Ridgid R4512 Assembly Trouble

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Forum topic by Matt Przybylski posted 12-04-2011 08:28 PM 9546 views 2 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Przybylski

569 posts in 2617 days

12-04-2011 08:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ridgid r4512 table saw assembly

Hello everyone,
So I finally gathered up some time this weekend to assemble my new Ridgid R4512 that I was very excited about. Let me preface this by saying I’m a novice and this is the first TS I’ve ever had to assemble so I apologize out of the gates if my questions and complaints/issues are ignorant. Just keep this in mind when answering and dumbing everything down to its core is preferred :)

1) It took me forever to get the caster system correct. I put it together like the instructions outlined and got the saw upright. It didn’t work. I flipped it back over and took three more cracks at it. As it turns out, the rear axel had to be rotated 180 degrees to work properly (something I realized far too late and now after Googling see I’m not the only one that had this issue) and the front axel didn’t have the leg connectors connected the right way from the factory. Since this took about 4 tries to do, I ended up accidentally stripping some of the allen head screws that hold the leg assembly together so taking the legs apart is no longer an option, but at least the whole bottom part of the saw is working properly now so unless I need to take it apart to return it, I shouldn’t have an issue there.

2) I had a bunch of residue on the cast iron top. I tried a bunch of household cleaners (grease lightning, CLR for stainless steel, and rubbing alcohol) but couldn’t get it off (only slightly). As you can see by the image, it’s still on there quite a bit.

How can I get this stuff off?

3) This is my ignorance probably but again I’m new to this so please be gentle with this one. On the bottom of the riving knife assembly there is a “thing” that sticks out and has some orange rubbery/plasticky thing on it. I don’t know what to call this but it’s on there pretty good so I assume this shouldn’t be removed so I didn’t try. Anyway, this is preventing me from pushing the blade far enough on the arbor so that it’s even and tilting the blade. I can’t imagine any way (and trust me I’ve tried) to get the blade on the arbor properly so please either tell me I’m a moron and how to do it or that I’m not crazy and something is wrong here because I’m all out of ideas.

4) The directions specifically state that the arbor washer (domed end) should face INWARD towards the blade. It was facing outward before I took it off the arbor and I can’t fathom in any way that the directions are correct in this. Am I crazy?

5) The steel side tables aren’t level with the table. This could be my error though I’m not sure how to correct it, but basically the outsides of the tables move upward so when you place a straight edge on the saw (in my case a 4’ level) the level is off the table in the middle and sits on the edges of the steel tables. I’m almost positive this is my error but again I don’t know how to correct it so please do advise.

So, that’s it so far and I haven’t even begun to install the rails because before I go through the trouble I want to make sure I’m not beating a dead horse.

To be perfectly honest, this has kind of taken me aback and has made me feel like I shouldn’t even be using power tools because I’m either a) an idiot or b) don’t know how to categorize something as my error or factory error.

Any help and guidance on this is greatly appreciated.


-- Matt, Arizona,

26 replies so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 12-04-2011 09:04 PM

I’ll get the ball rolling here until somebody that actually knows what they are talking about shows up.

As far as getting the tables level, it is common to use shimming material to adjust them. If the outside is too high, put a thin shim (cardboard, thin plastic or even metal flashing) above near the top where the extension connects to the main table. Just be sure it doesn’t stick up too high. Of course, you loosen the bolts, insert the shim and then re-tighten and check again. It can take some work.

As far as the red ended handle, that looks like it replaces the star nut that is used to tighten the riving knife. Any chance it will rotate up or down? It looks to me from your pictures that even if you get the blade on with it like that, might have trouble getting a dado blade on.

As for the washer, the “Big, flat” side goes toward the blade on my saw, and I can’t imagine the advantage of it being the other way. May just be an error in translation. Try looking at the parts diagram and see if there is enough detail to show which way it should really be.

