Bandsaw wheel alignment: Rikon 14″Deluxe
I have another question about the Rikon 14″ Deluxe Bandsaw (10-325.)
During my efforts to tune the machine, and solve the bearing issue I picked up the book: The New Complete Guide to the Bandsaw, by Mark Duginske, as recommended by a fellow KNOTS member. One of the tuning procedures I’ve found to be a bit confounding is the alignment of top and bottom wheels (geting them to run parallel, AND coplanar.)
The Rikon, even with the table off, won’t allow for the use of a straight edge against both wheels simutaneously – the frame is in the way. I made a straight edge from MDF, and cut out a 1/2″ from the middle to span the frame (a slightly ‘c’ shaped straight edge, if you catch my drift…) the only thing I could come up with.!?
In any case, I think I’ve gotten the wheels to line up fairly well, but I had to add two hardened bronze washers behind the bottom wheel – I think It could use a third, but I’m afraid it would push the wheel too far out so that the front bearing will no longer be around the axle.
Getting the blade to track without the wheels aligned is easy, though time consuming, by adjusting four set screws around the axle where it protrudes from the back of the saw frame. but I’ve found that to be the cause (as far as I can tell) for a fair amount of blade “wobble” and, therefore, part of the reason for the premature bearing failure (Doing this causes the bottom wheel to run in a different plane than the top wheel, and I can watch the blade move back and forth – front to back – as I turn the wheel to track the blade. When running the machine the blade ‘bumps’ the thrust bearing, and the machine vibrates badly.)
I’m looking for advice specific to this machine, or type of machine. The manual says nothing about adjusting the bottom (drive) wheel – it does not even note the set screw assembly on the diagrams (though it is listed on the parts diagram/schematic.)
I’ve put in a request for info to Rikon (again) but would like to know if anyone out there has attempted this adjustment, and, if so, what the results were.
Regards, Josh Whipkey