Bought A Table Saw, Now What?

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Forum topic by BreakingBoardom posted 01-04-2010 08:50 PM 3104 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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615 posts in 3076 days

01-04-2010 08:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ridgid table saw set up care maintenance ts3650

So, last week I bought a slightly used Ridgid TS3650. I got a pretty good deal on it and even got some extra parts with it. Now this is the first table saw I’ve ever owned, so I am looking for some tips on setting it up and maintaining and caring for it. So anything that will help make sure I get it all adjusted and squared or anything to help me clean or care for the top or motor or anything would be helpful. Thanks everyone!

-- Matt -

14 replies so far

View Jeff Heath's profile

Jeff Heath

67 posts in 3064 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 08:58 PM

Congratulations! A table saw is a great tool, but it is also a very dangerous one. Since you don’t have any experience using one, I would highly recommend getting a good book explaining all of the virtues of a tablesaw, and also how to set it up, and what the numerous dangers are with using it.

There is no ABC list of do’s and don’t’s with a power tool. It’s more of a very long and involved list that takes alot of time to learn. By having a written reference, you can start and stop when you want.

I used to teach beginning woodworkers in my shop. The tablesaw class was 8 hours, and even then I didn’t feel like I covered it all. That’s why I recommend a good book on tablesaw setup, and the important things to be aware of regarding stock preparation, etc…. so that you don’t hurt yourself.

-- Jeff Heath

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3076 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 09:06 PM

Well, I have used one before. I did work in a cabinet shop for a few months and used one about everyday. I’ve just never owned one of my own before or had to set it up and care for it. But thanks for the advice. I’ll keep reading up on it and safety is always a concern, so thanks.

-- Matt -

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4213 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 09:15 PM

Here is a link to the owners manual for your saw. It will cover a lot of info about adjustments.

I agree with Jeff about getting a book on table saw care and use. There is really too much information to cover in a forum post. I can tell you that I have the TS3660, which is virtually identical, and it’s a great saw.

Have fun, and be careful!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View onedkcharette's profile


3 posts in 3060 days

#4 posted 01-05-2010 04:00 PM

i own the same saw. first thing i did was get rid of the miter gauge. it was the only thing on the saw that was considered (imo) junk. it had lots of side to side slop as well as needing to be verified with a square when going from 90 to 45 etc. i ended up putting the incra 2000 on mine. everything else on it is awesome. just get it dialed in and you will be pleased at the accuracy of your cuts. it has a nice “empty hole” on the right side that makes a great place to add a router table.

btw. this is my first post on this site. a little about me. im 44 i live in NH with my wife and 2 boys 14 and 7. i am getting back into wood working after a lapse of 25+ years. i am slowly rebuilding my tool collection and have made a decent start this past year. i look fwd to picking your brains and shhhh stealing some ideas too. :)

here is my saw and router table.

View knotscott's profile


8008 posts in 3371 days

#5 posted 01-05-2010 05:44 PM

Good alignment and blade selection are big factors in the end performance of any saw. Get a good quality blade (or two) and align the blade as close to perfect as you can to the right side miter slot by adjusting the trunnions (=/- 0.003” is ok). Then align the fence as close to the same miter slot as possible…perfect is ok, but since the fence may not be perfectly straight, it’s best to error on the side of the tail being toed out as opposed to toed in….+0.003” at the back is good.

Once the top is clean and rust free, I like to treat the top with a light coat of Boeshield T-9 rust preventer. Wipe it out, buff it out, let it dry well, then treat it with a couple of coats of pure paste wax (no silicone), such as Minwax, Johnson’s, or Mother’s.

A good aftermarket miter gauge is a good investment too…the Incra V27 is one of the better values IMO (~ $60). It benefits from adding a fence, whether you buy it or make it from scraps.

It’s never a bad idea to buy a TS book….Kelly Mehler and Jim Tolpin both have good TS books.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3269 days

#6 posted 01-05-2010 06:05 PM

If you’re tall, WATCH YOUR GOODIES, if you’re short, WATCH YOUR RIBS!


-- M.K.

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3076 days

#7 posted 01-05-2010 06:19 PM

Knotscott, thanks for all the info. Caring for the top is what I knew least about. And onedkcharette, thanks for the info about the miter gauge. The saw was actually owned by a cabinet maker and he replaced the miter gauge with a DeWalt one. I’ll check it out to see if it’s any good. And Mark, yeah, I’m 6’4” so I’ll make sure to watch my goodies. lol.

-- Matt -

View Raspar's profile


246 posts in 3143 days

#8 posted 01-05-2010 06:37 PM

I would check out Marc’s vids on setting up tablesaw. He is doing this with his new saw but still applicable to check the same things.

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

View Bert304's profile


27 posts in 3126 days

#9 posted 01-05-2010 11:52 PM

Grats on the saw. First thing to do is clean and wax the cast iron top, keep the top from rusting. Get a good blade and get a good miter gauge I use the EB-3 miter gauge and love it. It is a great saw. I have had mine for 2 years.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4092 days

#10 posted 01-06-2010 07:03 AM

You could make a crosscut sled….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View SEE's profile


119 posts in 3162 days

#11 posted 01-06-2010 08:34 AM

Another vote for a shop built crosscut sled. Also search this or other forums for TS alignment It’s certainly worth the effort, both in quality of cuts and safety. If you wish, I’ll be glad to step you through a fairly simple process for doing this important task. If you don’t have one already, I’d suggest buying a dial indicator. It doesn’t have to be expensive. HF sells one for less than 20 bucks that will help you get your saw aligned properly.

-- Build for the joy of it!

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#12 posted 01-06-2010 08:50 AM

As far as the top goes if it needs cleaning I use and old ROS and a scotch brite pad and some rubbing compound and get off any rust or stained areas and then clean all the rubbing compound off and apply a coat of auto or floor wax including the miter slot this can be done with a ROS also. This will make wood slid through easily and make it much safer to use your saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JCantin's profile


179 posts in 3407 days

#13 posted 01-06-2010 04:11 PM

Definitely visit the Ridgid forum at Scroll down to the woodworking section and you will find multiple threads on setting up and tuning the 3650.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3781 days

#14 posted 01-16-2010 02:37 AM

LMBO…..Yeah keep them Goodies well taken care of. I’m 6”1” so I can agree with Mark on that.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

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