Rikon Mini Lathe – Maintenance and Next Steps
Rikon lathes are durable, robust machines, but like any tool, they benefit from occasional maintenance.
Unplug the lathe before making adjustments or performing maintenance.
- Vacuum accumulated dust and chips.
- Take care of the cast iron to prevent rust. Periodically apply paste wax such as Veritas Tool Wax or Boeshield T-9, especially before or after turning green wood. Green woods with high tannin content, such as oak, shouldn’t be left in contact with the lathe, so clear the shavings while working.
- Check all lathe accessories (spur centers, live centers, chucks, tool rests, etc.) to ensure that they are in perfect working condition every time you use the lathe.
- Check the drive belt regularly and replace if frayed or the V-grooves are damaged.
- The preferred locking position for the tool rest and tailstock handles is down. Each has a nut on the bracket beneath the lathe bed that controls both the locking position and clamping force.
If rust does appear, apply light machine oil or rust remover, let it soak in and scrub with a fine abrasive pad. If the problem is extensive, use a random-orbit sander with a fine abrasive pad. Clean with solvent and re-wax.
What’s My Next Step?
Once you are up and running, continue your learning! There’s a wide range of techniques to explore and master, and each tool and process is different. Additional resources are available online as well as from books and in-person classes. The popularity of turning as a distinct hobby within woodworking means there are many clubs offering opportunities to meet and learn from other turners.
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