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I am an unhappy owner. Although some have claimed that this is not the norm, I, and others here, have experienced a lot of vibration from this saw. If you can get a good deal ($249) it is probably worth the effort to fix it. In addition to following the instructions, my recommendations to get rid of the vibration would be:
Place a 3/4" thick piece of plywood between the saw/motor and the base. Make sure it is secured well.
Check to see if the wheels are out of balance. If so, use some 12-14 gage copper wire and wrap them around the wheel spokes.
I did some other things that may or may not have helped. They didn't seem to make a significant difference. Add a link belt and urethane tires. I think both of these are good because they don't get a shape memory like the standard components when the saw sits idle. That memory effect can increase vibration over time. However, this is true for any 14" bandsaw in this class that is not used on a frequent basis.
I am also a very happy owner. Just remember that a bandsaw is not a "plug play" tool, it requires careful alignment that needs to be check and recheked. Blade tension is adjusted when changing a blade, as well as the tracking, the support bearings and cool blocks, etc...
My suggestion is to actually READ the manual rather than throwing it on the stack. Then keep it handy, like not far from the saw. The Ridgid is a good bandsaw, no doubt about it.
Reading the manual did not and will not solve the problems of poor design and quality control.
I own and have owned many stationary tools and have a good background in manufacturing and engineering. I can confidently say that this is not a good value for its retail price. There are simply better buys. That is not to say that other low priced saws do not suffer from some design flaws or poor quality control. I just think that Ridgid has crossed the line into trying to be the low cost leader and significantly sacrificed quality and value.
I read the manual, researched literature from the local library, researched online information on tuning bandsaws, and discussed possible solutions with members here.
After several months of trying possible solutions and spending about a hundred dollars beyond the initial purchase price, I have finally found the saw performs acceptably. When I say a couple hundred, I am referring to the following: link belt ($30), carter urethane tires ($60), bearings for balanced replacement wheels ($10), and miscellaneous items.
I do beleive that a good percentage of these saws come with well balanced wheels. That would alleviate the vibration problem as long as the assembly instructions are followed properly. The base is still poorly designed. The base flexes significantly under small forces. Other annoyances are the door does not open fully because it interferes with the motor and dust collection stinks. It is a pretty looking saw, so it should sell well.
Think about it this way if you are looking for a good bandsaw. Some products are well thought out and well constructed. Customers of those products will pretty much unanimously praise that product. I haven't heard many woodworkers complain about the BT3100, the bosch router, the tormek grinder, grizzly or delta unisaw table saws. I have some tools that I just love to work with. My Boice Crane jointer and shaper, delta contractor saw, 1960's craftsman ras, pc690 and freud ft2000e routers, and rockler and jorgensen clamps. All of these are well built and I have read the instructions on the ones that have instructions.
I would recommend looking for an old bandsaw that is in good condition. My father bought a 12" Power King/Atlas in excellent condition with several blades in good condition. Needed a bearing replaced. Had instructions on oldwwmachines.com. Runs great for $50.
I have had the Ridgid 14"BS for about two years. I have absolutely no complaint with the tool. I use mine far more than I ever expected. Iuse it to rip 4/4 stock all the time because it conserves wood usually lost in the kerf of the TS. I have resawn oak and maple without a problem. I use bulk stock Lennox blades that I purchase at a local supplier. I did buy a Fasttrack fence which also is excellent. I highly recommend this tool.
I think what we have here is an apples to oranges (or grey to orange) comparison. The new orange saw (BS14002) is the one that I have. The grey one has received good reviews from magazines and customers that visit here.
If you got your hands on a grey one on clearance, you probably have yourself a good saw for the money. For $100 that is a great deal.
Since the saw is not rated for 1.5 hp, I wouldn't push it. The 3/4 hp seems for work well at resawing oak. I resawed quite a bit of 6" wide oak with a 1/2" 4 tpi blade. If I needed to do something wider, I would just get a 3/4" blade with fewer teeth. The 3/4 hp works well for most jobs.
I bought this bandsaw (1400)to replace my 1954 Craftsman King Seeley classic. Needless to say, the difference is huge. I love the classic too much to much to part with so I have them side by side with two different blade sizes. I don't have too much vibration with the Ridgid and the stock motor is more than enough for me. Setup was very easy and enjoyable. I consider this saw a good buy.
I have been using my BS1400 for a little over 2 years and I love it. I've cut oak, ash, walnut as well as poplar and pine with no vibration or other problems. I think you made a good choice, and for $100, how can you beat it! Good luck with it.