Help me with my first table saw! (Rigid TS3650)

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Forum topic by kevincwebb posted 10-20-2010 12:51 AM 12673 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2807 days

10-20-2010 12:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

I just bought my first table saw, it’s a Rigid TS3650. I got a great price from a construction company that’s downsizing. I have a few questions, so I thought I’d ask the experts!

1) The table top is a bit rusted. I’ve had this happen to my scroll saw before, and I used scotch brite/synthetic steel wool + mineral oil to remove it. I’m planning to do the same here, unless somebody here convinces me to do otherwise. Also, I’ve read suggestions to use T9 to prevent future rust and lubricate the top surface. Is this the general consensus?

2) I’ve never assembled or adjusted a saw like this before. Most of my experience is in classes where the all of the equipment was adjusted for me. What are the most important things I need to check and adjust, and what’s the easiest way to do it?

3) The seller didn’t have the blade guard. I’m not crazy about the plastic overhang anyway, but I feel like I should at least have some sort of splitter behind the blade. Any suggestions on a good (preferably not too expensive) way to add one?

4) What kind of blade would you recommend? Regular or thin kerf? I’m willing to pay ~$50, but not $100+. I’ve been looking at Freuds.

5) I’ve read that some 3650’s have an arbor that’s slightly too short for a dado set, but I don’t yet have a dado set. Can I tell by looking at it whether or not mine has this problem? Did anyone else have this problem? I’ve read that Rigid will provide replacements…

Thanks everyone!

20 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 10-20-2010 01:09 AM

That’s a pretty good first table saw.
I clean mine with a scotch brite rubbing compound and a random orbital sander.
You want to check to make sure the blade is running true to the miter slot. You can check by of course having the saw OFF and measure the distance from the miter slot first in the most forward tooth of the blade and then in the back. The more accurately you can do this the better.
You can make a blade guard but a factory one is better. I don’t use one but always suggest them to new woodworkers.
There are tons of blades out there . I just use a store bought combination blade but I never pay more than $30.
I know lot’s of folks recomend $ 100 plus blades but I’ve never had a problem with the less expensive ones.
I can’t help with the arbor question because I don’t own you brand of saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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492 posts in 3107 days

#2 posted 10-20-2010 01:31 AM

The best way to get to know your new table saw would be to take the Owners Manual and go through the assembly sets from the beginning. I’m not saying that you have to dismantle the saw completely but just double check what the previous owner did when they assembled it. If you find any irregularities you can correct them very easily. By doing this, you will end up with a perfectly assembled and aligned saw that is ready to give you years of great service.

You plan for getting rid of the existing rust is a good one although instead of mineral oil I’d suggest you use WD40. I only suggest that because I’ve used WD40 successfully but have never used mineral oil. Freud makes very good quality blades and in your price range they would be my choice.

The arbor issue with some of the early 3650’s wasn’t about arbor length so a dado set will fit on the arbor that came with your saw. What the issue was about was that some of the arbors were not threaded along the full length of the arbor. This would cause one or two of the chipper blades to shift inside the arbor setup and result in uneven dado bottoms. Just looking at the arbor will tell you whether or not you have one of the bad arbors.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2949 days

#3 posted 10-20-2010 01:49 AM

If you got the manual with the saw it will tell you exactly how to check alignment.
I bought a 3650 brand new and have never regreted it. Does everything I ask of it. One suggestion I would make,if you have 220 available change the motor to 220, diagram is inside the motor.(easy)
The other suggestions about removing the rust will work fine. I use Johnsons Floor Wax(no silicone) on all my table tops. I have also used g-96 gun spray(by Outers) and pure talc. Not baby powder, that has cornstarch in it and draws moisture, talc repels it.
I have an assortment of blades from el cheapos to Freuds. If I’m doing “rough” work I use the cheapos (20-30$)
If it’s fine work I prefer the Freuds. Just MHO.
The issue with the dado blade is moot. I have one that needed modified and never had it done. I just put the dado blades on and if need be move the fence slightly, no problem.
Great saw, enjoy it.

-- Life is good.

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3206 days

#4 posted 10-20-2010 01:54 AM

You can download the manual from Ridgid’s web site.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3402 days

#5 posted 10-20-2010 02:02 AM

Cognrats on the new saw. Your saw will strain a lot less with a good thin kerf blade…a full kerf is ~ 33% thicker and simply requires more power to make the same cut.

In the $50 range, my top choice would be the Infinity Combomax 010-150…it’s closer to $60 but is a great all around blade that’s very forgiving. The Freud LU83 50T ATB/R, LU86 40T ATB, Ridgid Titanium R1050C (by Freud), CMT P10050, and Freud Diablo D1040 and D1050 are also solid choices in that class and price range.

Boeshield T9 is a great rust preventer. I like to add a coat of paste wax over it.

You might be able to find a guard on Ebay….you may also find that a guard from an older Craftsman contractor saw will fit….the older Emerson style saws were very similar to the Ridgids.

Ridgid will only replace the arbor if it’s one of the defective ones. They were miscut and gave uneven cuts with a stacked dado….it wasn’t a length issue, though it’s fairly common for saws in this class to not quite accept a full stack with the washer in place….most folks remove the washer and just use the arbor nut. As long as the threads are all the way thru and the nut is fully seated, it’s a safe and often recommended method.

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

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3813 days

#6 posted 10-20-2010 02:06 AM

Go to this site, and you will see a little icon above the picture of the saw that will let you download a pdf file of the manual.:

This is a great saw (I have had one now for over 5 years and love it). If you go to the Ridgid forums ( and then click on the forums, and go to the woodworking forums), there is a long thread that will answer just about any problem/adjustment you need to make to it.

