Author Topic: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?  (Read 5614 times)

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Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1095
Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« on: December 15, 2016, 06:28 PM »
I have to do a lot of resawing to continue my coaster projects.  I have the standard blade that came with my Laguna BS.  However, it's not the best in the world and it takes a lot of effort, too much IMO, to push an 8" tall walnut board to resaw it.  Will a resaw King blade cut hardwood easier and smoother?  They cost 3-4 times as much as a standard blade and I don't mind paying if the results warrant it.  I'd appreciate any feedback.
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

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Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7647
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 06:46 PM »
There's a lengthy 4 part review by Ron Calverley on YouTube



I haven't watched much of it.

Offline kelauben

  • Posts: 154
Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 07:44 PM »
I have to do a lot of resawing to continue my coaster projects.  I have the standard blade that came with my Laguna BS.  However, it's not the best in the world and it takes a lot of effort, too much IMO, to push an 8" tall walnut board to resaw it.  Will a resaw King blade cut hardwood easier and smoother?  They cost 3-4 times as much as a standard blade and I don't mind paying if the results warrant it.  I'd appreciate any feedback.

In a word, "Yes!"

One of the advantages is that you can re sharpen it several times. 

Karl


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline duburban

  • Posts: 901
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 08:41 PM »
I think he recommended the highlead resaw blades in the end. He did or another resaw blade reviewer. They are really affordable.
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 123
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 09:25 PM »
I think he recommended the highlead resaw blades in the end. He did or another resaw blade reviewer. They are really affordable.

The Highland Woodslicer is a niche blade (and over priced) but I will get to that in a moment.

The symptom causing the reviewer's issue is harmonics (along with some hesitation marks which are inescapable when hand feeding).  The cause of the severity of the harmonics is lack of tension.  Simply the Rikon 10-345 is not capable of tensioning the RK to the tension it needs to do its best work.  A carbide toothed band likes to be right up near 30,000 psi versus a standard carbon blade at 15,000 psi.  Even though the RK has a narrow gauge backer it still needs quite a bit of pressure to get to 30k.  If you notice when he maxed his tension out the quality of cut got better.  This points to the issue with many bandsaws, they have a scale with blade widths to tension by.  This is completely useless.  The thicker the blade (even if it is the same width) requires more pressure to reach the same strain and bi-metal and carbide blades need about twice the tension of carbon blades so one scale can NEVER be accurate for all blades of the same width. 

So what is going on at low tension? A bandsaw blade will develop harmonics as it spins and basically vibrate, it is the nature of the beat and what happens when you try to get flexible tooling to act like rigid tooling and spin it.  So if there is always harmonics why is low tension and issue?  The lower the tension the lower the frequency of the oscillation and the higher the amplitude, so the blade will move more side to side (amplitude) and do it at a slower interval (farther between the side to side movements).  The variable pitch of the RK and other blades help reduce this but they do not prevent it but at proper tension the amplitude will be small.  He should have been sold a 1" or even a 3/4" blade.  While you see recommendations to use the widest blade possible for resawing the key is the widest blade you can properly tension because what you want is the highest beam strength you can have with a particular saw.

So is the RK any good?  Yes, it is one of the three best resaw blades you can buy for 16-24" saws you usually find in hobbyists shops used for semi-serious resawing.  The other two are the Lenox Trimaster and Woodmaster CT.  Each of the three has their strengths and weaknesses.  I use a RK for handfed resawing and a Woodmaster CT on my saw with a powerfeeder.  All these blades need near or at 30K psi but the RK takes the least pressure to get there for a given width because it has the thinnest backer (and also thinnest kerf).  In general for handfeeding I suggest the RK for the best finish.  Not knowing the saw involved I can't say what width. 

