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  • Need help with table saw

    Hi everyone,
    I bought a ts-3660 last year just now setting it up and i was told i got to align the blade,saw,and table. Is there a simple way i can do this or is there a tool that i can buy that will do this?....Also is this saw going to do the work i need it to do as far as precise work i was told i should have bought a jet ts for precision....Any advise on this table or feed tables would be awesome...Thanks!!!!

  • #2
    Re: Need help with table saw

    The TS-3660 is an excellent saw. My guess is that it is pretty much perfectly aligned out-of-the-box BUT you should check it.
    #1 Your fence should be perfectly parallel with the mitre slots. you may need flat board or something similar to check this.
    #2 the blade also needs to be parallel with the mitre slots (it probably is) this is a bit harder to check but after your fence is aligned, use a parallel liked of metal like one side of a builders square between your fence and the blade. When the square is flat against the fence it should be perfectly parallel with the blade too.
    You will also want to make sure that the blade is at 90 degrees for most of your cutting, this is checked with a small square.
    ... Yes, this is a precision saw and most that I have seen are perfect or near perfect right out of the box.
    The only other issue ... you will need to get yourself some GOOD blades. The one that comes with it is only good for cutting firewood.
    This link might help you pick a blade .... Blade Selection

    Hope this helps ... I'm sure others will have tips too
    Free woodworking plans

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    • #3
      Re: Need help with table saw

      The alignment procedures are all outlined in your Owners Manual. The instructions are quite easy to follow and not at all that complicated. You will learn much about your table saw by carefully following the setup steps in the manual. A properly setup 3660 will do most anything, and in some cases more, that the average user asks of it and will be just as precise as any other brand of saw out there. Enjoy your new saw.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need help with table saw

        the absolutely WORST thing you could have done would have been to have purchased a jet table saw. long on promise, short on delivery and pricey, making it usually a poor value, IMHO. there is NOTHING that a jet can do that the 3660 cannot handle, provided it is tuned up (i.e., aligned) properly. as BD noted, the owners manual has instructions on how to do this. things to check carefully are blade to miter slot parallelism, fence to miter slot parallelism, splitter alignment and miter gauge adjustment relative to blade.

        here is an article that covers the things to check and how to do it:

        http://www.newwoodworker.com/basic/tsalign.html

        the only thing i'd invest in off the bat is a dial indicator. i got one form harbor freight and its relatively inexpensive but invaluable in aligning the blade to the miter slot and the miter slot to the fence.
        Last edited by FINER9998; 12-22-2010, 12:23 PM.
        there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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        • #5
          Re: Need help with table saw

          heres another link with plans to build a alignment jig.

          http://www.newwoodworker.com/dilindjiguse.html

          also look for the ts-3650 thread on the forum here for more tips. the 3650 and 3660 are nearly identical, you can learn much from reading through that thread, its pretty much a brain dump of what everyone on here knows about these two saws.

          http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7585
          ---------------
          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
          ---------------
          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
          ---------
          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
          ---------
          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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          • #6
            Re: Need help with table saw

            Originally posted by Mike Sayre View Post
            .....Also is this saw going to do the work i need it to do as far as precise work i was told i should have bought a jet ts for precision....Any advise on this table or feed tables would be awesome...Thanks!!!!
            Whoever told you that has a serious case of "brand-itis", and he's misleading himself and whoever he passes that on to....Jet, Ridgid, Grizzly, Delta, PM, GI, Craftsman, PC, Steel City, Shop Fox, Hitachi, DeWalt, Bridgewood, Woodtek, and many others all make or made some capable full size saws, and the brand is less relevant than the type, setup, fence, and blade selection. It's like saying you can't get to work unless you drive a Chevy (or Ford, Dodge, Jeep, etc). Your saw is plenty capable for good hobby work....truth be told, the design of the older Emerson-made and TTI/Ryobi-made Craftsman and Ridgid contractor saws stands a better chance of being perfectly aligned than the older style connecting rods on the former Jet contractor saws that are more prone to twisting out of alignment when beveled.
            Last edited by hewood; 12-22-2010, 05:17 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Need help with table saw

              Mike,

              Welcome to the Ridgid forum!

