20 May. 1979|
Woodworking band saw reviews,making wood bench seat,modern bookcase design ideas,diy murphy desk plans - Review
If you're looking to buy your first bandsaw or simply upgrade from a benchtop model, consider a low-cost 14" bandsaw for your shop. Ranging from $770 to $1,495, these saws give you greater power and resaw capability than entry-level models.
Choosing to purchase a 14" deluxe bandsaw says a lot about where you are in your woodworking journey. A one-piece steel frame found on three of the bandsaws in this test provides 10-14" of resaw capacity. You are more likely to find a 14" bandsaw in woodworking shops than any other size - particularly in smaller workshops, and among hobbyist woodworkers.
All in all, this is a well-engineered bandsaw with big-time features at an affordable price. I’m not the most patient soul, but after a long search for a band saw upgrade I finally found the one that I wanted; the Laguna 1412. My previous band saw, a 14” 1 HP American style band saw, was performing well and doing nearly everything that I asked of it. After following this evolving market for years, I gravitated to Laguna band saws for a few reasons. Quality components throughout.When I first heard about this saw, and the low price point, I was concerned that I would find some compromises on quality upon close inspection, but this has simply not been the case. Because bandsaws excel at resawing--standing a board on edge and cutting off thin slabs--you may use a bandsaw to get more use from prized figured or exotic stock. On the other hand, three of the C-frame saws--which look like big cast-iron C-clamps on bases--resaw only 6" out of the crate. Cutting curves or ripping stock up to 2" thick won't challenge the power of any 14" bandsaw.
I just got the Laguna Tools 14 12 Bandsaw and it took just shy of a month to get everything. In this review I'll share my impressions about what I feel are the key features of this new bandsaw. Some lighter-weight saws with two-piece bodies allow for the addition of a riser block for wider resaw work.
Now, after using a production model of the saw for a few weeks in my own shop, I highly recommend it.
These high-end guides are not typically found on bandsaws in this price range, a nod to the value inherent in this machine.
Between my father and me, this saw has gotten plenty of use and we were reasonably happy with it, but it was not great at resawing. I believe that it was designed with the “occasional resawer” in mind, with a stout European frame, ample capacity for resawing (the specifications say up to 12” but read on and I will show you that I successfully pushed that a bit), and the same guide system found on Laguna’s higher end band saws.
I called in and was immediately transferred to a technician who spent a half hour on the phone with me, not only answering my questions but taking the time to explain some additional tips for band saw work. For professionals with volume production resaw requirements, you’ll probably want to step up to a saw with bigger wheels, larger blade capacity, and more power. Thankfully, you don't have to jump to a pricey 18" or larger bandsaw to get these attributes. As I prepped materials for the fans on Friday, I looked at a few options including purchasing veneer (it’s sooo thin), my table saw (a pain in the tuckus) and a bandsaw. It has the largest throat of the saws tested, making blade changes much easier, and the aluminum throat plate has leveling screws.
A bandsaw is probably the most versatile shop machine, it doesn't take up much floor space, and it's one of the easiest and safest machines to use. Coming in at just under $1,100 ($1,345 with the mobile base and work light) puts it right in line with other manufacturers’ mid-range 14? band saws. Finally, the oversize throat plate features leveling screws so there are no hang-ups while you saw.
Yes, I could do some resawing on my old saw, but the setup process required delicate tuning and the results were hit and miss for me. The project in the picture is a cutting board that I like to make by stacking two boards and cutting the pattern on a band saw. Next, we installed riser blocks on models that will accept them (steel-frame saws do not), adding 6" to their resaw capacities. With all the bandsaws, however, we found no significant deflection when sawing through stock less than 2" thick.
Though a C-frame saw, the Jet JWBS-14DXPRO comes standard with 12" resaw capacity built into its column; no need for a riser block. While it doesn't have the crosscutting ability of a table or miter saw, a bandsaw is superb for ripping rough and dimensional lumber to size, resawing lumber into shop-made veneer, cutting curves, circles, and irregular shapes, and cutting a variety of joinery, including tenons, lap joints, bridle joints, box joints, and tail boards for dovetails. Well, truth be told I already had a pretty nice band saw and I didn’t really need an upgrade (my wife will corroborate this), so although it was not my happiest year you will be pleased to know that I got through it and I now have a 1412 on my shop floor. Also, these guys have a clear passion for band saws and I have felt that they have led much of the innovation in this tool category over the past decade or so.
When building this design on other band saws I used to perform an additional step, where I would have to sweeten up the joints using a router with a template and guide to eliminate the gaps left where the blade would flex as it changed direction in the cut. And the Laguna had a mobility kit designed for the saw while the Rikon would need a third party set of wheels.
I will accept that some of this was due to operator error, as I have seen George Vondriska make resawing look easy on a saw less powerful than mine, but I was looking for a “resaw easy button”.
And, OK, I will also admit that the stylish design of their band saws might have been a small secondary factor. Honestly, I didn’t think it could perform this task in a way where I would ever want to do it again, as I have attempted this on other saws with an unpleasant outcome. Using the 1412 I can go directly from the saw to the glue-up table because the guides hold the blade so solidly that there is virtually no blade deflection when the work piece changes direction during the cut. I have never seen my wife so excited about a woodworking tool as when I invited her into the shop for a peek at the 1412 and she exclaimed “Oh my gosh! I figured that would be the compromise, and the reason why many people with similar requirements to mine buy more powerful 220V band saws. With a 14 amp motor there is plenty of electrical headroom to run this saw on my 20 amp circuits.
I expected that this value would likely land in the 9-10” range, which would call Laguna onto the carpet for a bit of marketing exaggeration, but my actual finding is that Laguna has sandbagged a bit on this front, and the saw can comfortably exceed their own specification.