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  • R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

    I've gotten so much great information here that I'm glad to finally be able to contribute something. I bought a Ridgid R4511 table saw when they were on clearance at HD a few months ago for $299, and was really impressed with it, except for the fence and rails. After doing some research, I determined that the fence and rails from the Craftsman model 351.221160 were an exact fit, with no drilling or anything extra required. This fence is a huge improvement, as it's Biesemeyer clone with high density plastic faces and dead flat. The guide tube is much heavier duty than the Ridgid one, and is one solid piece, instead of spliced together with a plastic coupler, which for me, caused considerable deflection and aggravation in general. It adjusts for parellism and 90 degress to the table super easily as well. As a bonus, the scale and plastic end caps on the Craftsman tube are separate part numbers, and I didn't figure I really needed them, so I didn't order them. But when the tube came, they were on! I am delighted with this saw now and really think that if it lasts, it will be the last saw I ever really need. This solution is a little more expensive than getting a Shop Fox system, or something else, but I was willing to pay more to have everything all lined up and ready to go, no drilling and calculating and fussing with things.
    Hope this helps someone who's considering an upgrade to their R4511!

  • #2
    Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

    And what are the parts number and price for this beauty?
    Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

      If you go to the sears parts website (searspartsdirectdotcom) and do a model number search for 351.221160, you can find all the part numbers and pricing right there. It's pretty spendy though, but well worth it, in my opinion, to have a fence system that was made for that saw (plus I had some overtime money burning a hole in my pocket, so it was sorta like "found money."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

        I looked it up - IIRC it was about $75 for the front rail and $135 or so for the fence. Not too bad, but it doesn't increase the rip capacity over the stock fence.

        To the OP, is the Craftsman front rail the same size (2x2 tube)? If so, I could fab my own rail and buy the better Craftsman fence and still save money over the Shop Fox. Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

          Actually no, the front guide tube is bigger than the Ridgid one (wider). Also, I initially thought I could get by keeping the factory angle iron front and back but that wouldn't work as the holes are no where close and on top of that, the width of the new guide tube makes it prohibitive. For me, it was a great solution. There are definitely cheaper avenues to achieve a better fence, but I've put aftermarket fence systems on saws before, like a Unifence on a Craftsman contractor saw, and it was improvement, but not perfect. I wanted perfect this time (or as close as a factor can get to it) instead of trying to do the round peg square hole thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

            Thanks for the info - I didn't realize the angle would have to be replaced too. But like you said, if someone wants a bolt-on upgrade it's a great idea.

            Just for giggles, would you mind measuring the Craftsman front tube when you have a chance? I'll be it's still a standard size rectangular tube that may be worth looking into for the DIY-ers. Thanks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

              Are these the 4 items required to complete the retrofit?

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              • #8
                Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                Cisco-

                Yes, those 4 will do it, though I'd ordered the nuts and washers associated with those parts as well, because I wasn't sure that the threads in the bottom of the Craftsman guide tube would be the correct thread for the original Ridgid screws. I think they're the same, now that I have them both, but the Craftsman ones are actual hexhead bolts instead of internal wrenching allen-type screws.

                I'll get the dimensions of the guide tube later this evening for the person that requested that.
                Last edited by jason mowery; 03-22-2010, 04:42 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                  I don't hate my fence and rails $354's worth... at least not yet...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                    I'm guessing that the Steel City fence that comes with the SC 35930 will also fit. I've heard several raves about their top line Industrial Fence System....might be worth checking into as another option for a direct bolt on.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                      Dewi1219-

                      Dimensions for the guide tube are 2"x3"xabout 64.25". The 3" dimension is the one parallel to the table, or the surface the fence rides on.
                      I also tried the Steel City avenue, but their customer support is really sketchy. I couldn't ever get anyone to call me back on pricing or availability on those parts, but some of you might have better luck. As stout as the Craftsman system is, I'm not really sure how the Steel City one could be any better. It might be the same thing, for all I know. I don't see any possible room for improvement.

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                      • #12
                        Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                        Jason,
                        Thanks for the info. Now I have to decide whether to:
                        1) Fab some extended rails and use the stock fence (cheapest)
                        2) Bite the bullet and go with the Shop Fox fence (most expensive)
                        3) Fab some extended rails and buy the Craftsman Biese-clone fence (in-between)

                        I haven't even powered the saw up yet, so I don't know if I'll be happy with the stock fence or not. Guess I'll know when I get there...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                          You could have had a Biesemeyer for $337.99:

                          http://www.tools-plus.com/delta-bc30.html

                          It's what I'm getting for my 3650

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                            Tsbarton-

                            Yeah, I researched things pretty carefully before I made my decision, and for me, the extra money was worth it to have everything line up perfectly with no modifications and drilling to figure out or extra parts to fabricate (or have fabricated). I'm not suggesting this is the right option for everyone, I just thought maybe it'd be helpful for some folks. I'm positive the Bies is a great option as well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: R4511 Fence Upgrade idea

                              I'm curious, what exactly is the problem with the stock fence?

                              I have one of these saws, and having very little experience to base a comparison on, am curious as I know several people have upgraded their fences since the initial purchase. Maybe I just got a good one... after a bit of adjustment, it cuts very straight.

                              Of course, see the above line about the little experience.. maybe I'm missing the bigger picture here.
                              Brian

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