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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Laguna 14-12 bandsaw that I really like but the ceramic guides drive me a bit nuts especially the lower guides. For me I need to raise the table to 45 degrees to get the lower guides adjusted and the adjustment to move the back guide is two knobs that are hard to get to otherwise and there's no easy way to see if the move is straight or not. That and the actual process to tilt the table is rougher than should be. So I have seen a few Carter Product videos and like what I'm seeing but is it all smoke and mirrors or do these actually work as great as they claim. The upgrade kit for my Laguna is $274 plus shipping so at $290 it isn't chump change. So if you have feedback on this product I'd love to hear it. I'm not looking to spend more money but rather improve my bandsaw especially with resawing wood. The product in question is here.
 

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I had Carter guides on my old Delta bandsaw and while it took a little while to get used to them, the eventually became very easy to adjust. I sold that and bought the same Laguna you have and have found the adjustments somewhat easier since the guides actually touch the blade, albiet very lightly.

I generally keep a half inch blade installed so I haven't had much need to adjust the bottom guides. I think based on my Carter experience, that you'll like them. Follow their instructions on installation and you should have few problems. Don't let the back guide ride on the back edge of the blade, It should be close, but only touch if you press on the blade. How the blade rides on the tire is also important, I like the back of the gullet to ride about center on the tire.

You'll want to be careful not to let their 3/4 Resaw King plade's tips touch the Carter guide, It will likely damage the blade and/or the guides. I have a little 12 inch Rikon/WEN saw with a narrow blade mounted for quick and easy cuts in my shop, which is easier than changing blades in the Laguna.
 

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I have a Laguna 14-12 bandsaw that I really like but the ceramic guides drive me a bit nuts especially the lower guides. For me I need to raise the table to 45 degrees to get the lower guides adjusted and the adjustment to move the back guide is two knobs that are hard to get to otherwise and there's no easy way to see if the move is straight or not. That and the actual process to tilt the table is rougher than should be. So I have seen a few Carter Product videos and like what I'm seeing but is it all smoke and mirrors or do these actually work as great as they claim. The upgrade kit for my Laguna is $274 plus shipping so at $290 it isn't chump change. So if you have feedback on this product I'd love to hear it. I'm not looking to spend more money but rather improve my bandsaw especially with resawing wood. The product in question is here.

I'm really happy with my carter stuff I got for my delta. i'd think they would perform the same. I got the stabilizer and a fence too. they aint cheap but it did make my 25 year old saw work better than when it was new
 

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I have both sets for my little Shopsmith BS. Couldn't ask for better improvement. Worth every penny.
 

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count me in as a satisfied carter customer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had Carter guides on my old Delta bandsaw and while it took a little while to get used to them, the eventually became very easy to adjust. I sold that and bought the same Laguna you have and have found the adjustments somewhat easier since the guides actually touch the blade, albiet very lightly.

I generally keep a half inch blade installed so I haven't had much need to adjust the bottom guides. I think based on my Carter experience, that you'll like them. Follow their instructions on installation and you should have few problems. Don't let the back guide ride on the back edge of the blade, It should be close, but only touch if you press on the blade. How the blade rides on the tire is also important, I like the back of the gullet to ride about center on the tire.

You'll want to be careful not to let their 3/4 Resaw King plade's tips touch the Carter guide, It will likely damage the blade and/or the guides. I have a little 12 inch Rikon/WEN saw with a narrow blade mounted for quick and easy cuts in my shop, which is easier than changing blades in the Laguna.
Tom that's great feedback. With the Laguna guides I have them at a business card thickness between the side guards and the instructions say to kiss the back of the blade but that causes sparks when sawing wood and no matter how much they claim the guides stay cool if there's sparks the blade is getting hot and that's an issue. Backing off the rear guide seems to help some with occasional sparks. To me that says I'm either pushing too hard or the blade is too loose. The blade tightness guide with the scale and pointer is a fair guide but who knows how close to being what it should be. I expect the 1/2" 3TPI blade I have in now to be resident most of the time and maybe the 3/4" 3TPI some times. BTW, I had an issue with a rather new Timberwolf 3/4" blade and sent them an email along with a few pictures hoping they could help me figure out what happened. They looked and weren't sure but they said they are sending me a new blade regardless. I can't complain about that. I do set the bottom of the gullet to the center of the wheel and I don't get drift. What would be convenient is if they marked the center of the tires as a reference. As for the teeth on the blades I have the guides set so they are near the gullet and the blades teeth are clear and can't touch the guides.

