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Initial review of 14bx 220

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Review by djg posted 03-09-2016 05:20 PM 5615 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Initial review of 14bx 220 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

i purchases the 14 box along with the articulating 220v halogen lamp, mobility kit and 3/4 resaw king blade. When delivered it was well packages. Probably the best I have eve seen. It was packed tightly inside a box in molded styrofoam. The box was in perfect shape and I had now double that it had travelled safely to my home. Initially the machine looked great. I have had the machine now for several weeks and have yet to use it. There have been many issues with setup mainly due to lack of quality control on the Laguna. I do understand that these are mass produced Asian imports but the issues I have seen are kind of unacceptable.

First the machine vibrated at startup and shutdown and excessively while running. Laguna service sent out new tires which have corrected some of the problem. Using a dial gauge I determined that the spokes on the upper wheel not coplanar with the rim of the wheel which appears to be causing the vibration during start and stop. The wheels are coplanar and there were no issues with tracking. The bottom wheel runs vibration free with the blade taken off. The upper wheel appears to be balanced as I can see drilled divots in the back of the wheel. Apparently this wasnt sufficient to balance the wheel.

The guide blocks are not flat nor do they have square sides. The ceramic blocks are not square to the sides of the block making it impossible to adjust the blocks parallel to the side of the blades. Several of the blocks tip when tightening so I laid them on a flat surface and found that they aren’t flat.

The table insert edges are rounded like the insert had been sanded in order to flat tent it rather than it being milled flat. When I adjust insert set screws so the edges are flush with the table top, the insert sits about 1/32”above the table. If I adjust so the centre is level, pushing wood through catches on the edge of the insert table recess.

The table is flat, the motor runs quietly, the guide tower rack and pinion runs smoothly and the blade is easy to adjust. The fence works fine. it looks like a great machine and it is feature rich. But the quality control is not that great.

This being said, the customer service has been a good to deal with. They have sent me a set of tires, and are now sending me 2 sets of a guide blocks, 2 sets of ceramic blocks, a table insert and a new upper wheel. I wouldn’t have expected this from a new machine and I am a little dissapointed.
for now I am giving it 3 stars but am hoping it will be a 5 star machine once all items are fixed.

March 17th UPDATE

Since my review, I have now recieved a new upper wheel, all new guide blocks and ceramics. They forgot to put the throat plate in the box. I emailed them are received an email back within 15 minutes apologizing for the inconvenience, followed by another email 5 minutes later with the order for a throat plate to be shipped via USPS. The last part is a little unfortunate considering that I am at the most easterly point in canada. In anycase the issue has been addressed. replacing the upper wheel has made a big difference to vibration. There is almost no vibration now at startup and the machine runs smoothly once up to speed. the new guides were much better than the ones installed in the factory. the ceramics were, for the most part square to the back of the guide block and both ceramics on each block were planar to one another. Once the guide blocks were installed on the machine, I found that tightening the block lead to the block racking so that the ceramics were no longer parallel to the blade. I determined that the edges of the back support block that keep the guide blocks centered had rounded corners but the guide block edges were knife edge sharp. I sanded a simple chamfer on the back edges of the block and that fixed the problem. the blocks are now good.

March 18th UPDATE

This morning I started to go through setup again. I determined that tightening the trunnion levers leads to the table warping front to back. I think. If I release the trunnion levers, release the table split bolt, and then tighten the table split bolt, the table is, for the most part, flat front to back. Once the trunnion is tightened, the table is forced out of planarity. Seems that there may be an issue with the trunnion support casting. However according to a post found here:

http://lumberjocks.com/replies/on/2647444

it looks like there are some adjustments for this. I have contacted Laguna support for advice with this issue.

More updates to follow. I will say that laguna support has been perfect. I have seen many comments over the past years that indicate otherwise. I am not saying that they don’t have customer service issues on a larger scale but my experience with them has been good.

I am not sure that I agree with their business model which appears to be:
1. bring in machines from china, hope for the best.
2. If there are issues, its on the customer side.
3. Provide good customer service to offset the lack of quality control.

I can see why this works financially because the dirty work of quality control is on the hands of the customer.

More to follow.

