Want to purchase a band saw

JRedding

John
Corporate Member
I have the MM16 and have been able to order parts from SCM. I’ve not needed much - broken fence handle from the move - but I called them and they were able to provide it. They were incredibly helpful when I called.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
OK, here is mine, showing some mods useful to any saw:
Extended table, re-saw fence, bin for tools, hanger for miter, bright light etc. I have a slip on outfeed using a hinge and prop. As the fence hits the guides, I keep a spacer board for ripping thinner stock so I don't have to touch the fence. Yes, there are times I wish I had a 20 inch saw and had to resort to my table saw. Someday I'll get a track saw. As far as height, I can't see the need for over 10 inches. When I mill rough logs, I either adz them closer or the good old WEN handheld plane to get a flat enough first side and knock off high points.

Guides seem to be a personal choice. I prefer a rear guide that runs on the outside of the bearing, others like it running on the face edge. Some like disk guides, cool blocks, Applewood, or ceramic. I find bearings to be fine. How they are adjusted matters more and for re-saw, in a perfect world, you would not be touching the side guides. Actually, I use a spinning guide as a hint I am drifting. I have considered if for re-saw, side guides that actually touched, like graphite or apple, might be better. Maybe I'll make some and see. I could cut a wood disk with an eccentric hole to just replace the side bearings.

The old C-frame Delta and clones are exactly what I would never want. A lot of great work has come off of them. The band does the cutting, the tool just turns the band.

As far as Delta quality, once upon a time they were excellent. I made a mistake of buying an older Delta drill press made in Taiwan assuming it was old enough. Nope. I don't know what year and tool to tool they went to crap but Delta is not necessarily Delta. Any tool that is a branded OEM, quality is what the brand pays for so it can vary. If OEM branded, you may have a little more confidence. If it means anything Harvey is an OEM. Griz and Jet are just paper companies. Who makes any given tool may change year to year. A good example is the old Emerson design 6 inch planer. It is on at least it's third OEM. Mine, branded Ridgid, was built by Emerson. Most Craftsman were. They are now made in the Mainland. Probably 90% of all traditional drill presses used the same head castings.
 

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chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
I have met too many who were disappointed with their Laguna because of guides not holding set.
If youre going to make a statement as broad as this you must qualify it by hobbyist machines (BX models) versus Industrial models (LT models) The LT models are far and away in a league of their own. The BX machines are what you speak of here.
Notice the BX/CX models also have a tension release for the blades while the LT does not. This is because the LT frame is that much more rigid. The blade release is not for the blades life, its the frame flexing (and taking a set over time) So, any Bandsaw with a tension release has a weaker frame.
 
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tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Remember: The most expensive tool is the wrong one. Don't go cheap thinking you will get ahead as you will wind up buying again. Pay once, cry once. Money spent on my first two band saws was totally wasted. One Craftsman, one Delta.

Chris, yes the LT saw itself is great. I considered the LT-14 x 14 SUV 3 HP and Rikon 10-353 3 HP but chose the C-14. It is only the guides people hate as they slip. One can put on Carter bearing guides. I have met three owners who had the problem and none without. I am sure it is fixable somehow but I chose to go elsewhere. If you have no problem, then it is now 3:1.

I disagree with the reasoning on tension release. Maybe cheaper saws flex that much. (BX?, Delta C-frame?, entry level Griz? ) My C-14 does not. I suspect when you get to 18 or 20 inch, the blade set becomes less of an issue. I know it is blade as the symptom is vibration that goes away after the band heats up. My direct experience. Not WEB bloggers.

As I implied, rigidity and dampening seem to be correlated to weight, so weight is an indirect hint. The LT is over 100 Lbs heavier than the BX. I have heard of folks filling the post with sand or shot and the saw running smoother. There is a reason PowerMatic puts massive cast bases on their tools.

Oh, stay away from any saw with aluminum wheels. Not enough mass and they go out of balance with the slightest sawdust accumulation. Again, mass matters.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Remember: The most expensive tool is the wrong one. Don't go cheap thinking you will get ahead as you will wind up buying again. Pay once, cry once. Money spent on my first two band saws was totally wasted. One Craftsman, one Delta.

Chris, yes the LT saw itself is great. I considered the LT-14 x 14 SUV 3 HP and Rikon 10-353 3 HP but chose the C-14. It is only the guides people hate as they slip. One can put on Carter bearing guides. I have met three owners who had the problem and none without. I am sure it is fixable somehow but I chose to go elsewhere. If you have no problem, then it is now 3:1.

I disagree with the reasoning on tension release. Maybe cheaper saws flex that much. (BX?, Delta C-frame?, entry level Griz? ) My C-14 does not. I suspect when you get to 18 or 20 inch, the blade set becomes less of an issue. I know it is blade as the symptom is vibration that goes away after the band heats up. My direct experience. Not WEB bloggers.

As I implied, rigidity and dampening seem to be correlated to weight, so weight is an indirect hint. The LT is over 100 Lbs heavier than the BX. I have heard of folks filling the post with sand or shot and the saw running smoother. There is a reason PowerMatic puts massive cast bases on their tools.

