Author Topic: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline Dan-

  • Posts: 27
I recently purchased a Laguna bandsaw and dust collector from Wood Werks aka thisiswoodworking during a 10% off sale. I was a little worried given the horrible customer service reviews Laguna received 10 years ago that you find anytime you search for Laguna products. I was happy to experience the opposite! I suppose it goes to show you that the internet never forgets. Anyway, this review is mainly about the buying and initial set-up experience as I need to get some electrical work done still.

Context
I ordered the 14BX bandsaw in 220v and the P-Flux 3 dust collector. I wanted a bandsaw because I do not want a table saw (short of a Euro slider...I'd also like to win the lottery and a larger workshop than 1 bay of a so-called 3-car garage), and my Festools (TS-55, various rails, small Domino, Carvex, 1400 and 1010 routers, CMS, MFT, CT-36, CXS, sanders, etc etc) cover most other use cases pretty well. I needed a dust collector because bandsaws need dust collection. Also my super loud Dewalt planer makes me sneeze for days even running it outside. I chose the P-Flux 3 because I had a 30A limit for this particular circuit and did not want to deal with 100+dB fun times with a 5-HP ClearVue or pay the extra $1-2k for an Oneida (not to mention the very odd web censorship that seems to happen in regard to that brand). I considered going the VFD route and all that. I also looked at a Felder RL200 and decided to not spend $5k+.

Buying
While not quite the six-month lead time you get with Felder/Hammer, I did have to wait about 6 weeks for my stuff to ship, so not too bad. The only hiccup here was that the first warning things were shipping (early) was when the freight company called to schedule delivery the next day. This may have been a WoodWerks thing, since the retailer is supposed to handle notifications on drop shipments.

Set Up
The 14BX was a breeze to set up. I think it took longer to unpack than it took to put the approx 4 pieces together. It did show up rather well palletized. The mobile base instructions were crap, but a quick web search confirmed that there's an extra piece like a vestigial limb for the 1412.
The P-Flux3, on the other hand, really does personify "some assembly required." It's clear that they took a good lesson from IKEA here, and most reviews like on Sawmill Creek will say the same thing. It's going to take you a full day or at least half of one. Using a CXS on the lowest torque setting will cut that time by about an hour. Best I can tell you is to throw away the manual and just use the video Laguna made to show you how to set it up. The video is great; the manual was written by someone who has not actually seen a P-Flux3. When you call Laguna for help, and you probably will, the first question they will ask is whether you have seen the video. They ask that for a very good reason; it's a good video. The interactions with their customer service are really the only reason I'm writing this review.

What Happens When You Call Laguna in 2017
Things were probably different before, but really I cannot complain. Here's how my interaction went. It was about 445pm central on a weekday when I ran into an issue. A part was not tapped, so the venturi tube would not attach. There were also two loose rivet nuts/threaded inserts. I called Laguna, and someone took my initial info and opened a ticket. Told me to expect a call-back. OK, I figured I'd hear from them the next day. Instead, 15 minutes later Rachel called for some initial triage. While she had never heard of this happening, she said she'd have a tech (tier 2?) call me. I sent in my serial number and some photographic evidence late that night. The next day, Adam Chapman called. (I mentioned I might write a review of the whole experience on FOG, and Adam asked me to share his name so that people with issues with their dust collectors can ask for him directly.) While this was a minor problem, I wanted some confirmation to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. Adam confirmed that it was not normal, and they'd let the factory know since it's a pretty obvious QC issue. I was able to tap the unthreaded 4 holes with an Irwin 5/16-18 tap fairly easily. For the loose rivets, they offered to overnight the two pieces to me, but with a longer bolt and a nut and some washers, I was able to tighten them down. For saving them the cost of overnighting two heavy pieces of metal, they gave me an extra bandsaw blade.

Experience Using These Expensive Things So Far
Mainly I walk by the bandsaw and cut my elbow on the corner of the fence. I also roll both machines around (buy the mobile base for the 14BX) a bit to move them out of the way until I can rearrange things.

Overall, the experience has been quite positive. Ask for Adam Chapman if you have problems setting up your Laguna dust collector.

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Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 08:54 AM »
Yep, my experience with Laguna customer service has been very good, too.  I have both of those machines and have had no real problems.  I did ask a few questions.  They were very helpful.  It was obvious they knew their machines well.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 878
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 10:10 AM »
Thank you for posting the CS experience!  Just curious, what's this censorship you're talking about re: Oneida?
-Raj

Offline Gerald_D

  • Posts: 227
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 10:29 AM »
I thankfully didn't have to call their customer service when I assembled my PFlux3, but I did watch the video, and I agree it is a great video and I didn't have any issues with the assembly process (didn't even open the assembly manual). Glad you had a good experience with customer service- makes me more comfortable that I made the right choice.

My assembly was delayed a day while I waited to get enough friends over to help me lift the thing upright after putting on the wheels- the unit is definitely top-heavy!

Please post a review of your bandsaw once you have run it a while- I would be very interested in what you think.  I want to eventually replace my older Delta with either Laguna or Hammer.

Regards,
Gerald
Gerald
I have Festools- Big and Small and a few other tools

Offline schneems

  • Posts: 14
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 10:38 AM »
Great write up. I want the BX. My garage is wired for 220, but only one outlet.

I don't currently have a bandsaw but I want one. I've seen this sentiment of "you need a dust collector" and have had people tell me that my Festool CT 48 won't work. They also said that about my 13" planer but I got that to work with no problem with a cheap shop-vac and a dust-deputy. I'm wondering if people have actually tried a dust extractor on a bandsaw or they are repeating what others have said.