I'm hoping I can find a discount code which I suspect are found when at one of the shows they are at. Looking at their schedule they have one in Chantilly, Va about 2 hours from home in February. I'm not sure I'll be able to drive by then or not as I'm having a should replacement surgery Dec 17th but if mobile enough I plan to at least get there and learn a bit more. Might have to get my wife to do the driving though and that slows down those fantastic buys at the shows..........I've got a squad buddy that might be interested so that let's the wife off the hook and the possibilities of getting some goodies a bit better although the dang conscience sometimes gets in the way. Oh look what followed me home......can I keep it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looks like Carter has some excellent baking users. It's always good to know you aren't swimming in unknown waters. As for the Laguna Resaw King blade, I don't have one and probably never will. It has to be the most expensive resaw blade out there. At $159 I'll try the others first. For comparison I have a 1/2" and 3/4" Highland Woodworking Wood Slicer due here tomorrow to compare directly to my Timberwolf blades. If I were doing a ton of resawing maybe and yet still I may end up eating these words and end up with one yet. It advertises as super smooth and yet I see videos from qualified users not so happy with the "super smooth" cuts. This will be something that may wash out differently but for now I need to test these others. I expect to need to plane/sand the thicker boards to finish size. For the thinner say for inlays I'll probably need to sand. Just to be clear, I do make sure the wood is flat and square by using the jointer on the boards. On the thicker boards where more than 2-3 cuts will be made I flatten both sides, cut each one, then flatten again. Each resawn broad has a flat reference side. Then either the drum sander and or planer is used to finish size.
 

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It is your money to speed but the guides do not have to be adjusted that often. Even with Carter roller guides you still have to adjust them. The ceramic guides work good on dry lumber. Roller Guides work good for dry wood but are especially good for green and wet lumber. I do not have a Laguna but maybe it would be more practical to remove the table and adjust your guides when changing a blade. Some sawa are easier to remove the table than others. The blade is much more important than the guides. A good blade makes sawing much more pleasurable.

Laguna makes their carbide blade but really they just get others to make them. The Lenox Woodmaster Carbide Tooth blade is made in the USA and I can tell you it is excellent in both cut quality and noise reduction. I ordered my from Spectrum Supply and they weld it to your length and send it in about a week. Spectrum Supply was the cheapest price I found for the Lenox Woodmaster CT Blade. The carbide blade costs more than a regular blade but lasts much longer and cuts much better.

Spend your money on a good blade and use your stock blade guides, or buy new guides and still get a new blade.

I used to use the PS Wood blades because I had an under powered 14" bandsaw. I upgraded to a SCM Minimax S400P 16" 5HP bandsaw and it is night and day difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good info Guy but looking at the Lenox Woodmaster CT Blade the shortest width is 1" and that's too big for this 14" saw. Max blade width is 3/4" on mine. I had thought about removing the table which is straight forward on blade changes but the blade slot is 90 degrees to the front meaning it would need to be rotated to remove. The distance to the post is less than an inch and even with the insert removed there simply isn't room to clear. At least that's been my experience but I can say I've tried too many times. As a reference I've attached a few pictures with the 1/2" Timber Wolf blade installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The last picture shows the scaring on back of the guide where Laguna suggests turning every so often to even out but should it even be touching and sparking? Their adjustment says to "kiss" the back of the blade. Also it shows the spacing off on the side guides where it must have been bumped when I tilted the table. I still have to work at getting that tilt as it isn't anywhere as easy as it should be. Laguna is sending replacement trunnion parts. I usually use a business card to space the side guide. The tire pictures are trying to show the position of the gullet to the center of the tire. And finally the guides are shown with the blade both under tension and not. In the first 4 pictures I'm trying to show the position of the blade when not tensioned.
 

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Has anyone ever heard of or used Wikus band saw blades from Germany ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK an update is in order. After following along with a number of videos, PDFs and the like I decided to go back and try again. I looked at the bandsaw and figured the only chance I had of removing the table with a blade installed would be by tilting the table up all the way, locking one of the handles, removing the insert plate, remove the loose locking knob, and then holding the table at that angle with one hand use the free hand to remove the remaining locking knob to free the table from the trunnions. Then I could lift and very carefully turn and thread the blade through the table slot (for which I did remove the bolt/nut) and set the table aside. It is awkward and heavy especially with this bone on bone shoulder but doable. A second person would be helpful regardless. At this point I have full easy access to the lower guide. Then I did the following:

1) Loosen the guides fully away from the blade including the thrust guide (bearing in some cases)

2) Made sure the tires were clean and free of any debris.

3) Made sure the blade gullet was centered on the tire when fully tensioned by manually rotating the wheel so it makes several full rotations.

4) Double checked the tension by going to the left side of the upper wheel cabinet and resting my finger on the cabinet while using my index finger to check for no more than 1/4" movement when pressed moderately which is subjective. This keeps the guides from interfering with the movement.

5) I adjusted the top guide first by adjusting the thrust bearing (guide) to touch the rear of the blade and then using light finger pressure to press in making contact and just very slightly moving it back. Then it's locked down.

