Steel City 35990G

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 02-22-2012 04:24 AM 4911 views 5 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1100 posts in 2524 days

02-22-2012 04:24 AM

I just got this saw yesterday. Local distributor had either the CS model or the G, but wasn’t going to have the cast iron model in stock until late March. So…. I took a granite one.

I should mention that I originally purchased a Ridgid 4512, but it had a defect. The entire main trunnion would shift sideways when you raised or lowered the blade. AND I found out the authorized service center that Ridgid said I should use… and which is 90 minutes away, won’t do business with Ridgid any more. So there’s basically no service in my area. Fortunately, Home Depot took it back and gave me a full refund. Too bad. It’s a nice saw otherwise.

Anyways, I watched Craigslist for a while, nothing came up, and I needed a saw. So I bought the 35990G. I was afraid. VERY afraid of the granite. Turns out it’s fine once you figure out the “seam-in-the-miter-slot” configuration. I had read horror stories from people that couldn’t get the miter slots to stop pinching the miter gauge. I was a journeyman millright for many years, so I figured I’d give it a go.

The instructions say this saw is set up at the factory so all 3 granite slabs mate up flat. All I can say is ….. bull.

For those not familiar, the wings on this saw do not attach to the main table slab like a conventional cast iron table would. Instead, they are positioned onto a pair of locating pins, and the wing slab rests on 4 height-adjustable bushings. there are a pair of bushings close to the miter slot (front and back of saw) and another pair at the edge of the saw cabinet. The wing slab is cantilevered out past the cabinet and if there are no bolts in it to hold it in place, it would tip and slide off the side.

Don’t even try to use the miter slot until you first get the wings flush with the table and flat. You’ll only get it jammed and start swearing at it. You need to get these wings level first. Before you move on to anything else. So set both wings on there and get ALL of the bolts into each one. There are 4 bolts for each wing. Finger tight is fine until you get them all in. OK, now the wing won’t fall off on the floor while you level it. Each bushing has a set screw. Loosen all of the set screws. Most of mine were loose, but back them out a full turn or so.

Work on one wing at a time. Now tighten the 2 bolts closest to the seam (miter slot). Run a straight edge across the main table and slide it (gently) onto the wing. Check the front and the back. Is the wing higher or lower than the table? Then you need to adjust the bushing at those 2 bolts closest to the seam. USE THE BLADE WRENCH. It fits the bushing perfectly and it’s flat and easy to use in the space available. In order to adjust the bushing, you have to loosen the bolts first. Loosen the bolt, adjust the bushing, tighten the bolt. You absolutely need to do the bushings next to the miter slot FIRST. Get that transition from table to wing as flush as you can. Once you have it, snug those 2 bolts up tight and move to the outboard pair of bolts. You don’t need to torque these bolts down hard. You need to collapse the lock washer and snug ‘em up tight. Not crank on ‘em. Work the outboard bushings the same as you did the ones near the miter slot. Only on these outboard ones, you can leave the bolts kind of loose and just adjust the bushings to get the wing flat in the same plane as the main table. This is because the cantilevered wing will keep some weight on the outboard bushings. Once you get the outboard bushings adjusted so it’s flat, you might see those inboard ones sneak away from you. If you lower the outboard bushings the edge near the miter slot may want to rise up. It shouldn’t if you have the bolts tight, but it might. So you might jump back and forth between the inboard pair of bolts and the outboard pair as you make finer and finer adjustments to the flatness of the table and wing. Sounds tedious, but once I figured out the sequence of which bolts and bushings I should be working on, I only had to adjust the inboard bolts twice and the outboard ones twice.

So the very first thing you’re doing is getting those wings flat and flush. You’re adjusting the BUSHINGS so that if you have to remove a wing, you can put it back and it will be in the same place in terms of elevation. When you have the wings flat, tighten all of the set screws on the bushings.

Next post…. miter slots….

