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BS 1400 - To Keep or Not to Keep???

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  • BS 1400 - To Keep or Not to Keep???

    Need your honest opinions fast! Purchased the BS1400 (new orange version). Assembled everything. Started it up and am now experiencing what I would consider way more than normal vibration. Read all the threads here about how to mitigate this (haven't tried them all...yet). However, my 90 day trial period is up very soon and I'm on the fence about whether or not to return this. $349 seemed like a reasonable price even with the potential compromise that brings. However, I'm not sure I'm up for $349 in frustration if this is not a reliable tool that will last me a several years until I can afford to upgrade. So, give me your thumbs up (keep) or down (return) because from what I've seen the overall opinion on the BS1400 seems evenly split.

  • #2
    The first thing to do is double check and make sure that you've setup the BS properly. More than likely you have but it never hurts to make sure. After you've determined the setup is as it should be, test drive another brand of BS in the RIDGID's price range. Compare the two and go from there.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

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    • #3
      Rreturn it, try another, or gat a JET my RIDGID bs 1400 runs smooth.

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      • #4
        When my BS1400 is running I can stand a nickel on end and it doesen't move, it runs as smoooth and accurate and the Jet's and Delta's I've tried. I have the older silver model and have been very happy with it. A new Quality blade "Timberwolf, oldham ect." will make a big diffrence. Also try thr link belt I don't have one but people say it makes a big diffrence.
        Good Luck.

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        • #5
          Chiseled - If you're not satisfied, return it. Some setup and tinkering is expected with machines, but beyond that you shouldn't be expected to make the machine work.

          You'll have to live with the decision for more than 90 days, so do whatever you're most comfortable with.

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          • #6
            Went out last night and "tuned" up the bandsaw along with a new Timber Wolf blade. Tightened up everything, re-adjusted the belt alignment (with my laser level!), re-aligned everything else, then tweaked here and there. I'd say about half the vibration went away, but there is no way a nickel would stand on it's side without falling over. The vibe is certainly there (like a loude hummmm). Doesn't seem to affect tracking or cutting ability, but I'm still wondering how much of this "orange" vibe is normal. By the way, the Jet 14" saw (closed base) is on sale here for $450...hmmmmm... choices! Any more feedback???

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            • #7
              It took me a couple of tries to get my BS1400 set right. I don't know if a nickel would stand on edge but I would say it is now pretty smooth running. I would say take it back if you are confident you did everything right in setting it up.

              Best of luck
              Tim

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              • #8
                Problem found, decision made. Went through everything again than tried something in the Bandsaw Book. Found out that the top wheel is WAY out of balance. 10 times rotated ended on the same "heavy" spot exactly at bottom center. In fact, I could watch the wheel speed up rotation when the heavy spot rotated from top to bottom. Ended up taking this one back and decided to avoid any possible future headaches. Bought the Jet 14" with riser (which was IN stock) for a total of only $50 more. Put the Jet together this afternoon and even without any fine tuning, the nickel stood on it's side! I was really pulling for the Ridgid, but QUALITY does not seem to be a focus anymore (however, I'm very happy with my Ridgid tablesaw). C'mon Home Depot/Ridgid, you have a lot of fans out there...Right value and nicely featured tools...What's going on with the quality???

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                • #9
                  I just put my BS1400 together an also discovered a severe vibration... more like oscillation. I discovered the lower wheel to be .0100 in out of round and the upper to be .0025 out. They were also very out of balance. I would say the upper wheel @ .0025 is probably within acceptable tolerance but the lower wheel's .010 out is the major source of vibration. Has anyone gotten their wheels replaced by Ridgid's warranty?

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                  • #10
                    Do the wheels on the Ridgid BS have any weights fixed near the rim for balancing? My old Craftsman® 12" BS does. If you've ever static balanced a car tire/wheel on a bubble balancer you can use the same method to balance you BS wheels.

                    I just went over my old BS, giving it a good cleaning, tightening all the bolts, and adjusting everything. I checked the balance of the wheels because everyone was commenting about problems with their Ridgid BS so I figured might not be a bad idea to check mine as I was having some wobble/vibration issues with my BS.

                    I numbered each wheel from 1 to 6 at the spokes. With the drive belt disconnected and the blade removed I spun each wheel about 20 times noting the number of the spoke that was at the top after the wheel had stopped spinning and giving time for it to drift to where any heavy spots would be at the bottom. Before checking the top wheel I plumbed it with a level by adjusting the tracking screw.


                    The bottom (or driven) wheel was pretty good, only one spoke came up more than the others and that 4 out of 20 spins. The top wheel was a little more out. Two adjacent spokes came up 5 times each, which to me said that the heavy spot was between these two spokes and 180 degrees (or directly opposite) from this point.

                    Looking at the wheel I found two caged nuts, which had been installed a balance weights. These caged nuts have a clip to attach them over the edge of sheet metal. You have probably seen them used on automobiles in a number of places under the hood. Anyways they have been there since the BS was made by emerson for Sears back in 1983, I know becasue I bought the BS new back then. The heavy spot was almost exactly between these two weights. I marked their original location (so I could go back to the original setup if need be) and slid each weight out (read away from) from the heavy spot about a 1/4". I then repeated my above test. Results were better, the wheel did not stop at the same point as often. I then made another 1/4" adjustment to each weight and retested. I kept this up until I received what I considered fairly random results in my spin test.

                    Puting it all back together and getting everything lined up/adjusted per the manual again I mounted a new 1/2" blade, adjusted the tension, and powered it up. Runs much quieter and much less vibration. Total time inlcuding all cleaning, bolt tightening, balancing, etc. was about 5 hours. I did a bunch of other stuff to the saw too, added the ability to view the tension indicator from outside the housing so now I can relieve tension on the blade and not have to open up the case to see the tension scale. Squared up the table and extension table, blade guard, adjusted guide blocks, etc. If you are just looking to check balance on the wheels figure on two hours.

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