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Posted on Any experience with new Laguna 14/12 bandsaw?

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27 posts in 2086 days

#1 posted 02-10-2014 05:42 AM

Here are some photos of the bandsaw assembled, I will tell you a couple things first off. It is extremely well packaged, it is ridiculously heavy you NEED 2 able bodied people to load and unload, assemble and erect it. It was nice to see the steel casing being fairly heavy gauge and the rest of the carcass is also very solid. Little vibration, and it operates quite smooth, it’s not silent but not nearly as loud many other tools used in the work shop. Lets just say I can use it in my garage close to midnight and no one has complained.

These were the supplied bolts to hold the rail tube for the fence, it seemed rather odd that these were the spec considering that little bit of thread is supposed to hold everything together. To me this is weak if something banged into the bar or a large timber or log hit it could potentially break the casting? I didn’t trust it so I replaced it with some longer bolts I had on hand. When I asked the call rep he said that’s what the engineer specked, I replied that’s more likely the factory saving a nickel.

here is a close up of the blade which I bought that was NOT included with the purchase. It’s the 5/8” lauguna brand, I forget the specs. Now I had to buy another one asap as the store didn’t stock any 1/4” or 3/16” I should tell you no one any where to be seen had a 115” blade in stock. There was thankfully an awesome shop here in Vancouver that made me one up for under $25 Quality Saw and Knife. It also does NOT come with a miter gauge.

Can you spot the issue? (I messed up my photo re-sizing sorry) If you can’t make it out the square is touching in the top and 1/16” gap at the bottom.
The ceramic guides were not aligned in the aluminum block. They are glued in place. This presents a problem imo because with a smaller blade doing curves there is a discrepancy between left and right movement of the blade. Not to mention I was worried about ramming my teeth on the aluminum. I called with my concern, and the rep said to back them off and not use the upper guides with a small blade. I’m not sure I call that a solution… He further suggested I heat it up with a blow torch and re glue it. Well that just wasn’t going to happen. I bought this thing for versatility and I mentioned I want to do tight turns and cut some bandsawboxes. It was certainly not scroll work as he assumed… Okay so in conclusion they replied right away to internet chat, then had someone phone me right back. Points there forsure, but the ideal soloution would of been just to send me out a new set of guides, however that was not offered. So I used the saw as is for a while and thought about it more and more, sent an email and stated the problem of the guide and that I wanted a replacement sent out. 2 days later someone called me at 7 something in the morning and left a msg, obviously he didn’t check the time zone. I returned the call and sent information in and he said they would ship the replacements out and that was that. Bottom line if you have a problem or question someone has always gotten back to me, the rest you can interpret as you wish.

In my original call I also had this issue of not being able to square up the fence to the table. This why I dislike the round tube rail system, there are a lot of places and attachments where an error and occur. Even in the slightest amount can throw something out enough to mess everything up especially re sawing thin pieces. Especially with that short bolt that I showed earlier, I was a bit irritated. The rep said there should be some play and movement on the tube to the table to adjust. Absolutely not, unless you have put on together It’s hard to explain. The solution we came up with was to use a paper or tin foil shim under the fence drift adjustment bolts. So that was that and it’s square and It is what it is. I have mixed feelings on it but I’ve moved on and it hasn’t bothered me since. While on the subject of the fence, it slides on and off easily, and there is a good amount of adjustment for the drift, which at times there seems to be plenty. It’s hard to tell going by the blade tension indicator to me it seems a little conservative. I’m definitely not a pro in this department, I’ll need more time on the machine to give you a more info. But I can tell you with good true stock I was able to do some decent re-sawing on a 2×12 pine.

While on the subject of blade tension, someone mentioned about the window. Well here it is… plastic, static and sawdust.

Here is the blade centering bolt knob, pretty sure it doesn’t mention undoing the lock nut in the manual so make sure you do because that is NOT a hardened steel bolt there. To me if I was selling this thing I would of used a higher grade bolt here. While on the subject of the manual it is photocopy quality black and white and if your eyesight is not so hot… It was hard for me and I have new glasses. Okay I have to take a 5er and will post the rest shortly.

Onto the wheel base system, well let me put it this way IF I wasn’t an eager beaver, had the patience and ingenuity I might consider building my own 4 wheeled system. I’m not a big fan of the 3 wheels, it’s tipsy at times and I don’t know about your shop floor but mine sure as …. ain’t perfectly smooth or level. It certainly glides well in the video though. One can not do with out it if they need to move this thing around, and it DOES get the machine from a to b and I needed it. The time to put a base on is during assembly so plan accordingly. I dislike the cheap feeling plastic china wheels. There is some sort of bolt dead center in between the two wheel not sure what the purpose is. You maybe able to see it top left of the photo.

Onto the lighting

Well someone mentioned it may of been an after thought… well two years in the making ;)

Here is the mounting area, if you like working on foreign cars this should be right up your alley.
No seriously it’s fine just take your time, the real issue I have with the lighting is the following, now don’t get me wrong I have a ton of respect for engineers my father was one, but I see this all the time in the construction business, when a designer, architect or engineer doesn’t have practical use in the field.

anything above this height has good lighting

total dead spot for lighting shadow casts directly on the blade from here to next photo height.

I got to tell you it’s freaking annoying, I am going to try cutting a block of wood to use as a spacer and mess around with some different mounting points. Ideally it might of made more sense to put LED lighting inside the blade guard that was automated. It is nice to have a spot light though in the shop that I can illuminate other areas with. For me I’m mostly cutting small stuff and curves and messing around so it’s a bit frustrating. (after thought) That reminds me the fence can be laid flat which is a bonus if you are cutting small stock and want to have the blade guard lower, but I often forget to flip the fence anyways… lighting pros and cons. would I order it again yes, can improvements be made yes.

And final images show the tightness of the lower guides and I have average size hands. The guides have multiple china plastic knobs to allow set up, the idea is great but the whole assembly is so light that it’s easy to ajar it with a small movement while trying to lock any of the knobs. I would love to see micro adjustment or something a little tighter to work with, everything floats around so to speak. It’s hard to explain unless you try it yourself. It works and I can do it, but I don’t know if everybody could it takes some dexterity. At the same time once you set it up it’s good until you change the blade. So to recap there’s left and right ceramic guide adjustment knobs, the back ceramic guide knob and the front to back / left to right of the whole assembly knobs, if memory serves me correct. There was a concern with spark, yes it does spark and I cleared a lot of saw dust before I took the photos. It’s NOT the kind of spark like a grinder produces. I’m no an expert in this department but It’s not freaking me out by any means it’s a very tiny cold? looking spark.

So that covers a lot of peoples concerns and also the quirks that I’ve come across. There are some really good features about this saw that I have to mention. The cast wheels are nice, it is quiet with the ceramic guides vs bearings, the steel is heavy duty and low vibration. Decent height fence, lots of adjustment for drift. The height adjustment of the blade guard is super quick and safe, very accurate up and down no need to adjust the guides like my old cheap saw. Apparently I’m out of time for editing here so if there is anything more to add I will follow up. Up to this point I haven’t mastered the saw, but I am enjoying it so far that’s for sure, could I of gotten away with something $400 cheaper sure, but I would of always wondered, I hate that.

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