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Laguna 14BX 220V Bandsaw 4.5 Stars

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Review by crb posted 05-22-2018 12:35 AM 1116 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Laguna 14BX 220V Bandsaw 4.5 Stars Laguna 14BX 220V Bandsaw 4.5 Stars Laguna 14BX 220V Bandsaw 4.5 Stars Click the pictures to enlarge them

Overview
I’ve had my Laguna 14bx for about 8 months now – purchased used but in very good condition to replace my Delta 14” saw with riser. This unibody style saw was a huge upgrade from the underpowered, undertensioned Delta. My main uses are for resaw, milling logs, and general shop rough cuts. I do not do any cutting of tight curves with this, so don’t expect me to talk about the time I cut 300 wooden nickels as I have not done anything of the sort. I purchased this for the resaw capacity and generous HP in the 220V motor. This is a very capable saw for the money and size.

Guides
Toolless ceramic guides are great. A big upgrade from cool blocks on my old saw. I set them by first adjusting an upper guide so the blade is parallel with the resaw fence which only requires a light touch, I then set the rest by having them barely touch the blade. I found the paper gap instruction in the manual to be time consuming and achieved better results this way. I do have one BIG complaint on the guides – one of the upper adjust knobs protrudes below the guide housing and I am always catching it on something part of the workpiece – especially if it still has bark. Quite the design error – see image. I now own a draw knife because of this issue to debark parts of a log I think may become a problem. My other complaint is that the lower guides are difficult to adjust because of their proximity to the table – even with the table tilted. If you really tighten them down sometimes they get pretty hard to unstick down there. The guide height adjustment is rack and pinion. I wish the lock for that was on the operator side so I didn’t have to reach around the saw blade. The screw on the throat plate is the only tool you need to install the blade. I wouldn’t complain if they had a way to secure the plate without a screw (magnets?).

Fence
The fence that comes with the saw is a stout aluminium extrusion with a high and low position. Switching fence heights is easy and tool free. It has drift adjustments (just 3 allen heads) but I find this drift adjustment to be lacking when I played with it. When tightening down one of the allen heads with the included T-wrench the fence would inevitably move from where I wanted it. I will say I didn’t have any problems with drift when resawing so I didn’t have to tool with the adjustment too much.

Foot brake
The foot brake is one of my favorite features. I can turn off the saw motor with my foot! This is great when milling logs when you need to step around the log sled or saw. The microswitch will turn off the motor with a light tap if you don’t want to immediately stop the blade.

Dust collection
I thought the dust collection was bad on this at first but then I cut a log and forgot to turn my DC on. This resulted in cleaning a LOT of dust from the lower cabinet. When using proper DC (mine is the 2HP Harbor Freight job) I get hardly any dust in the lower cabinet but there is a significant accumulation around the upper guides. I haven’t noticed much floating in the air so I think the upper scoop gets lots of that but I generally run an overhead air filter when using this tool. I take off no stars for this until I can find a bandsaw with good DC.

Cutting performance
I use a 3/8 Lenox Dimaster bimetal and 1/2” Trimaster carbide tipped blade with this tensioned to 1/2” and 3/4” on the scale respectively. I have milled logs with the full resaw capacity of the saw with both blades and didn’t have the saw bog down at all with a decent feed rate. Resawing 6” stock with the fence was drift free with these blades, even after some use. The cast iron wheels can flywheel much more energy than the machined aluminium wheels on my last saw, which seems to help the cutting action.

Tracking
My other complaint with this saw was that for high tension applications I had to de-tenstion the blade, adjust tracking and then retension the blade to test where it would track. I do not know if this is normal for all saws? At lower tension settings I didn’t have to do this.

Tension bar
The tension bar sticks out below the upper wheel housing so you can see it there and be reminded to tension your saw. This is a good thing.

Trunions
The trunions are large and very beefy. I have no quantitative data on said beefiness but know they supported my heavy logs well.

Mobile Base
The unit doesn’t inlude a mobile base, but the optional one is worth the cost in a smaller shop. Internet comments complained about stability when moving but I didn’t have any issues unless I pushed from the top of the saw (protip: don’t push from the top of the saw). It is very well designed and much better than a big aftermarket square solution. Buy this.

Lamps
There are optional articulating lamps avaialable for this saw and they look great. They are also $150. I didn’t purchase them but the saw has a 220V outlet available for them. Some internet people complained this wasn’t a 120V outlet. This is not a valid complaint since to properly wire a 120V outlet the saw would need a 120V cord.

