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Replacement Rails for R4511

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  • Replacement Rails for R4511

    I've seen a couple people around replace the rails on their 4511 with one piece rails instead of the factory 2 piece.

    Can anybody chime in with some details? sizes? length? tips and tricks?

    I'm wanting to get one piece rails plus a little extra length to create a router table wing.

    Thanks for your help!
    Brandon
    I bleed RIDGID orange...

  • #2
    Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

    Here's what I did...

    http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25603

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

      I don't get it??? Why is the two piece rail such a problem? I have the saw and I just don't see why it would be high on the priority list to replace... am I missing something?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

        I specifically want to replace the rails to get a little length so I can create a larger wing to make a router table.

        Brandon



        Originally posted by iamwelty2 View Post
        I don't get it??? Why is the two piece rail such a problem? I have the saw and I just don't see why it would be high on the priority list to replace... am I missing something?
        I bleed RIDGID orange...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

          Originally posted by iamwelty2 View Post
          I don't get it??? Why is the two piece rail such a problem? I have the saw and I just don't see why it would be high on the priority list to replace... am I missing something?
          A single rail is also less likely to incur alignment mismatches.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

            Originally posted by iamwelty2 View Post
            I don't get it??? Why is the two piece rail such a problem? I have the saw and I just don't see why it would be high on the priority list to replace... am I missing something?
            My two-piece rail doesn't line up as well as it should, no matter how much I try. The fence "bumps" over the joint when I move it toward the blade and when it's near the blade the fence alignment is off at the back slightly. So, a one-piece rail is very high on my list. And I would like a little extra length to the right of the blade.

            Take care.

            Rick

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

              OK... Mine aligns pretty well... there is the slightest of bumps when I slide the fence across the transition... I don't see much in the way of alignment problems that a single piece would fix... Now the longer rail, I can see. My shop is small enough that I'm lucky to spare the foot print for for the saw as it is and definately nothing larger... The only advantage to my piece of C_ _ _ Craftsman was it didn't take up much room... other than that the Ridgid is something special!! Thanks for updating me...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

                Originally posted by blboyd View Post
                I've seen a couple people around replace the rails on their 4511 with one piece rails instead of the factory 2 piece.

                Can anybody chime in with some details? sizes? length? tips and tricks?

                I'm wanting to get one piece rails plus a little extra length to create a router table wing.

                Thanks for your help!
                Brandon
                I don't have a picture handy but it's just 2" square tubing. You can get it from a lot of places. I primed mine, then painted it. I actually reduced the total rail length because my shop is pretty small.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

                  Originally posted by Rick523 View Post
                  My two-piece rail doesn't line up as well as it should, no matter how much I try. The fence "bumps" over the joint when I move it toward the blade and when it's near the blade the fence alignment is off at the back slightly. So, a one-piece rail is very high on my list. And I would like a little extra length to the right of the blade.

                  Take care.

                  Rick
                  When first assembling mine, the front rail sections did not align quite properly. Turned out the plastic joiner was a little off. By taking it out and rotating it 90º everything lined up. I used a straight edge along the front while tightening the screws to be sure it stayed there. One piece would probably be better, but this saved a trip to the steel yard.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

                    A couple of question for anyone that made a one-piece front rail:

                    What is the wall thickness of the square tubing you used?

                    Did you drill and tap the holes on the bottom yourself or take it to a machine shop.

                    And a couple more for TheChucker:

                    Did you also make a longer front rail holder (the angle iron)?

                    Where did you get the router table?

                    Is the top of the router table flush with the saw table and if so what had to be done to accomplish that?

                    How is the router table supported and attached?

                    Does the router table miter slot work with the Ridgid miter?

                    Thanks for any replies,

                    Wayne
                    Last edited by Olhawker; 12-19-2009, 01:30 PM. Reason: font too small to read easily

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

                      Originally posted by BArnold View Post
                      When first assembling mine, the front rail sections did not align quite properly. Turned out the plastic joiner was a little off. By taking it out and rotating it 90º everything lined up. I used a straight edge along the front while tightening the screws to be sure it stayed there. One piece would probably be better, but this saved a trip to the steel yard.
                      Good idea. I'll give it a try.

                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

                        Originally posted by BArnold View Post
                        When first assembling mine, the front rail sections did not align quite properly. Turned out the plastic joiner was a little off. By taking it out and rotating it 90º everything lined up. I used a straight edge along the front while tightening the screws to be sure it stayed there. One piece would probably be better, but this saved a trip to the steel yard.
                        The plastic connector that aligns the ends of the rails is injection molded. The mold has two halves that come together to form a cavity in the shape of the part and then molten plastic is injected into the cavity. Each of the “flanged portions” of the connector is formed by each half of the mold. Consequently, their alignment, with respect to each other, depends on the alignment of the mold halves. This alignment is rarely (if ever) perfect. So, by design (bad design), the plastic part can (will) actually MISALIGN the ends of the rails. On mine, the rear faces of the rails were off by about .005” at their junction. My solution was to remove the connector and sand the appropriate rearward facing flange face down by that amount (since it is only the rear surface of the front rail that's critical.

                        Also, be aware that the square tubing that makes the front rails is neither perfect nor consistent. It is neither straight nor flat, and the width of each side will vary. I Googled tubing tolerances and was shocked at the allowable deviations. My right front rail piece was .006” wider than the left one (top view) at the ends where they joined. I’m mentioning this for those using a straight edge along the front face of the rail pieces to do the aligning. If one rail is wider that the other (at the junction) then the critical rear surfaces will be off using this method. Unfortunately, there isn’t much room along the rear surface to place a straight edge. I tried several techniques including stretching a monofilament fishing line along the rear surface (clamped to either end of the rail assembly) but didn’t have confidence in what I was seeing. Neither rail section was straight enough for this method to be reliable. This lack of straightness is why several people have mentioned the fence alignment varies when in different positions along the front rail. The only way to get all this perfect would be to have the bottom and rear surfaces of the rail sections surface ground to a flat and straight condition. For those considering making a single piece front rail I would suggest this considering the tubing tolerances. At least, make a thorough inspection for flatness and straightness of the particular piece of stock you buy.

                        A good way to check the alignment of critical adjoining surfaces such as the rear surfaces of the front rail sections, the throat plate to the granite top, the upper surface of the rear rail sections, and the three granite top pieces is to slide a single edge razor blade across the joint. Its sharp corners will “snag” in the direction of a higher surface and light can be seen below the blade if one surface is lower. When the surfaces are aligned the razor blade will slide smoothly in both directions as it passes over the joint. Although the alignment of the rear rail pieces is not critical, I found it annoying when the rear of the fence “bumped” as it passed over the joint. To fix this I did the razor blade thing to align surfaces of the angle iron pieces at the joint near the bend. Then using channel locks, I bent the outer edges until they were aligned. No more bumping.
                        Last edited by Olhawker; 12-30-2009, 01:23 PM. Reason: missing word

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Replacement Rails for R4511

                          Another option you may want to try.

                          I installed a 2"x2"x1/8 piece of Al angle along the length of the front rail and readjusted the Fence to the thicker rail. This eliminated the fence missalignment along the rail and the bump at the section.

                          Another advantage this has is that if you need a little extra rip width you can slide the Al angle out past the end of the original rail and pick up about 5" of width. (The extra width depends on the length of the rear rail.)

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