My Rikon 10-325 bandsaw was the first piece of free standing machinery that I purchased new. It was my baby… And like all proud daddies, my baby could do no wrong 😉 See, isn’t it cute?
Anyways, the one downside of this saw was the OEM blade guides. The original guides use rollerblade sized bearings that worked, but didn’t provide much blade support when it came to using the 3/4″ blades that this saw is capable of handling. The biggest shortcoming of this OEM blade guide was setting it up, which requires multiple wrenches and more patience than I care to have. Now, at the time this saw was released, its blade guide assembly was on par with the competition. But since then, Rikon has upped their game and not only do the new saws offer an improved blade guide, but there’s a retrofit upgrade for the 10-324 and 10-325. Oh man, Baby just got a new pair of shoes!
Just to throw it out there, below are the instructions for installing this retrofit. Also, this post is not meant to be a replacement for these instructions, but rather a review of the product as a whole.10-900M1
Ok, big deal…What’s so awesome about this upgrade? Well, take a look for yourself.
As you can see there are no tools required to adjust the position! Mind blown right? I love it! Not only that but, “My, what big bearings you have!” (Little Red Riding Hood anyone?) So, these larger bearings are good for a few reasons.
- Obviously more “bearing” surface for the blade to roll on
- These have WAYYYY more dynamic load capacity (6000 series bearings) to handle pressure from the blade
- They are widely available if you ever have to replace a bearing
So, lets run through the process to switch out the OEM blade guide with this amazing upgrade. One nice thing is all the Allen wrenches you’ll need should be on the back of the saw! I ended up using a pair of vise-grips too, but we’ll get to that.
First- Unplug the saw, remove the blade, and remove the lower wheel. Bam! (Yes, it’s that exciting.)
Remove the original blade guard.
Get rid of that old upper blade guard assembly! You might have to tap on the assembly to free it from the guide post, as this is supposed to be a semi-snug fit.
Now it’s time for the most tedious part of this whole upgrade. Fitting the Seat (as called out in the install manual) into the upper blade guide. I had to do a fair bit of filing to make this fit, but the result was a good snug fit that is much more stable than the previous hardware.
New upper blade guard installed!
The last thing to do here, is just slap on the new guard. It’s so pretty and yellow!
Check out the difference in the old lower blade guard vs the new one! This is such an improvement.
Removing this lower blade guard is where I needed my vise-grips. I was trying to avoid removing the lower wheel to save about 30 seconds, but ultimately had to when it came time to install the new lower blade guide. Save yourself the trouble and just go ahead and remove the lower wheel.
Now just unthread this bolt and clean up any dust where the new lower blade guide will be installed.
At this point, I had two options. I could enlarge a hole on the bandsaw where the new lower blade guard is installed, or I could cut off a tab of threaded rod on the mounting plate of the new lower blade guard. Sorry buddy, but you’re gonna have to go.
Cut off with a hack saw and then file the surface so everything sits flat.
All that’s left here is to bolt the lower blade guide into place and add the blade guard back on.
With both of the guards in place, I shifted my focus to adjusting the guide rod for the upper blade guide to ensure it was raising and lowering perpendicular to the table. Check the PDF at the top of this post for the adjustment procedure.
It took a while to get this thing just right, and I’m almost certain that when our movers were handling this saw, at least one of them grabbed the guide post to help lift or maneuver the saw. ARGH! 🙁 However, the good news is that it’s now dead on and runs true as the guide post is adjusted!
Check out this short clip overviewing the adjustment of this new blade guard. I think you’re gonna like what you see!
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Full Disclosure: This product was provided by RIKON for my unbiased use and review. And just like always, if I wouldn’t buy it, it wouldn’t recommend it. That said, I’D RECOMMEND IT!!
Questions, comments? Leave a note below and I’ll be glad to help.
Thanks for reading y’all!