Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm a believer

So, I went into the shop on Saturday with a box of new goodies. New guides, and a very new blade from Laguna.

I've read about Laguna's guides, and how accurate and simple they are. And they are simple... and they seem to do a damn fine job, with very little fussing. I was impressed. Move along...

The next thing I installed was the Laguna "resaw king" blade. It's the most over the top band saw blade I've ever seen. Instead of being made out of one single strip of metal, with milled teeth that are set very widely, it's got carbide teeth, and the blade material itsel is much thinner than normal. Out of the package it felt and looked different. But that alone really didn't adequately prepare me for what happened.

Most band saw cuts are pretty ragged and rough, and it's expected that there will be some smoothing and so forth afterwards, either with the jointer and planer, or with a very large pile of very coarse sandpaper. But the cuts I got from this blade were smoother than anything I've ever seen come out of the planer. And really, they may not have even needed sanding. I mean, very smooth... ridiculously smooth.

Combined with the new guides, the saw was cutting very straight and square. (As compared to most band saws, which drift a little in one direction or another.) So, I squared up the fence, and gave it a whirl. I started cutting thin pieces, and finally would down by cutting some very, very thin pieces, that are essentially like veneer... and they're thin enough for light to get through.

No, the blade is NOT cheap, by any means. But I do think it's a justfiable expense. The new setup cuts smoothly and squarely enough that it will save a lot of time that would otherwise be spent jointing, planing, and/or sanding, on every single operation. That's a lot of time saved.


macrookie said...

a link to your new blade maybe?


James Watriss said...

Sure thing...