Tuning Up a Re-Saw Bandsaw

      Belt tension, blade selection, and sharpening can make a big difference. May 16, 2008

I have a Laguna 16HD bandsaw. It seems underpowered all the time. I have the new upgrade motor (41/4HP). I recently purchased a feeder and we can only use it on the slowest speed. I am using brand new resaw blades. I am resawing cherry and maple mostly, 1" to 6" thick with 3" being the most common size. I had a 14" Delta for years with a 1hp motor that worked better than this saw. Any idea what the problem might be? I have talked to Laguna before - that seems pointless.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
Voltage drop comes to mind. Could the cable you used to hook it up be undersized? I have an older LT18 with a 3HP motor and have no such complaints, but I don't have a power feeder. What feed rate are you trying to achieve?

From contributor D:
I recently parted with my Laguna resaw Master. The single belt was hard to keep tight. Check to see if it is slipping. Blade choice was also an issue. We used the Bahco sandflex carbide blades and would get 3 months of hard resawing out of one. No other blade really compared. We got them from Woodworker Supply. When we had an underpower feel, it was always the drive belt being loose.

From contributor K:
I have an 18" with a 5 hp. We resaw up to 16" with no power problems. Like the others said, check the belt and the guides. On 3" stock that saw shouldn't even notice the load.

From contributor U:
I almost ordered a bigger motor for my LT18, but found out my belt was slipping. It didn't squeal, it just bogged down as if it was underpowered.

From contributor B:
I have a Laguna Resaw Master, and while the saw has always had a few issues, the biggest improvement in cutting speed has come from which blade I'm using. We use a 1" blade with 2 teeth per inch. A Lenox carbon steel blade cuts well, but after about an hour or so we have to slow down our feed rate by nearly 50%. A Lenox Woodmaster B bimetal blade, on the other hand, cuts at the increased feed rate for the entire life of the blade. I am just now trying to figure out the usage ratio from one to the other. I'm putting an hour meter on the saw with the next blade change to see real world cutting time difference between the two types of blade. At three times the price, I still think I'll find the bimetal blade is the more economical route due to the huge difference in cutting speed over the life of the blade.

From contributor I:
I deal with the same equation - right now I am sticking with the non-bimetal. But the bimetal sure is a great blade.

From contributor M:
I won't even go into my feelings of the Laguna 18" Resaw Master, but let's just say it's neither a master nor a resaw. It took us the first couple boards to figure this out. I already had a 36" Fay Egan and didn't realize what I truly had till I bought the Laguna. If a lot of resawing is in your future, find some good old iron with good wheels and tires and you will be much happier. Contributor B is correct, the Woodmaster B will show a huge improvement over standard carbon blades and actually for us works better after the first sharpening. We will flatten out the tooth a little and for hardwoods this performs much better. You can sharpen 3-4 times before you are through the bi-metal tip.

From contributor C:
Contributor M, a few months ago here, you recommended the Woodmaster B and increased tension on the blade. We had been using Timberwolf blades and what an improvement the B is! Thank you. Can you explain your sharpening process and what you use? None of the local saw shops here do band saw blades.

From contributor M:
I had the good fortune of finding a used grinder years ago, so we are doing this in house. I believe the brand is a Litiga or something like that, has a built in coolant pump and we run a CBN wheel. I think it is the same as some of the portable mill makers sell. It self feeds and is adjustable to top and face grind, which allows us to flatten out the hook. We don't touch the set.

From contributor R:
Check the belt tension. The belt can stretch out, causing it to slip and feel like it has no power. I have the 16HD and absolutely love it. I have had to adjust the belt in the past to make sure it is snug.

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