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TS3660 Question

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  • TS3660 Question

    Several months ago I purchased a TS3660 table saw. It seems wonderful in many regards, but I have had one issue with this saw that I have had with no other, the problem is kickback. I have had many instances of kickback. A couple weeks ago I had a sever kickback which threw my right hand over the left and into the saw blade. Three fingers were involved, two nearly severely enough that bone fragments were present on those two fingers. A short time before that I took one in the chin and the board knocked the lens out of my glasses a well as cutting my chin. The other incident was a blow to my gut that raised a heck of a welt and drew blood. You may think I am a careless reckless person. Not so. I am in my early 60's and have taken up woodworking several months ago. I have built a roll top desk as one of my projects. On the kickback that cut my fingers I know what happened. I used the fence for a cut when I should have use the miter guide, but the others were a surprise to me. To the credit of Ridgid, I have had a representative who represents them in my shop. He made a slight adjustment to the guard saying he thought it was causing a slight pinching effect on the material. If you have any ideas for me, I want to rid myself of these untoward occurances and continue to enjoy woodworking. Looking forward to your responses hoping they will be helpful.

  • #2
    Re: TS3660 Question

    Don't take this the wrong way but your problem more than likely is caused by an improperly setup saw or operator error. Both can be easily corrected with a little knowledge of how your saw works and the proper methods for using it. If you haven't already, I'd suggest you read a book or two that deals with table saw. One I would highly recommend is The Table Saw Book(ISBN #1-56158-426-6) by Kelly Mehler.
    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.


    • #3
      Re: TS3660 Question

      Ouch! Ouch! and OUCH! How is your hand healing?

      Not to add insult to injury, but where were your guard, splitter and pawls during these incidents?

      Badger Dave's suggestion to use Kelly's book in helping to set up the saw is a good one. Having the blade parallel to the miter slots and the fence parallel to the blade (or maybe just 1/64 to 1/32 away at the back) is critical. Then comes some kind of splitter, a riving knife would be better but the splitter and guard that comes with the TS3660 works pretty well for me when using full kerf blades. It is a bit to fat for thin kerf blades and seems to cause binding. Other than figuring out that problem with it and dropping it once so I had to go back and tweek the sheet metal again, it has worked great. Installs and removes very easily.


      • #4
        Re: TS3660 Question

        Three distinct possibilities come to my mind:
        1) The fence is out of parallel alignment *toward* the blade. It should be slightly out of parallel at the back side, about 0.005" away from the blade.

        2) Your blade guard is mis-aligned and pinching, as that rep said. One thing to look for, specifically, is if you are using a thin kerf blade, the guard has to be aligned on one side or the other-- whichever side you use more frequently for cuts. The splitter is not the same thickness as a thin kerf blade, and if you have it aligned on the right side, it may be pulling the cut to the left slightly, and vice versa. My honest suggestion is to replace the stock splitter with something like this: Match the splitter to your blade thickness.

        3) Your blade is not parallel to your fence and/or your miter slot. If it is slightly off the front will cut your stock, sure. But the back can catch the stock on the upswing and cause kickback. Get a high quality alignment guage tool (example: and carefully evaluate your blade alignment. You can also use this for your fence alignment. Both should be adjusted with your miter slot (whichever you use most!) as the reference.

        Finally, as you found, pinching cutoffs between the blade and fence is a no-no.

        Good luck! And be safe(r)!


        • #5
          Re: TS3660 Question

          I agree with everyone and say check your alignment of the blade to miter slots and check to make sure the blade is straight. My TS3560 was not from the factory, it was out about 1/16.

          What type of blade are you using? is it a thin kerf?


          • #6
            Re: TS3660 Question

            Not to add insult to injury, but where were your guard, splitter and pawls during these incidents?
            I'd like an answer to this question, and maybe a description of the cutting operations being made at the time if it is claimed that the guard had to be removed to complete the cuts.

            After two incidents didn't you have cause to take a step back and analyze how you were using the saw and try to determine what the underlying cause was, either operator error, a machine malfunction or defective part, or an alignment problem?

            You may think I am a careless reckless person. Not so.
            As soon as you say this to yourself you have doubled your chances of injury because you have become your own lawyer so to speak. You have convinced yourself that you are master of the table saw, when in fact it only plays with you.

            I have four nine-fingered friends, I hope that number never goes up. Which is why my signature line is what it is.

