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Are lenox carbide bandsaw blades and carter guides worth it for my 18" BS?

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Forum topic by etc6849 posted 07-19-2012 01:43 AM 3099 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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etc6849

14 posts in 877 days


07-19-2012 01:43 AM

I was looking into getting a lenox trimaster 1” wide, carbide tipped, 3/4 TPI (variable) blade. It appears this is very expensive for my Bridgewood PBS 440 bandsaw which requires a 145” blade, so I thought I’d seek advice before purchasing. I just bought the bandsaw, so I’m somewhat inexperienced.

I plan to mostly do rasawing and ripping, but will cut steel and aluminum some on odd jobs around the house too. I’d also like to cut slight curves as needed. Basically, I’d like to have a very versatile blade that still offers the best resaw cut if that’s possible.

I was thinking about purchasing from here, if there’s a better price with shipping included, please advise:
http://www.bandsawbladesdirect.com/productinfo.php/cPath/2124/productsid/29

The blade alone comes to $222.49?!?

I’m also looking at these guides as the euro style GL 456 guides that came with the used saw have a small amount of play in them. I’m not sure if I’d notice an improvement or not, any thoughts?

I was planning on buying from carter directly as I couldn’t find them cheaper else where as the carter rep is offering 10% off. They come out to $234 – $23.40 + $14.90 shipping = $225.50! If you know of a cheaper place, please let me know on this too! Over all, the bandsaw is in great shape and looks new. I may be getting too anal on the euro guides as some play maybe normal?

http://www.carterproducts.com/product.asp?productid=151&cat_id=13

I also saw that Laguna Tools has ceramic guide option, but it is even more at $285 and the replacement ceramic looks over priced too ($90). The parts Carter sells look much cheaper if I need new bearings down the road.

Honestly, I’m amazed at how much these bandsaw accessories cost. I’m interested in also hearing any “is it worth it?” advice too. I’m happy with the bandsaw and craigslist deal I got, although I’m not sure how good of deal it was either. I bought the 18” pbs440 bandsaw (made by ACM in Italy), a Robland 12” jointer/planer combo and an Excalibur sliding table for $1850 total. I can’t imagine who is buying this stuff new now that prices are even higher than what they were in 2001-2002.

-- A free home automation program called Premise: http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/Premise


13 replies so far

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 880 days


#1 posted 07-19-2012 01:48 AM

To me, bimetal is all I need. To you, well, you have a 145” blade, that would be a pain to change..
I guess is a good price if you gonna resaw a lot of hard, dense wood then yeah, it would be worth it.
I would recommend getting another smaller bandsaw for curves because you wouldn’t want to constantly change blades, would you?
Hope this helps

-- My terrible signature...

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1589 days


#2 posted 07-19-2012 01:48 AM

I, too, just bought an 18” band saw. Thanks to etc6849 for asking these questions. I will stay tuned to see what my band saw experienced colleagues have to say.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Wdwerker's profile

Wdwerker

333 posts in 922 days


#3 posted 07-19-2012 02:32 AM

I have had Carter guides on my 14 inch Delta bandsaw with a height kit for quite a few years. I find the blade runs better when resawing. I hated adjusting the old guide blocks.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11237 posts in 1379 days


#4 posted 07-19-2012 02:49 AM

I can’t afford that blade but have heard nothing but praise for it. I think you got a screaming bargain on your tools.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View etc6849's profile

etc6849

14 posts in 877 days


#5 posted 07-19-2012 03:04 AM

Thanks :)

I spent over a month searching on craigslist, but there’s always that feeling of there’s a better deal out there. I was reaching the point of diminishing returns on time invested in craigslist versus savings when I finally got lucky and found the ad. I drove 4 hours to pick the stuff up, but I do like the tools.

-- A free home automation program called Premise: http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/Premise

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2097 posts in 877 days


#6 posted 07-19-2012 03:39 AM

I have used Lenox blades of the size you need and had good luck with them. I bought mine from Spectrum Supply . Their prices seemed good especially if you buy a number of blades at once. I use Lenox`s WOODMASTER but I don`t cut steel. I had a TRIMASTER and it was OK but I only cut wood with it.

As for guides, I have Laguna`s ceramic guides and don`t think they are worth the money. Besides, Laguna Tools can be a real pain to deal with, as numerous posts about their poor Customer Service attest.

As Alexandre points out, bimetal blades are also pretty good. I use them on my smaller bandsaw with good success.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Robert Brown's profile

Robert Brown

124 posts in 1380 days


#7 posted 07-19-2012 04:17 AM

Don’t have Carter guides but do have a 1/2” Lenox Trimaster blade on my 14” with riser block. I use it for resawing. Other blades did not last. This one lasts. For me it is well worth it. I don’t see myself using a different blade in the future.

