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Rikon 10-325 problems

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Forum topic by oicu812 posted 07-26-2013 02:04 PM 3526 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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oicu812

8 posts in 1287 days


07-26-2013 02:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rikon 10-325 bandsaw

Hello all, I am having a REAL problem with blade tracking and tensioning on my 10-325. Last February I left the saw with a 1/2” blade installed (tension off of course). Today I was switching to a 3/16” blade and I cant get the tracking right or the tension indicator to read right, and because I was messing with it the indicator came off the pin and is interfering with the top wheel. I pulled out the manual (totally worthless in my opinion) and there is nothing to help me in there, sooo here I am! Last year I had a tensioning issue, emailed Rikon, waited two weeks – nothing! I called and finally and someone helped me thru the issue (personality of a pitbull who had a bad breakfast). I am new to this type of equipment and any help will be GREATLY appreciated, I purchased the saw new one year ago.


17 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#1 posted 07-26-2013 02:18 PM

Personally I took that tension indicator OFF the day I got the saw and never used it – the concept of that indicator is worthless in my mind. I check tension by pushing on the blade in the cutting area (saw off of course) and measure blade deflection (rough estimate by eye – no special equipment used) to gauge a ~1/4” deflection which means the tension is GOOD – or at least good enough for me.

the tracking will change just like the tension when changing blades – that is expected. can you detail what you mean by “real problem”? if you can explain what exactly it is that you are experiencing it may help others understand what’s going on and assist you, but just “having a real problem” is too vague and general.

to go one step further – here’s what I do:

  1. change blade and move guides away from newly installed blade so they don’t push blade out of track
  2. release blade tensioner (if not already released).
  3. put new blade on wheels as center as possible – not critical as it’ll track somewhere anyway
  4. adjust tension (with tensioning lever disengaged – as in untensioned) until the blade is easy to slide on/off- but isn’t too loose that it just falls off – this gives a good starting point to get the right tension
  5. apply tension on blade using tensioning lever – if you feel you are applying too much pressure (which can snap narrower blades) stop and release some of the tension first
  6. apply tension to blade a bit at a time while trying to deflect blade at cutting area (saw unpowered!) but pushing with your index finger at the blade – if you can deflect blade for more than 1/4” – apply more tension. if you can’t deflect blade to 1/4” – reduce some tension. doesn’t have to be exact science – just approximation.
  7. once blade is properly tensioned, rotate upper wheel by hand, and notice where it’s tracking – adjust upper wheel tracking knob clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on where blade is tracking off to (left /right) until the blade tracks nicely with the teeth slightly forward of wheel center (you don’t want the teeth to bite into the top of the wheel crown as it will deteriorate the rubber tire).
  8. adjust blade guides
  9. make a test cut

rinse and repeat as needed.

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

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 1500 days


#2 posted 07-26-2013 02:18 PM

I’ve got a Rikon, don’t know the # (18”). I don’t use the tension indicator at all. Other threads with trackng issues always seem to link to this video as the way to tune the bandsaw:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU
It covers everything including tracking issues.

I do know that on my saw when I switch between the 1.25” resaw and anything 1/2 or under, I have to undo all the tension and move the upper-wheel tracking knob back quite a few turns otherwise the bottom of the wheel hits the front of the housing. Once I get the blade on, I have to dial everything back in. It may be because my 1.25” blades are a skosh smaller than they should be, or just because they are so stiff.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View oicu812's profile

oicu812

8 posts in 1287 days


#3 posted 07-26-2013 05:52 PM

Thanks for the replies, and this is where I’m at. I followed PurpLev’s suggestions and got the blade to track on the upper wheel but lower wheel the blade is more to the rear of the wheel. Last year when I was having the tension issue and spoke to Rikon he had me release the tension lever and turn the tension knob on top of the saw so the screw that come out just below the spring was only showing a couple threads. He said sometimes the operator will start applying tension (turning the top knob) before pushing the tensioner lever over and this is what effects the accuracy of the tension readout (blade size tension indicator) and it seemed to work. I did do some resawing after that. I under stand that after getting the lower wheel to track properly that will increase the blade tension just from getting it to the crown of the wheel but I still cannot get any additional tension using the upper knob and the screw threads showing below the spring are at 1/2” (my age is the biggest factor in screwing the knob down further). I did use the 3/16” blade last year and it tensioned fine, I just don’t know whats going on now. JustJoe, thanks for link to bandsaw tuneup with Alex, I saw that personally when the woodworking shows were in town.

