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Work(shop) in Progress #6: New Table Saw : Unpacking and Assembly of Ridgid R4511

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 1954 days ago 17228 reads 5 times favorited 50 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Drill Press Table Part 6 of Work(shop) in Progress series Part 7: New Table Saw: Phenolic Zero Clearance Inserts and Fence Faces for Ridgid R4511 »

So after much research and debates, I have finally charged the card, and 2 days later the delivery arrived with the new saw in the box (I opted to have it delivered from the store as opposed to pick it up myself – at 450lbs, I simply wouldn’t be able to unload it myself) Delivery from HD was swift and smooth, positive and friendly guy stop at my place saturday morning, and helped me position the box in my garage – I couldn’t be happier (took 5 minutes, 4.5 of those was chitchat).

Box and Crate

The Arrival:

So. I have the box in my garage, little will it do in it’s current status – gotta start peeling the layers off:

Box and Crate

Unpacking:

First off, came the carton box. which shows the 2 piece steel crate that holds everything inside in place and protected:

Metal Crate

Unbolting the Top part of the Crate (8 bolts) and lifting it off enables access to all the parts (top carton protects the table top and has the user manual , blade, and belt on it. Side box has the extension tables and fence system):

UnCrated

Taking off the top cover shows the Granite table top, and the saw in a standing up position between the boxes:

TableTop

After moving all the boxes aside, you get to the actual saw, motor, trunnions, and table top all connected already:

Saw

Minimizing Weight for Assembly (one person job):

Since I’m all by myself for this assembly, and since the trunnions are cabinet mounted- I figured I can take the table top off, which will reduce the weight of this beast and make it a bit more manageable for me to move it around for assembly of the parts. I also figured I can take the motor cover completely off, giving me easier access to the inside of the cabinet for this phase (I’m really glad I did these as it seriously simplified things later on):

Bare Saw

Mobile Base (Herc-U-Lift):

Next was the herc-u-lift mobile base assembly phase. as others have noted before, the instructions are somewhat vague, and although I’m really good at following directions, and I really love putting things together – it could have been made a bit easier, and I can see why others can have some difficulties with this part.

One good tip I picked up was to install the dust chute in the base PRIOR to mounting the herc-u-lift mechanism, I can see that if it was done the other way around (as the instruction hint) it would be pretty impossible to accomplish.

when installing the base, I installed all bolts and screws by hand, and left a little play in the assembly (as to not tighten things off square). After I bolted the entire base to the saw cabinet, I went ahead and final-tighten all bolts with the screwdriver (impact) this way things are aligned properly and no tension is present between the parts.

Here you can see how I was able to lower the saw on it’s back and install the mobile base by myself:

Install Mobile Base

V-Belt:

Now I was able to lift the cabinet on it’s mobile base. Thanks to the weight reduction I had done, I was able to do this by myself pretty easily (mind you, I’m strong, but not a big guy at ~150lbs).

To install the belt, I lower the blade assembly, and tilted to 45, again – since I removed the top, and the motor cover, access to the motor pully and arbor pully was as easy as 1-2-3 reach in and touch:

Install Belt

Table Top:

Time to put that table top back:

center Assembled

The extension wings came in fairly easy with the aid of the assistance-bars. After hearing of an incident of the granite chip when trying to align it, I made sure the ext. tables are somewhat away from the table while doing the fine adjustments to it so that they won’t rub against each other:

Wings on

Fence:

Last was putting the Fence in – rather intuitive, and easy to follow, also installed the power switch on it, and put the motor cover back on, eh-voila. it’s alive! 3 hours total assembly time- not too bad.:

Fully Assembled

Notes:

1. each bag of bolts have a ‘figure’ character on it and a list of parts it contains – those refer to the parts-assembly-pamplet, and NOT the user manual – this one is actually easier to follow for assembly then the user manual (I had both in front of me while getting this done)

2. I had originally checked out the Steel City 35920 saw (which is how I became to learn of the Ridgid one) and I find the Ridgid saw to be of higher finish and feel – maybe psychologically, but still – for me it’s real.

3. Miter gauge and Miter slot feel really snug, though smooth – I like that. I still havent used the saw, so this might change – so far, this is the first impression.

4. Herc-U-Lift is phenomenal! this was actually one of the main reasons I chose this saw as opposed to the SteelCity one (there were other reasons though). This mobile base is easy and smooth to operate (glides on the floor like on ice!) yet, when it’s brought down – this thing is ROCK-SOLID! and I ain’t talking about the granite ;o)

5. Home Depot was actually surprisingly a pleasure to work with on this purchase, they even called me to see how I like the new saw… Haven’t had that from HD yet. I wonder if it’s a new business plan they are running, or if it’s just that particular store.

