My Rikon 14" Deluxe Bandsaw Journey #3: Setup Complete and some questions

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Blog entry by Hoakie posted 01-29-2010 05:33 PM 5255 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: It has Arrived!!! Part 3 of My Rikon 14" Deluxe Bandsaw Journey series Part 4: Unpacking and Setup »

I completed basic setup last night and gave it a try. As a lot have noted, the stock blade is awful, I had a lot of vibration and didn’t pass the nickel test. After switching to a 1/2” Timberwolf 3TPI all vibration is gone and it runs very smooth. Without trying real hard I was able to resaw a 0.025” (~1/40”) slice off a jointed and faced 2×4. The variation in thickness was +/- 0.005”.

Things I’ve noticed but need to investigate more (suggestions/explanations welcome)

  • The lower guide front-back adjustment appears limited, I’m not talking about thrust bearing adjustment but the getting the side bearings forward enough to ride right behind the gullet. I didn’t inspect too closely so i may be missing something.
  • There was a piece wire from the welding of the rear blade guard that extended into the blade cavity. I only noticed it when I was using the flutter method with the TW blade. I kept hearing a tinking noise. This was easily fixed with a side snip but thought I’d point it out in case others get one like this.
  • The blade tensioning indicator slipped off the post on the tensioning guide somehow, when I put it back on, I noticed it was bent. I am having a hard time determining if it is supposed to be bent or not. based on the way it is put together, I can see how it might be “bent” on purpose to allow clearance around the tensioning mechanism. Is it supposed to be “bent”? That said, the indicator seems to be really high ~3/4 after tensioning the TW blade using the flutter method so I’m still not convinced that there might be something wrong with it. I’m not too concerned since most say the tensioning gauges are all screwy any, regardless of the saw.
  • The blade tracks fine on upper wheel but appears to ride ~1/4” to the front of the bottom tire. There is a guide on Rikon’s site to adjust this…I will be doing that tonight.
  • The table is not perpendicular to the blade. It is sloping away from the blade slightly. This may be due to the blade riding on the front of the lower table. Once I get the blade riding on the center of the lower tire, I’ll check again and this may be fixed it.
  • The blade guide seems to travel fairly parallel to the blade. I think it is off a small bit but this may also be due the the way the blade is riding on the lower tire. If not there are adjustments to fix this.
  • There is an learning curve on adjusting the bearings but I got the hang of it quick and don’t think it was very difficult compared to my 12” Jet with coolblocks

So far I am very happy with my experience. I plan on posting pictures of the setup from packaging to final assembly. I’ll also update on how my fine-tuning goes.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

10 comments so far

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#1 posted 01-29-2010 06:49 PM

Great job on the set up.
Congratulations and start making veneer from walnut or maple burl.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 01-29-2010 10:31 PM

my tension gauge got bent as well, the way it was designed, if the upper wheel needs to be repositioned, it WILL get bent as the wheel is hitting it.

I got a replacement tension gauge (yellow arrow) from Rikon, but opted not to install it, since it will just get bent again. I check blade tension with my finger. one less things to worry about.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View syenefarmer's profile


488 posts in 3078 days

#3 posted 01-30-2010 12:48 AM

I agree with PurpLev about the blade tensioning gauge. It’s ballpark at best so I prefer to just use the ¼” method to tension my blades.

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3207 days

#4 posted 02-10-2010 06:36 PM

FWIW, the tension gauge was also bent and loose on mine when I got it a couple of years ago. Once it is put it where it belongs and snug it up, it shouldn’t give you any problems. The saw works great and has worked its way through everything I’ve fed it.

Question: What is the “flutter method” you mention?

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#5 posted 02-10-2010 06:45 PM

After you get all the gremlins worked out it should be fine.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View KevinM's profile


2 posts in 3013 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 12:28 AM

Just discovered this great site. I am a new owner of this bandsaw, and share some of the experiences of others.

The bent tension indicator happened to me too. This happens when the tracking adjustment is turned in quite far, which happened when setting tracking on a TW 3/4 blade. Bad design or maybe some other adjustment is out of whack. I bent it back into position—- it probably won’t stay.

I had to adjust the trunnion set screws (the little ones near the trunnion attachment bolts) to get the table perpendicular to the blade. The one in the back is very difficult to access.

The stock blade had a marginal weld, and would click every time through the guide bearings. Cut ok, though not real clean.

The new 3/4 TW blade was welded out of plane, and would bump the rear thrust bearing at every pass. It’s going back to Woodcraft. I have seen a few other posts of TW weld joint problems.

1/4 TW blade runs fine, but the lower thrust bearing would not adjust far enough forward to get near the back edge of this blade. The whole carriage probably needs tweaking.

Hope my experience with blades is just bad luck !?


View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4034 days

#7 posted 02-23-2010 07:01 AM


I was not impressed with the stock blade, I used it for initial config/testing then ditched it. I have not had an issue with the PS Wood TW blades. I have 1/4”, 3/8” and 1/2” and all work great. I didn’t have any issue with aligning the lower guides with the 1/4” so you many want to look for something wedged preventing the carriage from moving forward, or possibly a burr that may not have been removed.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View KevinM's profile


2 posts in 3013 days

#8 posted 02-24-2010 06:58 PM

Thanks Hoakie;

The back edge of the 3/4 TW blade, set against a 24” straight edge at the weld, deviated from straight by 1/8” in 12”. Clearly built on a Monday :-)

Started inspecting more closely how the saw was built, and discovered the upper bearing assembly was rotated such that the side bearings were not parallel to the blade. Adjusted this at the screw-gear housing in the top via set screws. I also tweaked the assembly to have equal bearing clearances at top and bottom of range, which fixed another small problem.

I suspect you are correct re: lower bearings. Will tackle this tomorrow.

Noted that tools were sticking to the table near the blade slot. With the leveling bar removed, the table is a big horseshoe magnet :-)


View danr's profile


154 posts in 3183 days

#9 posted 02-24-2010 07:58 PM

Thanks for your write up. I was wondering if anyone here could explain the comment:

“I was using the flutter method with the TW blade”

What is the flutter method?


View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4034 days

#10 posted 02-24-2010 08:29 PM

Thanks Pat. I have not noticed that anything on mine is stripped as you mention. I will double check though just to be sure. I made my last adjustments with the TW 3/8” blade so I’ll go back as they recommend recheck with the stock blade. My “wobble” is not bad, my main issue for lower wheel adjustment was to get the blade running on the center of the wheel.


Since the TW blade is a low tension blade the offer a method to tension that does not rely on the scale. Here is a link to those instructions, but please note that these instructions should only be used with Timberwolf blades, blades made from other metals may need full tension to work properly

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

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