6) The next adjustment was the side guides. On the Laguna 14-12 with the ceramic guides the side guides are "C" shaped so you have two ceramic guides on each side. I positioned the side guide so that the blade gullet was just outside of the guide. Here I took a piece of notepad and tore off about a 2" wide strip and folded it in two. Then I placed the paper around the blade and positioned the side guide so both the left side ceramic were touching the paper but not pushing or bending the blade. A very light touch. I tightened the guide in place and repeated for the right side.

7) I repeated the process for the lower guide set now that it was easily accessible.

I fully expected to hear and see evidence of rubbing but to my surprise it wasn't touching anywhere. I attribute this success to the fact I had much better access to the lower guide and could see and make those adjustments much easier. Taking the table on and off if not the easiest due to the weight and angle but doable. I took a 2x6 scrap I had laying around, flattened it on the jointer, and made several slicing passes using my stock fence. The first cut was about 1/8" and the second about 1/16". You could see light coming through and the cut looked flat and straight. As it was my second dinner call I didn't spend any more time on this but just loosened the blade tension and went for up for my waiting meal. I don't miss many meals.....

Now I did test this with my Timber Wolf 1/2" 3TPI blade and the results were as good if not better than I had hoped. I followed along using the advice Alex Snodgrass gives in this video on his
. Keep in mind he works for Carter Products.

Any suggestions or corrections I should be following? If you haven't seen this video I'd strongly suggest it if you own a bandsaw.
 

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I had the same issue with my Rikon. What I did was sell it for a few hundred less than what a new Rikon saw cost. I Then bought the new Rikon on sale with the new bearing system (so much easier to adjust) and got a new 5 year warranty and a bigger motor and a mobility kit for about $150 more than the bearing upgrade would have cost me. If your not vfamilar with the Rikon bearings look at them on YouTube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had the same issue with my Rikon. What I did was sell it for a few hundred less than what a new Rikon saw cost. I Then bought the new Rikon on sale with the new bearing system (so much easier to adjust) and got a new 5 year warranty and a bigger motor and a mobility kit for about $150 more than the bearing upgrade would have cost me. If your not vfamilar with the Rikon bearings look at them on YouTube.
As my last post showed it appears that user error was most likely the issue and that removing the table and making the adjustments was a better choice. The ceramic guides may not be the easiest to adjust and may take some getting used to but apparently they work as intended if adjusted properly. Of all the tools I own I'd have to say the bandsaw is probably one of the more difficult tools to learn. I also have seen some not so good advice out there on making tune-up adjustments that appear to be downright wrong. One such adjustment is making the wheels coplanar. I've seen one suggestion on this and it goes against the majority of what I've seen elsewhere. My understanding on this issue is that they need to be not coplanar in order to have control over the tracking adjustment. So as I saw suggested on another video it would probably be best to check with the manufacturer of your bandsaw before making such an adjustment. The video I just watched suggested making them coplanar by using a straightedge on both wheels and if necessary use washers to adjust. And maybe that appropriate for that bandsaw but when making videos on a machine tune-up it might be best to make sure these are generic adjustments or specific to a particular brand/model.

So for now I'll hold off on the Carter Products guides and see how well the stock ones do. Rather than spend more money it's likely a better idea to learn how to properly use the ones that came with the saw. And another lesson learned is to take advice on tune-ups with a grain of salt and try to find content that applies to your brand/model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, I give up and am now shutting up. Seems the deeper I look the more confused I become. As far as copanar goes it seems some need it. I haven't checked mine and probably won't unless instructed to by Laguna. Maybe the best advice is check with your tool maker for what may be needed. And so far I've been less than impressed with Laguna's technical support than most and that's unfortunate as I also have a SuperMax 19-38 which they now also own it seems. Going back to stalking mode.......
 

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... the instructions say to kiss the back of the blade but that causes sparks when sawing wood and no matter how much they claim the guides stay cool if there's sparks the blade is getting hot and that's an issue.
I disagree with that. As you found it causes sparks and both the blade and the bearing get hot. What is also does is swell the back edge of the blade up which also causes heat and may cause drift as it can swell up to the point where it's wider than the kerf so it starts steering the blade. Every so often you're supposed to take a stone and grind that edge down. I find that if I have the blade set properly on the wheel that I don't wind up pushing the blade back against the thrust bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, I give up and am now shutting up. Seems the deeper I look the more confused I become. As far as copanar goes it seems some need it. I haven't checked mine and probably won't unless instructed to by Laguna. Maybe the best advice is check with your tool maker for what may be needed. And so far I've been less than impressed with Laguna's technical support than most and that's unfortunate as I also have a SuperMax 19-38 which they now also own it seems. Going back to stalking mode.......
 

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I have cool blocks and porcelain guide on the back, and love them. I worried about the sparks too, but for naught, as soon as the blade seats itself in a groove in the porcelain guide it quits. It seems to be smoothing the back corners of the blade. Don't fret about it.
Herb
 
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