              I'll add to the chorus of the previous posts. The Ridgid 3650/3660 models are highly regarded and should offer significant precision for just about anything most of us would ever want to do, including making some decent furniture pieces.

              I think that one of the common descriptions of the 3650 and 3660 saws is that they are "accurately aligned out of the box". Surely, things can get bumped around during shipping and handling, so it is absolutely essential that you follow the manual and/or the instructions in the links that the previous forum members have provided and make sure the alignment is precise.

              I think it is notable that the guys who have replied so far are highly regarded here, for both their experience and their honest efforts to convey that experience to others.

              While I'm fairly new to the table saw (about five years experience now), one of the things that I have learned is that there are all too many "brand-loyalist" who feel that their particular saw is the only choice and that if you don't follow thier path, then you're an idiot... it always amazes me! I've learned to never take such opinions all that seriously and it's always good to get further advise.

              You should make a concerted effort to learn as much as you can, and above all be extremely aware of the dangers that any saw can present. A saw that is not set up correctly, or is lightly approached by a novice will surely put you in extreme danger. Always ensure that the safety guards are used and that you use a "push stick" for all applicable operations. AND, be aware that, like "brand-itis" there are those out there who simply aren't safe operator's and you certainly don't want to learn "risky" practices. There's a wealth of things to learn to ensure safe and accurate operations, so do some reading and don't hesitate to ask questions.

              As previously mentioned, you should also take a look at your options for a new blade. You will not be the first to hate your new saw (any brand of new saw), because of the lousey "cut quality". Generally speaking, the OEM blade is only fair and that in most all cases, there are better blades to be purchased. But that said, you don't necessarily need the most expensive blade on the market either. Again, "Brand-itis" is too-often a factor; but also, it can be pretty honest advice too. (I use a "Ridgid" 50-tooth combination and I'm happy! ... but a lot depends on the work you're going to do!)

              Enjoy your new saw, and ALWAYS work safely!

              Merry Christmas,

              CWS

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need help with table saw

                Wow thanks guys takes a lot of my shoulder to actually be able to keep this saw and not have to buy another one...You guys gave me a lot of info and is much appreciated.....I just hope one day i can be as good as most on his is....Im a beginner but going to do the best i can to make this work out for me ....Even if i got to come and ask you experts questions from time to time.....Thanks to you all and merry x-mas......Other thing i need does anyone know where i can get a i guess a feed table so i can lay bigger projects without them falling off the table???/

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                • #9
                  Re: Need help with table saw

                  Bob D. has designed and built one of the best I've seen for your saw. You can see and read all about it here.
                  Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Need help with table saw

                    Your 3660 will do you just fine. The Jet hybrid saw is also a good item. It costs more yes, but has a few advantages, such as better dust collection and no motor hanging out the back. There is NO - repeat NO -difference in precision between a Jet and a TS-3660 if each is set up correctly and operated competently.

                    For safety's sake, it is critical to understand something that is in conflict with a comment made earlier in this thread, regarding alignment of the saw. The following is strictly an explanation of the way I choose to align my tablesaw, and the logic that I follow. You are responsible for your own methods and workmanship in adjusting your tools, and you are responsible for your own safety. This is just a narative about whatI do, it is NOT ADVICE. I cannot give advice since I don't know you, your skills and competence level, or the condition of your tools including your setup and measuring tools.

                    First... I align the blade parallel to the miter slots. It may be close out of the box, but it's easy to check. A dial indicator is nice IF you know how to set one up... if you don't, a stainless machinist's scale or caliper (digital or dial work equally well) and a healthy dose of care and triple checking all the measurements does a perfectly fine job.

                    Second.... and this is where safety comes into play.... irrespective of any instructions, from the manufacturer or anyone.... I do NOT EVER EVER EVER set the saw fence to the miter slot. Did I mention NOT EVER??

                    I always set the fence to the BLADE.

                    I will elaborate. In a perfect world if one sets the blade "perfectly" parallel to the slot and one sets the fence "perfectly" parallel to the slot, then the fence will be "perfectly" parallel to the blade.