The Highland Woodslicer is an excellent resaw blade with a VERY thin kerf BUT it is a impulse hardened spring steel blade that was "stolen" from the meat cutting industry.  The hardness is only ~49-52Rc versus a carbon blade at 64 Rc and a carbide blade at 68 Rc.  The spring steel can be sharpened very keen BUT it dulls VERY quickly compared to a carbide blade or even a carbon blade.  It is useful when you need a very thin kerf (veneer cutting in very expensive or great wood) or for use on small saws like 14" Deltas.  Spectrum Supply and Iturra Design sell the same blade stock for significantly less as the Kerfmaster and Bladerunner and both carry some different widths and thicknesses.  Use them if the situation warrants but you will buy 20 or more of them to cut the same amount before you dull a carbide blade once, they are not very cost effective at all. 

The OP ask will the RK cut easier and smoother, without knowing the blade being used it is hard to say but it is almost certainly going to be smoother but the easier depends on the tpi and geometry of the teeth on the blade being used.  8" walnut should run through a good saw/blade pretty easily, things get interesting when you get over 15-16" in tropical woods. 

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1095
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 10:28 PM »
That was great information.  I never knew that tension was so important.  With the factory tension gauge being basically worthless, how does one know when a blade is properly tensioned?  Is it possible to over tension a blade?  How do you know when you are at that critical point?  I'm always a bit leery of the consequences of breaking a blade.
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, Kreg router table

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 123
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 11:11 PM »
Tension is not critical in that it needs to be to the exact PSI but it needs to be in the ballpark to get the best out of a blade, tension is often downplayed by/for hobbyists for many reasons but in industrial settings where they want to get the best out of a blade both quality and longevity it is measured and kept in very tight tolerance and with industrial bandmills this is done constantly while the saw is running since bands lengthen as they get hotter.  My point is you here a lot of "it is good enough for me" and it may be but I like to get the most out of my expensive tooling. 

The best way to set bandsaw tension is with a strain gauge I like both the Starrett and Lenox (I currently use a Lenox) for the lower tensions wood bandsaws require, when you look at the cost (~250 for a new one) you begin to understand why a lot of hobbyist go with the good enough approach. 

That said one can get fairly close with some experience (which is hard to get without a gauge...) or some help from people that know the particular saw.  While a blade breaking is usually a soil your pants moment until you have had it happen fairly often it very rarely causes any damage or injury. 

Knowing what saw you have would allow me to give some idea for a given blade, I have a working knowledge of a wide variety of saws from old US iron (many of which have NO tension scale), to newer Euro saws to Chiwanese saws.

Note tension is most critical for resawing most other bandsaw cuts in wood are far more forgiving of tension.

So what saw do you have?

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1095
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 11:20 PM »
I have a Laguna 14" SUV which is their 220 powered model. The manual says to grab a point on the blade 6 inches down from the 9 o'clock position of the upper wheel and as long as it doesn't have more than 3/16 to a quarter of an inch deflection, that's where it needs to be tensioned.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 11:47 PM by HowardH »
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, Kreg router table

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 123
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 11:59 PM »
I have a Laguna 14" SUV which is their 220 powered model.

I know that saw, I had one for a while about 5 years ago.  That one is easy to pick and tension a carbide blade on, the Lenox blades require too much tension on that saw, get the 3/4" Laguna RK and give it all the tension the saw has.  IIRC that saw did not have any increments on the tension gauge, just a min/max. 

For the rest of your blades my suggestion is look up the deflection method to start, then play around with slightly higher and lower tensions until you feel you are getting the nest cut then MARK the tension scale and add a number, then write the number and the blade down somewhere OR do like I do and use a tag on a twist tie where I put the blade description and tensioning info and put it on the blade when I store it so it is right there when I get ready to put it on.  Some use the flutter method but I find this always leaves the tension on the low side, so if you use it add a little tension before you start testing. 

I don't bother to suggest people buy a tension gauge since maybe 1 out of several hundred hobbyists will buy one.  You can measure the strain with a set of calipers (just google home made bandsaw tension gauge) and by either using a jig or just a couple of clamps and some simple math get at least a decent idea of the strain on the band.  Rough numbers you want about 15,000 psi for a carbon or spring steel or "Swedish" steel blade, 25,000 for a bi-metal blade and 30,000 for a carbide blade.  Honestly you are going to be a little shy of 30K with the RK on the SUV but it should get close enough. 

