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  • Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

    Thanks to another poster here, I was made aware of the fact that some 3650s have a manufacturing defect where the blade cannot be adjusted far enough from the insert plate. From the factory, my blade was square, but a smidge less than 1/8 inch away from the guard, and even closer when set at 45 degrees. Fortunately, I could see that the trunions were set towards the left, and that I had some room to move it to the right. I went ahead and got the blade about 3/16ths away from the insert, and lined it up with the miter slot blade, and tightened all six trunion bolts per the instructions. So far so good, but little did I know that difficulties would arise shortly.

    I then re-set the 90 degree bevel setting, with no problems. Finally, for the final adjustment, I start cranking the handle to get the blade to 45 degrees, but at about 15 degrees the bevel wheel gets very stiff. Per the instructions, I adjusted the bevel handwheel tightness….no joy. I clean off and degrease the threaded rod…still stiff. I can keep cranking, but I don’t want to force it any more.

    After looking under the table for a some time to find the cause of the binding, I finally look at the semi-circular track on the rear trunion, and see a “wedge of metal”, for lack of a better term. I’m thinking that something fell from above and got stuck in the track. I get pliers, and remove as much as I can, but see that it’s actually a big metal shaving from the track itself.

    Finally, I slightly loosen the three rear trunion bolts, and try cranking the bevel wheel again. It starts to bind, but then the rear trunion sorta snaps, and the wheel is able to move freely at last.

    Here’s what I think happened. Apparently the trunions not only move left or right, but they can pivot about the center bolt. I’m guessing that the rear trunion was turned a bit clockwise (when looking down from above the saw), and the part of the motor cradle that glides in the track was binding up against it. I now have a slightly mangled rear trunion track. It all works, and the bevel tilt wheel action isn’t quite smooth in one section where the mangled area of the track is, but I’m not too concerned.

    The instructions make no mention of any of this. It basically says to just securely tighten all six trunion bolts when finished aligning the blade. I may give Ridgid a call later this week…perhaps to see about getting a new trunion.

    Next time I align the blade, I'll be sure to leave the two outer trunion bolts loose and make sure the bevel adjustment moves freely.

    Thoughts?

    The good news is that, after all this, I was finally able to actually cut wood with this saw for a Woodworking Project tonight.

  • #2
    Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

    I had the same thing happen to me when I purchased my 3650. With my saw the left side started to pull in and bend. I didn't investigate it to much as to why it was doing it all I knew is that it wasn't suppose to do that. I also looked in the manual to fix the problem but didn't have any luck.

    I ended up returning the saw and getting a different one. The folks at HD had no idea what was wrong with it. I had no problems returning it and getting a different one. The different one that I got worked fine. My thought is to return the saw and get a different one. You spend had earned money on a saw you want it to work with no defects.

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    • #3
      Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

      it looks like my recently purchase saw has the same issue, as far as i can tell their is no adjustment on the front (where you stand) of the trunion, all the adjustment is at the back (where the lever is)... is this correct?

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      • #4
        Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

        upon further investigation there is no way 1/8" of clearance is possible due to the way the holes are drilled in the cast iron table. How important is the 1/8" of clearance? i would guess that it is there so you dont hit the throat plate when you go to 45 bevel... i dont use the stock throat plate so thats not an issue. When adjusted correctly (minus the 1/8" clearance) the bevel wheel works fine. should i try to get a new table with holes drilled properly, or use it as is with the 1/16" clearance? (like i said i dont use the stock throat plate so might not even be an issue).

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        • #5
          Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

          I have yet to take my new saw out of the box, although I looked through everthing to verify no physical damage.

          Does anyone think it would be a good idea to just set up the main saw body on a temporary stand and try to check for this problem? If I were to have to return mine for a problem like this I think I'd be even more PO'd if I had to disassemble the stand, herculift, etc and put it all back in the box before I drag it up a flight of stairs.

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          • #6
            Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

            It certainly wouldn't hurt anything on the saw if you did that. In fact it's beginning to sound like there might be a few of theses saws floating around out there.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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            • #7
              Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

              Kinda makes me wonder just who or what is putting these tools together at the factory? If I had that much trouble, I think I might start looking somewhere else for a saw! Heck, my brother in law bought a Rockwell model 10 knock-off at Harbor Freight and loved it! Dead on out of the box and worked like a dream, all for $299!!!!
              Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                Well, my curiosity piqued, I managed to get the saw out and set it on a couple 2x4's, attached the handwheels, and raised the blade. It was almost an 1/8" from the edge of the throat plate opening. The manual has a brief mention that this should be at least an 1/8", but no explanation as to why.

                I raised and lowered the blade, and cranked the angle to 45 degrees and back. It all operated smoothly, and the blade never moved any closer to the throat plate edge as it leaned over.

                To be honest, if I'd never read this thread, I would have probably just filed off a 1/32" or so from the throat plate if it had interfered with the blade.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                  K47K:

                  There are two trunions, front and back. (Judging from the parts diagram, they are identical part numbers). Each has three bolts securing it, and the whole trunion can move left, right, and apparently forward and back. I don’t know if the mounting holes on the trunion are round or oval, so I don’t know how much play there is—but there definitely is some forward/backward play.

