Rikon Slow Grinder review

Bought the Rikon slow grinder at Woodcraft.
I saw lots of reviews, and also youtube videos. First off price is good.
There was a steel city grinder there for 269, but for that price I'll go with a baldor. The steel city still had stamped steel guards.
The Rikon was only $99 , but it is only worth $99, not 140.
First the wheels wobble side to side. I have tried to eliminate it and only got it to go so far. I took an indicator to the shaft... it's very good. The first problem is the stamped steel arbor washers. They are out. I trued them up. But the wheels themselves are out. After playing quite a bit I have given up, they are close enough for the price point. I will try to get new washers and wait on the wheels.
The grinder motor is nice and smooth The guards are too thin and not centered on the wheel. one is, the other is way off, not sure where the problem is.
The rests SUCK!. The drill bit indentation makes that rest unusable. But more important is the lack of fine adjustment in angle. The adjustment is toothed and too coarse. Then they are not at a right angle to the support arm. The support arm is cast aluminum so I can't bend it. The problem is in the rest themselves they are not 90, probably 93 or 94 degrees... temporarily I'll attach a piece of 1/8" aluminum to the drill rest.
This unit came with a diamond truing tool. Well the diamond wore off during the truing.. So much for the tool..
So I was looking at the warranty and it says to fill out the card and send it in.. What card.. Mine did not come with a card.
I knew what this was going in, all though the reviewers never found any problems. These were of Baldor quality if you listen to the reviewers... But in reality it's an ok grinder, not a great grinder.
This will serve to shape and sharpen tooling for my metal lathe, and sharpen my tools for my wood lathe which I have not used yet. I have a few Crown tools that came with it.
--
Jeff

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"woodchucker" wrote:

------------------------------------------------------------- Sounds like you bought a piece of junk simply because it was cheap.
Lew
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That's a shame. One of the few values that Woodcraft used to have was thei r slow speed grinder. I have two, and both came in good order. One had go od rests, the other was thin stamped metal that would be fine for a 4" mode l, but worthless for the 8" model they came with. One of the grinders ran really close to true out of the box, and the other was nearly spot on after rotating the wheels to find the sweet spot.
To me, the best part of their old generic, unmarked model was the white fri able wheels. They were GREAT quality, and almost everyone in the wood turn ing club I belonged to years ago used that grinder. I still freehand sharp en, so the rests are off one of the grinders entirely and positioned out of the way on the other, so the rests aren't an issue for me. If I have some heavy grinding to do, I simply use the grinder with the rests on it.
One grinder is about 15 years old, the other about 12. Both run great, whi ch is nice.
I am always sorry to hear of another slide in quality on any product. And thinking of the reviews referenced where it was "near Baldor", likely many of the folks that purchased the grinder have never used a quality, machine shop style grinder with trued Norton wheels. If they are comparing it to t he old 4"/6" gray wheel POS grinder with crap wheels that used to live in s o many garages, I would bet it does seem like a top line piece of equipment to them.
Robert
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On 11/24/2014 3:16 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Follow up: I just got off the phone with Rikon. They are sending me machined washers, a new 120grit wheel, and a new diamond tool.
As far as the rest goes they make a solid rest but are on back order.. Its only 9.99 so I'll probably order it after looking at some aftermarket options. The One Way wolverine is what I have been eyeing for the rest and turning tool options it offers. I was thinking of making a home made turning tool holder but the rest looks nice and solid...
I already have a wet slow speed (200rpm ) delta, so I think I am totally covered.
I'll report back when I get the replacement wheel and machined washers. Too bad they are not standard equipment along with the solid rest.
--
Jeff

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I have an 8" slow speed grinder from Woodcraft. 10+ years old. Do not kno w if it is the Rikon brand you have. Mine is a light blue color. I believ e I added the white friable wheels, 60 and 120 grit. It came with hard gra y wheels from the store. I have the OneWay Wolverine grinder jig on it so no experience with the rests that came with the grinder. The grinder works very well. I suppose Woodcraft needed to cut costs and they found a cheap er Chinese supplier, Rikon, for the slow speed grinder. Cheap plus China r arely means quality or even good.
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On 11/24/2014 11:34 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

So I will say the motor and shaft run true and quiet. So that's a great start.
The old Woodcraft slow speed was becoming problematic for Woodcraft, many complaints about vibration, so Woodcraft switched to Rikon. The price is close to what it was. I saw the old one for $89 a year or so ago. But I didn't have either lathe so I didn't need it.
--
Jeff

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On Monday, November 24, 2014 10:10:18 AM UTC-6, woodchucker wrote:

their slow speed grinder. I have two, and both came in good order. One ha d good rests, the other was thin stamped metal that would be fine for a 4" model, but worthless for the 8" model they came with. One of the grinders ran really close to true out of the box, and the other was nearly spot on a fter rotating the wheels to find the sweet spot.

friable wheels. They were GREAT quality, and almost everyone in the wood turning club I belonged to years ago used that grinder. I still freehand s harpen, so the rests are off one of the grinders entirely and positioned ou t of the way on the other, so the rests aren't an issue for me. If I have some heavy grinding to do, I simply use the grinder with the rests on it.

which is nice.

And thinking of the reviews referenced where it was "near Baldor", likely m any of the folks that purchased the grinder have never used a quality, mach ine shop style grinder with trued Norton wheels. If they are comparing it to the old 4"/6" gray wheel POS grinder with crap wheels that used to live in so many garages, I would bet it does seem like a top line piece of equip ment to them.

..
That's nice to hear that they are standing behind their product. Hope the new stuff resolves it!
I looked at the different jigs and decided to make my own. It was an easy and fun project! Cheap, too. I made jigs that hold the tools the same way (butt of the handle in a V shaped stop) and they are infinitely variable. They were made out of white oak scraps and yellow pine. To buy the base a nd both holders at the time I made mine about 15 years ago was $150 or so, and although they are much cheaper now since the wood turning craze has coo led, you can make what you need from scraps like I did.
I don't use the jig anymore though as I like particular profiles, so I free hand sharpen (except my roughing gouge) and finish with a wedge shaped wat er stone.
Robert
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:10:13 -0500, woodchucker wrote:

I got their 14" bandsaw when it first came out and there was a problem with the blade guides and a table that wasn't flat enough. The service department came through with redesigned guides and a new table. I've got to say their products may be low cost but their service is great.

I've got the Wolverine setup and the gouge attachment and I'm more than satisfied. Didn't waste money on the skew attachment - it's not necessary.
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