            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"

            "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



            1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


            • #7
              Re: TS3660 Question

              Thank you, each of you who took time to respond. Between having a representative in my shop physically checking the alignments you are suggesting, and a couple points learned from you, I am on my way to meeting this "Kickback Demon" with the right stuff. I have ordered the book referred to, "The Table Saw Book". In all I have read, there seems to be reason not to use a narrow kerf blade. I believe the blade that came with the saw was a narrow kerf. I will replace it. I did become weary of taking off and then replacing the guard. I will use the guard unless it needs to be off (dado's for instance). And I liked Badger Dave's advice to respect not try to subdue this saw. It is powerful with a 10" blade traveling at 140 MPH.

              My fingers are healing remarkably well and typing is coming easier each day. I feel fortunate that the accident did not result in the loss of a finger or two. And I thank all of your for your expertise. Many friends have suggested I give up woodworking, not realizing how fulfilling it is. All of your comments were pointing toward a solution, not a surrender. I like that about woodworkers


              • #8
                Re: TS3660 Question

                I use the guard every time I can. It's there for a reason, and it does a good job of what it's there to do. Line it up properly with your blade and it'll do a good job of keeping the boards from flying back at you. When I started on this hobby a few years ago, I was a true amateur, and that made me safety-conscious. I still know I don't know everything, and I never will. Keeping a safety frame of mind is imperative when you're dealing with the really sharp spinny blades of doom!

                Don't every try to force wood into the cut. If you have to do that, something is wrong and you need to stop and turn off the saw immediately. Leave the board where it is and look at the cut and the saw. Is there something in the way? Is the throat plate not flush with the table saw? Remember to pull the wood out of the cut BEFORE you start up the saw again.

                Get a good blade from Freud or Forrest or one of the other brands. There's lots of good blades on the market. A search in the Woodworking Discussion forum for "saw blades" should get you some good ideas. I found this quote from Hewood:

                Originally posted by hewood View Post
                The Gold Medal is a nice blade. I've had two but am no longer using them. A 3/32" thin kerf will be easier for the saw to spin, especially in thick materials but since the kerf of the GM is only 0.111" as opposed to 0.125" of a full kerf, it'll still have a pretty easy time of it. Most saws will spin a full kerf fairly well too, but a good TK definitely has lower feed pressure.

                The Forrest WWII, Ridge Carbide TS2000, and Infinity Combomax are just a few other TK blades that are every bit as good as the Gold Medal....the TS2000 has thicker carbide. The WWII and the TS2000 are both made in the USA and are available in both full and thin kerf. The Tenryu Gold Medal is made in Japan, many of their other blades are made in China.

                You might consider grabbing two blades instead of one, and expand the range of your blade capability. A pair of blades like the Infinity 010-060 60T (0.104" TK) or a Freud LU88R010 60T TK mated with 24T TK FTG ripper like the Infinity 010-124 or Freud LU87R010 will take you further in the extreme ranges of efficient ripping in thick stock (24T) and cleaner cuts in medium stock (60T). Both the LU88 and 010-060 are quite versatile for general purpose work, and the Infinity is superior in plywood, melamine, and crosscutting hardwoods.

                My picks for that saw would be the LU87 mated with the Infinity 010-060. Compared to the Gold Medal, you'll be roughly on budget, will have more efficient ripping capability in thick stock, will have cleaner cuts in general purpose cuts, crosscuts, and especially in veneered plywoods. (~ $105 for the pair)

                In the meantime, try giving your stock blade a good cleaning.
                Good luck with your woodworking. I sure hope the posts here can lead you to a safe and fun hobby. It's great to be able to make things. It's really great to have all your fingers and body parts when you're done.
                I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


                • #9
                  Re: TS3660 Question

                  Another thing that has not been mentioned is to use featherboards, etc as additional anti-kickback protection. They can be mounted on the table, to keep pressure against the fence, or on the fence to keep the board on the table. The featherboard on the fence will also keep the wood from lifting it catches the rising teeth on the back of the blade. It is particular useful for thin or hard stock, both which have a tendency to climb the blade before the end reached the anti-kickback pawls on the splitter.

