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Thread: Tool Review 18" Rikno Band Saw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Clanton, Alabama
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    Tool Review 18" Rikno Band Saw

    At 76" tall and 352 pounds the Rikon 18" band saw ainít portable so the first thing I did was add a mobile base that Wood Craft recommended. I drilled through the base and the mobile base brackets for a very solid mount for the bolts. The band saw has a 220-volt, 2 HP motor with 2 speeds (1510 & 3220 FT/Min) and 12" re-saw and 18 3/8" width capacity.

    Both wheels are full 18" diameter cast iron with flat crowned Urethane wheel belts. Note the location of the blade tension adjust handle, easy to get too and there is a window in the door that allows you to see the tension indicator with the door closed (I like that!)
    [IMG]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y67/WoodySouth/UpperWheelAssy.jpg[/I
    MG]
    This is one of my favorite features of the saw, easy to use and locks down solid. It also has an adjustable backup stop that helps you go back to zero. Love this rack & pinion design.

    Just an overall shot of the table area. Rikon has one of the largest tables (21 x 19, cast iron) with two 3/8" x ĺ" tee slots. My table is dead flat and has a very smooth Blanchard ground surface finish. I really like the 38" table height off the floor. At 6 feet tall I had to bend over too much on other saws I looked at. This is just right for me.

    A shot of the lower wheel & pulley assembly. The speed change shaft moves an idler pulley to allow easy belt changing. The lower door allows for sawdust removal without exposing you to the blade.

    The lower roller blade guides are easy to get to and adjust. I donít like the green plastic sawdust trap. Doesnít work that well and creates a lot of noise when I use the 1" resaw blade. Iím going to replace it with a sheet of Urethane.

    I replaced the original, POC fence with a piece of Bosh Aluminum extrusion. Now the fence is dead square with the table and very stable. The fence is easy to adjust for parallelism and the bomb sight scale is adjustable for true "0". I know you can buy better fences but this one works well for me now.

    Shot of back, showing tension release handle, rack & pinion roller blade guide lock & raise/lower crank and the blade tracking adjust knob. I had heard that some later models had a problem with track adjustment. I have never had a problem with this one and have yet to adjust it again. I probably would if I ever put my Ĺ" blade on the saw.

    Resaw on this machine works very well (with timber Wolf Blades). Even the cheapo blade that comes with the saw cuts ok. I use it for cutting aluminum and plastic and save my better saws for wood. Capacity wise this saw is almost identical to other brand 19" saws and even has more throat capacity than some 19" machines. All in all, it is a very good general purpose band saw with lots of capacity and would probably meet 95% of most wood workers needs. It is not a
    "resaw" bandsaw, although you can resaw with it. Itís a good band saw. And I like it and would buy it again.
    Ron In Clanton, Alabama

    Shoot amongst us boy, one of us has got to have some relief!

  2. #2
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    Very nice review. I gawk at this saw every time I go into Woodcraft. I like the homemade fence you put together - nice work.

    Based on your review, this seems like a very well thought-out bandsaw. Thanks for taking the time to post your feedback.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    San Carlos, CA
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    Thanks for the input

    First post in this category. I've been absorbing all the info for a while and am also considering this band saw. Debating between this saw and the 14 inch deluxe that the local Woodcraft store doesn't have. I believe the price diff is a couple of hundred but I'm kind of concerned about the size and weight since my dedicated shop isn't set up yet. Do you know if the tensioning system was redesigned? Some other members on this board had concerns.

  4. #4
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    You could probably check with Wood Craft about tensioning system. Mine was one of the ones built before they decided to redesign tensioning apparatus. I would think they have done away with that brain fart by now.
    Ron In Clanton, Alabama

    Shoot amongst us boy, one of us has got to have some relief!

  5. #5
    I own the same saw and second everything you say. I love re-sawing on this saw. I've been using a tall auxiliary fence and have noticed no drift to speak of.
    I have been black and blue in some spot, somewhere, almost all my life from too intimate contacts with my own furniture. - Frank Lloyd Wright

    I have been black and blue and bloody in some spot, somewhere, almost all my life from too intimate contacts while building my own furniture. - Rennie Heuer

  6. #6
    I am a bit confused as to what is out there right now. I was at my Woodcraft (Palatine, IL) a week ago and saw the 18 Rikon with a piece of plexiglass at the very front of the blade guard and also with the tensioning lever much lower and smaller.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMagnone
    I am a bit confused as to what is out there right now. I was at my Woodcraft (Palatine, IL) a week ago and saw the 18 Rikon with a piece of plexiglass at the very front of the blade guard and also with the tensioning lever much lower and smaller.
    Rich.
    If I'm not mistaken, Ron's Rikon is a model 10-340, the same bandsaw I have, and the model that you have seen is the 10-345.

