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.
All I can get locally, is a selection of Starrett band saw blades. I
bought a 1/4" one and it's fine by me...I have NO idea how Starrett
stacks up. It could even be a 'badge engineering' thing...branding for
I've always used Delta brand bandsaw blades available in local stores
and have not had any problems with them. I was tempted to try another
brand, ie Timberwolf, when I decided to do some major resawing. Some
years back there were several positive posts here about Timberwolf.
Another thought... "Name brand" products that have proven quality
often change the product to increase profit (at the expense of
quality). Unfortunately, that is so common today compared to 30-40
I see Woodcraft stocks a house brand in the length that I need. I think I
am going to pick one up and see how it does. If I get straight tracking I
am going to rule out the BS. and I'll call Inturra and order some. I
Googled the group and found that there are several complaints about
Timberwolf since last summer. I had to go back to 2003 to get good
responses. Since the 142" appears to be unique to the Rikon I suspect a
large batch was made up and they were not welded properly or aligned
correctly or perhaps they weld them up as ordered and all of mine were made
at the same time which would explain a lot.
Like every thing, mistakes can be made. I suspect that the 105" is a common
size that may have been in stock for some time. I have read a lot of
complaints about Timberwold blades bought in the last 6 months and the rep
did admit that they were having trouble with some of the 1" blades. His
first suggestion was to cut my blade open to see if the back was straight.
It was pretty straight but had a high spot in a similar location to the high
spot on my 3/4" blade. With my Rikon being relative new and using a unique
length my Timberwolf blades may have been made for my order and all made
incorrectly. I think I just got a bad batch. But I need to try another
brand to rule out the Band Saw although another brand blade does fine.
I learned today that Circle Saw makes BS blades. I ordered one this morning
and will pick it up after 3. 142" x 3/4" 3tpi, $18.99.
I do not know if it is any good but maybe it will indicate where my tracking
Thanks for the heads up. On the on line site the blades look different
than the Timberwolf blades and I bought their house brand locally some years
ago and they too looked different. Anyway the local store did not have any
house brand in stock. They referred me to another local shop make me a
blade today and fortunately for me it tracks fine.
The Local Woodcraft blades say (as I recall)
PS Wood - from the Makers of the Timberwolf.
According to the Iturra catalog, (and perhaps someone can confirm this)
most dealers cannot use the name "Timberwolf" for legal
reasons. I'm not certain because "Timberwolf" isn't mentioned by name.
Iturra sells the blades, and calls them somthing else as well.
It's very confusing to me, specially when someone says Timberwolf
blades suck, and the PS Wood from Woodcraft are great.
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
$500 per message, and acknowledges the legality of this contract.
LOL ... the one thing American public education system is really good at
fostering is gullibility.
It's all about marketing. After all, Eggland's Best eggs are _perceived_ by
many to be worth a dollar +/- more a dozen than any other commercially
produced egg because of the packaging and stamp.
I had the exact same problem with two Timberwolf blades I purchased last
year. No more Timberwolf blades will be installed on my Jet 18, they just
ain't worth the hassle. I've been using Woodcraft's house brand since and
have not had any problems, they cut fine and are half the price. --dave
For some reason woodcraft marks the timberwolf blades up by about
100%. Perhaps it has something to do with having a house brand.
Watching this with interest as I'm about to order my first "real" band
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