                    However, we live in a non-perfect world. No matter how careful one is, the blade will NOT be "perfectly" parallel to the slot, and similarly no one can set the fence perfectly parallel to the slot. Close, certainly. Very close, hopefully. The closer, the better. But it won't be perfect.

                    With me so far?

                    Now, let's say one was to set the blade to the miter slot, but it's off just a hair... because nothing's really perfect.

                    Next, let's say that one tried to align the fence to the miter slot, and again it's off just a hair.

                    With this procedure, one has just allowed a situation where the fence is potentially TWO hairs out of alignement with respect to the BLADE. Yes, there is also a chance that the two hairs will cancel each other out. The odds are 50-50. I don't see that as a good thing to risk. Here's why:

                    It is HUGELY unsafe if all this imperfection results in the BACK of the blade being closer to the fence than the FRONT of the blade is. The teeth on the front of the blade are the ones that are supposed to contact the wood. The teeth at the front of the blade are moving down, into the table, right? So as the teeth cut the wood, they also tend to force the wood tight down to the table. In contrast, at the BACK of the blade, the teeth are moving UP, out of the table. If the fence is closer to blade at the back than the front, even just a hair or two, the wood is going to be pinched between the BACK of the blade and the fence as I push it through. Those rear teeth are going to grab that wood and lift it right off the table and THROW IT DIRECTLY AT THE SAW OPERATOR. It's called a "kickback". A high powered saw throwing a piece of hardwood at the operator's face in a millisecond... doesn't seem like a fun experience.

                    So.... when I set up the saw, my goal is to make dead sure that the BACK of the blade is just a hair further from the fence than the FRONT of the blade is. I do this by measuring directly from the FENCE to the BLADE. NOT FROM THE FENCE TO SOME INTERMEDIATE POINT LIKE THE MITER SLOT. The distance from FENCE to BACK OF BLADE should IMO be anything from 0.005 inches to, say, 0.010 or 0.015 inch (for reference, 1/64th is about 0.016 inch) greater than the distance measured at the front of the blade. With the saw setup this way, I am much more confident that the wood will only touch teeth at the FRONT of the blade -- where they will help hold the wood down to the table top (good) and not at the BACK of the blade where they want to use the operator's face as target practice (not so good).

                    In addition to avoiding a 911 call, blood soaked shirt, and retaining all my teeth and sight in both eyes.... I also enjoy a much quieter, smoother running saw, and much less burning of the wood - especially noticeable on woods that burn easy like cherry and maple.

                    NOT DONE YET!!!

                    I also have to remember that on those rare occasions when I need to MOVE the FENCE to the OTHER SIDE OF THE BLADE, that I MUST MUST MUST realign the fence (again... TO THE BLADE) since if I don't re-align, the BACK of the blade will now be closer to the fence than the front of the blade. Not so good.

                    If I fail to remember to recheck alignment... I am at serious risk of a kickback. Tablesaws are very dangerous machines and carelessness can cause painful accidents, serious personal injury or death.

                    That's what I do and why. You should never take my or anyone's procedures and use them without developing your own full understanding of the issues. Think about the situation, perform your own diligence and research, and set up and use your power tools in ways that you believe are safe. You are responsible for your own safety.
                    Last edited by Andy_M; 12-24-2010, 12:25 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Need help with table saw

                      Hello,

                      Here is my problem. A few months ago, I tried to align my blade to miter slot. It would appear that the rear of the saw blade is farther away from the slot than the front. Well according to the manual, you are supposed to loosen the trunnion bolts and adjust the lever right or left. Well I need more travel out of the lever. It does not move the blade close enough. If there is anyone in the Cleveland, Ohio area who is willing to help, please drop me an email.

                      pmelchman@gmail.com

                      regards,

                      patrick
                      m e l c h m a n

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Need help with table saw

                        In order to get more travel out of the lever, loosen the screw that hold it on. Once you've loosened the screw move the lever whichever way you need to in order to get more travel. Once you've moved the lever over, tighten the screw back up.
                        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Need help with table saw

                          that's just badger...I've moved it as far as it will go. I still need a little more. I am thinking I just might have to loosen the bolts that hold the table down and move the table to the blade..... yuck!!!


                          regards

                          patrick
                          m e l c h m a n

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