All in all, I’m very pleased with this purchase. this is no PM2000, but I am no production warehouse either. looks like this one is the one for me, it has all the features that are important to me (motor in cabinet, cabinet mounted trunnions (just a bonus), built in riving knife, built in dust control (I’m a big fan of ‘built-ins’), mobile base, and 110v with an option to go 220v at a later date). At a price that I can afford (yes, that also plays an important part for me as I’m not using this as a money maker (yet) so cost plays a part in the decision).

I haven’t yet had a chance to start up this one yet (not even put a blade in it yet, and still need to align the top to the blade), but I’ll write up a full review on performance once I have a bit more experience with it. so far – I really like it – and I don’t like the Ridgid line of products much in general.

Finally the search is over. :o)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.



50 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2590 days


#1 posted 1954 days ago

That’s a nice looking saw.

They sure did a good job of packing it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a steel frame like that.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View gjd's profile

gjd

18326 posts in 2254 days


#2 posted 1954 days ago

Dang that’s a pretty saw! Serious tool envy here. So have you figured out what you are going to do with that steel frame? There has to be a tool stand or something that will come of it.

Look forward to you continued description of how this works for you.

-- gjd Southcentral Wisconsin

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2487 days


#3 posted 1954 days ago

Looks like a nice saw, I have a TS3650 and really like it that there are improvements made to your saw that I would like to see on the 3650.
Improvements:
1. The power cord, switch, actually actually comes out front and left like it should.
2. The dust collection system looks excellent.
3. The blade adjustment wheels are bigger and easier to get to.
The thing I would not want is the “granite” table top.
I really like the Herc-U-Lift on mine and yours.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2250 days


#4 posted 1954 days ago

Thanks for the comments.

Gary – I know that Steel City ships their saws this way – in a steel frame.

That, the Granite Top, and the fact that almost the entire saw looks identical to the Steel City 35920 makes me think they are made on the same assembly line in the same factory, I think the only differences are the cabinet itself (steelcity being full cabinet, and Ridgid being 3/4 with the herc-u-lift) construction and color. actually the granite top on both machines looks slightly different (mainly the T-slot miter slot that is missing on the SC, and the finish seems a bit nicer on the ridgid as well) .

John – I’m not sure I’m a big fan of the Granite top myself, but thats what this saw comes with – I did ask for a cast iron option but it’s not gonna happen anytime soon if ever at all. I like the fact that it won’t rust – it is an issue where I’m at due to humidity in summer, and rain/snow blows in the winter – not too big of an issue, but it’s there, although I can live with it (heck , my bandsaw and drill press are still cast iron, so I’m not completely avoiding the overhead here). PS- all the rave reviews of the TS3650 and 3660 made a huge impact on my decision to go with this one (I think the motor is the same 1.5HP motor).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8717 posts in 2701 days


#5 posted 1954 days ago

That looks like a pretty nice saw. I can’t believe the whole thing was in that box!

I am looking forward to seeing the projects that you build on that one!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View mrsawdust's profile

mrsawdust

48 posts in 2169 days


#6 posted 1954 days ago

purp,
i’m sitting here slobbering all over myself. pretty saw. good luck with it…..
mike

-- mrsawdust, pittsburgh,pa.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2250 days


#7 posted 1954 days ago

mrsawdust – you CAN actually slobber all over this saw – no rust ! finally some good use of that granite top.. lol. Thanks for the comment.

Todd, I guess now it’s all up to me to actually make stuff – no more excuses huh? it’s funny, when I was writing this blog, and looking at the series of pictures, I couldn’t believe all that came out of the box either.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jcame's profile

jcame

72 posts in 2178 days


#8 posted 1954 days ago

The saw looks awesome and I like everything about it exept it looks like in the picture that the fence is kind of small. Maybe its just the picture though, but it looks like you might have a deflection problem with it. I guess I could also just be used to my Biessmeyer and the look of it. Still an awesome saw none the less.

-- Jed,Ala,jmwoodworks057.com

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2365 posts in 2039 days


#9 posted 1954 days ago

New saw, nice. Now to use it huh? BTW.. I asked at home depot once why the sudden in your face “can I help you” every time I pass someone in an isle with an orange apron. The answer from a regular worker there was; new management. From the top the ruling came.. more customer friendly. They used to have a reputation of “you can do it yourself, and we’ll help”. They sort of got away from that. Anyway, nice to see. Dunno if it will save them but nice to see. They’re closing some HD’s around this area. Lowe’s is building.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2423 days


#10 posted 1954 days ago

This looks like a really nice saw and you did a good job of detailing the installation process. After you use it awhile why don’t you post a review of it?

