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  • I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

    ...because it cuts almost as well as my new R4511. I get the same results, the same burning with the same blades, the same so-so rips with a thin kerf blade.

    I have a 23 year old Craftsman 1 hp direct drive saw, no belt. The top is that ribbed aluminum stuff with stamped steel wings and the cheapest fence known to man. I need something better with at least token dust collection so I've been shopping for a year. Then R4511 appears and goes on sale and I'm a happy camper.

    But now that I have my 4511 assembled and I've made some cuts I can't see that much difference between cuts made with the old Craftsman and with the new R4511.

    I need to be able to get clean rips with glue line edges in up to 4/4 hardwood. Rips that could be stained and not show swirls unless you look really really close. The R4511 isn't delivering those kind of cuts with my Freud Fusion 40 tooth .126 kerf blade. I'm getting some burning on almost every rip with that blade. Am I expecting too much 1 1/2 horse saw? Should I try a Forrest blade?

    I've tuned it to within an inch of it's life. The pulleys aren't loose and they seem line up. There is a slight startup shudder and a more significant shutdown shudder. A nickel stays up on startup and while running but often falls down on spin down. I haven't checked arbor runout because I don't see much likelyhood of being able to fix it if that's the problem.

    The fence is a pleasant surprise. I see no problem here at all, it works about as well as the $400 industrial fences. One reason I really want to keep this saw.

    But as it stands I'll have to return it and go ahead and fork over the other thousand dollars for a Grizzly or Steel City 3 hp. It breaks the heart because this R4511 is the best looking saw this side of a SawStop industrial. I have some other Ridgid tools and the orange looks great. Now I'll get pukey gray or green.

  • #2
    Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

    I can't speak from experience, because I have none. I have, however, been researching saw blades and have found many good things said about the 30 tooth Forrest Woodworker II thin kerf blade ( Review ) in situations such as yours. Let us know how things turn out. Thanks.

    Dave




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    • #3
      Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

      a table saw, is basically a flat bench with a blade in it, the horse power and the blade and fence is the main things that will change the saw, weight is a factor as well, a beefer machine will cut vibration and make it solider.

      I have a old delta Rockwell contractors saw 9" blade, and a nice old Walker turner cabinet saw, the 9" will do most ever thing the cabinet saw will do, but I sure enjoy the cabinet saw over the 9" saw, as it vibrates and is small and has a poor fence, and the stamped steel wings are not pleasant to use. compared to the cabinet saw, but as far as cuts, the blade is the heart of that, and enough power to turn the blade, and I feel safer using the cabinet saw over the contractors saw, but if I need to load and move one I prefer the contractors saw.

      most blades on a 10" saw will turn about the same RPM, so the power behind it, and if your going to make a saw run on 120 volts, you limited to just a little over one horse power, as you will start to trip breakers, most all 120 volt saws use one to one and half horse power motors either built in or belt drive,

      the additional weight cast table and improved fence will be your major differences, with your new saw,

      it sounds like a few new blades may be in order as well,

      but if your considering a cabinet saw, your just stepping in to a different class of tool kinda of like going from a pickup truck to 1 1/2 truck,
      but the correct blade on that saw should give one good cuts, I really do not know what to recommend, as I do have not bought a new blade in 15 years, (that is another story) but with the correct blade you should not have burning on your cuts if the speed of feed is correct.
      Last edited by BHD; 05-05-2009, 01:25 AM.
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      • #4
        Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

        I've been looking at other blade options. The 40 and 30 tooth 3/32 Forrest blades specifically. Maybe with a stabilizer.

        But than I'd have to try that new blade combination on my old Craftsman and see what happens as well.

        My problem is that cutting on the R4511 and the Craftsman feels the same. I just assumed there would be a big difference because the motor on the Ridgid is twice the size of the Craftsman. But from what I've seen so far the Ridgid simply won't push a 1/8 kerf 40 tooth blade through hardwood with the grain. I get beautiful crosscuts with it but I already get that on the Craftsman. That's what I bought the Freud Fusion for in the first place, because I couldn't cross cut with a real cross cut blade on the Craftsman.

