Last week I received my Rikon 18" band saw equipped with a 5/8" blade. Who
knows what brand. Any way I got the saw up and running and was not
disappointed in the performance of the blade contrary to what some here have
witnessed with their blades. Not great but it had no drift and cut
Yesterday I put my new 1" wide Timber wolf blade on the saw and it cut OK,
certainly not any smoother than the OEM blade but tracked straight also.
But there is this clicking noise as the back of the blade whacks the rear
bearing. Click, click, click... So I go around to the side and notice that
the blade moves forward and backward a good 1/16 inch with each revolution
of the blade. I know it is with each revolution because I see the weld spot
with each click. I used a white pencil to mark the high spot while the saw
I called Timberwolf and talked to Tom and he indicated that he has heard of
2 other instances of this happening with a Rikon band saw. In particular
the new model. Not to slam Rikon he asked me to take the Timberwolf blade
and cut it open at the weld and check to see if the back of the band is
straight. He indicated that a tape measure should be straight enough to
help indicate a bow in the back of the blade. My son noticed that the blade
bowed about 2' down from the weld. a 2' steel rule confirmed the bow to be
about 1/16", 2' up from the weld. I relayed this to Tom. I noticed that
the weld, before cutting the lower part of the band was off set about 1/16".
So I put the 3/4" Timberwolf blade on. Same problem. Wobble from front to
back. I installed the 1/2" blade. Same problem but not as bad. Installed
the 1/4" blade, same problem about as bad as the 1/2" blade. I reinstalled
the OEM blade and it tracks nice and straight by comparison.
I called Tom back and he is skeptical that there could be 4 bad blades in 4
different sizes and I totally agreed. He is going to do some checking in
the morning and send me out a new 1" blade.
I called Rikon and mentioned the problem. Rod at Rikon asked if the
original blade tracked OK, I said Yes. Then asked if the new blade tracked
OK. I said No. Then he asked of the new blade was a Timberwolf. Yes, I
said. He indicated that Timberwolf makes their blades a little long and
that they needed to initially be tensioned tighter than the indicator points
out before proceeding to the flutter test. Sooooo. I go out and adjust the
tension on the 3/4" blade to the tension that a 1-1/4 blade would take
trying to get the wobble out. Damn tight basically. That did not help at
all. So I put the OEM blade back on and again it tracks fine. Once again I
put the 3/4" Timber wolf blade on and it continues to wobble front to back.
So this time I take the white pencil and turn the saw on and gently let the
pencil mark the back of the blade and turn the saw off. In the exact spot
that my son saw the high spot on the 1" blade I see the pencil mark on the
3/4" blade. 2' up from the weld. I'm betting that the other 2 blades have
a high spot 2' up from the weld. BTY, I measured the length of the 1" blade
that I cut open. It was 141-15/16" long. It was short the width of the
blade I used to cut the blade open. It appears that this blade is exactly
the stated length, 142".
I was beginning to suspect the Rikon saw and Rod at Rikon indicated that he
would walk me through changing the camber of the wheels to fix the problem
if the extra tension did not work out. I am thinking that the Timberwolf
blades are the problem as 2 of them have the high spots 2' up from the
welds. I am guessing that their jig may be out of calibration and badly.
Tomorrow I plan to buy another blade, different brand, and see what happens.