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ryno101's profile

ryno101

377 posts in 2266 days


#11 posted 1954 days ago

Congrats… I saw this saw in the recent FW, then yesterday while picking up materials at HD, saw it in person… looks really nice, I was particularly impressed with the quality of the fence (all relative, of course…) and for the money, looks like a really nice tool.

I’m glad that someone I “know” has one now… I was thinking that this might be the best fit for me, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about it once you’ve had a chance to put it through it’s paces.

-- Ryno

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2559 days


#12 posted 1954 days ago

nice new saw Purp. I have to say I have never been a fan of Rigid tools but I recently borrowed a friends Rigid planer and I really like it allot. It works great…. leaves a mirror smooth finish, the knives are a breeze to flip/change and its only $300 bucks! The saw looks great I really like the way they package it..I have never seen a metal frame like that for shipping. I personally like the granite tops but I don’t own one..would be nice to hear from somebody that has used a tool that has a granite top for a while and hear their feedback on it. The mobile base on that thing looks really nice and for a guy that has limited space (like you and me) a good mobile base is critical. The trunnions are cabinet mounted so that should make Woodchuck happy. The only criticism I have is the fence looks a little cheesy. I would have to see it in person and play around with it but for me thats the make-it or break it part of a saw..it has to have a good quality biesmeyer style fence..or I just wont buy it. But overall it looks like a great saw for the money..I will have to mosey over to the big orange box and take a look at it! Thanks for the review.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View will2480's profile

will2480

27 posts in 2406 days


#13 posted 1954 days ago

PurpLev,
How did you buy this saw from Home Depot (online or in the store)? All of the Home Depots around me only carry the Rigid job site saws and I can never find anyone in the store to ask how to order the TS3650 or the R4511. I’ve also never found these saws listed on HomeDepot.com when I search for them. Any guidance would be very much appreciated! Thanks for the review.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 1995 days


#14 posted 1954 days ago

WOooOW Purplev! Thats a pretty machine!........Congartulations, I wish you hours of happy woodworking!!!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2250 days


#15 posted 1954 days ago

Thanks all for the comments. So far I’ve just completed aligning table, fence, and blade, and ran some test cuts – it works great. It did pass the nickel test, but not the dime test – I still have to replace the factory belt with a better quality one so that might help out some.

Brad – like yourself, I was never a fan of Ridgid – but apparently they did something write with their table saws (woodworking models at least) and their planers/jointers… (I heard bad reviews on their bandsaw though). I know what you mean about the fence- and that was the one thing that originally had disappointed me when I went to check out the steelcity version of this saw – it IS a slimmer, thinner, smaller fence then the Bissmeiyer/Industrial fences (and this one is a 2 piece as opposed to a 1 piece rail) BUT it does seem to be working pretty well, rides smoothly (1 finger) along the table. after I aligned it, there is mininal runout with a marginal low spot in the middle though – I will add a phenolic/UHWM faces to this fence later on, so that will take care of that (shimming comes to mind). if you compare the Steelcity model that comes with this fence, and the one that comes with the Bissmeyer type – it’s a $350 difference. I think I can live with this fence for the time being – mind you, this is still a top notch fence – no aluminum or plastic parts here, it’s just a smaller version of the bissmeyer system.

I’m not sure the trunnion being cabinet mounted will make woodchuck happy, but I know if I’ll call this a cabinet saw- that he’ll be chiming in ;o) (I ain’t gonna call it that though… so don’t hold your breath)

Will – I did some calling around, most local stores didn’t carry this one, and would not know anything about it unless I used the SKU (750 663… I already know it by heart). only 1 store had 2 of those, and even when I stopped by – the buy at the tool isle didn’t have a clue about this saw – it was still in the box on a top shelf in a different isle. my suggestion is to make a list of all HD in your area+ call them, and ask to check if this SKU is in stock – if their computer shows ‘1’ have them go and check to see where it’s at (could be already sold but not updated). this saw DOES NOT show on HD.com , nor does the 3660 … for some reason.

full reviews WILL be coming up as I gain more experience with the saw. so far it is super easy to align. the Fence DOES seem to be holding up to good performance, locks steady and is smooth to operate. blade controls are easy and smooth as well (large wheels and good locks). the table top does seem to have marginal valleys, but they do not seem to be in the way of performance. (although it’s kinda funny, since the granite was supposed to be this ‘perfect’ surface).... more will come.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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