Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: PM 1500 or Laguna 18BX Bandsaw?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Posts
    234

    PM 1500 or Laguna 18BX Bandsaw?

    I have a Meber 16" bandsaw and want to upgrade it for a newer machine for resawing. I have an upgraded 14" old school Delta (made in the US) machine that is in like new condition and will keep it for smaller detail work.

    I have been a Powermatic fan for years so I am looking at the PM1500. I am also considering the Laguna 18BX. I have read complaints about both. I would plan on putting Carter guides on the Laguna and I plan on putting a Laguna Resaw King carbide tip blade on either one I end up with.

    Insights and experience with these two would be appreciated.

    laguna.JPG PM.JPG
    Last edited by Alan Heffernan; 06-02-2024 at 9:16 PM. Reason: fonts and photos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,838
    Iím thinking you should move up to a bandsaw with a 20 inch wheel.
    16 to 18 isnít a significant upgrade
    Ive used and owned 14, 16 18 and now have a 20 inch. Itís much more saw Itís not about the Resaw height thatís nonsense marketing. Itís main advantage in my opinion is longer blades cut better last longer and cut faster. A Bigger table is nice too.
    Good Luck
    Aj

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    66,345
    I agree with Andrew for the reasons he stated...with the small machine for scrolling and detail work, go for the larger wheel and power machine when you upgrade from the 16" machine, especially given your intended purpose. Yes, it raises the cost a little, but ten years from now, you'll not even remember that. I kinda wish I would have gone for the 20" machine "back in the day" instead of the 16" machine I own. (and love...don't get me wrong)
    --

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

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    Iím thinking you should move up to a bandsaw with a 20 inch wheel.
    16 to 18 isnít a significant upgrade
    Ive used and owned 14, 16 18 and now have a 20 inch. Itís much more saw Itís not about the Resaw height thatís nonsense marketing. Itís main advantage in my opinion is longer blades cut better last longer and cut faster. A Bigger table is nice too.
    Good Luck
    I agree with this. Your old Meber maxes out at what? 1" blade? For resawing, the thicker the blade, the better. The Laguna 18bx will go up to a 1-1/4" blade, which means it might actually be able to properly tension a carbide 1" blade. So I'd take it over the Powermatic, easy. But for the money they want for either one, and especially if you're going to swap out the ceramic guides on the Laguna, might as well upgrade to something bigger and better for around the same price. To me, Laguna made it's name for quality bandsaws back with their 16HD (which was not cheap). Their current offerings, in my opinion, aren't up to the same quality (or price, to be fair). Not that they're low quality. They're absolutely fine. But I believe they're just rebranded Harvey bandsaws these days, if I'm not mistaken. Which are about on par with the other brands like Rikon, Grizzly, Jet, etc., but with ceramic guides and a nicer fence. And while Powermatics tend to be better made machines when comparing class to class, they fall woefully short when comparing dollar to dollar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Posts
    234

    Okay, which 20?

    Thanks for the replies. If you were headed to 20", what saw would you be looking at?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Heffernan View Post
    Thanks for the replies. If you were headed to 20", what saw would you be looking at?
    check out the Minimax mm20, I love my mm24 centauro.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Location
    Tracy, CA
    Posts
    672
    If you are serious about resaw, the Minimax bandsaws have been known to be very structurally strong, which is needed for proper blade tension on the really huge blades (i.e. 1" +). The Minimax S540P is the current 20" model, but likely going to be too expensive. The older mm20 is excellent if you can find one in good condition. Alternatively, I suppose you can look at the Laguna LT18 Resaw master (Italian model).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Moscow, Idaho
    Posts
    305
    Laguna still sells a line of Italian-made bandsaws. The BX series saws are made in Taiwan. The 14 SUV was made in China by Harvey, but was discontinued when Harvey started selling it themselves as the Ambassador C14. The Powermatic is a nice bandsaw, but the price seems pretty high when compared to what else you can get in that price range. Of the two, I think the Laguna 18BX would be a better saw for resawing. It's bigger, heavier, and can use a wider blade. If you can afford it a 16" or 20" Italian-made Laguna or SCM/Minimax would be even better for resawing. I'm not a big fan of ball bearing blade guides, so I would consider the Carter guides a downgrade from the stock Laguna guides.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    114
    Lots of good considerations offered here. I can only offer a perspective as a Powermatic PM1500 user. We've had one in our community workshop for 4 years and it has been a reliable workhorse for us. Generally, we don't resaw anything wider than 8" boards, but for those the saw has worked extremely well. Good power, reasonably large table, stable cutting, very good dust collection solution (with two 4" ports off of a 6" pipe from our Clearview CVMAX cyclone). Everyone who uses this saw is pleased. But, we're all just hobby woodworkers. This saw replace a Jet 14" with riser block that is now dedicated to narrow blade fine cutting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    Posts
    234
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Crimmins View Post
    Laguna still sells a line of Italian-made bandsaws. The BX series saws are made in Taiwan. The 14 SUV was made in China by Harvey, but was discontinued when Harvey started selling it themselves as the Ambassador C14. The Powermatic is a nice bandsaw, but the price seems pretty high when compared to what else you can get in that price range. Of the two, I think the Laguna 18BX would be a better saw for resawing. It's bigger, heavier, and can use a wider blade. If you can afford it a 16" or 20" Italian-made Laguna or SCM/Minimax would be even better for resawing. I'm not a big fan of ball bearing blade guides, so I would consider the Carter guides a downgrade from the stock Laguna guides.
    Geoff, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    Can you elaborate a bit more on the ball bearing guides vs. the ceramic guides. Perhaps I have accepted the broad argument that friction is our enemy without looking deeply enough into this application. I have heard folks say the ball bearing tend to gum up.
    Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    10,308
    I would look at used 20+ inch bandsaws if you do not care about factory guides. A lot more bang for your buck. Can a 20" PM or rockwell saw tension a big blade for resawing? Also consider the grob, do all etc high speed saws. Not well known in woodworking.
    BilL D

