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Tool-less guide upgrade kit for Rikon 10-325, good but could be better

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Review by Mike_D_S posted 01-03-2019 01:43 AM 1124 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Tool-less guide upgrade kit for Rikon 10-325, good but could be better Tool-less guide upgrade kit for Rikon 10-325, good but could be better Tool-less guide upgrade kit for Rikon 10-325, good but could be better Click the pictures to enlarge them

So about a year and a half ago, I got a great deal on a good condition rikon 10-325 bandsaw locally. I have read several places that the only major difference between the 10-325 and the current 10-326 is the tool-less blade guides.

I saw the tool-less guide upgrade kit was available to upgrade the saw and decided that while it was interesting, for $150 I could just use the allen wrenches. Earlier this year, I happened to see the upgrade kit was on sale and I was considering changing the stock bearings, so I have already expected to spend $20-$30 on that. So I went ahead and pulled the trigger as the sale price was $89. So I was basically paying $60 for the upgrade.

First off, this is essentially a “because you want to” upgrade and not something you really need to do. But for the cost of the upgrade kit, I was expecting it to basically be a drop in replacement. Installing it wasn’t all that difficult, until I got to the lower guide mounting bracket. To really do it without cussing, you have to pull the lower wheel. That was ok, but after getting the guide installed, I realized that the mounting bracket is actually bent to an angle less than 90 degrees. So with the bracket installed as the instructions say to do it, it was actually tilted the left and the blade was hitting the plastic safety guard as well as being at a noticeable angle to the back bearing.

So after double checking several times, I had to actually shim the far side of the bracket to level the lower guide block. Once I had that done, I now realized that the plastic safety guide was now to close to the blade and the teeth on the 3/4 resaw blade were making contact. So taking the guides off again, I had to actually open up the mounting hole fo the plastic guide to be able to get it close to the metal block so the blade rides in the middle.

Last thing for the install is minor but annoying. The mounting screw for the lower guide block goes through a hole in the frame that is larger than the screw so there is a little play to tweak the front to back alignment. This is good, but the washer that goes on that screw is smaller than the mounting hole is wide. So when you tighten the screw down, the washer gets pressed down into the hole and can skew the guide block as you tighten it. Easily solved by using a larger washer, I just don’t think I should have had to.

Once I got it fully installed, shimmed and adjusted the tool less blade guides perform as advertised. They are pretty easy to adjust and it’s definitely more convenient than using the other type. A few of the under table adjustments are pretty tight and trying to reach in and adjust the outboard lower guide with one hand while loosening or tightening the guide can be a pain, but it’s not something you do all the time.

So overall, I give it 4 stars for functionality and 2 stars for the amount of tweaking I had to do to get it to work. So overall 3 stars.

I wouldn’t recommend it for the full $150, but if you can get it for under a hundred like I did, it’s worth looking at if you use your saw a lot.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......




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Mike_D_S

596 posts in 2728 days



4 comments so far

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Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3945 days


#1 posted 01-03-2019 10:59 PM

Seems like a pretty big pain for that upgrade. But as long as you feel you gained, they I guess it was worth it. I’ve been looking for Carter upgrade to the Grizzly G0555

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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GR8HUNTER

6459 posts in 1226 days


#2 posted 01-03-2019 11:55 PM

hi Mike is there any info on installing these onto a craftsman BAS-350 since they are basically the same saw :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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Mike_D_S

596 posts in 2728 days


#3 posted 01-04-2019 12:57 PM

Tony, the instructions were specifically written for upgrading the Rikon 324/425. So I’m not sure if they would be useful or not regarding the Craftsman version.

Its been my experience that with ‘clone’ machines the major parts are often the same, but the differences pop up in the smaller bits, so I’d guess you’ve got a 50/50 shot. I didn’t notice anything about them being non-returnable when I ordered, so I guess the worst you could end up with is the cost to ship them back.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2437 posts in 3458 days


#4 posted 02-21-2019 05:19 AM

I just bought and installed this on the relatively new 10-324 my buddy sold me for five.

I wondered about the plastic safety guards, since my Powermatic doesn’t have one. I guess the presume we are smart enough to not put our fingers there, with the machine running. I removed it and the machine is quieter now.

The only thing I note, regarding the installation on my unit is, the bottom right bearing is a bear to get to, for adjustments, so I’m going to drill a 1/2” hole through the cabinet there, so I can push the spring loaded guide without contortions.

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