                  The theory is to loosen all six bolts, move the front trunion such that the blade has 1/8 inch or more clearance, and tighten the front middle bolt (but leaving it just loose enough to pivot). After this, use the little lever to adjust the blade to parallel with the miter slot, then tighten all six bolts, and rechecking squareness of course.

                  Putting in other words my original post, this procedure can leave the two trunions out of parallel, thus allowing the motor cradle “tabs” to bind in the slots.

                  In my non-expert opinion, I don’t think the saws are defective, but the instructions are incomplete—the above situation should be addressed. Perhaps the procedure should state: “Leave the four outer bolts loose, and run the bevel adjustment to ensure the tracks are lined up. Retighten the four bolts”. (Or else the design could be improved by a one-piece trunion/motor cradle assembly that stays parallel.)

                  In any event, the clearance is a non-issue if you’re using your own ZCI, I suppose. I just made a ZCI on Sunday, and it’s already obsolete since I shifted the blade.


                  Can you make a ZCI insert for bevels? How?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                    i talked to ridgid today. they said the 1/8" of clearance is just so the blade doesnt hit the throat plate (i use zero clearance plates, or custom made plates so thats not an issue). They said if you use a ZCI it doesnt matter. As far as the mechanism binding in the trunion on bevel, they couldnt offer a explainaton other than "dirty screw" or "maybe you can wax the trunion where it rides in the slot". They also said they would send me 2 new trunion to try.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                      Originally posted by jbateman View Post

                      I raised and lowered the blade, and cranked the angle to 45 degrees and back. It all operated smoothly, and the blade never moved any closer to the throat plate edge as it leaned over.
                      At zero degrees, mine originally had maybe 3/32nds clearance. When I cranked the bevel to 45, mine was close enough to be able to flex the blade into the plate. Since this is a thin kerf blade, it would have been dangerously close with a wider one.

                      Not sure why your geometry differs, but it sounds like you're in good shape.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                        Originally posted by The Wood Meister View Post
                        Kinda makes me wonder just who or what is putting these tools together at the factory? If I had that much trouble, I think I might start looking somewhere else for a saw! Heck, my brother in law bought a Rockwell model 10 knock-off at Harbor Freight and loved it! Dead on out of the box and worked like a dream, all for $299!!!!
                        Your BIL may have been pleased with his HF saw but can the next 10 people who bought one after him make the same claim?

                        As far as "who or what is putting these tools together" in concerned, I'd doubt if there is a manufacturer that hasn't experienced some type of assembly problem every now and then. It could be something as simple as a new trainee who wasn't watched close enough and some saws got sent out before his error was noticed. I doubt if this is a major problem, except of course for those that received one of these saws.
                        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                          Originally posted by steveKane View Post
                          At zero degrees, mine originally had maybe 3/32nds clearance. When I cranked the bevel to 45, mine was close enough to be able to flex the blade into the plate. Since this is a thin kerf blade, it would have been dangerously close with a wider one.

                          Not sure why your geometry differs, but it sounds like you're in good shape.
                          A wider blade will not be any closer to left edge. The left of the blade is set by the shoulder of the arbor. A wider blade extends only to the right. A full kerf blade will be thicker and less prone to flexing, so it will be less of a hazard. My stock insert was 7/64 from the left edge of the blade and I have cut 45 degree bevels in 1 1/2" thick lumber with no problem with a thin kert blade.
                          If you are concerned, a flat bastard file will widen the slot in short order.

                          Go
                          Practicing at practical wood working

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                            Originally posted by Gofor View Post
                            A wider blade will not be any closer to left edge. The left of the blade is set by the shoulder of the arbor. A wider blade extends only to the right. A full kerf blade will be thicker and less prone to flexing, so it will be less of a hazard. My stock insert was 7/64 from the left edge of the blade and I have cut 45 degree bevels in 1 1/2" thick lumber with no problem with a thin kert blade.
                            If you are concerned, a flat bastard file will widen the slot in short order.

                            Go
                            Good point about the kerf width....geometry is an exact science, but only if one takes everything into account.

                            Even after this, I want to go on record that I'm still very happy with the saw. I just assembled a section of my bookcase from wood cut with this machine, and it came together perfectly. I can't say the same for an identical section of the bookcase that was earlier cut with my old cheapo saw.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Bad blade alignment instructions for 3650?

                              I had a similar problem with the bevel on mine. I think what happened is I tried to crank the bevel without loosening the bevel lock enough and the blade carriage peeled up a bit of the track that it rides in on the rear trunion. I had to back it off, and file it down with my dremel. after several attempts the track is smooth again and the bevel is easy, just be sure you loosen it plenty before cranking. I didn't realize that the handle could be pressed in and rotated- I just thought I had 1/4 of a turn to release the bevel lock.

                              I say all this, because I had this problem without ever trying to loosen and reset the trunions- so I don't think it's from having trunions out of alignment.

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