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3389 posts in 1635 days


#4 posted 07-26-2013 09:28 PM

Tension meters on band saw are no good.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View toolie's profile

toolie

2023 posts in 2090 days


#5 posted 07-26-2013 09:47 PM

sounds like one of the few dissatisfied comments i’ve encountered about the 10-325 and rikon. i’d humbly suggest trying them again. i’ve only had positive experiences with them and i didn’t even buy my 10-340 new. from my personal experiences with band saws, it’s usually something simple that’s causing the problem. good luck sorting it out and let the forum know what ultimately resolves the issue.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View oicu812's profile

oicu812

8 posts in 1287 days


#6 posted 07-26-2013 09:58 PM

Thanks toolie, the soonest I can try is towards the end of next week and I will post the results.

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2086 days


#7 posted 07-26-2013 10:13 PM

The video Justjoe referenced is the answer to your question. FOLLOW the advice, your bandsaw will be your friend.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1596 days


#8 posted 07-27-2013 10:09 PM

I would check out that 3/16” blade weld insuring not crooked also if blade not more than 111 inches.

-- Bill

View bowedstraight's profile

bowedstraight

100 posts in 1235 days


#9 posted 07-27-2013 11:25 PM

from what I know the blade on the bottom wheel should be left alone let it track where it wants as long as it’s on the wheel I remember reading that somewhere, an article I read along time ago as long as it’s cutting and not goin crazy I wouldn’t worry with it, I have the 10-345 and never really worry about the bottom wheel just the top and upper lower bearings I never had any issues cause I never look at the bottom blade tracking there is no window to look so I don’t worry with it but I think it’s in the way you could be setting up your saw every time I start my saw I start as if it was a blade change go over ething but mainly watch the top wheel tracking never had any problems yet but you never know just sayin

-- Work in the city woodshop in tha country

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1640 posts in 1778 days


#10 posted 07-28-2013 01:04 AM

What BowedStraight said is correct. It’s the upper wheel and upper guide assembly that are doing the critical work of keeping the blade traveling the right direction. The blade just needs to be somewhere on the lower wheel but it doesn’t matter where.

As far as tracking goes, just set it to run on the center of the upper wheel. If the blade is sharp and has a good weld it’ll cut straight.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1596 days


#11 posted 07-28-2013 11:22 AM

Instructions for blade change in your manual same as mine. Only thing I do that is not instructions is remove the table for better access to lower guide & thrust bearings. Also allows me to vac, inspect, and adjust those bearings better.
If your old 111” blade was set up properly, installing a new blade should not be a big deal, just few minor adjustments. Really think your problem is with the blade or your lack of experience with blades & your band saw.
.
There are several articles and videos online today that can help you set & tune up your band saw. Basically, band saws simple machines and except for minor differences in features operate the same.

Before bought my band saw bought and read most of Mark Duginske’s, “Band Saw Handbook.” Rikon also recommends that book as nice to have.

Other people have a copy of “The Band Saw Book,” by Lonnie Bird. Some people have both Duginske & Bird Books.

Duninske, has a newer book out “The New Guide to the Band Saw which should be more up to date.

-- Bill

View bowedstraight's profile

bowedstraight

100 posts in 1235 days


#12 posted 07-28-2013 11:03 PM

I think what I remember seeing what I learned on bandsaw trutuneup is Snodgrass I think he says not to worry with the bottom wheel it takes time to learn but ask questions and watch videos thats how you learn and keep from tearing things up I read alot of comments on lumberjocks and it has helped me way beyond my means and lumberjocks has alot of experienced people that have done the R&D or you might say all the mistakes of cutting teeth, you have all you need to know or who to ask right here at your fingertips just ask, somebody will have the answer always someone to help someone here at the jocks I think, they have helped me and you can always count on a good answer

-- Work in the city woodshop in tha country

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7143 posts in 2376 days


#13 posted 07-29-2013 01:11 AM

You usually do NOT have to mess with the lower wheel adjustments, HOWEVER, if you do need to make the adjustments then be assured that it is not that hard to do. Just remember to make adjustments in very small increments, and you should be OK.

Lower Wheel Adjustments

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View oicu812's profile

oicu812

8 posts in 1287 days


#14 posted 08-04-2013 10:41 AM

Sorry I didn’t get back to everyone sooner I was real busy this past week putting all new windows in my house. Yesterday I messed with the Rikon and got it useable again after watching the Snodgrass video and making some adjustments from what I remember the Rikon rep telling me. Right after I bought it while setting it up I did make a minor adjustment to the lower wheel tracking from the info at Highlands site and until I had this issue top and bottom was tracking properly, now the lower is still running to the rear of the wheel but there is no blade flutter and I can seem to get proper tension (the tension indicator wont even fit anymore, maybe it got bent or something) using Snodgrass’s instruction.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2023 posts in 2090 days


#15 posted 08-04-2013 12:58 PM

FWIW, did you follow the instructions on the rikon website for adjusting the lower wheel of the 325:

http://rikontools.com/lowerwheeladjustments.pdf

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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