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Blade Height Lock

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  • Blade Height Lock

    Last night, while cutting several 3/4" dados, I experienced (for the first time) a change in blade height!! At first I thought I wasn't feeding the stock correctly, but then I noticed the height adjustment handle HAD moved about 90° from where I set it (yes, I set it on the up-stroke). I reset it and it moved down AGAIN. I had to clamp the adjustment knob to keep it from changing. Up to this point (about 2 years) I had not noticed this happening. I could find nothing in the manual on how to adjust/tighten the adjusting mechanism (model 2400). When searching this site for a "add-on" blade height lock, all I could find was "never a problem" with this (missing) feature. I did have a large initial cut depth initially (1/2 inch deep) but the height continued to change even when I was trying to clean-up the parts that were cut too shallow. What a pain... almost 2 hours for four 22" long dados. I was thinking of drilling and tapping the rotating portion of the knob and putting a set srcrew with knob... Any other suggestions??

  • #2
    I've got the same saw and it doesn't do that. My guess is there's a fault in the system somewhere due to something being loose or maybe even a manufacting defect. Have you tried looking at the adjustment knob to see it move while the motor is running?
    Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>


    • #3
      I tested and examined my saw further last night. The blade height was consistently decreasing when the saw was initially started-up. Less, but still some, during free running. Maybe the extra torque resulting from the dado weight added to this effect (full 3/4" stack). It was VERY repeatable.

      I then tightened the screw on the end of the blade height rod (underneath). This definitely increased the adjustment handle effort and also decreased, but not totaly eliminated, the blade height change. I then cleaned the faces between the height handle and bevel adjustment knob (thereby further increasing friction). Again there was an improvement but not total stability. My final fix was to place a small wood wedge between the height handle and the bevel knob... no further blade height movement.

      Being a mechanical engineer, I feel the lack of a height lock will always be a nagging issue for Ridgid. The only thing "locking" the blade is FRICTION. Even with the mechanical advantage (or disadvantage) from the worm/screw, it is still only friction. Vibration, wear, dust, lube, etc. will cause variations in this friction. And when the friction is enough to keep the blade in position, it becomes much more difficult to turn the height adjustment knob!!

      I am VERY glad I decided NOT to lube the mechanism last time I was cleaning out the saw dust a few weeks ago....


      • #4
        Andy, the decision of not lubing the threads will lead to faster wear of parts and cause you more trouble. Also, I read in the manual for my 3612 that there is a screw in the cabinet that will adjust the tightness of the handwheels so that they do not turn on their own. Perhaps your saw has the same adjustment.


        • #5

          I have a 3612 and I'm having the same annoying problem. The adjustment you mentioned is to the bearing retainer which is the bearing for the angle adjustment only (side of case).

          I've only noticed this when using a stack dado. It's probably happening all the time but it's only obvious when making precision depth cuts such as rabbets, dados, tenons, etc. Unfortunately this is the most important time for the blade to stay put.

          [ 01-27-2003, 09:15 AM: Message edited by: J Reed ]


          • #6

            There is a small tensioning set screw on the motor housing. Its a white nylon screw with a nylon nut and it rides on the shaft that is not threaded. If has been my experience that if that screw is loose, as it get after a while, then it is likely the saw will drop when a high vibration blade like a dado is used.

            Thighten the screw to the point where it becomes difficult to elevate the saw, then back it off a bit.



            • #7
              The plastic lock-nut was loose. I tightened the screw and the nut as instructed. While this seemed to help, it did not completely eliminate the movement with the full dado stack.

              I would suggest others examine there table saws. The blade height movement may not be obvious but it can quickly become a pain in the you-know-what


              • #8

                I don't see a plastic nut on the TS3612. I also noticed there's quite a bit of play on mine. Looks like I need another end-play washer or two(part 30767). Any chance this could fall under warranty?



                • #9

                  The white nylon screw should be on the die-cast part of the motor housing, riding on the vertical shaft that is not threaded. If the screw was not there it could cause play in the motor assembly. Look to where that screw should be, if its not there, then it has backed out.



                  • #10
                    I have a problem with height of dadoing also. It was interesting to read all the input and suggested solutions. It seems that the only solution is the wedge to keep the height wheel from moving during dadoing. I will try this as I am making some simple cabinets (my first try really) and need to have the dados work properly. Thanks for the imput. Will let you know if the wedge works for me.