                  Practicing at practical wood working


                  • #10
                    Re: TS3660 Question

                    Having been in the Tool & Die business all my life, we constantly "indicated" all of our machines for accuracy and safety reasons. Woodworking is a more dangerous exercise in the fact that your hands are used on the part being fabricated, and sometimes very close to the cutting, sanding or drilling tool.
                    Nevertheless, get a good .001 dial indicator and an indicator base (used on granite surface plates.) These bases have slip dowels that can be used to guide the base in the miter slot, allowing you to check parallelism of the blade. Once you have established that, you can then turn the base and indicator toward the fence and check that also.
                    I did this when I bought my Ridgid 3650 and it shocked me how accurate the assembly was right out of the box. No adjustment needed!
                    I also use the indicator on my sliding miter saw for paralleism, perpendicularity etc.
                    I even sweep my drill press table for "level by putting the indicator in the chuck and rotating it (by hand of course). It also will show how much play is in the quill.
                    I can also set my jointer blades "dead nuts" with the outfeed table.
                    These instruments are invaluable and not expensive to ensure precision as well as safety.
                    I'm glad I saved my machining hand tools as I use them all the time in my woodworking setups.


                    • #11
                      Re: TS3660 Question


                      Reading your original post made me "wince" and it brought back nasty memories of my father's table saw accident when he lost two fingers and seriously scarred a third. I was fourteen at the time and though that was fifty years ago, I can still remember the sound of the saw when it happened.

                      I also remember that white 56' Mercury he drove the two miles home with his hand hanging out the window. I had to clean it the next morning!!

                      For that reason, I pretty much stayed away from table saws for most of the fifty years since... damn things scared the hell out of me

                      First thing that I did with my first table saw purchase, two years ago, was to ensure that everything was properly aligned. I read that owners manual from cover to cover TWICE. I also did a lot of other reading before I made my purchase; AND, before I fed my first piece of wood into the saw, I made myself a couple of decent push sticks as well as a jig to handle narrow cuts.

                      I'm NOT afraid of my saws or any of my other power tools... but, I have a very healthy appreciation of how they work, the forces that they exert, and, above all, the damage that they can do. I have yet to have a kickback on my table saw, or on my long-used Radial Arm Saw. I've stalled my RAS a couple of times on rips, but those pawls are always in place. I am most appreciative and respectful of these machines and the safety devices that they are equipped with and I always think through every motion that is necessary when doing a particular cut.

                      I cannot enforce more clearly the need to make sure all is properly aligned and all safety measures are taken before you hit the switch. You also must give thought to what you will do in case of a stall or a possible kickback. Even then, use whatever push-sticks are necessary to ensure that you keep your hands well clear of the cutting area.



                      • #12
                        Re: TS3660 Question

                        If you can locate a copy of the November, 2008 edition of Popular Woodworking, there is an article you may find interesting - Kickback, the fundamental rules (and devices) to keep you clear of danger at your saw by Marc Adams. It is just a few pages long, but I believe you will find it interesting.


                        • #13
                          Re: TS3660 Question

                          Originally posted by canoeman View Post
                          If you can locate a copy of the November, 2008 edition of Popular Woodworking, there is an article you may find interesting - Kickback, the fundamental rules (and devices) to keep you clear of danger at your saw by Marc Adams. It is just a few pages long, but I believe you will find it interesting.
                          I read that and thought it was a great article.


                          • #14
                            Re: TS3660 Question

                            Feather boards are duly noted. The representative gave me a magnetic feather board that I use all the time and it is a big step toward reducing or eliminating the kickback issue.

                            Each response to my question on this forum has been informative, thoughtful, and supportive. That is a great statement about this woodworking community. I thank each of you.


                            • #15
                              Re: TS3660 Question

                              You can never have too many feather boards or push blocks.

                              Notice I said "block" and not "stick". Except for thin stock ripping, a stick is nearly as bad as nothing at all. A good wide block made of wood that can become a sacrifical push block seems to be best. At least to me. If you think about it or do a little Googling you can find plans for making one that has replaceable parts. Build one handle and then replace the bits as they get chewed up.

                              And for feather boards, again, you can make your own. But keep in mind that the first finger (ie the last one the wood will touch) of the feather board needs to be set up ahead (infeed side) of the blade. If you have the feather board squeezing the work against the side of the blade or worse still the back edge of the blade you have just made a giant 300 lb kick-back machine!!!
                              Last edited by rwyoung; 12-31-2008, 10:11 PM. Reason: clarification