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    1,145
    I think I would be looking at a bandsaw made for resawing if that was the purpose of a new bandsaw. I own a PM1500 and it is a good resaw bandsaw for my craft and hobby work. If I wanted a dedicated bandsaw for resawing I would start with something like a Laguna LT18 Resaw Master.

  13. #13
    I guess you could buy a better designed old Meber for a lot less than those two options.
    This Meber 500 machine for instance is a guaranteed design, unlike any bandsaw that you'll find made today.
    Note the hub for adjustment of the lower wheel, which has been the standard on all bandsaws for quite a long time,
    whilst combined with a foot mounted motor, what's also adjustable to suit the fixed upper wheel,
    enables one to align their bandwheels without making excuses.
    Meber SR500.jpg
    Same thing with Centauro, if you can find an old one what's also fully adjustable.
    Screenshot-2023-12-10 Lot.jpg
    Not to say some newer versions of those, or indeed an ACM saw shouldn't be a consideration, say if you like resaw height, or mitre slots...
    Older felder fb500 2.jpg
    And likewise with a far Eastern saw, a nice one that is... and not either of those things you mentioned.
    Some newish saws that are somewhat closer to the Italian machines, which are likely as costly as something older and Italian.

    Catching up with Tiziano's builds aren't they!...

    eyJidWNrZXQiOiJkb25lZGVhbC5pZS1waG90b3MiLCJlZGl0cyI6eyJ0b0Zvcm1hdCI6ImpwZWciLCJyZXNpemUiOnsiZml.jpeg

    It's not difficult to cut a hole in the back of any contemporary bandsaw, and bolt on a plate to allow for such adjustment that the old machines feature,
    so I wouldn't be put off with something which could do with a lick'o paint.

    Just saying, any machine what's not fully adjustable is a gamble, doesn't matter if new or old.
    and it's a lot easier to walk away from a used machine, than it is to get a refund for a brand new saw what no-one can get to run right.
    I only succeeded with such as I picked the right day to bring the saw back, and had the shop owner and also a company rep to put their heads together
    to attempt to sort, not before a tag team insult match I might add, well I did come at the right time as I said.
    I suppose you can't blame'em, they don't call the shots at the end of the day, and are sacrificial pawns of retail just tryin to put some food on the table.

    Cutting to the chase, If you needed prove the machine is outta whack with misalignments, then that would mean making a laser tool which would bolt onto the wheel shafts
    to attain a true reading of things.
    Having the lines drawn would put whoever is dealing with a return in a tight spot, so you'd climb the ranks to the top folks, or get ignored as what happened to me,
    which for one who's determined enough, being only a temporary thing.

    Using a scribing beam won't work on wheels which aren't dressed within tolerance, and doing such would likely void your warranty,
    so no choice but getting a laser to attain a datum.
    Datum scribed.jpegTurn,lift&drag.use a pen, not a pencil.jpg

    Good luck on the hunt, or indeed if playing the lottery should the aim being a pay for itself and buy another kinda deal.

    All the best
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 06-03-2024 at 9:34 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SE Mass.
    Posts
    234
    I have a Laguna LT18 with a 1 1/4" resaw master. It can take off a clean 1/16" off a 12" oak plank but I'm limited by my ability to feed and hold stock. On a 3' plank, no problem; on a 10'er, well, I'm wishing for a better table, infeed/outfeed, better featherboard, stock feeder and a helper.
    My point is as you get into saws this size stock handling can become the weak point and is something folks don't think of up front - at least I didn't.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Heffernan View Post
    Geoff, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    Can you elaborate a bit more on the ball bearing guides vs. the ceramic guides. Perhaps I have accepted the broad argument that friction is our enemy without looking deeply enough into this application. I have heard folks say the ball bearing tend to gum up.
    Thanks
    When resawing, theoretically the blade's tension should hold it in place. So, if everything goes right, the guides don't even come into play. Of course, it doesn't always happen this way. But the blade should never ride, long term, on the guides unless you have something wrong with your setup or feed. The blade should only touch the guides long enough to prevent deflection to get back in alignment due to the tension.

    Roller guides tend to push crud into the blade's, whereas ceramic guides should scrape it off. Also, the ceramic guides should hold less heat, so even if they create more friction, they create less heat from the friction, which is the real problem with creating friction.

    Honestly, guide designs are personal preference. They each have minor pluses and minuses, but most all of them work well enough. I have euro disc guides on mine, and while a lot of people don't like those style of guides, I have found no need to replace them. They do what they're supposed to when I need them, but most of the time, they never touch the blade.

    The only thing that would concern me with guides are guides that are missing. Like I've seen some saws without lower guides. Otherwise, they all pretty much do the same thing, even if they don't work the same way. Guides matter more the thinner the blade and the tighter the radius you're trying to cut. They can also matter on resawing if you're using a blade that wants more tension than your saw can provide. Otherwise, they pretty much just sit there and literally collect dust.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •