A couple of weeks ago, I received the Laguna 1412 Bandsaw that I had ordered. It has been sitting in my garage since then, still in its box. I’ve had too many other projects on my workbench before I could start another, and unboxing the tool that I’ve been anxiously awaiting was just the motivation I needed to polish up those projects and clean up the shop.
Well, today, I swept my last pile of sawdust, and put away my last pen kit, and I could dive right in and get this thing out of the box and in to my heart. This post will be one of a series of three posts dedicated to this tool. This entry will just be about the unboxing and unpacking of the bandsaw and its parts. I will give you my first impression regarding the quality of the parts and packaging, do a quick inventory to make sure I have everything, and get everything organized in time for the second installment. That post will be about the assembly of the unit. I’ll offer up a few lessons learned, fill in some details where the manual may have glossed over, and give a few pointers. The third post will come a little later, after I’ve had a chance to cut some wood with it. I’ll be offering up my initial thoughts in a quick review of the product. I will link this article to those others when available. But for now, let’s snap off the steel strapping, peel back the plastic, and look at what we have in store.
***Update 7/20/16 – Second Installment Released: Laguna 1412 Assembly and Set Up***
Upon receiving the shipment, its clear I hadn’t planned accordingly, because the box weighs over 300 pounds. I learned the hard way that you’re going to need somebody with a strong back to help with a couple of steps in the unboxing and assembly. I was able to make due by myself, but I could’ve easily hurt myself, or damaged the machine, and wouldn’t recommend it.
I ripped the box in a couple of places trying to lift, maneuver and move it around. I would recommend using dollies and hand trucks whenever possible.
Opening the box, I immediately got excited. I really enjoy putting things together, and learning everything I can about my tools, so I was excited to see that there was some assembly in front of me. Most of the critical pieces were already assembled, though, and in hind’s sight, that is a good thing. There are some tight tolerances that I don’t want to mess with.
As I began pulling the pieces out, the quality of the manufacturing was immediately apparent. The base pieces were very thick gauge steel, with assembly threading welded right to the parts, so you don’t have to fumble with nuts during assembly. Some professionals may look down on machines like this, as they do not have cast iron bases and chassis. However, for this grade of machine, what I would call pro-sumer, I don’t see it that way. This form factor, particularly with the additional “Mobility Kit” allows much greater portability, cheaper freight costs, while still offering incredible stability.
I was pleased to see that there were some included tooling, in the form of a T-Handle Hex Key. I later found during assembly that the included tools were not enough, but more on that in our next installment.
One of the first things I did was pull out the manual and start thumbing through. Whereas a full color manual would’ve been nice, I may be asking too much. The manual, from its appearances, was well developed, with clear language and high quality images and graphics. As I would later learn, the manual has some opportunities for improvement with respect to assembly, but I was able to make it through with minimal issue.
After peeking through the manual, I started to pull out all of the smaller parts. I wanted to make sure not to lose anything, so I stayed very organized. In the first layer of styrofoam, they had nested two of the four stand pieces, the bandsaw table, fence and measuring system, adjustment knobs and handles, and the various hardware needed for assembly.
Starting with the table, it is enclosed in a plastic bag, and for good reason. Please be warned that the table, as delivered, is COVERED in packing grease, presumably to protect it. Its not a problem to clean up with a bit of WD-40, or mineral spirits, but just be forewarned, it will get everywhere, including on your clothes if you’re not careful.
Looking at the fence and fence assembly, everything seems very well constructed, with not a single manufacturing defect to be found. I was planning on upgrading to a better fence system in the future, but looking at this, it may not be necessary. More to come on that in the product review in a few weeks.
Now for the fun part, pulling the main bandsaw body out of the second layer of styrofoam. This is something for which you really should have two people. I was too excited to wait for my neighbor to get home, so I did it myself. I cut away the rest of the cardboard box, stood up the entire packing form, with the bandsaw in it, and shimmied the unit out of the foam. It worked, but I wouldn’t recommend it, as one slip-up could’ve sent the whole unit tumbling. On the underside of this packing form were the two remaining pieces for the base unit.
With these last pieces out of the box, I am ready to begin assembling the unit. However, before you move on to the next installment in this series, I have one more little piece for you. It came highly recommended that I purchase the optional Mobility Kit with the bandsaw. This came separately, so I thought I would show you what that package contained.
The contents of this box were a bit perplexing, it was tough to mentally piece together how this was all going to go together. This became clear later though.
The kit comes with two wheels, attached to an assembly on one axle, and a third, swivel caster. Additionally, there is a support bracket, and a pedal that allows you to raise and lower the body of the bandsaw on and off of the swivel caster. What confused me, but later made sense, is that, with the mobility kit, the unit always rests on two wheels. I thought this would add instability, but I have not seen that yet.
At this point, I’m as excited as a Kardashian at the NBA Draft. And I can’t wait to get this thing assembled. Join me in my next installment in this series on the assembly of the Laguna 14|Twelve Bandsaw.
David the Makewright’s Laguna 1412 Series
Installment #1 – Laguna 1412 Bandsaw Unboxing
Installment #2 – Laguna 1412 Assembly and Set Up
Installment #3 – Laguna 1412 Initial Review (coming August 2016)