        And it can't be tuning. You can't tune the Craftsman past a certain point because it's all aluminum and sheet metal. As they sit the Ridgid is in better tune than the Craftsman after one day. I've spent more time tuning the Ridgid in the last 23 hours than I've spent on the Craftsman in the last 23 years. And that's not an exaggeration. And I promise you, whatever arbor runout there is on the Ridgid there's twice as much on the Craftsman.

        I don't think there's anything wrong with the R4511. In fact it's probably best in class. It's certainly best looking in class hands down. And if I didn't already have a table saw... of sorts..... I wouldn't be making this post. But based on what I've experienced so far I would caution anyone who owns any kind of light weight table saw at all to think very hard before buying another 110v saw. I think I'll have to go up to 220v and at least 3 hp to really get a substantial difference.

        However, if you don't have a saw at all the R4511 would make a great first saw, at least until Thursday.

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        • #5
          Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

          I needed my 3650 to cut glue ready edges but with the WWII blade and 4/4 hardwoods I wasnt getting it. So I tried the Frued Glue Line Rip Blade and it gives the results I need. Eventually I will step up to a cabinet saw but for the foreseeable future the Frued blade works well. May be worth checking out.

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          • #6
            Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

            Originally posted by frank2007 View Post
            I don't think there's anything wrong with the R4511. In fact it's probably best in class. It's certainly best looking in class hands down. And if I didn't already have a table saw... of sorts..... I wouldn't be making this post. But based on what I've experienced so far I would caution anyone who owns any kind of light weight table saw at all to think very hard before buying another 110v saw. I think I'll have to go up to 220v and at least 3 hp to really get a substantial difference.
            Let me say that any contractors saw will likely work the same, but don't use the word lightweight. There is going to be a big difference between a little bench top and a contractor saw, because a good contractor saw will be nice and heavy (which really matters, especially for sheet goods).

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            • #7
              Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

              Originally posted by Pez View Post
              I needed my 3650 to cut glue ready edges but with the WWII blade and 4/4 hardwoods I wasnt getting it. So I tried the Frued Glue Line Rip Blade and it gives the results I need. Eventually I will step up to a cabinet saw but for the foreseeable future the Frued blade works well. May be worth checking out.
              My local woodworking store carries that blade, I may check it out. Do you use a stablizer?

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              • #8
                Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

                The final performance of any cutting tool is largely determined by setup and blade......you need better blade(s) to get better cuts! Why put old blades that got poor results on a new $600 saw? As long as your arbor spins true, the other factors are a good blade, a flat zci that's flush with the surface, good fence/miter gauge algnment, and flat straight stock.

                Thin kerf blades are recommended for saws that are 2hp or less. Stick with high quality and you shouldn't need a stabilizer unless there's a vibration or runout problem to mask. IMO, the WWII 30T is outstanding, but there are several other blades I like too depending on what your cutting...Infinity 010-060, Infinity 010-150, Freud LU88, LU87, WWII 40T, Ridge Carbide TS2000,
                Last edited by hewood; 05-05-2009, 10:10 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

                  Originally posted by hewood View Post
                  The final performance of any cutting tool is largely determined by setup and blade......you need better blade(s) to get better cuts! Why put old blades that got poor results on a new $600 saw? As long as your arbor spins true, the other factors are a good blade, a flat zci that's flush with the surface, good fence/miter gauge algnment, and flat straight stock.

                  Thin kerf blades are recommended for saws that are 2hp or less. Stick with high quality and you shouldn't need a stabilizer unless there's a vibration or runout problem to mask. IMO, the WWII 30T is outstanding, but there are several other blades I like too depending on what your cutting...Infinity 010-060, Infinity 010-150, Freud LU88, LU87, WWII 40T, Ridge Carbide TS2000,
                  I've tuned a little more and the cuts are a little better with the full kerf Freud Fusion blade. Very little burning. I must say that aside from the burning, which is slight in the white oak I'm trying now, these rips are flawless. You wouldn't have to plane or sand it. The burned patches could be taken off in a few quick passes with a scrapper.

                  But it would be better to not have the burning and sacrifice a little cut quality so I'll go with a good thin kerf blade as you suggest. I'll try the Fusion blade on my miter saw and see how it does there.

