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Work(shop) in Progress #8: New Table Saw: Low Profile Riving Knife for Ridgid R4511

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 04-13-2009 03:51 AM 15018 reads 9 times favorited 53 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: New Table Saw: Phenolic Zero Clearance Inserts and Fence Faces for Ridgid R4511 Part 8 of Work(shop) in Progress series Part 9: so, what's the plane? »

So among the few shotcuts that were made by providing the R4511 at the market price was the fact that it only came with a splitter+integrated blade guard but no additional low profile riving knives (for non through cuts). for the price this saw comes at – one can’t complain, and the fact is- it does have a riving knife mount system which is a good base to start with.

solution: homemade riving knife made out of 1/8” plate of 6063 aluminum: EDIT: If I’d do this again, I’d go with material which is 0.090” in thickness to match the factory material thickness

Aluminum Riving Knife for R4511

the height of the knife is lower than the 10” blade by 1 tooth height and fits perfectly without a need for tools in the slot for it:

Aluminum Riving Knife for R4511

To make it I got a 6”x12” plate of aluminum ($13) that would yield 2 riving knives (if anyone wants the 2nd one…lol). made a template of the original splitter on cardboard (easiest to work with, and replace if screwed up). then I transfered that template to a couple of hardboard scraps I had lying around (masonite) which are more ridgid and would then be used to transfer the shape to the aluminum. I did a couple of the masonite templates just so that I can play around with different shapes, heights, etc. I ended up sticking to the “simple” square edge shape – cause it was less work:

Templates for the Riving Knife for R4511

for the aluminum work, I used a dremel type tool (the bosch version) to cut the aluminum first to rough shape, then closer to the masonite template, and I ended up using a file to finesse the shape and smooth out the lines- followed by some 400grit and 600grit sand paper to smooth it out to the touch and clean any burrs.

Templates for the Riving Knife for R4511

Fits like a glove, and works great!

P.S. working with aluminum (and previously working with phenolic (see previous blog)) just reminded me how much I like working with WOOD, how forgiving it is, how easy it is to work with, and how nicer it is to the touch and smell…

Edit: I was asked about how to cut the opening for the riving knife in the zero clearance plate, so here goes:

I cut the opening for the riving knife using a jigsaw (I used a file to clean it up as well)– safe no danger operation – and no kick backs.

this also leaves the back of the riving knife in tact, and not split in 2 like factory supplied plates are, which makes their back less rigid.

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



53 comments so far

View sIKE's profile

sIKE

1271 posts in 2507 days


#1 posted 04-13-2009 03:55 AM

What did you use to cut the shape? Carbide Router Bit?

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View kosta's profile

kosta

946 posts in 2107 days


#2 posted 04-13-2009 04:01 AM

is that the grainite saw because if it is you are going to have problems

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA http://www.kostasworkshop.blogspot.com/

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2401 days


#3 posted 04-13-2009 04:20 AM

sIKE – I used the Bosch RotoZip with the small wheel cutters to cut as close as I could to the final shape – the fact that those cutter wheels are so small, made it possible to get real close to the line. then I used the rotozip sanding spindle thingies… both tools I had to rotate through wheels (would break/just run out) and the sanding sleeves like crazy… but since I don’t really have much use for those anymore, this was a good opportunity to clean house.

kosta – yes, this is a granite top, if you’d go to the previous blog you’d see. and I must say your comment is just useless… unless you just said that out of spite- if you really ‘know’ of problems – sharing that info, and detailing “what those problems are” would be helpful, but just saying “you’ll have problems” doesnt really do much good… but thanks anyways. if you refer to the granite chipping ? yes, I know about that, and so far I haven’t had any issues with that – most likely it’ll happen either during install, or at the miter slot – I’m already past the install , so I’m just being careful with the miter slot not much more I can do. if you refer to the fact that I won’t have rust on it – that’s a great problem! cause I live in an area with high moisture.

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

View sIKE's profile

sIKE

1271 posts in 2507 days


#4 posted 04-13-2009 04:48 AM

Have you thought about using your router table and bit like this? Would just have to square up the corners and make sure you had a face shield….

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2135 days


#5 posted 04-13-2009 10:13 AM

Wow, Lev, you’re hardcore! Nicely done. Now you’re a machinist, if you weren’t already one :)

And what of this dark fence and throat plate wood? What is it? It looks really nice.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Matt's profile

Matt

181 posts in 2125 days


#6 posted 04-13-2009 02:24 PM

Kosta: I’ve got this saw and, I too, am wondering what these ‘problems’ are that you speak of. Overall, I love the saw.

Nice riving knife. I should make a template in cad for my little CNC. Thanks for the detailed pictures too.

