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  • TS3660 Table Alignment

    I am assembling my new TS3660, but not sure how exact I need to be on wing alignment to the table. The instructions are a bit vague (to this novice).

    I am using a combination square to try and ensure the main table and wing are flat and parallel. When the square is laid perpendicular to the seam over both pieces, I can see light in gaps between the square and table surfaces. It seems as though the seam between the two table pieces is a "peak", meaning the square rocks over the seam. Do the table wings have to be exactly lined up fore and aft as well as up and down? How close to they have to be?

    After constant adjustments, I then wondered if the old combination square I had might be bent slightly (very possible). To test this, I need a reference straight edge, that I know is dead straight. Where can one find a dead flat surface to test against? Perhaps the Ridgid TS3660 fence itself?

    Thanks,

    - Phil

  • #2
    Re: TS3660 Table Alignment

    I'll give you my opinion, but others may disagree:

    First, front to back along the seam should be even between table and wing. If you have a noticeable difference, it may mark or scar the wood sliding over it. This is most important at the ends,(front and back) as a sharp corner or edge up will definitely mark your wood.

    Second: my wings droop slightly (about .015 lower than the table at the outside edges). As this has never caused me a problem, I have never gone to the trouble to try and correct it. I would be concerned if they were higher than the table, as that would also cause the edge to score a wide piece of wood.

    Third: Ah the elusive search for a straight edge! You will probably end up having to make one yourself, one method which involves ripping three boards, selecting an edge on each, and then matching the selected edges (sanding, planing, etc any high pots) until they all three each match the other two full length with no light shining through when held up to a bright light source (sunlight is best). To do this you need a table saw, which you haven't assembled yet. Right now, probably your best bet for a straight surface reference is the saw table itself. A good quality level is also usually fairly straight (mine wasn't which is why I said usually). When you get to edge gluing boards, you will probably want to take the trouble to find or make a truly straight edge.

    If it were me, I would assemble the saw, getting them as close as I could for now, concentrating on getting the table to wing seam as smooth as possible. When you start using it, any problem areas will surface and then you can correct them as needed. A sign of too much droop would be not getting a square edge on a board that is wide enough to extend over the wing, but you do get a square edge with a narrower board.. Scoring, grooving or metal marks on a wide board would indicate the need to align the edges closer.

    The items that are really critical on the set-up are aligning the blade to the miter slot; fence parallel to blade; blade being exactly 90 degrees to the table when set at 0 degrees (vertical), and aligning the splitter. If any of these are off, they will cause you problems with every cut. Ensuring these are correct is the first step in solving just about any other problem you will run into with cut quality.

    Hope this helps, and enjoy that saw!!

    Go
    Last edited by Gofor; 04-08-2008, 07:37 PM.
    Practicing at practical wood working

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    • #3
      Re: TS3660 Table Alignment

      Gofor,

      Thanks for your comprehensive reply. I am going to get a 24" straightedge, probably from Starrett or Veritas, to KNOW I have a straight reference. Your comments on wood marring underscore and explain to me why the table really needs to be very flat. I never really understood why until now. I found one web site that said the no matter where you lay a straight edge on the table there should be a maximum of .009" variation in flatness. Will see if I can get to that. Will do all the other tuning you stated. Got my Penetrol and Johnson's wax last night at Lowe's, so well on my way to completing the assembly.

      Thanks,

      - Phil

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      • #4
        Re: TS3660 Table Alignment

        An inexpensive 4' level of the aluminum I beam variety works well for a small amount of money

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