New saw

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Review by John Lowell posted 12-28-2013 03:16 PM 9613 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
New saw New saw New saw Click the pictures to enlarge them

Santa is a good person. Saw into my heart, noted the good fella inside and delivered what is now, without doubt, the highest quality tool in my shop.

He left the unit in the store, only asking that I pick it up, load and unload it into the truck, muscle it down into the shop, unpack it, assemble, and tune it up. And that is a lot of work.

It weighs 240 lbs.
It is hard to move and assemble by one’s self.
Kids did not buy the Santa story.

Assembly by one who has never really used a bandsaw took the day, and changes to the saw took another afternoon. I did take time, you tubed and lumberjocked to understand what was needed, but still made mistakes,

If this is the new and improved manual, am very glad I did not see the old version. Instructions not really clear for a beginner, and some changes to the saw that are not mentioned. But, I stumbled through. Note in the photo a chrome fence rail and different scale mount from the older version.

1) assemble the stand – not hard, heavy gauge steel, went together well.
2) mount the saw – The hardest part was lifting the bugger. I ended up using paint cans, tilting the saw, pushing the cans under, then tilting the other side. Kind of like walking up stairs. Final lift started higher, easer on the back, and went well.
3) mount the table top – thought it went well, at least until the tune up stage.
4) tune it up – ahhh, now the beginner errors show themselves. Followed the instructions, scratched a bit, and completed the task with only two fender washers, two screws and one fence scale left over. Problem? As of now, I think the screws are to mount the fence scale, and there were two scales in the box. They are different, I think to allow mounting to either side of the blade.

Have no idea where the extra fender washers go…...

Table did cause problems. Went through the tune up, but the drift was “wow” – see photo.

More scratching and I noted the table was not square to the saw. hummmm, sounds like a problem. Loosened and attempted to square to the post, but the post is not “square”, there is a difference between the back face/table square and using the front face. oh well, just ended up using the back face, and remounted.

The good news is that after another tuning, there is almost no drift. Either I did something right, or simply blundered into a reasonable setup. See the resaw result.

Completed the various tests and have started using it.

In use – WOW! Smooth, quiet and strong. Went through 12/4 hard maple easy, and with the factory blade.

Dust extraction poor, but after reading about the plate that blocks the intake, grabbed the Dremel and cut it off. Much better now. I did talk to my 14 yr old son, requested that whenever he sees me running the saw, he is not to remove the vacuum hose and stick his fingers into the 4 in opening. He agreed. Now I need to brief my daughter and I can rest easy.

Bottom line – really like how it works, am looking forward to making sawdust!

Other bottom line – Santa is a wonderful fella.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

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John Lowell

137 posts in 2752 days

17 comments so far

View JuanGatico's profile


72 posts in 2956 days

#1 posted 12-28-2013 03:32 PM

One of the most useful machines in the shop.

View Julian's profile


1579 posts in 3461 days

#2 posted 12-28-2013 03:44 PM

I have the same BS. It does a great job and if you have problems I found the customer service was great. Your BS will work even better when you install a good blade. My fence was not flat or square and Rikon shipped me a new fence which was much better.

-- Julian

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2961 days

#3 posted 12-28-2013 03:55 PM

congrats on the new bs.did you hug santa??

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2752 days

#4 posted 12-29-2013 01:49 AM

Any suggestions for a resaw blade? Worked on a burl today, about 10 in deep. Some trouble with the back bearings slipping, will tighten, but is is alu block.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View jmacz's profile


15 posts in 2952 days

#5 posted 12-29-2013 02:19 AM

Nice BS; looked at one today in the local store. Have a look at this video for some tips on BS setup.

Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

View SPalm's profile


5335 posts in 4652 days

#6 posted 12-29-2013 04:45 PM

I have the same saw. Had it for years. Really good medium priced saw I think.

Things really improved when I bought a good re-saw or rip blade. I would recommend trying one of these Woodslicer blades. Combo 3 & 4 tpi really cleans the dust out of the cut. 1/2 inch and 111 inches long. I think it does an amazing job.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2752 days

#7 posted 12-29-2013 11:06 PM

Tks for the saw blade info, will order a “set”. Not sure how often I want to change the blade, but rather have the blade than need it and not have it. Cut some burl today, still working on the drift, or the blade is not very good. Wet wood, but binding on the way through. Am having a blast.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View Bobsboxes's profile


1447 posts in 3434 days

#8 posted 01-01-2014 05:06 PM

I have two of these, one with 3/16” blade and Carter stablizer , and one with 1/2” blade and Carter easy to adjust guides. I have moved light around to front of saw, works best for me. One is at least 5 years old, one is 3 years old. I can scroll, resaw, all with ease. I have used other saws and blades, and guides but these are at the top of my list. I get my 1/2” Sterling blades from Hal Taylor, and narrow blades from Highland Woodworking. Hope this helps.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View papermate's profile


40 posts in 2841 days

#9 posted 01-04-2014 11:37 PM

I got the same saw for Christmas except I bought it for myself. I had the same drift problem you have. I didn’t like how much I had to adjust the fence. So I read the book and I found an adjustment on the trunnion that pivots it, so when the table is attached it pivots the table to make it so I don’t have to adjust the fence. By pivoting the table my fence is now parallel with the mitre slot, instead of being 1/2 out at one end like in your picture. The bolt is located under the trunnion where you loosen the lever to tilt the table, it’s straight above the dust port.

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2752 days

#10 posted 01-05-2014 02:08 AM

All great pointers, I noted the bolt, but the manual did not talk about using it for adjustment, or I overlooked the mention. I got some better bandsaw blades today at the Woodworking show, will mount the 1/4 in to try some boxes and work on the table adjustment tomorrow.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View jmacz's profile


15 posts in 2952 days

#11 posted 01-06-2014 05:10 AM

Instead of adjusting the table/fence to the drift, adjust the upper wheel so the deepest part of the gullet is the center. This is discussed in the video I linked on post #5. Lots of other good stuff as well.

I had always adjusted the upper wheel until there is no drift. Never really noted where the blade finally sat but looked after seeing the video.

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2752 days

#12 posted 01-07-2014 02:09 AM

Tks, have seen the video, and saw him last weekend at the woodworking show. He now has a short strait edge with a small cutout and strong magnet he uses to align the blade and table. This sticks to the blade and allows space for the teeth set. Then you line up the table with the straight edge. Simple. This is done after setting the blade, with the gullet in the center of the top wheel.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View joshuam39's profile


62 posts in 2152 days

#13 posted 09-03-2014 06:12 AM

Just curious. Is this the same saw as the Craftsman 14” band saw?

-- Let's go Pens!

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 2752 days

#14 posted 09-05-2014 01:33 AM

Don’t know, but the saw is running great!

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View Canoe's profile


2 posts in 2121 days

#15 posted 09-16-2014 06:29 PM

WOW, what a great product. My 20+ year old 12” Craftsman finally gave it up so I did my research and bought the Rikon. I purchased it for resawing logs for turning and this saw has not missed a beat, even with the blade shipped with the saw. I tried resawing some 8” wide maple and a few oak boards and the saw performs great.

I am with a few of the others that the instructions are in need of improvement. The assembly, set up and tuning took about an hour from the time I had the box in my shop. If this saw has a draw back it is the dust collector, it does not fit my 4” adaptor and if it were on the side like the pro model it would be more efficient.

This is the second Rikon tool I have purchased and will say their customer service is excellent. I would recommend this product if you are looking for a 14” BS.

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