Carter Band Saw Guides - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default Carter Band Saw Guides

Tool: CARTER Band Saw Guides (for model 113 Sears)

Reviewer: Reible
Tool Rating: 6.5
Picture: www.routerforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=546
Review:

I have an older Craftsman band saw and was interested in upgrading it. I had a friend who had used the Carter system to upgrade his band saw and always commented how much he liked it. He was way into band sawing and thus his opinion left me wanting a set for my band saw. This was a few years back and we have lost contact with each other but I still went with the Carter system.

www.carterproducts.com



For reference I purchased my band saw in 1976 and it is a model 113.24350. The original blade guides were metal. I replaced them with a fiber system some years back. I like the fiber ones better then the metal but one needs to resurface the fiber ones as they wear. I had thought about ceramic or small bearing replacements but liked the idea of the larger bearings of the Carter set. This led me to buy a set this past winter. I have not put a lot of time on the band saw but enough for a first impression review. Also note this review is only of the model I purchased and not general in nature.



The instructions were good enough to let me change out the old for the new and to make the adjustments. They did not say to remove the table but the pictures showed the table off, so I removed the table and I think that this is a good idea. A lot of dust had caked up under and around where I needed to work so I cleaned it up with a stiff brush before starting. Still some of the parts were hard to move but after all these years I guess that is to be expected. All the new parts fit and the whole process went well. I remounted the ¼” blade that I normal keep on the saw. I do very little re-sawing and have not tried that with the new guides. (For what work I do on the band saw I mostly use the ¼” or 3/8” size blades.) The adjustments are simple and quick to make and I was ready to go in a short amount of time.



This is where I found to my disappointment that the blade guard had no place to mount. The instructions provided no help and did not even mention re-installing the blade guard. Having several inches of exposed blade is not my idea of safety. Not providing a method of attaching the blade guard I feel is a major weakness in the system. Having looked at the product line-up for Carter I see that several models come with new guards but the lack of a simple bracket for this model is not acceptable. I will go in to this in more detail later.



Blade guard in place I started the band saw. The first thing you will notice is how quiet it is without all the rubbing! I then shut it off and checked the alignment and spacing before do a few simple cuts. Since I was just playing I just did some twisting and turning and found things to be as I had hoped for….. that is better then before! I have now had time to cut out a few projects, some curvy trim pieces out of 2 x stock and several projects in 1 x stock. I even did some long tapers and found I was happy with all the cuts and have not had to re-adjust anything. The large bearings seem to work better and for that I am glad.



In summery:

Expensive or should that be Very Expensive! For my saw they cost $139 plus taxes and shipping. In 1976 I paid $144.89 for the whole saw (no motor or stand). I feel that this is over priced by about 50% so this cut down on my score for this product.



They work well and I am happy with the improvements they give the saw. Would I send them back and try something else… no I like them! Really I like them! Would I recommend them? Yes if you promice to put the blade guard back on.



So why the low score? The lack of a bracket to mount the guard was not a big issue for me, I found a few pieces of metal to bend and it was done. What bothers me is that some people will not take the time to do that and will work with an exposed blade… This is a major safety issue and one Carter should have addressed. The cost would be so low for them that I cannot believe they did not take care of this…. Looks to me like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I addressed this to Carter in an email dated March 17 titled “HELP PLEASE”. The response to that email came April 26.


“Good Morning:

Thank you for your interest in Carter Products. Unfortunately we do not
offer a solution for remounting your guard. This is up to the customer toget the guard reattached. Have a wonderful day

Carter Products Company, Inc.”



If the product was rated without the customer service and safety concerns it would have been an 8.8 but when you buy a product you get the whole ball of wax and when I rate them I rate everything. I expected more and got less.



Other references to look at:

www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=986



Ed

Last edited by reible; 07-15-2006 at 01:06 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-28-2005, 07:04 AM
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Hi Ed: I changed the guides on my 14" Delta band saw to Carter guides,and the instructions covered re installing the guard. However I did have to drill some holes
to get it done . As far as the cost is concerned, the Carter guides are a bit pricey,
but comparing the price to 1976 dollars, off sets this quite a bit. I just added the quick release Carter product, and a new tension spring, called Cobra. Both products worked out great. Just thought I would add my opinion for what it's worth.. Woodnut65
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-06-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Ed,

I also installed the Carter guides on my 14" Delta (with riser block) as part of an upgrade effort that included a torsion box table, spring replacement and some other things. Bottom line: no safety concern because the guard reinstallation was simple. And, like you, I love the performance improvement. I considered all the alternatives I could find, and chose these. Worth every cent.

Wayne
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-06-2005, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad that the carter system is working for you too! I'm also glad that it was designed so the guard wasn't a problem.

As an update I removed the bracket I made and did a few measurements and will make a drawing of what I did and include it as part of this review and send a copy to Carter. Maybe they will make that part of the package they send out or at least offer it for those who spent the money on their system.

Ed

Last edited by reible; 07-15-2006 at 01:06 AM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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I bought mine this month and installed them on a new Delta 14" band saw. The kit came with a replacement blade guard.
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