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Thread: Inadequate Blade Tension on a Rikon 10-345?

  1. #1
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    Inadequate Blade Tension on a Rikon 10-345?

    My saw is 7 years old, but I don't use it all that much and leave it untensioned when not used. I have a 1/2" Lenox carbide blade on it. I think it is a trimaster, but am not sure. It seemed a bit loose set at a 1" blade, so I measured the tension at 18,000 with an Iturra gauge. I took it to 1 1/4", the maximum, and got 22,000.
    That is lower than I wanted, and implied that it could only tension a 1" to 11,000.

    So, is there something wrong with my saw, or am I misunderstanding the concept.

    BTW, I used it to reduce a dozen 2x6s to 1.25", and it did a good job at 22,000.

  2. #2
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    Sounds about right. My old ACM LT 18 had about the same limits. 22K on a 1/2 Trimaster should give decent results. Dave

  3. #3
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    Yikes, that saw is supposed to be able to run a 1-1/4" blade. Manufacturers routinely overstate the capability of their bandsaws, but that's a little ridiculous. 22K psi should give you pretty good performance but a 1" blade isn't going to be very effective with only 11K on it. If the frame is stiff enough to handle the increased load you could go to a higher compression spring. Disregarding the loss in cross sectional area from the gullet it takes 550 lbs of spring force to put 22K psi tension on a 1/2" x 0.025" blade. For a 1" x 0.035" blade the spring would have to supply 1540 lbs force to get to 22K tension. It's actually less, but you would still need approximately 3X the spring force.

    John

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    My saw is 7 years old, but I don't use it all that much and leave it untensioned when not used. I have a 1/2" Lenox carbide blade on it. I think it is a trimaster, but am not sure. It seemed a bit loose set at a 1" blade, so I measured the tension at 18,000 with an Iturra gauge. I took it to 1 1/4", the maximum, and got 22,000.
    That is lower than I wanted, and implied that it could only tension a 1" to 11,000.

    So, is there something wrong with my saw, or am I misunderstanding the concept.

    BTW, I used it to reduce a dozen 2x6s to 1.25", and it did a good job at 22,000.
    I have the same saw, at ~ same age and run it on one width setting (1/8") above the factory indicated spring tension for a given blade width. Works great; no complaints.

    I've tried the flutter-method, and the blade came off during 7-8" resaw :: no more of that non-sense. No gauge, and based on results, I $ee no need$ for one.

    Edit - I generally run a 1/2" carbide as well. Not sure of the manufacturer? (My Dad bought it and won't tell me who - afraid I'll know how much he paid for it!) If doing rough resawing, I will use a 1" x 1.5tpi Timberwolf, tensioned to midway between 1" & 1-1/4" on factory pointer.)
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 03-26-2020 at 5:04 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    I have the same saw, at ~ same age and run it on one width setting (1/8") above the factory indicated spring tension for a given blade width. Works great; no complaints.
    I also have the same saw. I've used blades up to about 3/4" or 7/8" on it, just using the factory spring tension gage, and it seemed to work fine, so I didn't break out the precision instruments. YMMV.

  6. #6
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    After reading the replies here, I emailed Rikon and got a very quick reply.

    "Thank you for your inquiry. There are two factors that come into play when tensioning a blade properly. The first is blade thickness. Most gauges are designed for the average thickness of .025”. Having a blade thicker than .025” will cause the rate of tension change exponentially; needing more upper wheel height to allow the spring to compress and work against the blade stretch.The second factor is blade length. Yes, your saw takes a 142” blade. You purchased a 142” blade. But your blade has a +/-, and depending on the TPI, the blade could be 3/8” overlength. This will also cause you to add more tension which will show higher on the scale.
    I recommend removing a set screw behind the upper wheel which acts as the upper wheel height limiter. The part number for reference is #47 in the explosion diagram. After removing this screw set the blade tension to your satisfaction and reset the indicator arrow to show the corresponding blade width."

    I will give it a try, though I have owned a 1" blade for several years without using it. Amazon had a Lenox Classic Pro for $8 and I couldn't resist.

  7. #7
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    What that tells me is you have a spring with a pretty low spring constant. If so, it also tells me the saw was not set up right at the factory because you should not have to be making physical changes to the saw to access it's full capabilities. But their recommendations may work, so give it a try. It will be interesting to hear back. Good luck.

    John

  8. #8
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    I would try changing the spring if all else fails.

  9. #9
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    Wade

    I own the predecessor to your saw. I have the 10-340. I have been running a 1" Lennox, 2/3 VariPitch, Tri-Master on it since 2005. I only use this band saw for resawing.
    Your band saw is essentially the same as mine, so I have no doubts you can run a 1" blade.
    Don't drive yourself crazy with the tension gauges. Put the blade on and tension it per Rikon. Look at the end result and I believe you will be happy.

    I tore my saw down to the frame when I got it in 2005, and wrote a review here on the forum. If it helps you, here it is;

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....iew&highlight=
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    My saw is 7 years old, but I don't use it all that much and leave it untensioned when not used. I have a 1/2" Lenox carbide blade on it. I think it is a trimaster, but am not sure. It seemed a bit loose set at a 1" blade, so I measured the tension at 18,000 with an Iturra gauge. I took it to 1 1/4", the maximum, and got 22,000.
    That is lower than I wanted, and implied that it could only tension a 1" to 11,000.

    So, is there something wrong with my saw, or am I misunderstanding the concept.

    BTW, I used it to reduce a dozen 2x6s to 1.25", and it did a good job at 22,000.
    I have the 18" Rikon and when I use a 1/2" blade and set the tension according to my Starrett tension gauge the tension indicator on the saw is closer to 1". I just make a note of the number so I can set the tension the same without getting out the tension gauge when I swap for a new identical blade.

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