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TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

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  • TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

    I've been having some scorching and feed resistance on long pieces, so I've been realigning on my TS3650 to eliminate that as a potential problem. The blade is aligned to the left miter slot to within 0.0015" from the front to the back of the blade, so that's OK. But the rip fence is way off, and the thing that's confusing me is that the degree of deflection (and even the direction) seem to change from one side of the table to the other.

    Near the left miter slot, it's heeling in toward the blade by about 0.014", which I guess explains the problems. But at the right side of the table it's heeling OUT by 0.008". And this varies continuously with the position of the rip fence. Somewhere in the middle, it's relatively neutral, which I guess is why I didn't notice the issue when I did the original setup.

    Here's a diagram:

    (This is just for illustration -- I am in fact measuring from the left miter slot to the left edge of the fence for all measurements, using a dial meter on a long stick clamped to the miter gauge.)

    From what I've read here and in the manual, the fix probably has something to do with shimming the rails or adjusting their vertical position. The thing is, I don't have a very clear concept of what underlying problem would be that's causing this type of circular deflection. Is it an arc-like deformation of one or both of the rails? Or a lack of parallelism? Which rail is likely to need attention, and should I try shimming out the right, left, or middle first?

    Any advice would be appreciated before I start flailing away on my own. :-)

  • #2
    Re: TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

    The diagram looks to me as though one or both of the rails is bowed, such that the distance between them is less near the blade than at the ends.

    Step 1 would be to measure the distance between them at several points, then see if that's the cause. If not, then at least you have eliminated one possible cause.


    • #3
      Re: TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

      I bought a 3660 about six mos ago from HD. I very early found that the fence itself had a bow in it. I contacted Ridgid, and, after exlplaining that: 1. The nearest service center was 50 mi one way, and 2. I didn't need an entire new fence, just the main extrusion, they shipped me one free, and it arrived in less than a week. Solved my problem.

      I suggest you put a very straight edge on the fence, and see if you have this problem.
      "non illegitimis carborundum"


      • #4
        Re: TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

        Are you using only one tooth of the blade, rotating it from front to back when you are checking the miter slot to blade position? That is the only way to make sure that this alignment is correct. Don't use the body of the blade to check this measurement.

        It also sounds as if your front and back rails are not dead straight as was already mentioned. It doesn't necessarily mean that your rails are bad. You have to make sure that the wings are in line with the front of the table top. This is more critical than the back. On the back, you can shim the wings or the top where the rail bolts go so there is no deflection. If the front rail is true, then the fence should run true also.

        Once you have the blade aligned to one of the miter slots, and the front rail is straight, you can then align the fence to the miter slot.

        You also mentioned that you have this problem on long stock. The longer the cut, the more tendancy there is for the wood to move, either pinching back together, or spreading apart. The splitter on your saw doesn't keep wood from closing back in on the back of the blade due to it being a lot thinner than the blade. Always using dry wood will help with the movement issue.


        • #5
          Re: TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

          Check to see that the front edges of the table and both extension are aligned. The front rail is bolted to all three pieces, and if they are misaligned the rail can get slightly wavy, resulting in different fence angles at various points along the rail. DAMHIKT.


          • #6
            Re: TS3650 rip fence alignment mystery

            are the front and rear rails parallel to one another? if the rail spacers (those real thin copper "washers") included with the saw weren't used when the rails were installed, and the rail bolts were tightened enough to bow the rail, then the fence could conceivably follow the mis-shape of the front rail. this would cause something of a "u"shaped travel for the fence, resulting in the parabolic fence movement described above. just my $.02.
            there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.