With that all said do NOT expect a finish ready cut like the youtube reviewer seemed to expect, especially when he mentione a glue line rip blade for a table saw.  The RK is as good as it gets on a hobby saw but it is a bandsaw and even with my much larger Minimax being power fed it still isn't finish ready BUT relative to bandsaw blades in general the Laguna "marketing" isn't far off, some puffery certainly but also not over the line IMHO.

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2336
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 01:10 AM »
I have a RK and it is a very nice blade and very smooth cuts. Worth the money, IMHO. I think Lenox also makes great blades for a little cheaper, but not much. I rely on my saw's tension gauge and it works fine for most adjustments. Granted each one may be different, but the ones I have used are generally close enough. Make test cuts and adjust until you are happy with the cut.

Offline Purdog

  • Posts: 22
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 05:12 AM »
There was a deal several years back from Laguna where if you bought two Resaw King blades you got one free. So of course I said "what a deal, let's do it I'll be able to resaw enough lumber for my whole lifetime with the amount of resharpenings I could do." I would do it again in a heartbeat. That blade is awsome. I used a Jet 18" saw 1 1/2 HP and still had it wired at 110V. It was 6/4, 12" wide Honduran Mahogany (even though the re-saw capacity of that saw says 10-10 1/2". I took the upper guides off to squeeze some extra height out of it). I split the board down the middle perfectly. No curve in the cut, no wander, couldn't have been better.  You won't regret it in my opinion.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7647
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 08:00 AM »
@Huxleywood  great info you've been sharing, thanks [smile]

Would you have an opinion on this gauge (at a third of the Starrett price) ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Iturra-Design-Tension-Meter-Band-Saw-Blade-Tensioning-Gauge-/162022717043

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 107
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 09:35 AM »
I had a 3/4" Laguna Resaw King blade on a Delta 14" saw with riser blocks and Carter Cobra aftermarket tension spring.  Initially, I was blown away at how well it resawed hardwoods like Oak, Cherry and Walnut.  It was my favorite blade and left very smooth sides.  I was able to easily slice 0.060" thin veneers with little sanding required.  I sent it to Laguna for re-sharpening and when I got it back it cut beautifully, for about a week, then it suddenly broke.

On closer inspection, I noticed that every third tooth had a minute stress crack forming.  I contacted Laguna and they said it could have been from over tensioning, but since it had been recently resharpened that they should have seen this condition and refused to sharpen it.  They then offered to replace it at a discounted price.  The replacement blade also failed about 6 months later with the exact same condition. 

I use a Carter quick tension release, so I found it hard to believe it was over tensioned.  A number of seasoned bandsaw users suggested that the small 14" diameter wheels may have been a major contributor and that an 18" saw would be a better fit for that blade.

After breaking two very expensive blades, I switched to Lennox trimaster and have yet to have a similar problem.

In the pic below, you can see the different gullet profiles due to the variable tooth spacing and the repeating stress fracture was seen on the entire blade on exactly the same (smallest) gullet.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 05:03 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 123
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 10:58 AM »
@Huxleywood  great info you've been sharing, thanks [smile]

Would you have an opinion on this gauge (at a third of the Starrett price) ?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Iturra-Design-Tension-Meter-Band-Saw-Blade-Tensioning-Gauge-/162022717043

That is Louis Iturra's gauge that he made for a while and it works but it has one shortcoming and it is actually shared with the Starrett, which is why I prefer the Lenox.   The Starrett and Iturra only read the 0-30,000 psi useful for a wood cutting bandsaw over 25-30% of the scale, the Lenox reads 0-30K over 50% of the scale so it is a little easier to get accurate readings on the Lenox.  Like I said in the initial post they are easy to build and Matthias @ woodgears.ca made a really nice one, they are really simple in that all you are doing is measuring the stretch and using Young's modulus to do the (simple) math but you can keep it simple by measuring over 4" of the blade so that ever .001 of stretch equals 2,500 psi.  I don't really push the store bought solutions since I know very few people will actually employ them due to cost, but everyone has a couple of small clamps and a set of calipers in their shop.  Don't get me wrong people use bandsaws every day to build incredible furniture without a tension gauge for their BS just like they break down sheet goods without a Festool or Mafell tracksaw but given this is a place where people (including myself) will spend Systainer money to "organize" some accessories that would be fine just stuck in a drawer I feel more comfortable talking about a $250 gauge. 

