Nice to hear back from you.
I'll use the parts descriptions from the O+M I uploaded to this site in referring to parts.
If you look closely at the Slide Bracket (#16) you will see the pivot pins on Alignment Bracket (#19) tore out on the right side. The material choice and amount of material in that area are not strong. I made the blocks to provide new places for #19 to pivot. I will admit I never ran this modification, but it seems pretty sound. I would recommend a much larger washer to spread the pressure that will be exerted by the hex head screw on part #19. The small heads may pull through. The small aluminum blocks may also strip out the threads. If this mod had worked, and failed that way, I would try again and make the blocks out of steel.
When you mention a riser are you changing this saw's cutting height capacity by adding an extension between the Base (#34) and Upper Frame (#1)? That would be cool.
On this saw's performance:
> I always felt the tension was never enough. Probably why I kept breaking the Slide Bracket. But I temper that argument with the fact that I know about tightening things and never felt I was over-stressing the saw or blades.
> I was not a big user of this tool. I never spent the time to true it up.
> The design is OK. Heavy castings / ball bearings / etc. When you think about what needs to happen in running a band saw blade true this saw has the capability and good “bones”. The wheels run true and consistent. Many speed choices. The blade guides assemblies are OK; maybe a little too light-weight. Maybe a retro-fit to ball-bearings on all three side of the blade would solve that weakness? There are a bunch of these saws out there and I bet others have designed up-grade parts.
> As I mentioned before the tensioning is the weak point. I would turn and turn, and the spring would seem to load up the blade tension. But the blade would still wander. The blades I used were the ones that came with the saw (give-away at my old job) and may have been junk.
> I am not sure what the next step would be if you are not pleased with the performance. This saw is virtually identical to the “base-model” saws for sale today. Check what others are reviewing on those saws to gauge it’s potential. I think the next step would be $1k+ saws. Ouch!