To answer some of the other questions:

Q1: your method is fine. I usually put a scotchbrite pad under my random orbital sander and use wd-40 to get off surface rust. I then wax it, but T-9 does seem to be better if waxed after it dries. Don’t covber it with plastic, as condensation will make the rust worse. I use an old blanket and works fine in the humidity we have here.

Q2: See above links

Q3: You can make a zero clearance insert, and cut a small slot behind the blade to stick a splitter wedge made of wood or plastic into it. It will look something like this :

Q4: I use both thin and full kerf. The Freud Avanti (the one made in Italy, not the Lowes knock-off ) 50T combo thin kerf is an excellent blade to start with for most all around cutting.

Q5: IF the threads do not go all the way to the smooth part of the arbor, you may have one of the “bad” arbors. However, if you are cautious when putting on your dado stack, it is not a real deal breaker IMHO. Just don’t put a 1/16th cutter or any shims next to the first outside cutter.

Hope this helps. I’ll be glad to answer any specific problems if I can. The owners manual covers most of them, but leaves a bit to be desired in a couple of instances. The splitter adjustment is the worst area, but beings you don’t have one, that is a moot point.



-- Go

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3048 days

#7 posted 10-20-2010 02:10 AM

I own this saw an use a Freud stacked dado set on it all the time. The arbor length is good for about a 3/4 dado but won’t go much beyond that and get the threads all the way through the locking nut.

I use Boeshield to clean my top on a regular basis and even in coastal Florida it has prevented rust.

If you download the manual as suggested, you should find the adjustment on this saw pretty straight forward.

Definitely get some kind of splitter or anti-kickback device…I’ve launched a couple of boards and am a lot more careful now that I’ve seen them first hand.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View kevincwebb's profile


9 posts in 2807 days

#8 posted 10-20-2010 07:51 AM

Thanks to everyone who replied! I’ve got a copy of the manual that I’ll be reading over soon. I’ve done some looking around, and the only aftermarket anti-kickback device I’ve found that definitively fits the 3650 is the “SharkGuard”, but it costs $177! Surely there must be something more affordable than that? For those of you who have this saw, what are you using? I’m a bit concerned about making one myself. It seems like if it isn’t precise it may do more harm than good. Does anyone know of a foolproof build-your-own splitter guide?

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3170 days

#9 posted 10-20-2010 04:25 PM

In defense of Lee the SharkGuard is actually superior to the original splitter/guard.

However, the original replacement part is TH1004 or 829781.

M&D, eReplacement, and toolpartsdirect sell it in the $58-$65 range plus shipping.

If you’re looking for just a splitter then gofor’s ideal would work nearly as well, you’ll loose the anti-kickpack pawls. If you’re also missing the bracket the splitter assembly mounted to this is probably the best method since TH1026 (Guard Support Assembly) would be another $20.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2949 days

#10 posted 10-20-2010 10:23 PM

Frankly,I took mine off and don’t always use it. Not saying this is a good idea, just me.

-- Life is good.

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30 posts in 3908 days

#11 posted 10-20-2010 10:48 PM

I also own this saw and have loved it for every minute of the 5 years I’ve had it. Once you get it cleaned up and waxed, I’d like to encourage you to consider making a crosscut sled. I just recently finished mine and had to take the blade guard and splitter off for the sled to work. I don’t miss it and I love my new sled. I will most likely take the time to reinstall it, however, if and when I have to do some ripping of long stock, assuming I don’t do that on the bandsaw for whatever reason.

As far as how to clean the table top… I’ve always used sandpaper. I start with 800 grit unless a deep rust spot catches me by surprise. I wouldn’t go below 400 grit, however, regardless of how rusty the top is. I will continue to sand the spot, going up through the various grits until I finish with 2000 grit automotive grade sandpaper. My table top has a near mirror finish on it and is very smooth because of it. Rust has a harder time finding a home to live in on a table that’s super smooth and well waxed. At the risk of stating the obvious, once you get it to this point, it’s fairly easy to maintain.

Definately check out the Ridgid forum for ideas on how to upgrade this saw. One of my next projects will be the integrated outfeed table and extension that uses 2 pieces of alluminum bar stock bolted between the wings which acts as support arms to hold and level the outfeed table from below. There are a bunch of different versions of this general idea.

And, oh yeah… Welcome to Lumberjocks!!!

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3813 days

#12 posted 10-21-2010 02:24 AM

For anti-kickback, you can also look at board buddies ( I don’t have them, but they have gotten good reviews from people reputable on some of the other forums I visit.


-- Go

View kevincwebb's profile


9 posts in 2807 days

#13 posted 10-24-2010 06:52 PM

Thanks again to everyone who answered my questions!

I thought I’d share my solutions in case other table saw newbies find themselves here. Synthetic steel wool and mineral oil took off the rust pretty easily. I haven’t gotten any T9 yet, but it’s on my list. I ended up getting a Freud LU83R10 thin-kerf blade, as it was 20% off at my local rocker, making it only $2 more than the amazon price. Regarding the splitter, I made my own zero-clearance throat plate and installed a microjig. I found these two videos particularly helpful:

Hope this helps someone!

View JohnnyDust's profile


73 posts in 2512 days

#14 posted 08-15-2011 03:46 AM

Lots of good tips here for the TS3650 and any good table saw. Thanks guys! As a TS3650 owner I’m encouraged that it is a decent saw…. I’ve just done a 3hp motor upgrade and I’ll add that as a blog entry as I get time.

-- I'm not crying... That's dust in my eyes!

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Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2948 days

#15 posted 08-15-2011 02:59 PM

I have this saw also. I like it. I use it mainly for ripping so I bought a blade (thin kerf) just for that. I cross cut on my miter saw. I have had mine for 5 years and have nad no problems with it.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

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