Oh, stay away from any saw with aluminum wheels. Not enough mass and they go out of balance with the slightest sawdust accumulation. Again, mass matters.
Scott,
You missed my point. The LT line is class leading industrial quality and I dont think it ever included the LT14 which I think never was an Italian built machine, I believe that became the BX 14, the others are Italian, Minimax included. If you ever get a chance to use one, you would actually feel the differences. There are hobbyist machines and machines that just have to work ALL the time. The Laguna LT is in the ALL the time class, this is why they have large Leeson motors, etc.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
The LT14 SUV has the 3 HP motor. You can tell by the weight it is in the heavy duty line. It is not the same saw as the standard LT14.
Again, it is not the saw I had issues with, just the GUIDES.

Now, these are $2000 saws, not $6000 like an LT18. I do not think the OP was looking to set up a production sawmill. Again, GUIDES slipping adjustment.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
How about parts availability? Any experience in that area for an Italian saw?
Band saws have very few moving parts. Bearings are universal. Switches and microswitches(open door safety) are replaceable with off the shelf parts. Carter and other aftermarket suppliers have replacement guide sets.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
You can even get aftermarket iron trunnions for the Jet Achilles heel.

More tid-bits:
Multi-rib belts run smoother than V belts. Small plus for newer saws. Of course, one can always replace sheaves or at least get a quality Gates AX series belt, not the crap Chinese belts they all seem to come with. I guess the multi-link belts work but not sure for a 3 HP motor.
Sealed guide bearings are not. They gum up and freeze. But they are easy to clean out, repack and put back in service. Even the cheap ones that come on new saws.
It has been said, so take this with a whole shaker of salt, block guides, from wood, zinc, ceramic or even the Continental style disk side guides are better for re-saw. They don't attract gum like a bearing guide will. I have not had that problem but don't re-saw green wood. Turners may have more of that as an issue.
You have your choice in dust collection. Terrible and worse. Only really good collection I have seen is with custom 3-d printed ports right below the throat. Not to hard if you only cut 90 degrees. Clearence to adjust guides and tilting the table become an issue. It would not be hard to design a table with integral port but band saw technology is in the dark ages.
Some saws have two speeds. For woodworking, I have no idea why. Slow is usually too fast for metal anyway.
Cheaper saws may not have adjustments to keep the guide post in line with the blade when you raise and lower it. My C-14 does, but it came miss-adjusted and was a bugger to dial in. They left out the instructions.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Even currently available Chinese-made band saws have parts availability problems.
With the rotating OEM of the month, the brand name saw reseller may not know what parts or have access to parts at all. Another reason I went Harvey as they are an OEM. Not like the good old days from Sears where they had everything for everything for decades. I was missing a nylon washer on a hinge as it came off in shipping. Replaced immediately. Easy.
 

peterdnight

Peter
User
I was not sure about selling my bandsaw as part of my move, but given my move to a smaller shop, consider this an offer. I have sawn some pretty wide stuff, and love fronting every cabinet in my kitchen
 

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Phillip Mitchell

Phillip
User
I have done quite a bit of re-sawing, including repurposing old timbers, etc with my 20” bandsaw. Infeed / out feed support, blade selection + sharpness and feed speed have as much to do with success in re-sawing larger and longer timbers than anything, in my experience.

My saw came from a fellow NCWW member (thanks RoyG) and is an ‘86 Steton SN500 - italian 20” steel Euro frame saw (very similar to SCMI / Centauro of the era) with a 2 HP motor. Total weight of around 600 lbs and Resaw height of ~13”. I have replaced the guides and fence with modern Laguna options, though I do not really like Laguna bandsaws themselves. The accessories are good though, in my experience.

I also run a 1” x 1.3 tpi carbide tipped blade from Lenox and highly recommend it for re-sawing, ripping, and even *light* duty radius work. I have used it consistently in a small professional solo shop environment for the last 2.5 years and still on my original blade, though I do have a replacement waiting to go on when this one bites it.

You need a saw frame and components strong enough to tension a blade like this, though. Not a delta 14” or similar.

Lots of ways to skin a cat, but just sharing some of my experience
 

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bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Great photos all. Makes me want to get both of those saws.
Danmart77 uses a Delta 28-350. Take a look at some of his work.
 

Robert LaPlaca

Robert
Senior User
How about parts availability? Any experience in that area for an Italian saw?
Sorry I didn’t see your question, let’s just say anytime a product has become a ‘orphan’ it’s never good for the consumer. I have recently purchased a replacement safety switch from SCM, it was expensive, but they had the part.

Quite honestly the Centauro bandsaws biggest issue was with the electrical switches..
 
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Regardless, I’m about two months from moving in. But the engineer in me says it would be fun to restore. The more practical side says “ you’ve got work to do and fixing up a saw means less work on the honey-do list. 🙃
 

Chaz

Chaz
Senior User
Below is what a 28-350 looks like. This is one I rebuilt for a school shop that was totally fed up with a 14" Jet saw they were trying to use.

Wow! I have a Jet 14" and it works great. I wonder if they read the manual ;-).
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Wow! I have a Jet 14" and it works great. I wonder if they read the manual ;-).
Yes, they read the manual. The saw was just too flimsy for the intended use. Here's some shots of the work that high school shop did at the time.

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bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Here's the difference between a Delta 28-350 band saw and a Jet 14" band saw.
There's a green Powermatic 81 20" band saw on the left that is used for the more heavy work. Those saws are hard to come by in good working condition and generally inappropriate for a small hobby woodworking shop.

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