Tool Tuneup #2: Rikon Bandsaw Tuneup

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Blog entry by Jon3 posted 06-21-2009 11:23 PM 7279 reads 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Dewalt Planer Knife Change Part 2 of Tool Tuneup series no next part

One thing I noticed while building my Roubo was that there appeared to be some uncorrected blade drift and inaccuracy in my bandsaw. I have to admit, taking the time to tune it up properly has been on my todo list for a long time, but I’d never gotten around to it. Since this is Tool Tuneup week, I decided it was finally time.

The top and bottom doors lift off their pins quite easily, which makes it easier to remove the blade.

Then I loosed the four bolts and removed the table.

The first thing I noticed was that the bottom wheel was missing the retaining bolt and washer! This could certainly explain the trouble I had dialing in the cut on this before!

I sent some mail over to Rikon Tools, and Al Goldstein responded promptly that he’d put the missing parts in the mail. I had them within a day. Props to Rikon for their excellent support!

I took some time to vacuum and blow out the spare dust with compressed air, and checked over the bandsaw tires to make sure they were still in good shape, then moved on to the actual tuneup phase.

First I joined up some spare stock and checked the wheels to ensure they were coplanar.

Once I had the wheels coplanar, I checked the table, and noticed it was significantly canted forward. I ended up shimming the table lightly just to get it somewhat closer to level. I’d fine tune that later with paper shims.

Then I began the blade mounting and tuneup. Step 1 was to retract the guide bearings and mount the blade, making sure the blade spins freely without any bearing contact.

Lower bearings too!

Then I checked the blade tension, and (just spinning the wheels by hand) made sure the blade was tracking correctly.

With that set appropriately, you can bring the bearings carefully back in almost-contact with the blade. I use about a business card’s distance from the blade.

The final test was to make sure the table is perpendicular to the blade.

Front-to-back required some shimming, and this was as close as I could get it. There’s just a hair gap up top of my 12” square. Close enough for me!

I also checked and fine tuned my 90 degree table stop.

I then did a final check, made sure I cleaned up the tools and re-installed the fence, and hooked up the DC for a test run.

Everything checked out, so I grabbed some four quarter 7 inch ash stock and did a quick resaw test.

I got myself a nice consistent slice a hair over 1/4”.

That’ll do it!

10 comments so far

View Judge's profile


32 posts in 3821 days

#1 posted 06-21-2009 11:45 PM

thanks for the post. i’ve been meaning to tune-up my jet and now I’ll have a nice guide.

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4156 days

#2 posted 06-22-2009 05:09 AM

Rikon is spot on when it comes to support – I can attest to that.

Thats a nice post -thanks for sharing. something we should do once in a while.

PS. what is that blade youre using ? looks 3/4” ?

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

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4195 days

#3 posted 06-22-2009 07:42 AM

It’s amazing what we can find wrong or out of adjustment when we make the time to check things over.I recently overhauled my JET BS and now it is better than new : ) Also my jointer fence (90*) had become inaccurate over time with heavy use .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4613 days

#4 posted 06-22-2009 06:30 PM

PurpLev: That blade is a Highland Woodworking Wood Slicer resaw blade. I’ve got a 1/2” version incoming, I wanted to see if there’s a significant difference, as the 1/2” should be easier to dial in and tension, and is a bit more flexible when I do have to do some curve work. I only own 4 blades, 2 of which just arrived today.

1/8” “I wish I owned a scrollsaw but I don’t have room for it” blade.
1/4” for curved work.
1/2” Wood Slicer. Haven’t tried it yet.
3/4” Wood Slicer. Excellent for resaw work.

View MitchH's profile


7 posts in 3662 days

#5 posted 10-06-2009 05:56 PM

Hi John,

Did you ever get the 1/8 blade to work on your Rikon? I was looking at buying a Rikon 14” deluxe, but I recall reading somewhere that an 1/8 blade may not work due to the location of the side bearing guides.



View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4613 days

#6 posted 10-22-2009 08:54 PM

Mitch, Sorry for the long reply, I just found the email message buried in a spam folder. No, I haven’t needed the 1/8th blade yet, as I have a hand saw that I use for most of the small cuts. I tend to leave a bigger resaw blade on there most of the time.

View MrP1343's profile


3 posts in 2489 days

#7 posted 03-27-2013 07:16 PM

I had a 14” rockwell that was very hard for me to tune up because I had difficulty seeing and adjusting the coolblocks. I sold the saw and am hoping that there are saws that are easier to tuneup. My hope is that one will allow one to raise the table out of the way. Any thoughts?

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4195 days

#8 posted 03-28-2013 03:12 AM

MrP , take the table off, make adjustments , reinstall table : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4613 days

#9 posted 03-28-2013 02:41 PM

I actually recently retuned both my bandsaws using the method you see in the videos from Carter, to amazing results. Please do give them a try if you get a chance. The videos are all on youtube.

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4195 days

#10 posted 03-29-2013 02:56 AM

I’ll second the Carter videos . Alex knows what he’s talking about. Even better if you can see him live at a woodworking show : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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