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  • TS3650 Fence Square?

    I just spent several weekends trying to square up my rip fence. I finally figured out I have two problems. The first is that one of the holes for the front rail bolts is 3/16 inch higher than the rest. This caused the fence to ride more than 1/4 inch off the table. After I eliminated that one bold, I was able to adjust the gap between the table and fence to 3/16 in the front and 1/16 in the back, which seems to be about what other people are getting.

    The second problem is that the rip fence face is not square. That is, it is not 90 degrees perpendicular to the table. It is more pronounced at the back to a maximum of deviation of .016 inches. I get the same measurement on both sides of the fence so it isn't tilted. The fence actually slants inward from top to bottom on both sides.

    I know this doesn't seem like much, but it is a visible deviation. It seems silly to align the saw blade to the miter slot to .001 inch when the best I can do is align the fence to .010 inch off square.

    Here is the question: do all the TS3650 rip fences have this problem? I talked to Ridgid and they said that if I took it to a service center (which is fortunately close by) they would order me a new one, but will it be any better?

    Ordinarily I would let it go and fix it with a shimmed face board, but I'm a little disgruntled because I paid $549 just one week before the big tool sale where everyone seems to have gotten $50 - $75 off. The misaligned bolt hole is a definite manufacturing defect, and now with the fence problem, I wonder if I got my money's worth. I still have 60 days to return the whole saw, but it is a big and heavy job dismantling it and hauling it back to HD.

  • #2
    Re: TS3650 Fence Square?

    I can't help with the fence, but if you stop by the HD where you got it, they will return the difference in prices. No need to bring the saw, just the receipt.

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    • #3
      Re: TS3650 Fence Square?

      Thanks, IButler, but I think it's too late. The sale was for portable tools over a certain dollar amount, and it ended April 11. I didn't find out this also included the TS3650 until this week. I'm actually fine with the saw, just a little freaked because it is now the most expensive tool in my workshop.

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      • #4
        Re: TS3650 Fence Square?

        Woodbox, if it's at all possible, you would be well-served to take the saw to the service center. Having the fence off by that much is a definate worry in my opinion. You would probably be able to get the service center to replace just the fence. Call them and see if you can just take the fence off and bring it in. Take a machinsts square with you and check the replacement they give you, and make sure the bolt holes are where they should be.

        Make sure you check out the saw operation beforehand, however. Check the blade for square to the mitre slots and make sure you can angle the blade without problems. If all that's in good working order, then getting a replacement fence would probably get the saw to 100%.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #5
          Re: TS3650 Fence Square?

          Thanks for the advice. It is the encourgement I was looking for. I was almost hoping someone would say all fences are somewhat skewed so I could stop obsessing with it, but today I made a face board and it needed two of the brass shims that come with the saw. I placed them along the bottom edge between the board and the fence, one at the back, and one in the middle. The board is square to the table except for 1/128 inch at the front. This makes be believe the fence is truly out of whack.

          BTW, I used a Starrett square and feeler gauges for most of my measurements when setting up the saw. When woodworking I strive for 1/128 inch accuracy. This being one-half 1/64, I think it is the smallest measurement I can reliably make without special instruments.

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          • #6
            Re: TS3650 Fence Square?

            I didn't mean to turn this into a blog, but it deserves an update. HD did refund the difference in sale price. Ridgid sent me a replacement fence bar after the service center said I would have to bring in the whole saw before they could order a new part. The new fence bar is square (within 1/128"), but because they didn't put in much packing material (like none) it was slightly damaged. A little filing where the corners were bashed and it is plenty serviceable. This may not be the perfect table saw (it didn't cost $2000 either), but it's done everything I've asked of it so far, and HD and Ridgid are sure doing their part.

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