TS3650 Rail Adjustment Blues
I'm a total newbie when it comes to table saws and just recently purchased a TS3650. I'm in the process of assembling it, but cannot get the front and back rails set to the right level such that (quoted from the manual) "8 pages of the owner's manual fit in between the table top and rip fence" (I'm guessing that 8 pages of the owner's manual correspond to about 1/64"). Furthermore, ignoring the specified distance, I cannot even get the rails high/low enough to one another such that the distance of the rip fence to the table top remains constant between the front and back of the table.
Is this a problem? Were you able to get it right with yours?
Update and more questions...
I changed the bolts and mounted the fence on only the two outer bolts of the main table... to no avail, the rip fence still comes out ~3mm above the table at the front rail's lowest possible position and ~1mm above the table at the back rail's highest possible position without interfering with the miter slots. Thus, I have excluded that the extension tabels and square-head bolts are the source of the problem.
It sounds like some of you are saying that the fence doesn't necessarily have to be perfectly parallel to the table top, but in this case, won't you run into problems with some jigs that you attach to the rip fence? If that's not the case then I should indeed be good to go. The fence does lock properly. It's somewhat cumbersome to slide though -- unless I grab it with two hands, it tends to bind making it squeak and hard to move. Is this another problem or is this normal, especially considering that it's still new and the plastic the fence slides on isn't quite worn in yet?
Can you confirm whether the rip fence on your TS3650 is parallel to the table (i.e., the distance between the table and the rip fence remains constant from the top to the back of the table)? Does yours slide smoothly when moved with one hand?
That fence should slide sweetly!
Just so you'll know, when this fence is set up properly, it is a beautiful thing. Mine slides so sweetly that I can give it a nudge to move it out of my way and it slides -- no, make that glides -- like it was on rollers.
OK, now the rest of the story. I did have a time getting it as low to the table as I like, which would be the 8-pages measurement (or less). But it was about 1/16" off the table at the front and a tiny bit closer at the rear, and that was the best I could do. Since it worked as well as it did that way, I installed some UHMW 1/2" thick sheets to the sides and cut them so that they miss the table by less than 1/32" -- all the way across. I installed the UHMW with flat-head screws into 1/4-20 nuts, which slide into the grooves on the fence like it was designed that way. Maybe it was!
Anyway, don't stop fiddling with it until it glides silently and effortlessly across the table!
And to all you guys ready to give up on Ridgid because of the sleazy way HD presents this terrific product, do your own research (like here on this forum) and then go buy the tool at HD without asking anyone about anything. You will soon get over the bummer of dealing with HD, and you'll end up with some good equipment at a great price.