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#2 posted 12-04-2011 09:13 PM

Couldn’t find a manual on line for the Ridgid, but the picture in my 21833 manual definitely shows the washer with the larger flat side against the blade. Did find a parts diagram though, and the big orange lever does have something to do with locking the Riving knife in position, but couldn’t tell how to operate it.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

569 posts in 2617 days

#3 posted 12-04-2011 09:44 PM

@Lifesaver2000: I think your name is starting to become true for me :) I took a look at the parts list for the saw and realized that “orange thing” is the release lever for the riving knife. Not sure why I couldn’t move it yesterday but I pushed it upward and got it out of the way, successfully removed the riving knife, put it back in, and realized I’m a moron. :)

I’ll have to try shimming the tables as you described, though its a bit disconcerting that for a $500 piece of equipment you have to resort to caveman tactics like shimming with pieces of paper :\

I figured as much as the washer dome going outward and read online that others had the same question but I’ll just put the undomed side against the blade as that seems like the normal operation.

That being said, the only issue I guess I am still having is removing that residue on the cast iron top. I’ve read on another forum that others have had it as well and just cleaned it as much as possible and then didn’t worry about it. Some have even stated that after running some stock over it eventually it disappeared or became very faint. I suppose if its not impeding my work in any way I can live with it but again, a bit disconcerting that a brand new shiny piece of $500 equipment comes home “dirty” :(

I guess the other thing I wanted to ask about was all the grease on all these parts. I wiped off the surface grease off of most of it but for things like the riving knife, arbor washer/nut, and even the blade, does the grease stay on those (i imagine not the blade) or should I be wiping it all off? And whats the best way to clean the blade? I have a Forrest Woodworker II blade waiting to be installed on this once I get it all figured out and that also has grease on it so I want to make sure I’m cleaning these expensive parts properly.

Again, thanks for all your help throughout not only this thread but the outfeed table thread the other day. It is GREATLY appreciated.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View JFobare's profile


41 posts in 3311 days

#4 posted 12-04-2011 09:53 PM

Hey Matt,
I have the same saw, I just set up a couple months ago.
I just used mineral spirits and steel wool to clean up mine.
The lever with the orange cap is to lock in the riving knife. It should lift up out of the way so you can install your blade behind it.
The flat (washer side) goes against the blade.
Leveling just takes time and shims, when I installed my wings I left all my bolts a little loose until I put the rails on then slowly brought everything up level as possible, shimming and tightening as I went along.
Hope this helps

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

569 posts in 2617 days

#5 posted 12-04-2011 09:55 PM

@Joshua: What did you use to shim? I’m thinking of using some painters tape.

Also, I have an 8” dado set from Freud. I assume you pull the lever up, install the set as necessary for the desired width, and then pull the lever down and it won’t interfere?

I have some mineral spirits so I’ll try that to clean it off with, thanks for the tip.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#6 posted 12-04-2011 10:01 PM

I am happy to be whatever help I can be.

As far as shimming the table on a $500 piece of equipment: I understand what you mean, but from what I have read online, it isn’t all that unusual even for much more expensive table saws. I suspect you would have to spend WAY more money to get one that has had the kind of fine tuning done prior to shipping that would guarantee a perfect fit right out of the box every time.

As far as the grease, what I did was wipe off what appeared to be excess, leaving a thin coat on any moving parts. Things like the actual table top I keep coated with paste wax. I have used my saw enough now that I soon plan to do a thorough cleaning and apply some dry spray lube to the moving parts.

As far as the residue you have, the only other thing you might try that you didn’t list is mineral spirits. I have a cast iron router table extension, and I frequently clean it and the saw table with mineral spirits to remove the old wax and get everything looking good before I apply a new coat of wax.

Keep at it. Despite the complaints some have had, this is a pretty nice table saw design for the price (Did you know, you could have gotten one for $375 online Thanksgiving night? That is cheap for this much saw). As far as alignment, I finally acquired a good caliper recently, and found that my blade to miter slot alignment is within .002 inches. That is good enough for me!

