Setting up new bandsaw

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Forum topic by IHRedRules posted 04-16-2015 12:44 AM 793 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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89 posts in 897 days

04-16-2015 12:44 AM

I just picked up my new Laguna 14/12 bandsaw, which is my first “real” band saw. I don’t consider my previous craigslist find Craftsman one a real band saw by any means. In setting it up with a 3/4” blade, i centered the gullets of the blade on the center of the upper wheel, per the Snodgrass video. However, on the lower wheel, the gullets align with the left edge of the wheel. Is this the way it is supposed to be? I’m assuming that is not right, but don’t see a way to adjust the lower wheel so that the blade tracks in the center.

8 replies so far

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13077 posts in 1278 days

#1 posted 04-16-2015 12:45 AM

Yeah, with a larger blade that won’t be possible and you don’t want the teeth to be off the wheel.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View BroncoBrian's profile


435 posts in 1380 days

#2 posted 04-16-2015 12:57 AM

Let me know how it goes. I am debating between that BS and the SUV. Not convinced I need the power, but the guides are also upgraded and a lot of guys say that is what you always have to upgrade later. If you are very happy with that one, maybe you can save me some $.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

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339 posts in 844 days

#3 posted 04-16-2015 01:15 PM

I think you are all good. I love my 14|12.

View Drew's profile


290 posts in 2521 days

#4 posted 04-16-2015 03:16 PM

That is fine. It is set from the factory. Trying to get the blade to track the same on both wheels is one of the biggest mistakes people make setting up a bandsaw.


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1417 posts in 598 days

#5 posted 04-16-2015 03:52 PM

I have the same with my Grizzly, I align the gullets with the center of the top wheel but tracking causes the bottom wheel gullets to be different.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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425 posts in 2743 days

#6 posted 04-16-2015 06:44 PM

I am debating between that BS and the SUV. Not convinced I need the power, but the guides are also upgraded and a lot of guys say that is what you always have to upgrade later.

- BroncoBrian

What gives you the impression the SUV has upgraded guides over the 14/twelve? Laguna guides are essentially the same across the entire line except for the attachment hardware and the large saws have longer ceramic strips to work with wider blades.

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89 posts in 897 days

#7 posted 04-16-2015 11:59 PM

Thanks for the info, I will leave it as it is and not lose any sleep at night. At some point, I will post a review of the bandsaw, so stay tuned.

Let me know how it goes. I am debating between that BS and the SUV. Not convinced I need the power, but the guides are also upgraded and a lot of guys say that is what you always have to upgrade later. If you are very happy with that one, maybe you can save me some $.

- BroncoBrian

I haven’t had a chance to really put it to use, but I have it set up for my 3/4” Laguna ProForce resaw blade. For testing, I ran an ~6-7” wide quarter sawn red oak board through it and it went through it like a hot knife through butter. I’ve got it getting nice and straight cuts, something that the old craftsman would never have dreamed of. It is a complete night and day difference. My thinking is that a lot of woodworkers here are satisfied with the $500 Grizzly bandsaws, so why shouldn’t the 14/12 be good enough for 90+% of woodworkers? If I were you, I’d get the 14/12 instead of the SUV and put the money saved towards something else.

View AHuxley's profile


425 posts in 2743 days

#8 posted 04-17-2015 01:42 AM

Having some more time I thought I would give my thoughts on the SUV vs 14/12.

First, the SUV is arguably the best 14” bandsaw ever built, the Europeans have never done much in the way of full featured 14” and though the PM 141 (and its siblings) and General 490 (15”) are the best small cast saws they have their limitations in today’s “resaw world”. The other current small saw would be the PM1500 (15”) and while it might be the best small saw made the price is too close to a MM16.

I think the 14/12 is possibly the best value in the 1000-1200 price range. #2 would be the Grizzly G0513X2. This is close enough to need to evaluate the small things to determine the best saw of the two for you.

Comparing the SUV to the 14/12 outside of the significant price increase (percentage wise) I see the SUV as a baby resaw bandsaw where I see the 14/12 as more of a general purpose bandsaw. The 14/12 has a table height much more conducive to pattern/contour work compared to the lower height of the SUV which fits resawing much better. If I were to be relegated to a single bandsaw (perish the though, I have 5 and prefer to change bandsaws vs changing blades) of the two I might well pick the 14/12. The SUV would be an excellent companion to a 14” cast saw in a space challenged shop. While over the years I have been a strong proponent of the SUV with the price increases it becomes easier to say look for a bigger saw (assuming you have the room) when we are talking $1800 (plus taxes and/or freight). In the end given the option of the two, unless I used a BS mainly for as a resaw machine I think the $700 difference could be spent better in many shops.

A word about guides, they are over-hyped on the forums…period. The right saw, right blade, good setup and good technique make guides a very small part of a cut a very small part of the time, with a few exceptions. Over the years I have used most every guide avaiable, Paddock, Wright, Tannewitz, Guidall, Carter Zephyr (and the smaller Carters), Laguna, “Euro”, micro bearings and solid guides made from most every material, ceramic, wood, metal, phenolic etc. For me while some have specific virtues that make them better for specific applications for general use the best guides are the easiest guides to set up. This is where the Laguna guides are among the best. Most of them are tooless (check the SUV as it used to not be fully tooless and while I mentioned they are all the same earlier that isn’t exactly true and where the 14/12 may actually have and advantage though the 14/12’s lower guides can be a bugger for those with wide hands). The other advantage to Laguna guides is the ability of the guide material to run right against the blade, it is much easier to set a guide like that than worrying about getting some very small offset correct. I use different guides on everyone of my 5 bandsaws each chosen as the best guide for the job. The Minimax MM20 has the standard Euro guides on it and was a no-brainer because that is my power resaw bandsaw and with the proper carbide blade, 30K psi of tension it can resaw most species at 3fpm on the feeder with the guides completely backed off and produce paper thin veneer, this is due to the beam strength of the blade. I have another BS I use for cutting veneer by hand and it keeps a thin hardened spring steel blade with a very thin kerf and no set on it. (One of the crossover meat cutting blades sold by Spectrum “Kerf Master” Ittura “Blade Runner” Highland “Woodslicer” and what looks to be the same stock in the new Infinity blade). On this saw I use the Laguna guides as it benefits from the high amount of support the thin blade needs for resawing since it has a relatively low beam strength for the job. My saw for general pattern making and contour cutting is a 20” Delta 28-350 and I use a bi-metal 3/8” blade with a set of Carter’s mid-level bearing guides. They set easily and the tiny amount of play allowed by the gap makes the blade more responsive in cutting curves. I keep a 1/8 or 3/16” blade on my PM 141 and use a Carter stabilizer which has the cornering ability of a Formula 1 car. My old Delta 14” saw has guide blocks and has a catch all 1/4” blade which I use for a lot of quick joinery cuts since angling the table is quick since it is so light. The tight “capture” of the phenolic guide blocks keeps the blade straight for the small joinery straight cuts and the blade is still narrow enough to make the curved cuts when spoiling waste.

I said all that about guides to point out that IMHO there is no best guide for all cuts as most are still a compromise. For a muti-purpose hobby sized saw the Laguna guides are, again IMO, are the best balance (except maybe the price). Funny enough the second best are good old guide blocks and with an inexpensive set of phenolic blocks and a set of ceramic blocks (which can be changed quickly) one has the ceramic for wider blades and the phenolic for thinner blades where teeth contact with the block is possible.

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