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Rikon 10" Bench Top Band Saw

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Does anybody on here use one?  I feel it's time to upgrade (my menards saw is a bit of a pain) and am curious about the pros/cons of the Rikon.  Conveniently, I have a WoodCraft not too far away.  

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I have one and I LOVE it! It was a bit finicky to set up but once on the beam it has stayed put fabulously. The blade length is odd (72 1/2" IIRC...) but they are easily available to me from Highland woodworking in Atlanta hust up the road from where I live. Check iut their website... They have a goldmine of stuff that luremakers have a hard time finding, like bulk quantities of CA glue, forstner bits, etc... Just Google Highland woodworking Atlanta and it should come right up.

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 I had one and it was o.k. It is a light duty saw at best, and was best suited for softer wood. My neighbor used it once for cutting a bunch of oak trim and it ate up my blades. It should do fine as a hobby saw though, and for the money is a good buy.

 

Tom

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I picked one up.  I purchased a 1/8th blade to run on it.  Man, that is a tough saw to set up!  I've probably spent a good 2.5hrs just trying to get the blade to stay center.  Even still, the blade is just slightly off from center, but at least the blade seems to stay put.  

 

Do you guys have any recommendations on the bearing guide set-ups for the 1/8th inch blades?  

Also, how do you tell if the blade tension is adequate?  

Any suggestions for the best way to ensure the blade is square with the table?  (I'm installing the table on it tonight).

 

I had a Sears 9" saw before (Menards version), and it worked well for the price.  Even then, I just fiddled with the blade tension until it worked (but this started getting more difficult to achieve as the saw aged).  

I just want to make sure that the set-up is perfect on this rikon saw, since it should be able to perform better.  Any tips from the bandsaw experts is appreciated!

If all goes well, I hope to finally give it a whorl this afternoon!

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With band saws, it's critical that the two wheels are parallel, and in the same plane, or it's almost impossible to get the blade to track.  Band saw wheels generally have rubber wheel bands with a slight crown in the middle, which helps the blades to track, since the blade wants to climb to the crown of the wheel while it's turning.

Once you have the blade on and tensioned so it kind of sings when you pluck the blade, put a long straight edge on the faces of the two wheels, to be sure they are aligned and parallel.  Usually there are adjustment knobs behind the upper wheel to do the adjusting.

If they're not aligned, and you can't adjust them, contact the manuf. to see how to adjust them.

Edited by mark poulson

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When I squared my band saw blade to the table to make sure was square to the table I used a 12 inch combination square, you have to raise the band saw blde guide wheels high enough for the conbination square will fit under the blade wheel guides, it works great. On my band saw I cannot align the fence to the saw blade, my fence is pretty much fixed. On the higher end band saw there is an adjustment for the fence to allow for the angle of the blade

You cand do search on the internet how to tune a band saw. There is gazillion ammount of info. The search key words i used are these     (How to tune a band saw videos)

I cut my lip slot with the band saw and they come out perfect every time

Hopefully this helps

 

Gino

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Thanks for the tip.  I'll have to check into that.  I finally got the blade to stay on.  The only way I could set it was to adjust the wheel tilt while the saw was running (top door open).  It was not the most comfortable scenario I've put myself in.  It seems to be staying right now, but with the small blade, the rear bearing guides do not even come close (even after sliding them forward).  I'm thinking I may need larger rear bearings to reach the blade.  I've never heard of the fiber blade guides, how do they benefit vs a wheel bearing?

 

Thanks for the info!

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If your rear bearing isn't close, it's not doing it's job.

Remember what the bearings are for.  They are to keep the blade from twisting or wandering while you're cutting.  They aren't necessary for your blade to stay on the wheel when the saw is running with no load from a work piece.  If you need the bearings to keep you blade on your wheels you don't have the saw adjusted properly.

I only use a roller bearing behind my blade.

Because the blade you want to use is so small, there is very little flat area behind the teeth for the bearings to ride on, so metal bearings wind up getting scared up by the blade, and the blade dulls quickly.

I use fiber blocks on the sides with 1/8" to 1/4" blades

I use metal bearings for wider blades.  

I adjust the rear bearing so it just clears the blade when the saw is running, and comes into contact with the back of the blade when I apply pressure with the work piece.  Then I move the side bearings until they are also just clear of the blade when it's running.  I'm talking about the thickness of two pieces of paper.   Constant contact with the rear bearing will make your blade wander, because it is being pushed forward on the wheels.

For lure making, 1/4" is the widest blade I use, because the wider the blade, the wider the turning radius.

So thinner blades make it easier to follow contour lines.

Once you get your saw set up right, you shouldn't need to adjust it again until you change your blade.

I remove the tension on the blade after each session, and retension it when I'm going to use the saw again.  That saves both the blade, and the wheel tires.

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