In the end if you don't want to spend Lenox or Starrett money on a gauge (but if you want one watch eBay, as good used ones do pop up) the Iturra one is fine.  Lou Iturra is one of those odd ducks that to this day doesn't have a website and communicates via phone and email.  He publishes a great catalog that has more useful info in it than most bandsaw books, especially about the Delta 14" saws and their clones.  He is a huge proponent of correctly tensioning a blade and has written rebuttals to many of the magazine and book authors who downplay its importance.  There are scanned copies for download in various corners of the internet, I don't list them because I don't know which ones are "safe" which is an issue with download services. 

I should mention if one is a tinkerer and wants to get fancy you could build a load cell based tension gauge which could read while the bandsaw is running and adjust tension as the blade heats and cools.  Carter actually made one for the cast Delta 14" saws for a while and it even had a system that would cut the power to the saw if the blade broke, they were expensive to put on a little 14" cast saw and were discontinued but I have one I have used for testing, it was/is a really neat approach.  They also did not work with saws with tension releases which reduced the size of their market since marketing convinced people this is a must have item on a bandsaw... look at the best bandsaws in the world and you won't find a tension quick release, just an idle thought for the day. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 11:09 AM by Huxleywood »

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 123
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 11:46 AM »
I had a 3/4" Laguna Resaw King blade on a Delta 14" saw with riser blocks and Carter Cobra aftermarket tension spring.  Initially, I was blown away at how well it resawed hardwoods like Oak, Cherry and Walnut.  It was my favorite blade and left very smooth sides.  I was able to easily slice 0.060" thin veneers with little sanding required.  I sent it to Laguna for re-sharpening and when I got it back it cut beautifully, for about a week, then it suddenly broke.

On closer inspection, I noticed that every third tooth had a minute stress crack forming.  I contacted Laguna and they said it could have been from over tensioning, but since it had been recently resharpened that they should have seen this condition and refused to sharpen it.  They offered to replace it at a discounted price.  The replacement blade also failed about 6 months later.

I use a Carter quick tension release, so I found it hard to believe it was over tensioned.  A number of seasoned bandsaw users suggested that the small 14" diameter wheels may have been a major contributor and that an 18" saw would be a better fit for that blade.

After breaking two very expensive blades, I switched to Lennox trimaster and have yet to have a similar problem.

In the pic below, you can see the different gullet profiles due to the variable tooth spacing and the repeating stress fracture was seen on the entire blade.

(Attachment Link)

The one thing I can tell you is it wasn't from over tensioning the blade unless you had the spring bottomed out and the frame bent over like a potato chip.  With the stock spring and a 3/4" RK you could get maybe 6500-7000 psi and with the Carter spring maybe 13-14k psi, less than half what the blade really likes, I have run mine for years at 28-29k and never release tension. 

Laguna changed the RK blade about 5/6 years ago and the newer ones are much more sympathetic to small wheeled saws and less likely to get stress fractures and without seeing it in person I don't know which version you had.  Lenox was rumored to have changed their metallurgy to accommodate smaller wheels but I have never seen it verified.  Bimetal and carbide blades have a MUCH greater chance of developing stress fractures in the gullets on bandsaws with wheels smaller than 18-20" and the conventional wisdom is that the thicker Lenox blades are more likely to have the issue.  I have less of an issue with Lenox since they don't promote their blade for small wheeled saws and most of the techs will suggest a different blade, Laguna however, markets their blade for 14" saws.  Anecdotally, the failures seem very rare for the RK on small saws.  Stress fractures aside the RK has the advantage on a small saw of having a thin backer which allows for more tension compared to the much thicker Woodmaster and Trimaster. 

Everyone finds what works for them and there is more voodoo in bandsaws than most other woodworking machines evidenced by the fact the "experts" in the field often disagree vehemently about many issues with the bandsaw.  I think of bandsaw best practices like art, to break the rules you have to understand the rules and appreciate you are breaking them. 

