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  • R4511 fence deflection

    Just picked up my 4511 a week ago last Sunday. I really like the saw, but after I lock down the fence the tail end moves around a 16th a away from the blade. No deflection toward the blade. The manual really doesn't explain how to adjust the fence or anything else lol. I've tried the search but no luck. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Greg

  • #2
    Re: R4511 fence deflection

    Spindle, you have to use an allen wrench and adjust the lockdown pads on the backside of the fence. They don't seem to have them set quite right coming from the factory, so you have to tweak them. The key thing is to look at them and watch how they contact on each side as you slowly lock down the handle.
    You can't really go by the number of threads on the allen screws as they often contact differently.
    Getting them to contact at the same time is what I do, and then you will have to play with a slight turn of one or the other and see which way it makes your fence move.
    Once you do that you can narrow down the adjustment to get the fence the way you like it.
    I set mine so that the rear of the fence is barely away from the square to the blade to allow just a hair of relief if that makes sense. Not sure I worded that last part right but you don't want the rear closer to the blade than the front or you can get pinching.
    Once I got mine where I wanted I put a drop of the blue threadlocker loctite on each allen screw to hold the adjustment. Hope this helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: R4511 fence deflection

      Cato,

      Thanks for the reply. Just some I'm clear, do you mean the adjustments that move the fence in and out square to the blade? I know what you mean about having the back of the fence something like a 32nd wide.

      Thanks,
      Greg

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: R4511 fence deflection

        Originally posted by spindle View Post
        Cato,

        Thanks for the reply. Just some I'm clear, do you mean the adjustments that move the fence in and out square to the blade? I know what you mean about having the back of the fence something like a 32nd wide.

        Thanks,
        Greg
        I use a thin kerf blade, and I have found on this saw especially, that the fence likes to be dead straight to the blade. The riving knife is just about as thick as the blade, so the wood wants to follow the cut line past the blade and riving knife. This means the fence has to be in line also, so you aren't trying to push your stock into the knife by holding it against a fence that is slightly askew. Hope this makes sence. It did in my head as I wrote it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: R4511 fence deflection

          Spindle, yes you got it, the adjustments that screws that get you square to the blade, are also the ones that cause the deflection you speak of and have to be tweaked to get it from doing that. Its one pad contacting before the other and causing that little jump that you see.

          Also agree with 3rdtime that the saw seems to cut best the squarer the fence is to the blade.
          Mine is set almost dead flat, and the amount of relief I have at the farthest end of my fence is barely detectable at the back of the blade using the same tooth as reference from front to back.

          For me as a home hobbyist doing DIY house projects, this works fine. For the guys that build furniture, they would probably use an Align-it or similar type of dial gauge to get their level of accuracy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: R4511 fence deflection

            Hi Spindle,
            I got my R4511 last week and have been putting it together for the last few days. I spent several hours over the last two days aligning the fence. As Cato pointed out, you need to make sure that the gray lockdown pads need to contact the square fence tube(s) simultaneously and equally when you lock down the fence. In other words, if one pad is closer to the tube than the other before locking, then it would skew the fence when you push down the handle.

            If you look underneath the fence, you will see that the two pads are mounted on a metal bar, which is affixed at the center. Adjusting the set screw causes the bar to deflect. Because of this design, the pads are not parallel to the tube and they make contact with the tube only at one edge - they don't make full contact to the tube. With the help of a plier and a screwdriver, I bent the metal bar so that the pads are now parallel. It makes the lockdown more robust and symmetrical. When I set the fence close to the blade (within 6 inches) and lock it down, I see only 0.002" of shifting of the fence. There is an earlier thread in this forum on this very topic, which is where I got the ideas on the adjustments (Thanks to Purplev , Cato and few others)

            the misalignment between the two tubes have made the job of fence alignment much harder for me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: R4511 fence deflection

              Greg - IF the fence is flexing under normal use you've got a problem, but if it's flexing from yanking on the tail end of a 36"+ long lever, you're not creating real world forces on the fence, and it's probably not an issue. The vast majority of lateral force that the fence sees is just before the blade...9-12" in from the front as opposed to 36". Push from 9" - 12" in and see if you get any significant deflection...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: R4511 fence deflection

                hewood,

                You were right, no deflection at the blade. Even got a look at a Biesemeyer and its the same way.

                Thanks,
                Greg

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: R4511 fence deflection

                  I too had the fence deflection problem. I called Ridgid and they are sending a replacement.

                  Since calling, I spent several hours on trying to understand and correct the problem on the original fence. I almost have it resolved…ALMOST NO DEFLECTION!!! I am sure those experiencing the skewing problem have fences with the same issues I discovered on mine and discuss below.

                  The problem has nothing to do with the set screws, as long as they are both in contact with back of the leaf-spring that has the pressure pads on its ends. The object for the design is to have two absolutely rigid, unyielding, yet adjustable points of contact between the fence and the rear of the front rail. There should be no “compression” after initial contact at these two points when the handle is actuated. If the dimension between either end of the fence angle iron and the front rail changes during clamping the fence will skew. Those having “skewing” problems could intentionally misalign the fence by several degrees and find the fence would still skew the same amount. Skewing is caused by one of the ends that contact the rail compressing (more that the other) when the locking cam is actuated.

