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Ceramic band saw guides; do they really work better than conventional bearing type? #1: I will be installing ceramic guides and a 1" re-saw blade let’s see if it makes a difference.

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Blog entry by sandhill posted 10-03-2007 03:14 AM 8454 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Blade guides for band saws are designed to aid the blade’s ability to resist deflection at the sides and back of the blade by the use of bearings usually a guide assembly at the top and another set of guide supports below the table. The problem we have learned to live with is the blade is still able to twist as pressure from the wood being cut is transferred to the back blade guide or as the wood or stock is turned. In turn these bearings do there job by keeping the blade running true to the wheels they travel on. This works pretty well except for a few issues. Heat build up and accuracy of the cut on the vertical plain when performing re-sawing.

I saw a video on Laguna’s web site and looked into the ceramic guides.

LAGUNA features a set of “ceramic guide blocks” that they claim supports both side to side and thrust support. The ceramic pieces are integral to the mounting block and permitted to touch the side of the blade, as well as the back without heat build-up, as well as giving stability which sounded good to me due to the amount of re-sawing and book matching I do so I went and ordered them along with a 1” re-saw blade which they call the “King Blade” made exclusively for re-sawing.

Time to install the blocks and the new blade

I thought this would be a good time to perform some maintenance and cleaning to the saw new tires on both wheels, a new capacitor for the motor and a full cleaning and a full inspection while I wait for FedEx to deliver.

Come back next week and see how everything went together and we turn on the saw for a test cut. I will be cutting a piece of 4/4 Walnut for book matching panels. If I can I will post some pictures along the way…



13 comments so far

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2838 days


#1 posted 10-03-2007 04:24 AM

I’m really interested. I’m not very happy with the bearing guides on my new grizzly. If the ceramics work as advertised I might bite.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3153 days


#2 posted 10-03-2007 05:02 AM

I’ve got the 1 1/4” resaw blade from laguna, but I’m using some carter blade guides. I’ve never seen resawing like this blade. On some mahogany you could hardly tell the resawed side to the planed side. They are great.

Good luck.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#3 posted 10-03-2007 05:10 AM

I could not resist! LOL I did try it out… It does look good! Is the 1 1/4 really 1”? I think that is what they said. Are the carter guides the same as the Laguna?

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3153 days


#4 posted 10-03-2007 05:23 AM

NO it’s almost too wide for my saw. I’ve got an 18” Taiwan saw. The blade guides have bearings on each side of the blade.

Here’s some pictures that I took when I was modifying the table surface.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#5 posted 10-03-2007 06:23 AM

When I was unable to install my ceramic guide block on the top guide I sent them some pictures and they had a guide made up at no charge. Here is a photo of what I have now. the round post is to small to hold the guide. Maybe you could talk to them, I talked to Jeff in tech support, I hope to have the part this week
Upper guide

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#6 posted 10-11-2007 05:54 AM

Well I have installed the guides on the saw and put the 1” blade back on to cut a scrap piece of walnut 8” X 8” X 3/4” to make veneer for inlay and was very impressed by the results I shaved off a piece about 3/16” and after a light sanding on the belt sander I had an 1/8” piece which I added to my veneer stash. I can’t believe how true it cut with all most no set up time. I would recommend the King blade and the ceramic blocks to anyone that does re-sawing even though it’s a bit expensive, I paid about $400.00 for the new guides, 1” King blade, ¼” & ½” blade.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2774 days


#7 posted 10-11-2007 01:53 PM

I read this comment over on the Laguna site.
I don’t know what the facts are but it is something to consider you are going ahead with the install.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2850 days


#8 posted 10-11-2007 03:58 PM

Thanks Bob. Something to consider if I buy a Laguna.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#9 posted 10-11-2007 05:27 PM

Bob, The guys at Laguna told me that the new guides would make sparks but it was not a problem (yea for them) but any way I did take the time to set it up the way I thought it should be along with the directions. They said to use a dollar bill to set the clearances which I did but I also took about 10 min to ensure the blade was parallel to the guide and the back of the guide was the same distance as the guides top and bottom. The results were NO SPARKS so I don’t know what the deal is with sparks. Maybe I’m setting it up wrong I may call Laguna, although it cuts real well and the blade stays clean. As a side note I think that blade tension is the key to a good set up.

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#10 posted 10-13-2007 06:04 AM

Waynet, you can use them on any larger saw or get a set from the people that make the saw you have or they will recommend a third party. The blade is really the bet I have seen. I will post a photo when I find the camera, my wife to it up to get photos of the grand kids in Atlanta

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#11 posted 10-15-2007 04:46 AM

I thought I would post a few pictures of the King 1” blade and ceramic guides

I can’t belive the smoth cut it gives.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2850 days


#12 posted 10-15-2007 04:52 AM

Serious blade…. : ^ )

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2676 days


#13 posted 10-15-2007 04:59 AM

Yes an it has only 2 teeth per inch: = o

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