Friday, March 11, 2011

Blade Alignment -- Second Attempt -- Success!

After seriously a couple of hours of toying with the blade alignment, I’ve got it where I want it to be. The good news is that we now know that it is possible to align the blade of this type of saw.

To align the blade on the Ridgid R4512, you remove the back panel and loosen the four bolts that secure the trunions to the table top. That’s a bit easier said than done. Three of the bolts were no big deal, but that fourth bolt was behind the motor, so I had to pull a Plastic Man move to be able to get to it. Once they were all loosened, I was ready to start gently persuading the trunions to move a tiny bit. At one point I had it very close, I’d say about 4/1000ths away, but I just had to go the extra step. Of course, I hit it too hard and knocked everything out of alignment in the other direction. That meant I had to start all over. Also, tightening the bolts was even affecting the alignment. I had many moments of frustration, which my wife can attest to. Then I discovered another way of moving the trunions without having to use a deadblow hammer.

I loosened the screws and applied a clamp between the trunions and the side of the saw. That way, I was able to sort of dial it in. When I was close enough, I tightened the bolts, then removed the clamp. I geeked out a bit more, but I’ll stop there. Suffice it to say the blade is now between 2/1000th and 3/1000th out of parallel with the miter slot – perfectly acceptable.

I used a dial indicator, but I’m not sure if it helped or hurt. It helped in that it was very accurate. But it hurt in that I found myself struggling to achieve a somewhat arbitrary measurement instead of quality saw cuts. Doing some test cuts with a good quality crosscut blade, I was able to make smooth-as-glass cuts with no tear-out at all. That’s the result I was going for all along. I ordered a new blade -- a Forrest Woodworker II combination blade -- and it should be here any day now (I will not comment on how many times per hour I hit refresh on the FedEx tracking number!). I can't wait to try it out.


I'm working on my full review of the saw and will have it up soon.


neuropsychdoc said...

Keep up the good work, Furnitude!!! I ordered my 4512 from Home Depot and it will be delivered on 3/18/11. I'll be using your review and blog comments as guidance in assembly, blade alignment and configuration, etc. so don't be frugal with your words and thoughts.

Again, thanks so much for sharing your experience with the saw. This is my first table saw and I can't wait to get her up and running.


Rick said...

Hello, I am new to this site. Recently started upgrading my shop from just a small Makita table saw, and assorted portable power and hand tools. I got a good deal on a 12 " Hitachi SMS at Costco last year, bought a Rikon 6" jointer on Craig's List for les then half price, the DeWalt 618 router combo kit, and the Ridgid 4512 table saw from HB. I have the main parts of the table saw assembled but still need to put the back rail and the blade guard on. Your info on the chore of aligning the blade will no doubt be very helpfull. I have a router table extension that I have been in a quandry as to just how I was going to attach it. After seeing how the rails are attached to the table top and extension I think the same procedure of sliding bolts into the slot on the back of the rails will work very effectively. The 4512 looks like a nice saw. I was able to use a 20% coupon and was out the door for just over $400. Now i'm researching drill presses. The local Rockler store has the Powermatic VS, ( can't remember what it's called / 2800 ???)for $699, regular $999. (floor model), but all the bad reviews scared me off. I'm torn between the Jet JDP-17DX, and the 17" Steel City. Any thoughts would be welcome. Sorry for rambling.

Michael G said...

Hey guy thanks for posting this, I was afraid I was going to have put up with 16th inch miscuts and trying to straighten it by hand! Which wasnt working out very well.


Mitchell Ota said...

I know this has been around for a while, but I want to let you know that this post really helped me out. I got a 4512 yesterday from HD, and I spent today putting it together. My blade was out by about 1/16 of an inch on the back, and if I didn't see your clamping method for dialing it in, I'd probably still be out in my garage swearing at it. The thing cuts extremely well now. All I need is a better blade and then I'll be ready to make some furniture.

Unknown said...

I just set up a 4512, and found your page looking for setup tips.

I'll be trying this tomorrow, but I also wanted to pass along something else I found, "Trunion PALS". They look like a great way to make adjustments, and I'm sure I'll get a set some time in the future.

Check it out:

Terry Patton Jr. said...

Hello all, I am new to the sight and it is a good one filled with a lot of use full info. I just bought and set up my Ridgid R4512 and I am happy with it so far. But it seems to have a slight blade wobble upon start up and shut down. Is this normal or do I need to more tuning.