View JFobare's profile


41 posts in 3311 days

#7 posted 12-04-2011 10:01 PM

I just installed a FWWII on mine as well, huge difference. Before you install it though I would suggest setting up and squaring the saw with the Ridgid blade that comes with it. Also, you’ll definitely see a need for a zero clearance insert.
I don’t have a dado set yet so I’m not to sure how the lever will affect it.
For shims I use whatever I can find around the shop, from tape to washers depending on whats needed. I quickly learned that the wings on this saw aren’t the sturdiest, I got mine as close as possible without exceeding the height of the main table.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4199 days

#8 posted 12-04-2011 10:03 PM

I use mineral spirits to remove the packing grease, and it should be removed. I have even used a single edged razor blade to remove cosmoline/oil/rust from cast iron surfaces. Waxing the cleaned surfaces will keep your saw lookin’ good. Just don’t use car wax. Johnson’s paste wax or MinWax finishing wax (clear) will suffice. A non-woven pad (Scotch Brite) will help to maintain the surface. I use a grey pad which is a medium grit. For very fine cleaning I use a white pad.
A new blade should not have to be cleaned. After use, I use either Simple Green or Arm & Hammer washing soda (WASHING SODA- NOT BAKING SODA) to clean the blades. Make sure that ya have any gunk removed from the faces of the arbor washers. Crap on ‘em will cause the blade to wobble, and that’s a no-no.
The shimming is a normal necessity. Don’t be bummed out.
I think that you’ve done a good job explaining your questions. See my post about “Not being snotty”.


View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

569 posts in 2617 days

#9 posted 12-05-2011 07:26 AM

@Lifesaver2000: I actually did buy the saw on Thanksgiving night with the 25% off Ridgid coupon code RIGID25 :) I had a store around me that had 2 in stock so I just did pick up in store and all worked out but I know the saw normally is $500 so that’s why I keep saying that.

@Lifesaver2000 and Bill White: I tried the mineral spirits very quickly before going back in the house as wife was calling me to help out with the newborn. Basically I put some on a paper towel, wiped it, and nothing really happened. How should I be applying it?

Also, do you wax the steel side tables or just the cast iron? I plan on waxing the top once I get it all assembled and cleaned.

I tried to level out the side tables without shims and realized that while I get them level with hand tightening the moment I start to tighten with the allen wrench the sides flip upward which is what I showed in my images. I’ll have to do the shimming after all so I’ll try more of that tomorrow when I get some time.

Then, I tried to put the rails on and align the fence as described in the manual so the red line on the fence matches up to the 0 spot on the rail. I got it pretty dang close and I think I’m satisfied with that, but the instructions say the fence should move freely along the rails. Mine isn’t THAT free, as in I have to hold the fence in the mid section and move it like that. Is the fence supposed to be movable by just grabbing the handle and moving that left or right or is moving it by its midsection standard procedure?

One other thing I’m trying to figure out. I’ve seen many videos online for making ZCI and dado inserts. I have some laminate flooring that’s 5/16ths thick and will be perfect for this, however, the current insert just magnets in and clamps in the back and the screws are just leveling screws it seems and not used to hold the insert in place. If i was to make a ZCI out of any other material (like the flooring I plan on using) should I make holes and countersink them in the spots where the leveling screws are and then just use those screws to hold it down or.. well… how should I do it? This insert is only 1/8” thick so it’s kind of hard for me to figure out as all the videos i’ve seen have been for quite thick inserts.

Thanks again everyone, I’m just soaking up all this info like a sponge and will apply it in my assembly over the next few days.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3210 days

#10 posted 12-05-2011 08:32 AM

I wax the whole top of mine with Johnsons paste wax.
And re-wax it every month or so.

If you haven’t come across the warnings already, please do not use car wax on the saw.
That stuff contains silicon and if silicon ever gets in your shop you will have fits with finishes.
I don’t think it ever goes away.

Ditto on the riving knife lever.

I had a couple of 6 ft long extruded 2” square aluminum tubes I clamped to the wings across the top of the table.
They held everything in alignment while I installed the bolts to hold the wings on.
After the rails were installed and I tightened all the bolts I removed the clamps on the tubes and everything was flat square and aligned.

I know $500 is a bit of change, but consider that a cast iron router table top alone costs over $500. You got the cabinet, fence, arbor, motor, casters, and blade for free.

I have been a foundry engineer for over 40 years and can honestly say I don’t see how anyone can manufacture a table saw for $500. In an American foundry the environmental controls to cast that top would cost more than that and that’s before you even get into the bullcrap of dealing with unions.

