Ridgid R4511 Table Saw Height Adjustment Handle Jammed

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Blog entry by falegniam posted 02-07-2012 04:43 AM 4450 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Subject: Ridgid R4511 Table Saw Height Adjustment Handle Jammed-
I was wondering if anyone has had a problem with lowering or raising the blade? What happened to me today was rather strange because this saw is almost new. In the middle of working with it, I has set the blade at it highest point. It got stuck there because the handle would not turn, and not a piece of wood jamming it. Eventually i got it to turn, but with much care because the handle is made of thin cast aluminum. Plus i didn’t want to damage anything else. The Trunion part of it is fine. I was able to move it up and down by levering it with a large screwdriver. This releaved the pressure of the worm gear that raises the blade, and the handle still would not turn. Again, carefully applying pressure a few times, turning it in both directions, I was able to lower the blade again. At this point I slowly raised it an inch at a time, and checking to see if it was getting stuck by trying to lower it at each inch interval. With the blade removed I watched it as it went to it’s highest limit without getting jammed. There are two rather large nuts on either side of the cast iron part of the part that hold where bearing should be on that worm gear. I am thinking that there are no bearings in there, and just a solid rod that turns the worm gear. My question is, how could this be happening so soon in the life of this saw, since it only have approximately 40 hours on it? Even if it’s a metal rod, inside a sleeve, to turn a gear, it should last for years before anything would break or wear out, and cause a jam as severe as this. I have not taken it apart yet. If anyone has any information on this problem, I’d love to hear about it.
Thank you for your time, Falegniam

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

5 comments so far

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2405 days

#1 posted 02-07-2012 05:28 AM

I would suspect that the nuts that limit the travel is not set properly at the factory.
I has been awhile that I mess with my saw, so I don’t necessary know what I am talking about. Typically, when travel limit is an issue, there is usually some nut/bolt adjustment that limits the travel. It is likely that you ran out of threads or you are at the angle limit (while the setup will bind). You had to wiggle it back in to lower the the saw. Right? This may not help but it is a thought.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View bobasaurus's profile


3487 posts in 3212 days

#2 posted 02-07-2012 06:06 AM

I had a similar problem on my dewalt saw, but it just required cleaning the clogged-up threads and lubricating generously to get it working smooth again. Try hitting yours with some WD-40 or other penetrating oil lube (T9 works well, too).

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 2980 days

#3 posted 02-07-2012 07:33 AM

I will try all the suggestions…Thank you.

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

View scoutb's profile


1 post in 1504 days

#4 posted 05-12-2014 04:23 AM

Hi falegniam – Wondering what the outcome of the jammed height adjustment handle was? Today this happened to the R4511 that I’ve had and used regularly for about 3 years. I’ve already checked for jammed off cuts, etcetera. I did manage to shear off the pin on the adjusting wheel trying to force it after seeing nothing blocking the action. Thanks

View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 05-16-2014 04:08 AM

Hi scoutb,
The jammed gear loosened up after forcing it, just like you did. Fortunately mine didn’t break anything. I did as some wax to the gears, because it seemed like it wanted to bind up again. The wax seems to help a lot, and the handle turns smoothly. I still hold the shaft that the handle turns suspect, only because i’m thinking that the gears could not get stuck like they did. So, I’d say, try the dry wax tube on the gears, and see if that helps.

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

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