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  • TS 3650 Assembly and crosscut sled question

    After feeling every table saw I could get my hands on (I'm blind) I settled on a Ridgid 3650 for a couple of reasons. The most important is the wonderful solid as a rock easy running fence. I was also impressed with the easy action of the Hercu-lift wheel assembly. The cast iron table and the TEFC motor were impressive. Once I got the saw home (no easy task since it weighs almost 300 pounds) the fun began.

    My good natured and charming wife was appointed as chief reader and part and tool finder. It took us about 8 hours to get the thing together and running. During the process I discovered this forum which turned out to be invaluable. It appears that for every question we encountered somebody had already found a solution. The instruction booklet was fairly clearly written, but after reading and re-reading it we still ran into a few glitches. The ones that come to mind are:

    1. It sure would have been nice if the nuts and bolts were all either metric or ASA. An easy solution would be for Ridgid to include a few stamped out box end wrenches in its blister pack. The cost to them would be next to nothing and the added weight would be like the peanut wrappers on a 747.

    2. When we got finished and turned the saw on for the first time it ran like a sewing machine. The second time it sounded like a threshing machine. It turned out that the reason was that in between cuts I had lowered the blade. I had adjusted it per the manual first, but when the blade was lowered it (the belt) was too loose and was slapping against the blet guard. I tightened the belt with the bade lowered and the problem was solved.

    3. When I put on the back rail I lined it up with the left side of the table instead of the marks referred to in the manual (I Missed the part about looking for them). I remember the salesman at HD telling me that he didn't know why the front and back rails were not the same distance from the right side of the table and why the fence hung unsupported at the far right. Only by going back into the archives in this forum did I discover that there is a reason. The front must be further away from the table than the back to support the fence wing in it's furthest right position.

    After I had the saw up and running I asked by neighbor who has a dial indicator to come check my settings. He found everything to be within 2 microns of true right out of the box. To me that is truly amazing.



    I have found that the saw is a dream come true. The fence is as smooth as any I've ever seen and is truly rock solid when it's locked into position. The table is without vibration. I haven't used it much since we got it going (maybe a couple of hours in total) but will soon get serious on some drawers, trays and cabinet doors.

    Now the question. I would like to make a crosscut sled that would be as bullet-proof and safe as it can be. I'm thinking about one with 2 runners but I would like it to have a hand guard over the front and back rails over the blade and to have a lock down device of some kind (like a toggle clamp). Has anybody seen such a critter? If so would you describe it to me? Drawings and photos don't do me a hell of a lot of good.

    Thanks to Ridgid for providing this forum and for making a great table saw.

  • #2
    Hello Bill. Welcome to the forum. I don't know that I can explain the cross cut sleds I've seen, but one that really impressed me was in a book that you could pick up and have someone read to you. I'd type it out but I took the book back to the library and I suck at typing. The book is, The Table Saw Book by Kelly Mehler, ISBN 1-56158-426-6

    The sled had 2 runners, it had front and rear fences with a blade guard on the operators side of the front fence that was simply a 6" thick X 4" high block of wood for the blade to stop in at the end of the cut. The blade area between the fences was covered by a plexiglas 5 sided box that the stock would ride under during the cut. There was a stop system to allow you to have a full stroke to cut your material, but would stop the blade within the 6X4 stock. It was pretty slick.
    You always read about folks making their runners out of a hard wood and then attaching them to the bottom of the sled. I was thinking that I could pick up a couple of pre-mades from Incra that would also have slot tension adjusters and then build the rest of the sled around them.
    The book has a ton of info in it. If I had to pick a book, this would be it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Hector B
      Hello Bill. Welcome to the forum. I don't know that I can explain the cross cut sleds I've seen, but one that really impressed me was in a book that you could pick up and have someone read to you. I'd type it out but I took the book back to the library and I suck at typing. The book is, The Table Saw Book by Kelly Mehler, ISBN 1-56158-426-6

      The sled had 2 runners, it had front and rear fences with a blade guard on the operators side of the front fence that was simply a 6" thick X 4" high block of wood for the blade to stop in at the end of the cut. The blade area between the fences was covered by a plexiglas 5 sided box that the stock would ride under during the cut. There was a stop system to allow you to have a full stroke to cut your material, but would stop the blade within the 6X4 stock. It was pretty slick.
      You always read about folks making their runners out of a hard wood and then attaching them to the bottom of the sled. I was thinking that I could pick up a couple of pre-mades from Incra that would also have slot tension adjusters and then build the rest of the sled around them.
      The book has a ton of info in it. If I had to pick a book, this would be it.
      Thanks, Hector.

      I couldn't find the book in our local library system so I ordered one from Amazon.com for about $13 delivered. I, too, am going to use aluminum guide bars and build my sled to suit me. I have a hard wood runner on my router table and it gives me no end of grief because of swelling and shrinking. I've seen a critism of the Mehler sled because he apparently uses the glade guide for a hold-down clamp. I can't imagine how that works, but in a week or so I'll be able to tell you I hope.

      Blind Bill

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      • #4
        my local ww shop has some precut 3/4" by 3/8" deep UHMW runners, I am tempted to try these, but I was going through my scrap and found a long 3/8" strip I had ripped off some 3/4" red oak, so it's already perfect for runners, I think I will try it first since I have it, but keeping a close eye on the plastic as well. for those of you with wood runners, I'm assuming a little paste wax goes a long way as well?

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        • #5
          For books don't forget bookfinder.com where often you'll find something way cheaper than B&N or Amazon. The Table Saw Book sells for $5+ in several places, postage included.

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