you Bill
    https://www.swedishwoodworking.com/a...n4400-bandsaw/

    And the particular era of CO I was referring to, is just about the best designed regular bandsaw ever made.
    Many here are very happy with their Minimax saws, as you might have noticed.

    The flange or face mounted motors on pretty much anything else, aren't readily adjustable to align with the upper wheel,
    though my machine, what came from the same region, one could speculate it was designed with flange mounted motor adjustability in mind,
    what doesn't seem to be the case with some manufacturers.
    Pot luck buying any bandsaw without that feature, but I suppose good for someone who couldn't afford the machine otherwise,
    cuz it would likely be running well..
    You might see most of the Italian saws out there feature vulcanized tires, so the chances are that the crown will be gone, on anything with some age to it anyway,
    so not just a case of getting another pair of snap on's, and that solving the problem, and for however long they might last, is another story,
    one related to alignment, and the other being familiar with the profile of such a crown...

    Should one care to look at the very top of the upper wheel of their saw when hand turning blades,
    one might see it's less "forgiving" to the eye, than looking at ones thrust guide, i.e the blade will walk on the wheels more than one might think,
    on wheels what's out of whack and tires what's not sound.
    One could speculate, work for the boys.

    All the best
    Tom





    Tom

  8. #8
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    Mike. If you live near a Woodcraft you can have the Laguna shipped to the store for free and pick it up. That’s what I did.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Cleveland, Ohio
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    I have the Laguna 18bx. I can’t compare to the other machine, but observations:
    - The maximum blade size (resawing) is limited by hardware in the blade path above the upper bearings. The back of a large blade also grinds against screw heads unless you position it further forward than Alex Snodgrass’ video recommends. With my 1/4” blade there’s no problem. But with my 1.25” blade there is. 1” would probably also work fine.
    - The brake is more useful than I expected. When I fail to use it, the silent blade continues to run much longer than I realized (low friction is a good thing). That almost harmed a few workpieces (and me).
    - The (optional) light isn’t helpful to me. If I position it where it works best, I hit my head on it. If I set the screws that hold it tightly enough to be stable, then it’s too stiff to reposition while working.
    - The table insert screws magically migrate upwards, causing it to slowly sink (10 or more hours of use). The consequence can be a workpiece “catching” on the far edge of the table opening, but that’s easy to fix…just requires attention (maybe some thread lock?)
    - Table size is great, enabling me to turn small logs into lumber.

    Overall, a very satisfying machine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    SW Ohio
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    An 18bx owner (and hobbyist woodworker) here. I can't believe how long I lived without a bandsaw and despite purchasing it at the peak of its price point am very happy I had it for the past 12 to 18 months.

    I mostly use a 1" blade on it.

    It was relatively trouble free (I think there was an overtightened bolt somewhere that kept the blade tension release from releasing, but Laguna told me the problem and it was easily fixed). I will say that the stock fence is a little annoying. It tends to shift when tightened so one ends up doing a bit of back and forth with it. There is a post somewhere on this site about adding a set screw to the fence slide to reduce/eliminate this tendency. I did this and am immensely more happy with the fence.

  11. #11
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    You can effectively resaw 3- 4" for every horsepower the motor has. 3 HP will be an enjoyable resawing experience up to around 9 - 12". If that fits what you have in mind, then one of those machines should fit your needs. If you're thinking about cutting thicker material very often, I'd look for more HP.

    John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Southeastern CT
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    I ordered the 18bx and a 1.25” Resaw King blade today. Thanks for all the advice.

  13. #13
    Has anyone ever suggested that having such a blade for a sub 200kg machine is a good idea?
    Perhaps some light reading from Mr Van Huskey might be in order, to heed fair warning!
    This link was only posted recently, but perhaps you missed it.
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....bandsaw-blades!

    Not sure if you might find folks running carbide tipped blades successfully, under anything but optimal tension for these blades?

    Just saying, should you have chance on changing that blade yet.
    If you have change left over, should it be proven possible to get a carbide tipped blade to 25000 PSI with something of lesser width on that saw,
    as these are thinner gauge to most CT blades, IIRC?...
    Guessing 1" may be the minimum, if not possibly 3/4"? ....
    then a regular half inch blade would be excellent for any possible troubleshooting beforehand, should your machine arrive without a blade, that can happen.
    There would be nothing worse than damaging a carbide blade in an instant, and I wouldn't use one until I got it running nicely with a wideish regular blade prior.

    Also might be worth asking in writing, if installing such a blade might void your warranty!

    And another PS, buy a metal detector wand for yourself, as if you're going to do some test cutting,
    then you will likely have an auld box o'scraps "handy" and the one with the nail will be the one your bandsaw will find!

    Good luck
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 12-01-2023 at 9:44 PM.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I would not try anything wider than 1" on that saw.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    Has anyone ever suggested that having such a blade for a sub 200kg machine is a good idea?
    Perhaps some light reading from Mr Van Huskey might be in order, to heed fair warning!
    This link was only posted recently, but perhaps you missed it.
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....bandsaw-blades!

    Not sure if you might find folks running carbide tipped blades successfully, under anything but optimal tension for these blades?

    Just saying, should you have chance on changing that blade yet.
    If you have change left over, should it be proven possible to get a carbide tipped blade to 25000 PSI with something of lesser width on that saw,
    as these are thinner gauge to most CT blades, IIRC?...
    Guessing 1" may be the minimum, if not possibly 3/4"? ....
    then a regular half inch blade would be excellent for any possible troubleshooting beforehand, should your machine arrive without a blade, that can happen.
    There would be nothing worse than damaging a carbide blade in an instant, and I wouldn't use one until I got it running nicely with a wideish regular blade prior.

    Also might be worth asking in writing, if installing such a blade might void your warranty!

    And another PS, buy a metal detector wand for yourself, as if you're going to do some test cutting,
    then you will likely have an auld box o'scraps "handy" and the one with the nail will be the one your bandsaw will find!

    Good luck
    Tom
    Thanks for the link, I will be returning that blade and getting the 1”.

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