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Thread: Central Machine 14" Bandsaw Guide Block ?

  1. #1
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    Central Machine 14" Bandsaw Guide Block ?

    Got my bandsaw working better now that i replaced the blade with a Iturra blade and put the riser kit on....working very good but now its time to finsh the tune up with new guide blocks........

    Anybody out there repalced their guide blocks yet that uses a Central Machine 14" bandsaw ?

    I have read about the olson cool blocks, ceramic blocks, carter roller guides but not sure who has the better quality for replacement. The use on this machine is for mostly cutting wood blanks for the lathe so the kids can turn bowls.........

    any links or suggestions from others out there ?

    Thanks Dan

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    I've got the "Cool Blocks" on the Phoenix bandsaw, and they work well, there are various types of cool block to fit the various saw, so make sure you get the right ones.

    In the meantime, if you need some new blocks, you could try some really hard wood, Maple or something even harder, if you have it, cut the blocks the right size and then soak them in oil (just about anything will do) for a few days, this is what a lot of the old time bandsaws used and they do work well, and are cheap

    They will wear out sooner than the cool blocks, but then you just make some more.

    The other tip I wanted to pass along is PAM, the cooking spray, if you are cutting a lot of wet wood, spray it on the blade from time to time, this will reduce the amount of binding you get, and the blade will stay cleaner longer. With green wood, you often get a build up on the blade, this will happen when using the PAM as well, but, the build up is much slower, and when it does come time to clean the blade, I've found the build up comes off a LOT easier if the blade has been sprayed with PAM from the get go.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    the trick my Dad told me was to soak any dense hardwood (cut to size) in liquid parafin. I'm sure the light oil would work well too.
    I like the new bearings on the Jet 16" saw i was looking at while in line at the local Rockler the other day. The side supports on the upper guide were large disk roller bearings (like the thrust bearing). This seems like it would address the pitch build up problem like the Carter guides.
    Cool blocks work just fine.
    Paul Hubbman

  4. #4
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    Thinks about roller bearing VS blocks.
    A roller bearing will have a area of contact of about .001-002" wide

    Cool blocks or wood have the height if the block in contact

    Which do you think supports the blade better?
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  5. #5
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    Now just a minute. I thought the brainstorm behind roller bearings was that they reduce friction and heat build up in two ways - first, they can move as the blade passes by. Second, they have a significantly smaller contact area with the blade. Blocks do build up more heat - arch enemy of blade life.

    Your point is a good one though, more surface area provides solid support. I think both types of guides work just fine with different advantages and disadvantages. If you do a lot of thick resawing with pitchy woods, i'd prefer blocks. If you're doing a lot of curvy cuts with dry hardwoods, the roller bearings might prove the better, more trouble free way to go. Either one will work fine - just know what sort of wear and maintenance you'll be looking at. I can replace a lifetime of blocks for a small fraction of the cost of a set of Carter guides.

    My "little" band saw is from the late 1800's or very early 1900's. It didn't even come with a lower guide when it was built (pretty common for the period) and the upper guide is about the most primative thing i've ever seen. It works just fine. I think that if you know your tools and get used to their "comfort zone", you'll be fine. It's not the tools that make projects great.

    I'll get down off my high horse now for some well deserved backlash.

    Paul Hubbman

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hubbman View Post
    If you're doing a lot of curvy cuts with dry hardwoods, the roller bearings might prove the better, more trouble free way to go.
    I have roller bearings on my 14" and they seem to work. But they fail and they are noisy even when new. I have one that is failing and it's started squealing. Plus if you make a mistake and run the blade back between them you can take the set out the teeth. Wood and cool blocks won't do that. For those reasons I am not a big fan of them and I think they are more trouble.

    If you look at the commercial grade saws you don't see roller bearings except for the thrust bearings. You see big steel blocks with lots of support area. No doubt rollers will work but I still think the purpose of the guide is to support the blade and the support area with a roller bearings is tiny.

    But lots of people use the bearing and think they are an improvement. I think the problem is the fact you can't try both at the same time to really see the difference.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
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    Jan 2007
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    Toledo, OH
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    My buddy and I use the same saw (Delta 14" BS) and blade (TW 3/8"-3tpi-AS) to round out bowl blanks. We've noticed that his saw (with Carter guides) gets a lot more buildup from cutting the same wet wood than my saw does (with standard metal guides). I think the roller guides compress the wood onto the blade rather than scraping it off.
    Last edited by Dick Strauss; 10-18-2008 at 10:59 PM.

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