Shop Update #15: Got the saw assembled...

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Blog entry by TheKingInYellow posted 06-16-2011 05:59 AM 1217 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Still making progress, still no pics :) Part 15 of Shop Update series Part 16: Time for an update and some pics! »

I accidentally spent the whole day in the garage assembling the new Ridgid saw. So here are my impressions:

Tolerances were pretty decent but there is a distinct bow in the steel extensions. I opted to keep them as level with the cast iron as possible but on the outer edge of the extensions they dip as much as 1/32nd of an inch. Not likely to be a huge issue, but one to note. The cast iron itself is pretty much dead flat but getting the insert to sit flat wasn’t fully possible. I suspect the insert itself is warped but I’ll be tossing it in favour of a ZCI anyhow.

Mitre slot to the blade was out by .4mm and I’ve adjusted it to .2mm, and I can’t adjust it any more. The bolts to adjust the trunnions are pretty accessible, but there is not enough room to really get in to the cabinet and whack it, but there just doesn’t seem to be any more give. I think it’s a reasonable tolerance, but I’ll admit that I wanted it to be as close to dead square as possible.

The fence was .8mm out (back more away from the blade) but I got it down to about .25mm. Having said this, the fence really does have a bit of play when locking it down. You can easily shift it 1mm either way if you apply any sort of pressure when locking it down. Not terrible, but again, you’d like it to be a bit better.

I was able to adjust the blade to a dead 90 degrees and adjust the positive stops easily. The saw fired up nice and quietly compared to my jobsite. It passed the nickel test and it clearly has more cutting power than my jobsite despite being rated at 13A versus the 15A of the jobsite saw. I only cut some 3/4 red oak but it was smooth and I already felt way more confident with it. It’s very sturdy and I appreciate the sense of weight will using it.

My three gripes right now:

1. Blade to Mitre Slot – I think .2mm is a little more out of parallel than I’d like.
2. Herculift – The back legs do not seem to lift enough to get off the ground. I can move it but the legs scrape.
3. Fence – Not so much the parallel-ness, but the horrible sliding action. I have no trouble with the two piece rail, but you CAN NOT slide the fence from the front of the saw. You basically need to grab the middle of the fence, otherwise the fence has too much friction on the rails and will not slide, it just grinds and jerks along. Really disappointing.

I’m going to try spraying some Boeshield on the rails to see if I can make the fence slide better tomorrow. As it is right now, I can tell you that the fence is going to be very annoying.

Pics tomorrow after I clean up the shop a bit.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

6 comments so far

View David Murray's profile

David Murray

187 posts in 3115 days

#1 posted 06-16-2011 01:47 PM

I saw your last post and went back through your workshop series. I feel your pain, setting up shop can be what seems like a painstakingly long process, in fact I still consider mine a work in progress( as I think most weekend woodworkers do). I will be following your progress, feel free to stop by my blog and take a look around and feel free to steal any of my ideas.

-- Dave from "The Sawdust Shed"

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 06-16-2011 02:57 PM

I would not expect low spots on the wings to cause problems, but the high spots on the sheet metal wings of my previous contractor’s saw made it more difficult than necessary to get clean cuts on larger pieces.

It is odd that there isn’t enough slop in the trunion bolt holes to allow it to swing to both sides of “dead paralell”. But then 0.2mm is about 0.008” I think, which isn’t too bad.

-- Greg D.

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 3531 days

#3 posted 06-16-2011 03:23 PM

I think I will try this guy's method and clamp the trunnions while tightening the bolts.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 3531 days

#4 posted 06-16-2011 05:40 PM

I re-heeled the saw using a clamp as noted above and I have the blade within .1mm of the mitre slot now, so 2 or 3 thousandths. Good enough for my needs I think, and a built-in excuse to buy a 3hp SawStop in a few years :)

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View EvilNuff's profile


60 posts in 2628 days

#5 posted 06-17-2011 02:09 AM

Having the saw now would you buy it again or opt for another saw instead? (I’m eyeing the Steelcity 35990C for example for about $200 more than the ridgid.)

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 3531 days

#6 posted 06-17-2011 02:19 AM

Tough question since I’m only doing test cuts right now.

The steel city was my other choice, and it does have solid cast iron wings. However I am mostly doing fine work so if the table droops a bit 20” over from the blade it won’t affect me that much.

As it stands I’d buy the ridgid again. The fence on the steel city seems even a bit flimsier somehow, and I worry about the constant rumours about Steel City going under. The Ridgid has a lifetime warranty which is valuable to me as well.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

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