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 122
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 10:48 PM »
Great write up. I want the BX. My garage is wired for 220, but only one outlet.

I don't currently have a bandsaw but I want one. I've seen this sentiment of "you need a dust collector" and have had people tell me that my Festool CT 48 won't work. They also said that about my 13" planer but I got that to work with no problem with a cheap shop-vac and a dust-deputy. I'm wondering if people have actually tried a dust extractor on a bandsaw or they are repeating what others have said.

The key hinges on whether you are interested in collecting the chips or capturing the dust.  Chips are the mess, fine dust is the potential health hazard.  Hobby level woodworking machines in general have poorly designed dust collection and low volume collection like shop vacs just reduce the efficacy even more.   In the end if all you are worried about is the mess a shop vac will do OK keeping the shop clean on smaller machines like lunchbox planers since they can't take deep cuts and are limited to 12/13" and small bandsaws like the BX but the shop vac will do a poor job capturing the fine dust but one can use a respirator if they are concerned about dust or breathe the dust if they are not. 

Offline RobNJ

  • Posts: 154
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 11:22 PM »
@Dan- th ma for that. It was a great writeup. I also had good experiences with Laguna customer service.

Can you share the info you found on the mobile base? I was a bit baffled by my mobile base for the 14bx. Along with extra pieces, I still can't believe the breaking mechanism is a raw bolt that literally jams in your floor to keep the unit from moving. I keep thinking I must be Doug something wrong!!

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1087
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 11:56 PM »
Laguna's CS woes that you read about usually aren't related to sales or issues with new tools. They make it really easy and pleasant for you to give them your money. 

The problems are usually after you've had the product a while, and need warranty work or parts for an older tool. That's when they can't be bothered and you DO NOT get a call back from anyone, let alone someone who knows anything about your tool.

Offline schneems

  • Posts: 14
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 11:57 AM »
@Huxleywood thanks, that makes sense regarding the differences between chips and fine dust. I have no problem using a respirator to protect my lungs. Also to clarify, I now have a Festool CT48 dust extractor so it's not __just__ a shop vac anymore.

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 122
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 12:22 PM »
@Huxleywood thanks, that makes sense regarding the differences between chips and fine dust. I have no problem using a respirator to protect my lungs. Also to clarify, I now have a Festool CT48 dust extractor so it's not __just__ a shop vac anymore.

While the CT vacs are excellent their advantage (besides fitting into the Festool "system") is mainly noise, feature set and whole vac certified HEPA filtration.  They don't have a volume advantage over the typical shop vac (actually less volume in some cases) and the volume can be significantly reduced with anything smaller than the 50mm hose.  At a bare minimum you want to get 400 cfm from the top port on the BX (the most critical port for fine dust) and the CT vacs will only give you about 1/3rd of that with a 50mm hose. 

In the end vacs are simply not going to do the job with fine dust but if you deal with fine dust another way (respirator, cut outdoors and only in gale force winds etc) or don't care then a vacuum with generally be adequate for keeping the visual mess to a minimum. 

Offline promark747

  • Posts: 408
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 12:58 PM »
@Dan- th ma for that. It was a great writeup. I also had good experiences with Laguna customer service.

Can you share the info you found on the mobile base? I was a bit baffled by my mobile base for the 14bx. Along with extra pieces, I still can't believe the breaking mechanism is a raw bolt that literally jams in your floor to keep the unit from moving. I keep thinking I must be Doug something wrong!!

I agree the bolt is kind of odd but I don't use it...the saw seems to be pretty stable with the rear feet on the ground.  But my floor is made up of composite interlocking tiles...if you are on bare concrete I can see more chance for movement, though I don't think the bolt would help that much.

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 02:38 PM »
@Dan- th ma for that. It was a great writeup. I also had good experiences with Laguna customer service.

Can you share the info you found on the mobile base? I was a bit baffled by my mobile base for the 14bx. Along with extra pieces, I still can't believe the breaking mechanism is a raw bolt that literally jams in your floor to keep the unit from moving. I keep thinking I must be Doug something wrong!!

Look for the mobile base instructions on the Laguna website.  You have to remove two of the four rubber leveling feet for it to roll properly.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 02:53 PM by RobBob »

Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 02:47 PM »
Laguna's CS woes that you read about usually aren't related to sales or issues with new tools. They make it really easy and pleasant for you to give them your money. 

The problems are usually after you've had the product a while, and need warranty work or parts for an older tool. That's when they can't be bothered and you DO NOT get a call back from anyone, let alone someone who knows anything about your tool.

Ignore anything Antss has to say about Laguna.  I have received parts and promptly returned phone calls from them after the sale.  They have always been helpful and friendly to me.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 03:49 PM by RobBob »

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1087
Re: Praise for Laguna customer service - also 14bx-220 and P-Flux 3HP
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 11:23 PM »
Rob - folks can believe who they want and do what they want.

Just because you had great service doesn't mean someone else will.   

Perhaps Laguna has turned over a new leaf ?   

Perhaps Kapex's motor woes are fixed too.

But there are enough data points on both for people to consider whether or not they want to roll the dice before jumping in.  For some it'll be easy to pull the trigger. Others will just say no way, and most will contemplate for a while then just roll the dice. 

I've spent $10-$20k with them over the last 10+ years and the service I've needed or wanted has been average to poor.  I'm glad you're feelin the Torbin Love though.