|Forum topic by USCJeff||posted 07-23-2007 04:33 AM||3295 views||0 times favorited||19 replies|
07-23-2007 04:33 AM
I’m about to rave about my new toy, but should preface this with a disclaimer. Prior to this purchase, I was using a piece of junk $100 benchtop bandsaw. I hated using it because it was a fight to get it to do even a poor job.
I finally earned enough points at home to talk my wife into setting me loose at the local store. I’ve been wanting Rikon’s 14” 1.5HP Bandsaw since reading the Editor’s Choice review in Fine Woodworking. I looked hard at the Craftsman that got Best Value as well. It was less than $500. Not bad compared to the $800 tag most of the other one’s sported. I’ve learned the lesson though, get what you will want a couple years down the road. I’ve broken that rule too many times and it hits me in the wallet every time.
Anyways, I wanted to give it a quick test after assembly. The assembly itself was only difficult because the manual was as poor as I’ve seen. That’s the only flaw I’ve seen so far though. It came with a generic 3/4” stock blade. I changed it out for a 1/2” TimberWolf 4TPI blade I talked them into throwing into the purchase (Also scored a can of Topcote). I looked for the nastiest piece of lumber I could find and went to work. I couldn’t find anything to tough on hand. I ended up laminating a huge block of oak together to test the 13” resaw capacity. FineWoodworking said it cut their oak without pause. This was the case with my glued up piece as well. The fence and resaw bar are actually pretty nice compared to a Grizzly 14” and a Jet 14” I’ve used elsewhere. Not as nice as an aftermarket fence, Kreg for example. I also like the blade tracking window in the side of the saw. No need to open it up. Just take a peek. Blade change was average. There’s a slot in the table top to take care of that. On a side note, I learned how to coil a bandsaw blade at the store yesterday. I always wondered how that was done.
I only made a couple modifications. I built a mobile base for it, but really don’t anticipate moving it much. I added 100lbs. of sand to the base for stability. Not sure that it would need it as it already was pushing 300lbs. The sand was on hand and in the way, so I played it safe.
I’ll give a full accounting of its performance after a few projects. If anybody wants to know how to put this bandsaw inside a Mustang for transportation, let me know. I’ll only say this, after it was loaded. . . The salesman asked me if he could take a picture for their website. I also could not get it out the way it went in. I had to take it out of the box inside the car!
-- Jeff, South Carolina