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  • Constant 3650 Setup

    I'm fairly new to fine woodworking but have been in construction all my life and do have some feel for quality in a tool. I'm wondering about this saw I bought. I do like the tool in a lot of ways, the roller lift is worth it's weight in gold, speaking of weight I like the weight of the saw as I can trust if to be there while I focus on the work peice and the blade, etc.

    I do seem to have problems with having to constantly set the machine up for square (blade, fence, mitre). Is this just one of the tasks necessary to do "fine" woodworking or should I be able to depend on the saw more? The biggest thing that strikes me as annoying aligning the blade and the fence. Seems I cannot trust it to be parallel to the blade without having to set the front, hold it and adjust the back and then lock it down. Are my expectations off here?

    I've just given up on the fence guide scale. There's no way I can trust that to be accurate for anything other than rough in framing work.

    So if y'all can help me set realistic expectations I'd appreciate it greatly. If I've bought the wrong machine please let me know that as well.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Once adjusted a fence should line up parallel and be repeatable every time you line up the cursor to a mark. One of the knocks on fences that lock front and rear is they can be locked down in an out of parallel position.

    Don't know if you bought the wrong machine or not, but that fence is one of my biggest complaints of the saw. Others seem to deal with it, but they may have never tried a good t-fence design. If we could talk Ridgid into putting a Biesemeyer type fence on this saw, it would be tough to beat for the money.

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    • #3
      If the fence is moving try putting it together with loctite & then squaring it up & tightening bolts. Also push the guide shoe against the front rail & then tighten the fence down. I have a Sears saw & used Loctite in November 1997 & just checked it last weekend & it is still set up like I set it up originally. There is no reason you should have any problem with alignment unless there is something wrong with the fence or saw trunnion assembly.

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      • #4
        Hewood if you could talk ridgid into puttin ga bies fence, it wouldnt' be the same money.. lol UP UP UP!!!

        DC Dave, regarding your fence issue, I had a much older less sophisticated craftsman saw that locked in back and front and I had similar problems. Is why I made sure to buy a bies on my replacement saw. However unless you bent something, you SHOULD be able to get your fence to square up accurately. I stress should.

        Have you checked your rails to make sure there's no bend in the rails. Or check to see if your guides on front and back are parallel so that fence travels at equal height above tabletop throughout the length of the rails. This could throw your fence out of precision. Other than that, could be mfr defect. Dual locking was a concern of mine though when I looked at that fence.

        Hope this helps.

        Jake

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        • #5
          One other suggestion. To make sure you get fence set up parallel and blade parallel to mitre slot. Let me suggest getting a dial guage to make sure you have it set up properly. Blade should be within .001 - .002 or less from the mitre slot

          Probably closer to .001 for the fence since it's easier to adjust fence than trunion.

          If you are unable to fix your saw I would suggest either trading in for a new 3650 or looking at different saw. Rough construction only doesn't sound like what you bought the saw for.

          Jake

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          • #6
            Yep, bought the saw to learn how to make furniture. I've got a Delta x5 jointer and a Dewalt 13" planer and those babys are sweet The saw works well in a lot of ways I just seem to have to spend a lot of time with a framing square and other measuring tools. I'm afraid to get a dial guage even though it's on my list. If I get something that accurate I'm afraid I'll get pissed at my saw.

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            • #7
              Check this URL

              http://www.in-lineindustries.com/saw_pals.html

              out this is a good way to align your trunnion I used this & it works & after installation only takes about 15 minutes to set up you trunnion dead accurate using a combination square in the miter slot & your best saw blade mark 1 tooth & have it light brush the end of you combination square blade at both the front & back of your blade throat.

              [ 01-21-2004, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: VLL ]

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              • #8
                Thanks VLL, looks interesting

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                • #9
                  Still recommend dial guage. I just replaced an oldie and put together my first saw start to finish. Started with the cutting wood method, then used the square in mitre guage slot along with a feeler guage < very thin metal pieces marked by their width >.

                  I thought I had it down to .003 accuracy but was getting very slight burns in wood. I got a dial indicator and found out I was out .013 and saw was cutting wood twice. Also my fence was angled slightly toward saw. Fence was easy adjustment, trunion was a little more work, but well worth the effort. I now have it accurate to less than .001 and only took me about 20 minutes w/o a PALS kit.

                  Finally. I don't own a Ridgid so not 100 % sure, but when I was looking at this saw, I was concerned about trunion alignment myself < since hadn't aligned trunion accurately yet on my own. > I thought the Ridgid had some kindof trunion adjuster built into saw????

                  Jake

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                  • #10
                    Now that Jake mentions it I think I heard that Ridgid has some kind of system built in to adjust the trunnion alignment check your owners manual it may save you a few dollars.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, they got this little toggle on the back you're supposed to use to align the trunion with the mitre slot. I've twisted that sucker back and forth so many times my arthritis started acting upo. LOL

                      Maybe its just me but I can't seem to get that to work out just right. I seem to always end up with about a 32nd or 64th of variation between the front and back. That's eyballin it with a 6 inch metal machinists rule though. Am going for the Inline Industries tool and a dial indicator to be sure.

                      I've always wanted one any way.

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                      • #12
                        DCDAVE
                        "The Table Saw Book" by Kelly Mehler shows step by step how to tune a table saw. It should be available at your local library if you're interested.
                        Lorax
                        "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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                        • #13
                          I have been getting the same problem as you DCDave. Now, I've just rechecked the alignment with blade this time using a caliper and have found the blade to be off from front to back by 0.012 to 0.015" inches (taking several readings).
                          Just looking in the manual they say that 0.015" (4 pages) is OK. But I am getting off about 1/16" on a 16" cross cut. I'll realign it tommorrow and see if that helps it. Will let you know. The manual says to check this measurement on the same tooth. ie mark the tooth and compare distance with tooth in front of table and at back. I don't understand that. Why not just compare front of blade to miter groove with back of blade to miter groove without rotating the blade? I think also the use of the sled is important. It seemed to help me.
                          LOL, lots of luck to you in getting your cuts square.

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                          • #14
                            you need to use the same tooth to avaiod adding the error factor of your blade runout (warp) to the equation. You would likely need a dial guage to measure the warp in your blade ( or you need a new blade [img]smile.gif[/img] . Remember we are talking about 100ths of an inch

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wbrooks:
                              Remember we are talking about 100ths of an inch
                              Actually, we are talking about 1000th's of an inch. (Sorry, but once a machinist, always a machinist!) [img]smile.gif[/img] Please see my reference above to "The Table Saw Book". It answers all these questions along with photos and illustrations that are hard to put into words.
                              Lorax
                              "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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