                  As mentioned by others, the problem is with the geometry of the leaf-spring and/or the pads at the ends of the leaf-spring where the adjusting set screws contact. These pads need to be flush to the rear of the front rail BEFORE clamping the fence to the rail. If, for example, one or both pads are touching on a corner or edge, the spring will flex and the pads will become flush when you clamp. If this compression is not equal at both pads (most likely the case) the fence will skew in the direction of the last pad to become flush (compress). It is also important to understand that by whatever amount of compression occurs, the back end of the fence will skew more than twice that amount. This is because the length of the fence is more that double the distance between the pads.

                  You can visually check for flushness of the pad faces to the rear of the front rail by squatting down and looking parallel along the back of the rail. This is best done when back-lighted where gaps are more obvious. If you notice either pad touching the rail only at its top or bottom edge actuate the clamping handle while you are looking. You will see the pad become flush and the movement that is causing the skewing. To make the pads flush you will need to twist the leaf spring. I found this easy to do by straddling and squeezing the spring and angle iron with channel locks adjacent the set screw, using the set screw as a fulcrum. Keep adjusting and inspecting until both pads are flush in the side view.

                  Next, move the fence next to the blade and make an “eye-balled” alignment using the set screws. Don’t worry about skewing while clamping yet.

                  Now turn the fence upside-down and using a straight edge across both pads check that they are in line. If not, use a small allen wrench (as a fulcrum) and channel locks to tweak the spring as necessary until they are in line with each other.

                  Put the fence back on the table and without locking the handle make another visual inspection of the pads from the side to be sure they are still flush with the rail.

                  I did the things discussed above and reduced the skew from about .040” to about .008”. I was befuddled that there was still some skewing left. Then, using a jeweler’s loupe I inspected the pad’s interface with the leaf-spring. The pads are attached to the spring with adhesive. On one pad the adhesive was not under the entire surface of the pad. I could see light coming through voids in several places. I then put digital calipers across the front of the pad and rear of the angle iron and, using light force, noticed the dimension. As I increased the force, the original dimension decreased by about .005” due to compression of the “spotty” adhesive. This would equate to about .010” deflection at the end of the fence (about a 2/1 distance ration as mentioned above).

                  I then mixed up a small amount of J-B Weld and packed it in the voids under the pad using a .003” feeler gauge and a sharp toothpick. I’m sure any slow-curing epoxy would work as well. I wiped around the pad with my finger to create a fillet and then wiped the pad surface and any other slop with a rag.

                  The next day, I checked the fence for skewing. Wow, now it skewed in the opposite direction by about .003”. I reexamined the other pad (which is obviously deflecting) and discovered voids not noticed originally. These voids weren’t as big as on the first pad, but voids none-the-less. So, I mixed some more J-B and packed it under that pad.

                  The next day, I checked again for skewing. Now it skewed .004 in the original direction. I rechecked visually for flushness from the side and noticed a hairline crack of light at the bottom of the pad. I tweaked the spring very slightly (on the side where the skewing was occurring) with the channel locks and retested. .0005”!!!!!!!!!!


                  All this adjusting has been very time consuming. Ridgid should take note and reevaluate both their design and their quality control.

                  One last thing: After all the screwing around with the leaf spring, at one point I had deformed it so it was no longer contacting the set screw and the skew went off the charts. Duh! Be sure the set screws are in contact with the leaf spring...no gaps! Gaps=skewing.
                  Last edited by Olhawker; 12-20-2009, 01:12 PM. Reason: incorrect wording and update

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: R4511 fence deflection

                    Update. I received the replacement fence from Ridgid. It also skewed a little but not as much as the first. I went through the routine described in my previous post and still some skew. When I examined the pad to spring interfaces I noticed a significant gap on one. In fact, the pad was actually loose. I put a knife under it and popped it off. There are two bosses on the backside that fit into holes in the spring. There was also the remains of a small and inadequate dab of adhesive. I popped off the other pad and noticed the same condition. The faces (that contact the front rail) of both pads were concave which could allow for some compression during clamping the handle. So, since they were off, I sanded them flat using sandpaper gritty side up on the saw granite top. I then scraped off any remaining adhesive and roughed up the bottom surfaces of the pads with a box cutter blade. Then "buttered" the surfaces with J-B Weld being careful to get complete coverage. I also buttered the ends of the spring where the pads go with a thin film of J-B. Then clamped overnight.

                    I feel fairly confident that many (most? all?) others have fences with the same issues. If anyone has trouble with following what I have tried to describe, the bottom line is this:
                    1. The faces of the two pads must be coplanar.
                    2. This plane must also be coplanar with the rear surface of the front rail.
                    3. The entire lower surface of the pads must be covered with adhesive. (No voids).

                    And lastly, it's best if the set screws are not "over-extended" such that an unnecessary amount of force is applied to the rail while clamping. The tubing is thin walled and may become deformed by the cam.
                    Last edited by Olhawker; 12-27-2009, 12:09 PM. Reason: confusing typo's

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