I decided that it was time to upgrade my bench-top bandsaw after almost burning it up trying to resaw a chunk of 3 inch wide walnut. After doing a bunch of research, and receiving my wife's blessing, I decided on a Laguna 14-12. I spoke with one of the guys at a local retailer, and highlighted some of the features on the 14BX. After speaking briefly with my wife, she approved the extra cost (about $300 more). The 14BX had the added advantage of being in stock, whereas I would have had to order the 14-12.
I drove down to Seattle and picked up the saw and Laguna's Resaw King blade to fit. They loaded onto my truck with a forklift, as the packaged saw weighs roughly 320 pounds. It would have been helpful if Laguna would have labeled the box with which end contained the top or bottom of the saw. As it was, we had guessed correctly, and the bottom of the saw was loaded toward the tailgate.
With the bottom of the saw exposed, I was able to install the levelers and add-on wheel kit (about $150) and move the saw into its upright position and finish the assembly. The assembly included installing the cast iron top onto the trunions, assembly & installation of the fence and installing the blade. Note that Laguna does not include a blade with its saws, with the assumption that the buyer will replace it anyway with one more suited to the purpose.
Alignment was pretty straightforward, and everything went smoothly. I did have to shim the fence in its tall mode so the face was square to the table.
The saw operates very smoothly. The 14" cast iron wheels are well balanced and take a long time to spool down when the motor (I bought the 1¾ HP, 120 V model) is turned off. One of the improvements the 14BX has that the 14-12 does not have is a foot brake that will stop the blade and turn off the motor instantly. This is very handy (not to mention, safer) when having to back out of a cut or stop a cut midway through.
One of the reasons I bought the saw was its resaw capability. This saw is capable of resawing a board (or log) to 13 inches wide. I will probably never use it to that depth, but its nice to have the capability. It does a great job resawing when coupled with the Resaw King blade. I was able to resaw a couple of 1/8" slices from a 6 inch wide piece of ambrosia maple and several pieces of oak and padauk for an inlay that were 1/32" thick.
Blade changes are easy with a lever tensioning system. With the lever in the down position, tension is removed from the blade. The lever is in your line of sight, so you can remember to retension prior to making a cut. Raising the lever will apply the tension, which is adjusted via a wheel under the top of the saw. Tension being applied is visible via meter that is viewed through a window in the upper cabinet. Blade tracking is also easily adjusted via wheel on the back of the cabinet and can be viewed through another window in the upper cabinet.
Although there have been complaints about Laguna's ceramic block blade guides, I haven't found an issue with them. They are easy to align and you don't have to worry about clearance issues. You do have to ensure that the teeth are clear of the blocks as they will dull the blade in no time. The rear inserts will smooth and round the back edge of the blade. The lower guide blocks are a bit of a pain to adjust due to the angles to get to them.
The lower cabinet has two 4" dust collection ports, one at the bottom of the cabinet, one at the blade entry into the lower cabinet. To be effective, an 1100 CFM dust collection is recommended. Mine is only 660 CFM, but when connected to only the upper port is fairly effective at keeping sawdust from the floor. Connected to only the lower port, it was ineffective at gathering anything but what happened to land directly in front of the port.
Overall, I would recommend this saw to anyone looking for a mid to upper range band saw.