Cool blocks or bearings for 14" BS - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Cool blocks or bearings for 14" BS

I have a Grizzly 14" BS and I have been thinking about some cool blocks for it. That is if I can find the parts to convert it over too cool blocks. I have not had any experience with cool blocks so if any of you guys or young ladies have used them on any kind of BS what is your opinion?

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 10:24 PM
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Read this thread:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...-blocks-61898/

The parts listed will fit most but not all variations of the Grizzly G0555. You can call Griz tech support to verify if the parts will fit your saw.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-20-2020, 10:48 PM
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My old, used Delta bandsaw came with Cool Blocks bandsaw guides. I like them, but don't think about them much. They just work. The bandsaw cuts straight when I want straight, and cuts curves when I want curves. The guides do their jobs, and I never notice them.

Every once in a while, I think about replacing the Cool Blocks with ceramic blocks or Carter bearing guides or those Laguna ceramic guides (which guide the blade above AND below the thrust bearing). Some people make their own guide blocks from hardwood. I come to my senses quickly and remind myself, "if the bandsaw cuts well now, why would I change anything?" so I stay with the Cool Blocks.

When I change blades, I adjust the Cool Blocks by pressing them gently against the blade, then easing up on them slightly while tightening the setscrews. I don't bother with folded dollar bills or anything like that. Once setup, I make sure that they are super close to the blade without rubbing, by eyeball.

I don't see smoke or smell anything when I use the Cool Blocks. I don't think there is much friction, but never bothered to feel them after the blade stops. They show some wear, but are reasonably durable.

What do you want to know about Cool Blocks?
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Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 01-20-2020 at 10:54 PM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 09:11 AM
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I have had 3 bandsaws in my past. I have experienced steel blocks,
bearings and cool blocks.
I just purchased my 4th (and last) vintage Delta 14" BS that came with
steel blocks. the first thing I did was buy cool blocks off of Ebay to replace the steel.
the advantage that I like with the cool blocks is that if I use a 1/8-1/4" blade,
I can bury the blade teeth in the blocks and it won't hurt the blade.
yes, it cuts a groove in the blocks, but I can easily dress them back to smooth again.
and of course, all the other guide and safety measures must remain in place.
everyone certainly has their own preferences to modify their machines
to work within their way of doing things and their projects - this is just my choice.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
I have had 3 bandsaws in my past. I have experienced steel blocks,
bearings and cool blocks.
I just purchased my 4th (and last) vintage Delta 14" BS that came with
steel blocks. the first thing I did was buy cool blocks off of Ebay to replace the steel.
the advantage that I like with the cool blocks is that if I use a 1/8-1/4" blade,
I can bury the blade teeth in the blocks and it won't hurt the blade.
yes, it cuts a groove in the blocks, but I can easily dress them back to smooth again.
and of course, all the other guide and safety measures must remain in place.
everyone certainly has their own preferences to modify their machines
to work within their way of doing things and their projects - this is just my choice.
I keep my Cool Blocks in the gullets, even with a 1/4 inch blade. I have never tried a 1/8 inch blade.

Considering the extra wear from the blade teeth, how often do you replace your Cool Blocks?
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
how often do you replace your Cool Blocks?
probably every 10 years or so.
the reason I mentioned keeping a small blade inside the blocks is just
the way I do things. it keeps the blade from coming out of the blocks
when pulling the material back during the cut.
my last 12" Craftsman BS saw a LOT of use and abuse when making signs.
cutting brass and aluminum plate, plastics, wood of all kinds, and even
a frozen chicken (once). (I really don't recommend doing that).
as always, I recommend you do whatever works for you, with your machines,
with your techniques of doing things.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
probably every 10 years or so.
the reason I mentioned keeping a small blade inside the blocks is just
the way I do things. it keeps the blade from coming out of the blocks
when pulling the material back during the cut.
my last 12" Craftsman BS saw a LOT of use and abuse when making signs.
cutting brass and aluminum plate, plastics, wood of all kinds, and even
a frozen chicken (once). (I really don't recommend doing that).
as always, I recommend you do whatever works for you, with your machines,
with your techniques of doing things.
Speaking of cutting a frozen chicken... I grew a bunch of corn in the garden one year. I decided to make it easy by using my Delta bandsaw to cut the ends off of the ears and cut the ears into niblet size. This worked great until I had to clean the saw. That corn starch stuck to everything and was a mess to clean.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 01:59 PM
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Had an old Delta with the old style blocks, then replaced them with Carter bearings, which worked nicely but were fussy to set correctly. Sold that saw and went with a Laguna fourteen-12 with cool blocks. Just for ease of adjustment, I vote for cool blocks. I also keep them up to the gullet, but seldom use smaller than a 1/4 inch blade. Most of the time, I keep a half inch blade installed.


I also have a small Rikon saw that came with roller guides. I am reminded of how fussy it is to adjust them properly every time I have to do it. But there don't seem to be any cool blocks available for that saw.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
probably every 10 years or so.
the reason I mentioned keeping a small blade inside the blocks is just
the way I do things. it keeps the blade from coming out of the blocks
when pulling the material back during the cut.
my last 12" Craftsman BS saw a LOT of use and abuse when making signs.
cutting brass and aluminum plate, plastics, wood of all kinds, and even
a frozen chicken (once). (I really don't recommend doing that).
as always, I recommend you do whatever works for you, with your machines,
with your techniques of doing things.
Good. That matches my experience, too. I still have the same used Cool Blocks after 2-1/2 years. There has been some wear since I got them, but not that much.

The strangest thing I ever cut on the bandsaw was walnut, but that needs clarification:

My spouse needed a bunch of walnut shell halves, each one cut cleanly along the seam. After I tried many other solutions that failed, I thought of the bandsaw. I held each walnut in a handscrew clamp and ran it through the blade. It worked perfectly. She still has the shell halves, and uses them to make special peach pastries.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 02:41 PM
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LittleBoss - I would rather deal with corn starch than
"rotting chicken dust" any day of the week.
yeah - I forgot about cutting the frozen chicken and it was
a few days later when it got really bad.
took the BS outside and washed it with the garden hose.
when the Cool Blocks get deformed - simply stick them to a
belt sander to resurface.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 01-21-2020 at 03:21 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-21-2020, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
I have had 3 bandsaws in my past. I have experienced steel blocks,
bearings and cool blocks.
I just purchased my 4th (and last) vintage Delta 14" BS that came with
steel blocks. the first thing I did was buy cool blocks off of Ebay to replace the steel.
the advantage that I like with the cool blocks is that if I use a 1/8-1/4" blade,
I can bury the blade teeth in the blocks and it won't hurt the blade.
yes, it cuts a groove in the blocks, but I can easily dress them back to smooth again.
and of course, all the other guide and safety measures must remain in place.
everyone certainly has their own preferences to modify their machines
to work within their way of doing things and their projects - this is just my choice.
I be,that is a neat ideal.I will be borrowing that ideal for my BS also.I bet its also makes little less noise.
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-23-2020, 10:10 PM
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I replaced my stock bearings with Carter bearings. There is not any drift at all. I also have the Carter stabilizer for smaller blades, this thing will allow the saw to make incredibly tight turns that you couldnít do with the regular bearings. I have a Grizzly G0555
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