March 23rd UPDATE

making the adjustments to the trunnion bracket according the the above link flattened the table. According to laguna support, they said that sometimes adjustments are required on these cast parts as they can change as the iron sets up. Milling surfaces and shaping can lead to release of internal stress in the metal. The adjustments actually warp the trunnion into the shape you want in order to flatten the table. The support only needed a minor adjustment for everything to work out. At this point things are looking pretty good. My table is flat, my guide blocks are good, the blade is square to the table, left to right, front to back and top to bottom. I am still waiting on a throat plate. However, expecting to get a throat plate like the last one, i went ahead and had a machinist friend of mine mill the current one perfectly flat.

Next…dust collection. Dust collection on this machine sucks (which is not surprising). There are two 4 ” inlets in the bottom cabinet (which equates to about 25 sq in of cross sectional area). There is the equivalent of about 4 square inches of open cross sectional area entering the cabinet so it is clear that there is not enough air flow through the cabinet. for adequate collection you need to move lots of air. the hole to the bottom cabinet around the blade has an area of about 2 sq inches. with the collector on, there is suction. however without enough air to move all the cut material, it drops out of a minisucle air stream and settles inside the cabinet.

I am now in the process of building a sensible shroud below the table to surround the blade with an airstream to wisk away the dust.

April 5th 2016 UPDATE

I recieved a new throat plate….its the same as the first, rounded at the edges, and towards the middle, high everywhere else! good thing I know a machinist. I had a friend of mine mill the top of my previous plate flat. Funny that something so simple can be so wrong….the bottom of the plate is perfectly flat. the top is not. it looks to me that all of the milling was done from the bottom and any burrs were smothed from the top by placing the top on a belt sander as indicated by the streaky sandpaper lines.

Dust collection has been modified and I will post on the main lumber jocks project page. All in all now that most issues are “fixed” I am fairly pleased with the bandsaw. I am chaning my review to 4 stars since the machine is now where I want it. The customber service was great, easy to deal with and seemed knowledgeable. Two of the people I spoke to had the 14|12 themselves and knew how to do the fine adjustments. If you are deciding to purchase this machine, my experience is that you should be prepared for some quality control issues, some of which appear to be unfixable (rounded throatplate) so having access to people with a mill may be necessary if that is important to you. the cut now is much smoother. now that I have a better familiarity with the machine, I feel that some issues can be taken out with minor adjustments.

Its not a bad machine, but can you buy better for the same amount of money?..I guess im not going to find that out for a long long time.

-- DJG




View djg's profile

djg

160 posts in 2064 days



5 comments so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2641 posts in 1927 days


#1 posted 03-09-2016 10:18 PM

A suggestion: you could try taping small weights to the top wheel spokes. With the blade off, let the wheel rotate freely. Where it settles should indicate the heavy side. Sort of like balancing auto wheels. Some trial and error involved here.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

3131 posts in 2923 days


#2 posted 03-10-2016 05:33 AM

Sorry for your problems, but thanks for letting us all know what you have found so far, and hope to will update us after everything new is installed.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2738 posts in 2417 days


#3 posted 03-12-2016 12:42 AM

Thanks for the good review. This confirms my choice when my tax refund hits in a couple weeks, a Grizzly G0513X2BF.

I’m sorry for your problems.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Mtwoodwrkr's profile

Mtwoodwrkr

8 posts in 703 days


#4 posted 03-17-2016 04:58 PM

Well done review, thank you. I am sorry for your issues and the frustration they must be causing. I have been considering the purchase of the Laguna 3000 14 SUV bandsaw, but your review made up my mind. I will now be going with the Hammer N4400. I do intend to purchase the Laguna Revo 18-36 lathe in the near future, I hope I do not experience the same quality control problems.
Thanks for sharing.

-- "Cut it two times, it is still too short"

View Johnwi's profile

Johnwi

5 posts in 1976 days


#5 posted 04-01-2016 12:18 PM

Thanks for great detailed review. I was already to order one again until I read this. My idea was to have the bx and later on order an 18” either the Laguna or Minimax. I’m now kind of leaning towards just the 18” saw and keeping my Delta 14”. I talked to a sales person last week from Laguna because I was considering the SUV as well for purchase. He talked me into the bx model because he said it was more refined then the SUV and he also said they will be discontinuing the SUV model in the near future. They will be introducing a new Driftmaster fence sometime within the year.

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