                  So now, which blade?

                  The majority of my work will be 3/4 and 4/4 oak and European beech. A lot of quarter sawn white oak. Don't even consider sheet goods, I've got Festool for that. The work will be ripping and crosscutting parts for face frames and doors. I will be doing some tenoning and other odds and ends so a 5" stabilizer would get in the way. And it would be nice to get decent crosscuts without changing blades.

                  So there are the parameters, clean rips that could be stained if you're not picky and acceptable crosscuts. I'll go up to $130. What is the absolute best possible thin kerf blade for this application on the R4511?

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                  • #10
                    Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

                    My apologies...guess I should read more carefully! I didn't realize you were using the Fusion when I first replied. The Fusion has excellent crosscut ability for a 40T blade, due to it's Hi-ATB grind, and should have very smooth edges on both rips and crosscuts. It's easier to get burns with this type blade due to the dual side grind and tight side clearance but they should be very smooth. You really shouldn't be struggling much with 4/4" even with a full kerf blade. Before getting a different blade, try raising it up a little higher and see if it helps, and be sure your feedrate is fast enough and steady. Be sure that the fence doesn't "toe in" towards the blade at all...better to "toe out" just a hair if you're going to be off at all. If that doesn't help, you might try the Infinity Combomax Lite (010-150) or WWII 40T TK for "clean rips and acceptable crosscuts".

                    There isn't a blade I know of that'll give you "stain ready" results without at least a little cleanup with handplane, jointer, scraper, or sander, but what's acceptable is pretty subjective...lots of blades will give a "glue ready" edge though.
                    Last edited by hewood; 05-05-2009, 12:40 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

                      Originally posted by hewood View Post
                      My apologies...guess I should read more carefully! I didn't realize you were using the Fusion when I first replied. The Fusion has excellent crosscut ability for a 40T blade, due to it's Hi-ATB grind, and should have very smooth edges on both rips and crosscuts. It's easier to get burns with this type blade due to the dual side grind and tight side clearance but they should be very smooth. You really shouldn't be struggling much with 4/4" even with a full kerf blade. Before getting a different blade, try raising it up a little higher and see if it helps, and be sure your feedrate is fast enough and steady. Be sure that the fence doesn't "toe in" towards the blade at all...better to "toe out" just a hair if you're going to be off at all. If that doesn't help, you might try the Infinity Combomax Lite (010-150) or WWII 40T TK for "clean rips and acceptable crosscuts".

                      There isn't a blade I know of that'll give you "stain ready" results without at least a little cleanup with handplane, jointer, scraper, or sander, but what's acceptable is pretty subjective...lots of blades will give a "glue ready" edge though.
                      I think I'll go with the Forrest blade. I checked arbor run out at the shaft and the flange. Shaft run out was about .0001 and the flange about .0002. Almost unmeasurable with my dial. Not bad for less than $500. Until the Forrest comes in I'll just run my 24T Diablo. The Ridgid blade that came with it is a mess. It measured .01 run out just below the gullets. I'll use it to cut junk.

                      I think I'm fixed up. I'll rig up some kind of dust collection on the old Craftsman and dedicate it as dado station until it dies.

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                      • #12
                        Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

                        Frank, just wanted to give you my 2 cents as the owner of a Steel City 35920, which as previously stated elswhere on this forum, is almost exactly the same saw as the 4511. My saw came with a 40 tooth Forrest Woodworker II blade as a promotion, and I have done some ripping on 3/4 red oak. After setting up the rip fence perfectly parallel to the blade, my rip cuts looked like they came off the jointer with no burning. Hold two pieces that I have ripped together and they're seemless. After having used Freud's thin kerf ripping blade on the same saw, I would hands down recommend the Forrest blade. In fact, that blade is going to remain on the saw for most of my cutting. Hope this helps.

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                        • #13
                          Re: I guess my old Sears saw was better than I thought

                          Originally posted by frank2007 View Post
                          I'll rig up some kind of dust collection on the old Craftsman and dedicate it as dado station until it dies.
                          you would crap if it still outlasted your new saw....

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