What Should I Do First?
When the saw is fully assembled, first clean the shipping film from the cast iron surfaces. Paint thinner and cotton rags will work well.
The oily rust preventative coating you remove should be replaced with a silicone-free surface treatment such as Boeshield T-9 or Veritas Tool Wax. You should repeat this periodically to keep your saw rust-free.
Turn off the main power switch or unplug the saw before changing blades, making adjustments or performing maintenance.
What blades should I have?
The 10" saw comes with a 5/16" × 6 tpi blade suitable for cutting tight curves and ripping thin stock (nominal 1-by and thinner); the 14" model is equipped with a 5/8" × 4 tpi blade that is excellent for most work involving straight cuts and for resawing.
Which specific blades to add to your arsenal depends on the work you do, but many woodworkers favour a 1/2" × 3 tpi blade for everyday use, including shallow curves. For tighter curves, you will want a 1/4" or 3/16" blade. Here are some general guidelines:
|Fine: Standard-tooth blade
3/16" x 14 tpi
|Medium: Skip or hook-tooth blade
5/16" x 6 tpi
|Coarse: Skip or hook-tooth blade: 1/2" x 3 tpi|
|Scroll Cutting / Tight Curves||General Ripping / Cross-cutting||Ripping Thick Stock / Roughing Blanks|
|Cutting Veneer||Cutting Patterns||Resawing|
|Stock Thickness: 1/2" or less||Stock Thickness: 1" or less||Stock Thickness: 1/2" or more|
Are there any initial adjustments I should make?
A Rikon bandsaw is well tuned when it leaves the factory. It should only require minimal adjustment; however, you should pay attention to a few things at the beginning and periodically as required.
- Blade tension – appropriate to the blade width. The 14" saw has a helpful gauge. If you own the 10" saw, a good guideline is that if you back off on the guide bearings, the blade should deflect no more than 1/4" when lateral force is applied.
- Blade tracking – the blade should be centered on the tires.
- Thrust bearings – top and bottom – about 1/16" behind the blade. The blade moves backwards as you push the wood through, making contact with the bearings.
- Guide bearings – as close as possible without touching the blade, and positioned just behind the gullets. The usual guidance is to use a folded piece of paper as a gauge when setting.
- Blade speed – high is for normal use in wood; low is for hard materials, plastics and non-ferrous metals.
- Fence – to match the saw blade’s lead angle, sometimes called the drift angle.
- Table – square to the blade.
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