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RIDGID R4511 Rip fence upgrade

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Project by Tim Dahn posted 1631 days ago 8820 views 20 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The big weak spot on the RIDGID R4511 to me is the Rip fence. So one of the first things I did was upgrade it and I’m very happy with the result. I have had a few PM requests for information on the fence upgrade I did so I thought it would be good to post the process. Unfortunately I did not keep any notes during this but it is pretty easy to do and did not cost much, probably less than $50. You could save about half of the cost by using the existing front rail angle mount and make a 60” or shorter front rail. The first two pics show the 72” rail mounted on the original short angle, I did it this way first to try it out then decided I needed to make a longer front rail angle piece.

Here is the material list:
Front rail – 2”X2” square tube with a 3/32” thick wall, 72” long.
Front angle – 2 1/2”X2 1/2” 3/16” thick, 54” long, this is a little thicker than the original because it extends to the right of the saw.
Rear Angle – 1 1/4”X1 1/4” 3/16” thick, 72” long.

I used the original rail and angle pieces to layout the holes to be drilled.

Drilling metal is no problem, just a different method than wood. Here are a couple of tips:
1. You will have to mark the spot to drill with a hammer and punch with a sharp point to make an indention in the metal otherwise the drill bit will wander when starting the hole.
2. Start the hole with a small bit, about 1/8” and drill completely through then work your way up to the size bit you want.
3. If your drill has a slow setting use that and once the drill starts to cut add a little oil, it helps the cutting action and cools the bit.
4. Do all your drilling and tapping and check your fit prior to painting.

Tapping the metals is not difficult either, the size tap will specify the size drill bit used. I’m sure you can purchase a single tap and dill bit together in one package for just a few $.

The most laborious part of this was sanding the front rail, and if I did this again I would see if a local metal shop could sand or sand blast for me, it was dirty and not a lot of fun. I sanded the entire 72” tube to bare metal masked it off with electrical tape in three places the length of the rail, this is for the three contacts points where the rip fence assembly rides. Then primed and painted. When the paint was dry I scored the paint along the tape (masked off area) so when I pulled the tape off there was a nice clean edge. I then waxed the bare metal area to protect the metal from rust and help the fence glide. At this point you install and set it up with the instructions in the saw manual.

I added 1” wide self adhesive HDMW plastic to the top of the rear rail for the fence to glide on and that made a noticeable difference.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.





17 comments so far

View cstrang's profile

cstrang

1769 posts in 1751 days


#1 posted 1631 days ago

Nice job, I really like the other table saw you have inserted into the void beside the new Ridgid, I assume its for dados?

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2148 days


#2 posted 1631 days ago

cstrang, yes, I keep my Freud box blade in there. Its handy not having to change blades.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

71 posts in 2324 days


#3 posted 1631 days ago

Nice… Do like the side by side saws.. There room for a router extension past the Craftsman?

Kudos.

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

947 posts in 1690 days


#4 posted 1631 days ago

theres some good shots of it on his workshop page, doesn’t look like one would fit without at least a longer back rails and some legs

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View thekingofspain's profile

thekingofspain

20 posts in 1636 days


#5 posted 1630 days ago

Thanks for the walkthrough I have to make me one of these. Double saw, one bed, never thought of that.

-- tkos

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

947 posts in 1690 days


#6 posted 1630 days ago

Thats what I love about this site, I find myself saying that at least once a day lol :D

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

71 posts in 2324 days


#7 posted 1630 days ago

I’d just thought of something… Is that TS bolted to the Ridgid? How do you handle opening the door on the Ridgid if so?

Inquiring mind.

View thekingofspain's profile

thekingofspain

20 posts in 1636 days


#8 posted 1630 days ago

Any thoughts on how to attach a table to the new rails? I have seen one example where someone welded a wide angle iron to the underside of the tube for a table ledge. Welding is too complicated for me, so attachment would have to be through tapping the underside of the tube or run new angle iron all the way out and tapping into that.

Found the link: http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30146&highlight=r4511+extension

I installed the OEM rails last night and they were studier than they looked; but you only live once.

-- tkos

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2148 days


#9 posted 1630 days ago

Scott, The old Craftsman is not attached the the RIDGID or the fence rails, I just put it there really to make more room in the shop. I think the access door on the RIDGID would prevent a permanent attachment.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1747 days


#10 posted 1630 days ago

For the cost, looks like a good upgrade. My old Delta needed a whole new fence, I assume the Ridgid has a decent fence. I can’t even remember what my saw was like before I tricked it out with the Vega fence, Wixey digital, WWII bade, link belt, machined pulleys, 220V rewire, and my handmade switch. I am still not happy with the guard-splitter set up. At this point, I could make a case for purchasing a better splitter and guard, because the saw runs so well. But I will probably make those just for the fun of it.

Jumping on a jet plane this afternoon…....back to the shop….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8475 posts in 2231 days


#11 posted 1630 days ago

very cool Tim.

what’s the reason you didn’t paint the lengthwise strips where the fence rides? I see that also on Beis and PM2000 rails. the OEM tubes that came with the 4511 are painted all around, and I have yet noticed any paint scratches?

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

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2148 days


#12 posted 1630 days ago

Sharon,
Pretty sure the OEM rail is powder coated. My painted surface is not durable enough (I tried), the guides and the lock would either dent or scrape the paint off. I had a few choices, mask off the area where the fence contacts the rail, have the rail powder coated which was way too expensive or make the front rail out of stainless, also expensive not to mention drilling holes in stainless is a pain.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View RexMcKinnon's profile

RexMcKinnon

2593 posts in 1778 days


#13 posted 1629 days ago

Two table saws side by side. Great idea but in my shop I would have to leave half of it sticking out the garage door. Barely have room for one TS. Love the idea though, espically if you do lots of dados.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8475 posts in 2231 days


#14 posted 1629 days ago

I see… makes more sense now.

when are you gonna put faces on the fence? ;)

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

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1460 posts in 2148 days


#15 posted 1629 days ago

Sharon,
i do have a removable face for the fence, it just slips on the fence and has a friction fit.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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