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Around the shop #1: Thoughts on setting up my bandsaw

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Blog entry by dsb1829 posted 09-04-2008 06:15 AM 1369 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Around the shop series Part 2: Over the hump? »

I have spent a bit of time wrestling with the Rigid bandsaw that I picked up. I have gone back and forth on the value vs. something from Grizzly. At this point the grizzly G0555 with shipping (just shy of $500) would have been about the same out of pocket. Overall the Rigid won out because of warranty and immediate availability. I also had a Lowe’s coupon that HD honored.

Okay, onto the setup. I knew out of the box that there could be some issue with vibration. Assembly was pretty straight forward. I got the saw up to the point that I could fire it up. Yep, pretty bad vibration. The whole frame chassis was flexing allowing the motor and saw to oscillate on it. The belt was the first suspect in the anti-vabration hunt. So I made a couple of calls and located a Gates v-belt.

Once installed the majority of the vibration was removed, but there was still the issue of flex in the stand allowing the motor and saw to pull towards each other. I had some scrap mdf laying around, so I quickly made a sub base and placed this between the stand and the motor/saw. I remounted everything. It did require some longer screws on the saw. I used the same motor screws, but removed the rubber band-aid bumpers they spec’d. I crossed my fingers and fired it up. Bingo, vibration gone. I ended up having to find a few longer screws to mount the belt shroud, but fortunately I had those on hand.

Everything went smooth from there. I got the table mounted and adjusted and finished adjusting the guides. Nothing major. So I was onto some sample cuts. Gotta say, the stock blade is garbage. Very rough cut, major drift, and too wide to do much curve work. I really don’t know what this blade’s purpose it. I will hang onto it for odd jobs, but only so I don’t damage my nicer blades.

Tonight my Kreg fence, cool blocks, and Olson blades came in. I installed each in turn. Wow, great improvements on all fronts. Kreg fence is a quality piece of equipment. Good instructions and straight forward install and adjustments. The cool blocks also bolted right on, reduced noise and most likely heat. The Olson brand blades seem good quality. Cut is much smoother and drift is only 1-2 degrees. I also noticed quieter running of the saw during cuts.

In the end I can’t say that these upgrades wouldn’t be necessary on the comparable Grizzly. For the Rigid these simply changes and additions make the difference between a saw that I would complain about and a saw that I would be happy to brag about.

short video review:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr4oUluudKI

From 2008.09.03 finishing

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama



5 comments so far

View cmaeda's profile

cmaeda

205 posts in 2251 days


#1 posted 09-04-2008 07:25 AM

Great job, I have the older grey ridgid bandsaw and it doesn’t have so many problems. It still has the stock belt and no mdf sub base. I did upgrade to the coolblocks.
Its’ been a pretty good bandsaw. I wonder what happened with the orange bandsaw. A friend of mine had similar problems with vibrations. He bought the segmented belt and that worked for him.

View dsb1829's profile

dsb1829

367 posts in 2324 days


#2 posted 09-04-2008 02:29 PM

Yep, the stock belt is terrible. Mine had a lump and a twist where it joined. Just looking at it I knew it would give me problems. I did look at link belt, but worried about them slipping on the pulleys. Price is also a deterrent at about 3-4X the cost of a Gates or Goodyear belt. There is a whole discussion on quality v-belts over on the sawmillcreak board from when I swapped out the belt.

Some may argue that you shouldn’t have to fix a new tool. Unfortunately with the quest for cheaper tools, low and behold, we get cheaper parts on the cheaper tools. I think for the minimal investment in a good belt, blade, and some mdf that it isn’t a big deal.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2411 days


#3 posted 09-04-2008 03:20 PM

I bought a Rikon 10-325 14' Deluxe, and I was fortunate enough to not have any problems with it. I just assembled it like the book said, and it runs more quiet than any machine in my shop, including my drill press. I can leave it on and walk 5-6 feet away from it, and won’t hear it running. My stock blade wasn’t too bad, but I replaced it with a Timberwolf, and that blade works fantastic, much better than the stock.

It might help you if you have further problems to read through Blake’s article, The best bandsaw advice ever. That was a pretty good post.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View dsb1829's profile

dsb1829

367 posts in 2324 days


#4 posted 09-04-2008 04:54 PM

Wow, that link is a lot of great advice. Gotta love this internet business for getting some of the tricks of the trade out to use hacks.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2411 days


#5 posted 09-05-2008 06:00 PM

Yeah, we’re fortunate to not just have this site, but to have it populated with so many talented, knowledgeable people. Lots of skill here… I learn something every day.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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