-- Matt - My Websites - http://www.bestinwood.com - Hand Tools :: http://www.workshopgarage.com - Small Shops

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2401 days


#7 posted 04-13-2009 03:50 PM

Thanks for the responses.

sIKE, thanks for the link, I didnt even think about going that route (no pun intended). Gary – I’m not much of a machinist, and don’t attempt to be one, just wanted to get this done for the saw so that I can use it safely. I dont like the idea of metal shavings flying at me… :o)

Gary – the material for the zero clearance insert and fence is canvas phenolic- read my previous blog in this series about THAT experience. (gonna stick with wood).

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

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2710 days


#8 posted 04-13-2009 07:25 PM

Hey does that saw blade have sharp teeth on it? If it does your gonna have problems… :>)
I just figured I would throw that meatball out there with no explanation or information to back it up..

Nice job on the riving knife….hey is that riving knife made out of aluminium? If it is…

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

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2401 days


#9 posted 04-13-2009 07:33 PM

Brad , thanks for the bundle of information there… I already spoke personally to the local lumber supplier, and have a written guarantee that if I accidently cut the lumber on the shaaaa’p teeth of the blade, he’ll replace the lumber for me no questions asked!

and I already know about all the trouble of using aluminum for riving knives… but thanks anyways ;o)

LOL

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

View kosta's profile

kosta

946 posts in 2107 days


#10 posted 04-14-2009 12:43 AM

is the granite flatter then cast iron

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA http://www.kostasworkshop.blogspot.com/

View phil619's profile

phil619

35 posts in 2204 days


#11 posted 04-14-2009 01:59 AM

The Square shape definitely looks the best. It gives it a real custom look. Kinda racing look. Some times simplier just looks better. You,ve really done some nice add-ons.
So whats next on the trick-out list?
Does Ridgid offer a low profile knife as an accessory or did you not want to wait the weeks it may take to get one?
I have the TS3650 and absolutely love it. My wife thinks I love it more than her. Between you and me, she’s probably right.
One last thing, did the saw come with dust collection, because if it did …..,

So you think we killed it or should we keep on going ?

-- Building fine furniture in my driveway.

View phil619's profile

phil619

35 posts in 2204 days


#12 posted 04-14-2009 03:33 AM

My wife just told me, “Well at least you know how to turn your saw on.”

Well fellas.., I’m not going to lie to you, I have to give her props on that one.

Good one hunny, Good one.

-- Building fine furniture in my driveway.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2401 days


#13 posted 04-14-2009 04:30 AM

kosta. granite being flatter than cast iron is a very general idea. it really depends on the manufacturing process and it’s tolerances. BUT with that in mind – referring to the material of choice – machinists that use the most precise measurements use granite surfaces as a reference. granite does not get affected by environmental influences (humidity, temperature, etc) but it IS more brittle than cast iron.

diego – actually mine came with dust control…. I guess I should return it huh? actually what got me to feel comfortable buyng a ridgid machine was all the rave reviews from all you TS3660 owners… and I’m glad I listened to you guys – this is one heck of a machine. next on the list is upgrade the rip fence to a one piece rail + builtin drawers (similar to what they have on the new Unisaws… I really liked that idea)...but that might take a while, as I really want to work some wood, and get back on track with my projects (now that I have a safer saw to work with). wifey definitely earned her props on that one… def. did.

thanks for the comments

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

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2710 days


#14 posted 04-14-2009 07:42 PM

Purp….
I had a chance to take a little trip to my local big orange box and low and behold they had one of the granite top saws on display! I was so excited to be able to check it out. I wanted to ask you..do you feel that the mobile base is sturdy enough and does it have good mobility? The saw I was looking at didn’t seem to be very mobile and the wheels didn’t lock very well in the up position, but upon further inspection i noticed that one of the wheels was actually bent 90 degrees out of position. It doesn’t surprise me that its broken being out there for everyone to mess with, but it is a little unnerving to see that it could bend that badly. They didn’t have the fence with the saw so I wasn’t able to check it out, but aside from the troubles with the mobile base otherwise I thought it is a real nice saw for the money.

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

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2401 days


#15 posted 04-14-2009 09:33 PM

Brad. I’m not real surprised, people at HD usually don’t seem to know how to put those things together to begin with, no to mention that too many people come to HD (apparently) to “test how much force is required to break that tool”...

those legs and wheels are sturdy enough. when installed properly they are as easy to operate as a well oiled machine, and are smooth to roll around (my floors are not straight nor smooth). the lock holds well, and once you unlock it and bring the saw down, all 4 legs are contacting the floor making is more stable then those that use 3 wheels (where 2 wheels always stay in contact with the floor).

yes- it is definitely a nice saw, and even more so for it’s price.

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

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