Laguna 18BX Problems - Advice welcomed

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21 Dec 2020
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Hi all,

first of all I have yet to highlight any of these issues directly with the UK arm of Laguna, but plan on doing so this week.

My saw turned up at the end of November after a 5 month wait from ordering it in May. On top of that, I had to pay an additional £250 due to global price rises and shipping costs (or so I was told) taking the total to £2699 including the wheel kit and 3 blades. I thought fair enough, the seller couldn't absorb all these rises and I didnt fancy waiting another 5 months for something else.

After it turned up, I unpacked it but didnt do the final setup or turn it on. Having finally got some free time this past week, I went through the process of fitting a blade and checking the machine all over. This is where I started to notice some issues.

First of all, the table was off by around a mm over its length with a hump in the middle where it attaches to the trunion. I dissasembled and found the milled section of the trunion wasnt flat, I took a round bar with adhesive sandpaper wrapped around it and took light passes until I was hitting all 4 of the milled surfaces. I then removed the mating cast aluminium parts bolted to the underside of the table. Here I discovered a thick layer of black paint on on each of the milled flat surfaces where they attached... I proceeded to scrape this off back to the metal and reassemble. This improved the table but when tightening the table to the trunion it was still pulling one side down further. In the end I used some brass shim stock to make everything level. A lot of work for a brand new, almost 3K machine I thought... surely it cant get any worse! I fitted a blade to the machine and turned it on, there was so much vibration that the blade was visibly whipping from right to left. Additional dissassembly required....

I measured the front face of the lower wheel with a dial gauge and for about 0.15mm of deflection, not sure if this is good or bad to be honest. I removed the lower wheel and found rust between the arbor and the in race of the bearing. I tried to remove the top wheel but it was absolutely stuck to the upper arbor.
I eventually managed to pry it free only to find the back bearing had come out of the wheel housing and was still stuck to the arbor. In the end I removed the arbor and pressed the bearing off only find a lot more rust... I've ordered replacement bearings for the upper wheel as I cant reuse the originals in their current state.

So, to summarize, can I get some recommendations on common causes of excessive vibration in bandsaws as I don't even know if the issues I've found so far are the route cause...


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I would speak to Laguna about it before I did too much tinkering. I have only ever heard good things about their machines and customer service so hopefully you will get it sorted out.

Don't know if @Nick Laguna UK is around, he always seems very helpful with things.
I'm actually looking into this at the moment as I've the same issue with my upper wheel.
No discernible wobble of the wheel, just that it can be moved about by a barely noticeable amount.
I have wobble when running the machine, forwards and backwards like a bad blade weld.
Other things are the wheel groaning when coasting to a stop, or when hand turning with blade fitted.
Another thing which is ever so noticeable, a slight timely donk sound when spun without a blade installed.
No visible runout when looking by eye, it's just the blades which dance about.

Just looking up some stuff on bearings last night, as I eventually got the guts to take the wheel off.
Not even took the shaft off, just partially, but noticed there was wobble of the bearings in the wheel! :cry:

That means that the holes are either drilled incorrectly, be it off center or be it drill wander, or be it fault ... or be it possibly wear in my case.
I've dressed my tires using a clamped block, pretty good setup, and not noticed anything to suggest it's off center, and running looks good too.

Anyway getting to the point, been looking at this guy and he suggested this tip,
which I'm hoping might be the solution I'm looking for.
Have the old bearings from the machine, and going to see if the inner race has a bevel on them like in the video which is timestamped to the part I'm talking about.
(explanation at 15:54 into video)

I'm hoping that I might be able to solve my issue if I weld a shoulder onto the shaft,
as I'm not entirely sure what stops the bearing there... a single point perhaps.
I'll find out soon.

Worth noting on my machine that the bolt for holding the wheel on the shaft, which compresses the washer for the inner race, seemingly doesn't cramp down on it.
(will likely be checking bottom wheel also)

Ps I would love to see or get a description of the upper wheel shaft to see if there's a good sized shoulder for the bearing to register against.
Edit: only noticed that the second picture seems like it could possibly be for the upper wheel?
If so, seems my idea will not work.

Hope that helps you somewhat.
Very concerning that the bearings would fall out, I'd be looking for a new upper wheel, mine are loose, but I don't think they will fall out, so could well imagine looser than that would be intolerable, and I'd be even less doubtful of the chancers attempt that I'll be giving a shot.
Love to see what the likes of @wallace or the other machine restoration guys recommend.

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Thought those hubs were press fit from another video, where there was a shadow line on the castings.
Still trying to see if that second picture is the upper wheel shaft, and to get an eye on it.
You've likely seen the channel unemployed redneck hillbilly creations, think he has documented some issues with that saw also.
Seems like I need to find those and have another watch.