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#11 posted 12-05-2011 06:30 PM

I do my waxing just as crank49 says. It might not hurt to wax the rest of the machine, but I don’t see any benefit on the painted surfaces.

As far as cleaning with mineral spirits, I have used it with some steel wool to get a little light rust off before. This happens in the summer when it is hot and I touch the saw top with my arms and forget to wipe it off. The perspiration will cause rust to occur overnight even with the wax. Since I don’t really know what the source of that stain on your machine is, it is hard to say what might be necessary to get it off.

Glad to hear you got in on the cheap deal. I purchased a Ridgid planer that night also with the discount, picked it up in store next afternoon (after most all the craziness was past).

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3368 days

#12 posted 12-05-2011 07:01 PM


Welcome to LJ. As you state you are very new to this and the directions for you table saw sound inadequate, so I’m going to share an absolute operational rule with you just in case. NEVER use the fence to cross cut solid wood. You can cut plywood this way and of course you use the fence when ripping solid wood, but never use the fence for a cross cut or even as a stop for a cross cut as the wood will jamb and come flying back you. I don’t know if the Rigid direction get into this so I just want to give you a heads up.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

569 posts in 2617 days

#13 posted 12-06-2011 01:13 AM

@crank49: Good call on the aluminum. I picked up a 2 4’ steel square tubes at the local store and plan to clamp them down then adjust the side tables. Hopefully this will help and when it’s all done I’ll just return the square tubes since they were $16 each and I have no need for them otherwise.

I also picked up some Johnson Paste Wax and the Boeshield 3 pack kit from Rockler. My understanding is that one of these is enough but the paste wax wasn’t that expensive so I’m sure it won’t hurt to keep it around.

I then picked up some steel wool and plan to use the mineral spirits on the cast iron top to help clean it up. I did some reading and apparently this is not a 2 minute process which is probably why I’m not seeing any good results so I’ll be patient and take my time and scrub it pretty well and hopefully it’ll work out in the end.

@Lifesaver2000: I also tried to get in on the planer (although I wanted the hand planer) but it was sold out online. How do you like their planer? I looked at that as well though I’m running out of room in my garage for all these tools :)

@mcase: I have not gotten to that portion of the manual yet but there is some stuff in there (did a skim quickly) on cutting. That’s good information to know, thanks for sharing. I picked up an Incra 1000HD miter gauge on black friday for $120 at rockler so that’s probably what I’ll be using for cross cuts (or a sled that I plan on building). I plan on purchasing one of the Taunton table saw books so I don’t end up losing a limb :)

I’m very careful with my tools, not as dumb as I sound, but I AM new to this after all so being extra careful and looking at/reading a lot of material on the subject never hurts.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3351 days

#14 posted 12-06-2011 01:21 AM

So far I have only used the planer for one project, but I really like it. I checked some stock with a dial caliper after I ran it through, and there was less than .001 inch variation checking all the corners. I also put through a small table top, and that came out great.

I do notice a tiny bit of snipe at the end of a board, but nothing that won’t come out with moderate sanding. I also think I have to work on my in and out feed support, or possibly adjust the tables.

Construction on the unit is very solid, and the features are nice. Since this is the first planer I’ve ever owned, I cannot compare it to other units. I like the option to set it to stock sizes like 3/4, 1 inch etc, so that there is some repeatability in how thick stock is when you are done with it. I haven’t check all the sizes, but I did use the 1/2 setting and my caliper showed it to be dead on. If the other settings are that accurate, I can see the quality of my projects improving. That being said, I will kind of miss hand planing some, but the time savings means my wife will be happier. And I like it when my wife is happy. ;-)

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3162 days

#15 posted 12-06-2011 01:35 AM

The dome on the washer needs to go out. It evens the pressure out on the blades otherwise they would just put a regular washer there.
As far as the undercarriage goes, I have a 3650 that I never did get the wheels right. It works but that’s about it. The same chinaman that wrote my manual must have written yours.
Welcome to the world of woodworking. You have come to the right place to “live and learn”. One thing you will see immediately is we all have problems on things and LJ’s is a good place to come for answers.

-- Life is good.

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