Bought A Table Saw, Now What?

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Forum topic by BreakingBoardom posted 1698 days ago 1531 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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615 posts in 1715 days

1698 days ago

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

54 posts in 1703 days

#1 posted 1698 days ago

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 Heath Toolworks planes

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 1715 days

#2 posted 1698 days ago

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


15691 posts in 2852 days

#3 posted 1698 days ago

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 1698 days

#4 posted 1697 days ago

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


5428 posts in 2009 days

#5 posted 1697 days ago

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


1787 posts in 1907 days

#6 posted 1697 days ago

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


-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 1715 days

#7 posted 1697 days ago

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 1782 days

#8 posted 1697 days ago

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 1765 days

#9 posted 1697 days ago

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


12265 posts in 2731 days

#10 posted 1696 days ago

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 1801 days

#11 posted 1696 days ago

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


112016 posts in 2211 days

#12 posted 1696 days ago

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.

-- Custom furniture

View JCantin's profile


131 posts in 2045 days

#13 posted 1696 days ago

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


1121 posts in 2419 days

#14 posted 1686 days ago

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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