Conclusion
This is a great saw with some minor drawbacks. Miles ahead of the old cast iron saws. I would recommend buying this. If I had to purchase new and not gotten my Craigslist deal I would strongly consider the 18bx instead. I give it 4.5 stars as I swear I cuss at the adjustment knob location on the top guide every time I use it. The knob can be used on the other side but I would have the same issue. I am tempted to drill and tap the aluminium so the knob is parallel to the table to remedy this.

-- Tighten it until it breaks, then back off a quarter turn!




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crb

21 posts in 435 days



9 comments so far

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

981 posts in 2613 days


#1 posted 05-22-2018 02:00 AM

I hope you kept your Delta bandsaw and put a carter stabilizer and an eighth inch blade for cutting curves. I have a bandsaw for resawing and one for curves. You will be glad if you did.

View crb's profile

crb

21 posts in 435 days


#2 posted 05-22-2018 02:04 AM



I hope you kept your Delta bandsaw and put a carter stabilizer and an eighth inch blade for cutting curves. I have a bandsaw for resawing and one for curves. You will be glad if you did.

- Woodmaster1


Sadly as I was helping the buyer load it my last words were something like “I’d keep it and leave it set up with a small blade but I don’t have room”

-- Tighten it until it breaks, then back off a quarter turn!

View Jacksdad's profile

Jacksdad

177 posts in 450 days


#3 posted 05-23-2018 12:06 AM

Great review

View harrison17's profile

harrison17

26 posts in 267 days


#4 posted 05-23-2018 07:46 PM

Great review, I’ve been looking at this model so I’ve been doing a lot of research. It looks like your top guide with the knob in the way is on upside down from what I’ve seen.

View crb's profile

crb

21 posts in 435 days


#5 posted 05-24-2018 11:44 AM



Great review, I ve been looking at this model so I ve been doing a lot of research. It looks like your top guide with the knob in the way is on upside down from what I ve seen.

- harrison17


I just checked the manual, it appears the top guide block is indeed upside down. I’ll look at it in the shop tonight. This is great, thank you for alerting me. I guess I should check anything else the previous owner assembled! If I can get the guide flipped I’ll go from 4.5 to 5 stars.

-- Tighten it until it breaks, then back off a quarter turn!

View harrison17's profile

harrison17

26 posts in 267 days


#6 posted 05-24-2018 03:39 PM


Great review, I ve been looking at this model so I ve been doing a lot of research. It looks like your top guide with the knob in the way is on upside down from what I ve seen.

- harrison17

I just checked the manual, it appears the top guide block is indeed upside down. I ll look at it in the shop tonight. This is great, thank you for alerting me. I guess I should check anything else the previous owner assembled! If I can get the guide flipped I ll go from 4.5 to 5 stars.

- crb

Glad I could help

View crb's profile

crb

21 posts in 435 days


#7 posted 05-25-2018 03:24 AM

I can’t edit my review, but now I give this machine 5 stars. As the above poster pointed out my guide was installed backward. I guess that is the price for saving some money on equipment. In 30 seconds without tools I had the guide flipped and ready for the full resaw capacity of the 14bx.

I should mention after many rough board feet of lumber I could not even feel a groove in the ceramic guide from the blade. I do admit I rotated the circular rear guide every time I cleaned or changed the blade, but it was as smooth as I would expect a new guide to be.

-- Tighten it until it breaks, then back off a quarter turn!

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

917 posts in 2008 days


#8 posted 05-25-2018 03:39 PM

I have this exact saw as well and was just about to comment the guide was upside down. If you don’t have the Resaw King blade form Laguna you should get it, I can cut through anything with absolute ease and perfect tracking on this saw using that blade.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1020 posts in 629 days


#9 posted 05-26-2018 05:48 PM


I have this exact saw as well and was just about to comment the guide was upside down. If you don t have the Resaw King blade form Laguna you should get it, I can cut through anything with absolute ease and perfect tracking on this saw using that blade.

- UpstateNYdude


+1
I gotta say that even though the Resaw King is spendy it is worth it IMHO. Being a cheapskate I agonized over the price but I got one on sale when I bought my Laguna (cuz Rockler didn’t have anything else in stock that would fit it) and the saw and the blade are fantastic. The 3/4” RKing cuts through everything I’ve thrown at it like butter including cocobolo and bubinga. Carbide makes it resharpenable. I had a minor issue with the saw which I can’t even remember what it was and they sent me another RK!

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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