Online kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 735
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2016, 11:52 AM »
Laguna make the blades and sell them, offer deals when one fails but the bottom line is that for small bandsaws like the 14" they and others sell them, the wheel diameter is too small for the blade to have a long life. Band fatigue due to running on the small diameter wheels over time is the killer. Lots of people like the Resaw King, I'm 60/40, much prefer the Lenox Woodmaster CT on a saw that can actually tension them the wider bands properly.

John

Offline trl

  • Posts: 1
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2017, 02:14 PM »
@Huxleywood - can a Rikon 10-325 (2010 model) tension a 3/4 RK blade?  I ordered one after reading a few reviews, but while waiting I have been reading more and now am doubtful.  I am a week-end hobbyist so not doing it for cost saving, but wanted a good blade for re-sawing to leave on the saw that would last a long long time and provide quality cuts. 

Thanks for all your great information.

-Todd

Online RobBob

  • Posts: 1164
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2017, 02:47 PM »
@Huxleywood   

We would also appreciate your opinion of this new bandsaw blade tension gauge.

Monarch Tension Gauge
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 02:51 PM by RobBob »

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 68
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2017, 03:16 PM »
I had an earlier version of the RK.  The first one broke from stress fractures.  I was able to get Laguna to replace it.  It was a good blade. 

I think the best bang for the buck would be to buy a 100' coil of Laguna Shearforce blade stock and solder up your own. 

Offline J0hn

  • Posts: 103
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2017, 03:51 PM »
@Huxleywood   

We would also appreciate your opinion of this new bandsaw blade tension gauge.

Monarch Tension Gauge

That gauge looks interesting - but there does not appear to be very much info from real users.  I did find this one article

http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/monarch-gauge-promises-simpler-band-saw-blade-tensioning/

I think Huxleywood  is right though, that most hobbyists (me included) don't want to pony up the $300 for a proper gauge, but maybe it is time to just bite the bullet and buy one

Offline Huxleywood

  • Posts: 123
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2017, 06:35 PM »
@Huxleywood   

We would also appreciate your opinion of this new bandsaw blade tension gauge.

Monarch Tension Gauge

The problem with this gauge is it essentially only gives you a relative tension.  By that I mean there is nothing in the manual the correlates a specific number on the gauge to a specific strain in PSI on a blade.  The manual gives you a range for different widths but that is it.  Now, if you had this gauge and could borrow a Lennox or Starrett et al and determine the actual number on the Monarch that corresponds to the PSI you need for each of the blades you normally run then it would be useful. 

As I have said before I know most people won't spend the money on a strain gauge since most people get good results from playing around with the tension but it is the easiest most accurate way to determine correct tension.   There is always the caliper method which is a little cumbersome but normally means you can do it with things in your shop or at worst if you need both some small clamps and a set of (cheap) calipers less than $40. 

BTW I haven't been spending much time here lately so if you are interested in a reply from me use the @ again so I get an email to come back by. 

Offline J0hn

  • Posts: 103
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2017, 09:32 PM »
Sometimes it's a small world...

I checked eBay for the Lennox tension meter, and sure enough, there was a listing and it was ending in less than an hour.  (what are the chances of that happening)

So for $165 + $15 shipping, I will be the proud owner.  Looks to be in pretty good shape, I would think it would be pretty hard to abuse something like this.  The only other completed listing was one that sold for $200, so I am happy

Offline J0hn

  • Posts: 103
Re: Laguna Resaw King - Worth it?
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2017, 04:32 PM »
The Lenox Tension Meter was delivered today and is in really good condition.  Very pleased with it

Even more so when I checked the tension on my 3/4" 'Wood Slicer" blade from Highland WoodWorking.  That blade should be anywhere in the 15,000 - 25,000 psi range.  My pointer gauge on the bandsaw was almost maxed out and the Lenox indicated with that setting I was putting about 9,000 psi on the blade which is way under where it should be.  The only negative about the Lenox Tension Meter (and I knew this going in( is the colored scale on the gauge is really designed for metal cutting blades.  Overall, very pleased with it and it is very easy to use