    Ron. I've owned my Rikon for about two years now, and I agree with your observations. It's a heckuva bandsaw for the $$$. It works very well for resawing.
    I kept the original fence, but I modified it significantly. One of these days I'll call 8020.com and order an aluminum extrusion and make a fence like yours.

  8. #8
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    Mike I've had mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler
    Rich.
    If I'm not mistaken, Ron's Rikon is a model 10-340, the same bandsaw I have, and the model that you have seen is the 10-345.

    Ron. I've owned my Rikon for about two years now, and I agree with your observations. It's a heckuva bandsaw for the $$$. It works very well for resawing.
    I kept the original fence, but I modified it significantly. One of these days I'll call 8020.com and order an aluminum extrusion and make a fence like yours.
    about 2 years as well, in fact I think I bought one of the first ones in the Birmingham store. I agree, it's a great saw for the money.
    Ron In Clanton, Alabama

    Shoot amongst us boy, one of us has got to have some relief!

  9. #9
    So Mike, are there then two versions of the 10-340: one with a screwed up tensioning system and one without?

  10. #10
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    Thanks for a nice review.

    Your saw seems to be missing the wooden block that inserts in that rectangular slot in the dust collection area. (The blade cut is made by manually turning the wheels while you push it in) That little block of wood reduces the amount of dust that gets into the lower wheel compartment. Perhaps Rikon doesn't include it with the saw?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMagnone
    So Mike, are there then two versions of the 10-340: one with a screwed up tensioning system and one without?
    I don't think it's two version of the 10-340. As I understand it the 10-340 was their initial large bandsaw that went to market. The 10-345 was the "newer version", or "updated version" of the 10-340.
    I have read about folks having problems with the tension mechanism. I would hesitate to call it "srewed up" though without seeing it, or understanding what the problem is/was. Hopefully someone with a 10-345 can chime in.
    I know that I am very pleased with mine. For right at about $1K with a Lennox Tri-Master, It would be very hard to beat.

    I've put 12"x12", 300lb hickory logs through mine for resawing into lumber. Milled down some black cherry logs into lumber. I've resawn Bubinga, Jatoba, Wenge, Ebony, Cocobola, African Blackwood, Lacewood, etc. Dense,oily tropical hardwoods that are tough on blades and machines,and it's handled them all.

    Ron.
    What size blade are you running on your saw for resawing? I've been using a Lennox 1" Tri-Master, or a Bi-Metal in the 2-3 varipitch.

  12. #12
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    Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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    Tell me more ebout your fence, please.

    Ron, great review. I have the same saw and I am also very happy with it.

    I've not had any problems with the original fence, but in my mind it just doesn't match up to the beefiness of the rest of the saw. That's why I'm interested in your home made fence. Can you post more details/pictures?

    I have a Kreg fence that I took off my Jet 14" before I sold it. It's quite beefy, adjustable, and accurate. I also have a longer extrusion for that fence so I'm toying with the idea of finding a way to mount it on the Rikon. The problem of course is that the Kreg is designed to have the fence rail bolt to the side of the table and the Rikon is designed to have the fence rail bolt beneth the table. I think if I can find the right aluminum extrusions I can make it work.

    Thanks, Phil

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    Thanks for a nice review.

    Your saw seems to be missing the wooden block that inserts in that rectangular slot in the dust collection area. (The blade cut is made by manually turning the wheels while you push it in) That little block of wood reduces the amount of dust that gets into the lower wheel compartment. Perhaps Rikon doesn't include it with the saw?
    Hi Jim, et.al;
    The Rikons have a rubber/vinyl mat that serves the same air barrier purpose as you mentioned. It appears that the bottom half on Ron's saw has torn and is missing. When intact it makes a big difference in DC and being flexible, blade swapping is easy. Best wishes, John.

  14. #14
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    Just noticed in pic #6 in the bottom of the lower housing, the torn green rubber mat and the two black metal pieces are for a shroud that surrounds the lower bearing quide assembly to help direct air flow for DC. I removed mine too to make blade changing easier.JCB

  15. #15
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    You lost me there Jim

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    Thanks for a nice review.

    Your saw seems to be missing the wooden block that inserts in that rectangular slot in the dust collection area. (The blade cut is made by manually turning the wheels while you push it in) That little block of wood reduces the amount of dust that gets into the lower wheel compartment. Perhaps Rikon doesn't include it with the saw?
    I don't know what you mean
    Ron In Clanton, Alabama

    Shoot amongst us boy, one of us has got to have some relief!

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