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 2010 days


#8 posted 07-19-2012 05:25 AM

First I am a big fan of carbide tipped blades, IF you use them enough or need the finish quality. They have two big advantages over carbon, bi-metal or any of the other set tooth blades, they last much longer and having ground teeth they leave a smoother finish.

The Laguna Resaw King is the best of all the carbide blades in the finish department and given it is very thin kerf (for a carbide blade) it takes less feed effort on hand fed machines and it thin gauge allows wider widths on bandsaws unable to tension thicker carbide blades properly (28,000-30,000 psi) Second is the Lenox Trimaster which leave almost as good a finish but is wider kerf and gauge. I would NOT go with a 1” TM on the PBS 440, for example my MM20 doesn’t have a lot of tension left with a 1” TM (it is a .035” gauge) and the Centauro built Minimax is built a lot stronger than the ACM built Bridgewoods were. The 3/4” .035” is where I would stop for that saw. Third on my list would be the Lenox Woodmaster CT which I prefer over the other two for ripping but the finish is not quite as good as the TM, however Lenox doesn’t make a 3/4” WM CT anymore and the 1” is too thick of that saw. I have all three of these bands and have used them all fairly extensively. I do have a Lenox Aluminum Master which is supposed to be a good wood blade also but haven’t had a chance to try it out.

As to guides, if you plan to use the saw as a dedicated rip/resaw and keep a wide high tension blade on it I wouldn’t bother changing guides. The high beam strength of a wide high tension blade and slow feed rate of hand feeding rarely need the guides to intervene. I can slice 1/32” veneer 15+ inches tall with both the top and bottom guides backed all the way off, you can’t tell which ones had the guides and which ones didn’t. If you are going to use the saw as a multi-purpose saw with smaller blades you may find other guides useful. I wouldn’t bother with the Carter 2X00 series guides, if they have a Guidall or Micro-Precison guides to fit your saw then that is a different story. In general for a replacement guide IMO there is no better guide than the Laguna ceramic block guides, they are the quickest and easiest to set and they provide better support than any other guide, I have them on my countour cutting saws. In my experience you will spend more money replacing bearings (on the low end 2X00 Carter guides and others) than you will on replacement ceramic, it just does NOT wear. In the end I would only replace them if it is not going to be a dedicated resaw machine.

@thebigvise Understand that blade recommendations for one saw may not translate to another, even if they are the same wheel size. For specific resawing/ripping blade recommendations you would need to post the specific saw as your saw may have less or more tension ability than the Bridgewood.

View etc6849's profile

etc6849

14 posts in 877 days


#9 posted 07-19-2012 12:39 PM

Thanks everyone. So is the concensus that a 3/4” blade is wide enough? What about teeth per itch? Should I buy variable teeth per inch?

-- A free home automation program called Premise: http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/Premise

View etc6849's profile

etc6849

14 posts in 877 days


#10 posted 07-19-2012 12:48 PM

Honestly, I’m not sure what to think about the resaw king. I have read online that the early versions were not carbide tipped, but were instead some unknown carbide like alloy. Laguna’s current website doesn’t even say the resaw king blades are carbide tipped… (see link below)?

Their support rep is kind of dodgy too. I asked him several direct questions twice now and he always replies with a “call me” email. If they can’t answer a few simple questions in writing, I’m not going to ever do business with them.

http://www.lagunatools.com/accessories/resawking/bandsaw-resawking1

-- A free home automation program called Premise: http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/Premise

View Heisbert's profile

Heisbert

34 posts in 868 days


#11 posted 07-19-2012 02:11 PM

Carbide tipped blades are the best blades for me. I got them from an online supplier: www.sawblade.com. As for the guides, they also have www.bandsawparts.com . There are two reasons why I stick to these sites:

1. They offer affordable and good quality blades and parts that fits every brand of band saw.

2. They provide the best (as for me) customer support to all their clients. When I ask questions regarding tpi or other blade information, I always get reliable answers because they have knowledge regarding what they are selling.

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2097 posts in 877 days


#12 posted 07-19-2012 04:51 PM

etc6849 :

Heisbert is a shill. He’s just trying to sell you something.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View etc6849's profile

etc6849

14 posts in 877 days


#13 posted 07-19-2012 05:07 PM

Does anyone know if the variable tooth blades can be resharpened? If so, do they cost more to resharpen versus

Also, is going with a 3/4” worth not having the variable teeth? (someone mentioned earlier that my bandsaw may not be able to properly tension a 1” blade). Only a skipped tooth is available in the 3/4” size.

-- A free home automation program called Premise: http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/Premise

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