I'd think Laguna would be able to sort you out with this straight away?

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Hi @Westy619, please get in touch with me directly by mailing [email protected] - I will give you my contact details & we will resolve any issues you have.

There is a work around for easily adjusting the trunnions by using the grub screws on the platter if needed without sanding, it's in the manual. Trunnions are factory set.
Also did you try a different blade before taking it all apart? It could have just been a bad blade weld, but hard to tell from description regarding the left and right movement.

@Ttrees, just for clarity, your issues are nothing to do with a Laguna saw is that correct? If they are, please let me know.

Thanks all,

PS - thanks @Doug71 too for the heads up - appreciated.
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Guys can I get some opinions of the below videos? They show the upper section of the saw vibrating, in fact vibrating is an understatement, its visibly shaking. According to an initial video I sent Laguna, they seem to think this is acceptable and to be expected from a machine with these size of cast iron wheels spinning at a high RPM, so if any of you either have an 18BX or a similar sized machine I be interested to know what you think. For reference, the machine is on a level concrete floor.

Laguna - 13mm Blade
Laguna - 19mm Blade 1
Laguna - 19mm Blade 2
Yes, but only the amount I would consider to be normal on a machine this size. Theres certainly no visible shaking anywhere on the machine with no blade on and just the lower wheel spinning.
I took a video of my machine running without a blade, not sure it it's much good to ya.

Maybe not, but this video might shed some light on what could be the problem.
Read the comments if you are going to try any adjustments, as if you've seen my thread which has been going on a year, one might be wary. a horror story and WIP in what not to do!, and maybe best read backwards:ROFLMAO:

That and Peter Sefton's videos seems about the most thorough information on troubleshooting a bandsaw that I've came across.
Not sure where Marc Spagnuolo heard of using a beam with blocks,
I was thinking the renowned Marc Duginske might have mentioned something, but not in this video where I thought I might have seen it being used.

Grizzy have mentioned something about it on youtube, but apparently not familiar with using the beam from what I could make out.

This method could be improved, only bought a nice dual milled level for the job, and would love some rare earth magnets for registration, but will get by with what I have.
That is once I've got my top wheel tight, which it should be when the tracking knob is locked to stop tilting.

It's only beyond this that you could even think of using a dial indicator IMO.
Say on that video I mentioned, which you likely have seen already.
Not saying you won't find a video on your specific problem, but in general
troubleshooting, there's a bit lacking from most of the productions I've seen.

Hope that helps in some way
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my hammer used to vibrate when the bearing was on its way out. as soon as I fixed it it was fine. oddly it didn't do it with a newish blade only and old one.
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I found a video on YouTube of another 18BX owner, this person seems to think their machine has a problem with vibrations as well.

I replicated their test with a glass in the same position on my saw and mine is a hell of a lot worse!

Interestingly there is a comment from another owner on the video stating they had problems as well, a replacement upper wheel from Laguna sorted it.

I'm hoping I'll be able to make progress with Laguna UK as so far, they have said they don't consider the vibration to be of a level that I should be concerned about, and that although the rusty bearings and shaft shouldn't have happened, they don't consider that be of any concern in terms of the functionality of the saw.
Without knowing anything else about what the issue is apart from a vague description of running a clock on the wheels, which might well give a misreading if the top wheel is loose or tensioned, did you mention that?
I don't see how you can describe your issue using a glass of water alone.

Did you check anything to be sure there wasn't something misaligned?
Top wheel, which should be solid when tracking knob is locked, should not move and
should match with bottom wheel and motor pulley.

Tested first with a loose belt, and without blade, then your glass of water might make sense, tight belt+misaligned lower wheels on a large machine will toast motor bearings in an instant.
After that multiple blades ran with all guides out of the way, should you have issues which you could highlight, as I can't say I think you've got a bad response, since you've not demonstrated enough effort to check things
No mention of a straight edge/spirit level, laser, nor plumb line.
Can't see how you could have an credible argument otherwise.

Not difficult to check these things, I've struggled trying to stick with basic things lying around, when I would have got the work done much faster and a whole lot easier just making a few wee things which I've most definitely not resented making,
as I plan on keeping my machine and not buying something else if something goes wrong.

Does the bandsaw rock about when a finger or two is pressed on the front door?
If that is the case, then it may take some effort to level should you not have one.
My saw tips about on two corners, so that would well effect vibration.

How does the under side of the work look, any spelching ? ...same with other blades?
Can you cut deep timber with say a 3/4" blade without the blade diving into the thrust guide.
Any noises ever present, ect

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