Every once in a while my local Woodcraft has a sale on larger Rikon
bandsaws. At the moment I am using the HF 14" machine which is, shall we
Are Rikons worth the price of admission?
I want to make bowl blanks of raw logs and re-saw thick stock for smaller
projects (jewelry chests, etc.)
I like mine. I bought the 18" model after FWW listed it as a best buy. They
specifically noted the ease in changing blades. To upgrade, you pretty much had
to go up to the Laguna at three times the price.
Would I buy it again? Sure.
I am using a Rikon 10" Bandsaw which I bought from Woodcraft for $190 with
I am cutting hardwoods 3 inch or less in thickness and find it a remarkably
The table with it was less useful so I replaced it with a home built one so
I could incorporate a homebuilt fence
and installed an Incra track to make use of the Incra Miter Guide. It was
worth time squaring up all the components.
When I stick to 1/4" or 1/8" blades I can follow tight curves in thicker
woods. Yes that 1/3 HP motor is more than
adequate for any wood I've tried.
If you can work with 3" or less it can be a really good bandsaw.
Thanks for the note of envouragement regarding the Rikon. Possibly I am on
the right track, after all. However, if I stick to wood of this dimension
the HF 14" bandsaw works just fine, too. I want to move up to stock of up
to about 12" in the sawn dimension.
Let's put it another way ... how much motor do I need to cut through oh,
say, 12" oak or ash (dried).? I can get a riser for the HF machine and
build a custom table for a whole lot less money than I can start from
scratch with a new machine (and still end up having to upgrade the table
anyways). I don't want to struggle with the cut ... I just want to walk up
to the saw, make the cut and get on to the next step. No muss, no fuss, no
struggle with an inadequately powered machine.
The math works out to:
New Rikon - resale of HF = actual cost of the upgrade vs the cost of the
riser kit + larger motor + (potentially) heavier bearings with a generous
allowance fot the PITA factor in installing all such and getting it to
play nicely together on the existing HF machine.
I want to make large projects. I don't want to pay large money for the
Re-engineering a lowend bandsaw to work on 12 in sawn lumber is, in my
opinion, a losing proposition. Particularly when the Rikon is available
and well-reccomended by several owners.
To whom would you sell an HF bandsaw which was given the "Monster
A hot dog cart with a Hemi is still a bad idea.
I have the HF bandsaw with the raiser, I made a bearing tracker for it,
extended the tnetionning screw, replaced the plate around the blade from
plastic to alluminum, made a small hand mill for it and am in the process of
making a table extention. The next 3 projects here are:
- make new poulies so I can get the sucker to run faster than the 2700 ft/m
(especilally when I move back in france on 50hz instead of 60)
- put brushes for the weels
- make a new base
the saw is performing quite nicely for a $250 + $50 raiser kit thing...
I have the 14" Rikon bandsaw (which I purchased at a discount when
Woodworker's Warehouse went out of business): my only complaint is
that the body flexes quite a bit. The wheel housings are made of
fairly thick sheet metal, which would be OK if it was fully boxed-
only it isn't. There's a gap between the housing and the support
column to allow the band through.
Anyway, I can bend the housing by hand which I think results in a lot
of drift and wander. It's hard to tell how much of this is normal
because I don't have access to another bandsaw. I suspect the
grungier looking cast iron ones are better.
It looks nice- very much like the Laguna ones. I'm now curious how
they are constructed.
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