Rikon 345 BandSaw - About to buy...any advice or issues should be aware of?


After much research, I am about to buy the Rikon 345 Bandsaw ($999). Does anyone have any advice on saw blades, concerns over saw, recommendations for saw other than Rikon, etc? I can't go over the given price, so Lagunas and others are out.
Immediate usage is for small bowlblanks, general small cuttings, and cutting some veneer and resawing from few blocks of quilted maple I have (20" x 7.5" x 2.5").
- Clayton
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<malathan_A_T_comcast.net> wrote in message

I bought one, returned it 2 weeks later and then bought the Italian Laguna.
I know, your budget is $1K, so was mine. I found that I was spending too little money for my expectations when I bought the Rikon.
The Rikon is a well built nice looking saw. 1. I felt that it probably had adequate power for resawing to its limits. 2. I wanted an easy to adjust saw. The Rikon is not what I consider easy. 3. I wanted a quieter running saw. The Rikon is not what I consider quiet with up to 10 guide bearings spinning. I found that roller guide bearings are absolutely not my cup of tea. Especially when cutting branches/wet wood the wood stuck to the blade and the bearings simply smashed the wood and sap on to the blade and became very noisy. 4. Blade tracking was inconsistent from blade to blade. Sometimes loosening the blade tracking knob to get the blade to track forward had no effect until I pushed on the bottom of the top wheel with my hand. 5. I was constantly making adjustments.
With that in mind, you can probably upgrade to ceramic guides if you find the vibration and thumping objectionable.
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On Wed, 21 Jun 2006 21:16:27 GMT, "Leon"

Just curious, how much did you pay for your saw? I talked with Laguna the other day, but after a very long winded sales pitch by them when all I wanted was basic dollar amounts, it came out roughly $1600 minimum for delivery of very basic 16" model.
My initial hope was they were going to be at the woodworking show here in Portland, OR this fall and have some demo saws on discount. No luck. Needless to say, I am struggling to justify $1000, so $1600 just doesn't fly (but I can still daydream).
- Clayton.
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"Malathan" <malathan_A_T_comcast.net> wrote in message >>

I ordered the LT16HD which is in the heavier duty line of saws manufactured in Italy for Laguna. I added with it ,3 assorted blades, the ResawKing blade which retails for $225.00, the mobility kit for the heavier saws, and shipping. $2595.00 delivered on a lift gate truck and wheeled into my garage. Expensive, yes. If you can pick up in California with out the add ons and shipping, it is $1985.00 this month.

IMHO all the Laguna's are pretty good saws. I strongly considered the lighter weight 14 and 16 inchers that you are looking at however I was looking for Quick adjustments. Because the lighters ones are designed differently than the HD models the lower guides are harder to access. Factor in that I am missing 1/2 of my left thumb, this would make these saws even more difficult for me to adjust. The lower guides on the HD models are very easy to get to and adjust.
Laguna has a very informative DVD that you can call and order for free. It might help you justify the difference in price if you need the push. :~) You can always save up.
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Was this unit the first generation saw, or the second generation saw?
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10-345, second generation
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I got the 10-345 in Feb. 2006 and have about 2 hours usage to date. I really like it. It was very simple to setup and very accurate right out of the box. In fact, as I was opening box my neighbor had a 2x4 he was using to trim a hallway door. He needed a "skotch" ripped off the length. I bolted the saw together, set the bearings with approx. 1/8" slop, set table to 90 degrees and plugged it in. The stock blade was slow cuttting but what a great job. NO drift. It is very quiet and very smooth.
Couple suggestions,
1. I applied a sticky back paper ruler to the blade guard. Now I can quickly tell how much clearance is below the guard by looking at ruler. 2. I purchased ball tipped allen screwdrivers. They make setting bearings MUCH easier. I also mounted the screwdrivers to back of saw so I never search for them. 3. I built holders for fence and miter guage and mounted them to back of saw. No more looking for them. 4. I built a roller cart? for this. A piece of 3/4" plywood and 4" wheels from woodcraft. Total cost around $50. It won't win a beauty contest, but is almost effortless moving around my shop. These large wheels are smooth rolling and will go over chips and power cords. My experiences with store bought carts are the wheels are too small to go over the obstacles. 5. I bought several blades from Suffolk Machinery a few weeks back. I got the 1/4" x 10RK; 3/8"x10RK and 1" x 6PC. Getting the 1/4 blade to stay on the tires was not easy the first time. After blade was on, it runs superb. I don't believe this saw was designed to "easily" manage blades < 1/2" but thats only an opinion. The 1" blade is a treat to mount up and use. I also bought the Highland Hardware Woodslicer blade. Using that is like driving a Ferrari!
Also, about the 1/4" blades, you cannot use the blade de-tensioner as it will just pop off the wheels. But with blades from Suffolk, you don't tension them high to begin with so I just leave it.
I do wish it had a foot brake. The blade takes a bit to spin down and I don't like the blade running when I walk away. Safety issue.
If you want any pix of my setup, just ask, I don't know how to attach to this post.
I would purchase again, and very much recommend this saw to any resaw interest. For small jobs that entail tight radius cuts, go for a 6" bandsaw of the less $$ category.
HTH, Tom
Like some folks, I don't have > $1k budget.The Cadillac is a dream to drive, but for my weekend warrior trips to get milk a Honda Accord will work just fine and I can afford a donut now with the savings.
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Why do yo not use the guide bearings? Typically they should be just short of touching so that they can actually do their job. Keep in mind that properly adjusted they will probably start making noise.

I never quite understood why Jet did this also. I simply put the piece to be cut up to the blade and adjust accordingly. Am I missing something here?

Yes they do, especially the t-handle ones. Can you get thumb screws to replace the guide bearing bolts. easier still.

What do you use the screw drivers for?

Cool.
Before I returned my BS I used the Rockler mobile base kit and it works pretty well also. Now it is under my drill press and mortiser stand.

I had problems with Timberwolf blades running correctly on the Rikon also. Suffolk exchanged the blades for ones to fit my Laguna and they work fine now.

I found that the Rilon detersioner only eased tension, it did not remove all tension.

I have one on my Laguna. If it makes you feel any better I tyically do not use it.

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