9 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2524 days

#1 posted 02-22-2012 10:30 AM

One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen regarding this model (both cast iron and granite) is that the miter slots are binding on the miter gauge. And people have a really hard time adjusting the fit. In order for what I’m about to tell you to actually work, YOU HAVE TO LEVEL THE WINGS FIRST!!! (see the previous post)

Typically the miter slot is too tight. It’s adjustable. That’s one of the cool things about the way this table and wings go together. HOW to adjust it seems a matter of some speculation because the instructions are just horrible. Here’s what I di and it worked VERY well and didn’t take long at all.

First thing that needs to be done is LEVEL THE WINGS. See a trend here? Leveling the wings is the foundation on which everything else is built.

When checking to see if your miter gauge fits, don’t FORCE it. You’ll almost surely flake the granite top near the miter slot. (ask me how I know)

Since you’ve already adjusted the bushings for the wings and you know they’re level, you can actually loosen the 4 bolts for each wing to adjust the miter slot width. This assumes you tried to put your miter gauge in and found the slot either too sloppy or too tight.

Too tight is most common, apparently, so I cover that first as that’s the problem I had on the right wing. Loosen up all 4 bolts holding the wing. Loose like you can turn them with your fingers. Now standing at the side of the saw, put your foot against the bottom rail so the saw doesn’t slide and with a hand on the front and one on the bacl of the wing, give that sucker a good hard tug straight toward you. No up and down… pull it straight horizontal.

Did it budge? You may see a small gap between the table and wing if you look at the front edge and back edge where they come together. If you got a little gap, then go ahead and snug up those wing bolts again and check your miter gauge for fit.

If it’s a sloppy fit, skip the next step. If it’s still too tight, then do this:
Under the wing, find the nut for each locating pin. Loosen it. Good and loose. Now give that wing a good hard tug again. That’s all it took on mine to get a little bit of a gap. Apparently there’s just a little “play” in those locating pins and it’s enough to open that miter slot just a bit.

Now snug up those wing mounting bolts again. Make sure that little gap isn’t closing when you do it. Check your miter gauge again. Should be a sloppy fit. Now you want to tighten it up slowly until it’s a good fit. With the inboard wing bolts just broke free, not tight, but not too loose, you can hit the outer edge of the wing with a soft deadblow mallet. No glancing blows off the corners now. Pay attention. Nice straight, direct hits. Doesn’t take much. You don’t have to hit it too hard. If you go too far and tighten it up too much, just loosen those wing bolts and pull it away again and start over. We aren’t talking about a big gap here.

You want the miter gauge to slide from front to back with equal tension, equal free play side to side. If it’s a little loose, you can use the set screws in the miter gauge itself to snug it up but it needs to be even from front to back.

I know this sounds like a lot but believe me it took much longer to write this than to actually do it. 10 or 15 minutes at the very most to get the miter slots adjusted for width.

View slmndr's profile


7 posts in 2123 days

#2 posted 04-12-2013 01:02 PM

This is excellent! Thank you, for this.

-- Still looking for ideas and advice.

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2363 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 01:29 PM

Congrats! When research saws, I really wanted to see that saw, but there aren’t any Steel City dealers me any more. How thick is the granite?

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2524 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 05:47 PM

Glad this is still helping people! :)
The granite is an inch and a half thick.

When I bought the saw, I didn’t have a planer. Now that I have a planer, I made a pair of hardwood “setup bars” so I can set the miter slot width in about 1 minute or less. They work great.

View BuckeyeNate's profile


9 posts in 2253 days

#5 posted 04-15-2013 02:28 PM

I have the cast iron version and it is a decent saw, but i still could never get the left miter slot to my liking. Its either much too loose or it binds up. I now have with about .010 gap on the outfeed, that was as close as i can get.

Weird thing is the right side was dead on from the factory…which chaps my butt as i prefer to miter on the left.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2524 days

#6 posted 04-15-2013 04:06 PM

BuckeyeNate, did you try loosening the locator pin under that wing? I had one wing that would not adjust. The locator pin turned out to be the culprit. Once you have the wings on, the locator pin is about worthless. I loosened mine to where the nut was just about to fall off, adjusted the wing (it adjusted correctly now that the locator pin wasn’t stopping it) and when done, I just barely snugged the locator pin….mostly to keep from losing the nut. :)

This assumes the cast wings attach like the granite wings… with 4 bolts from underneath though adjustable-height pillars, rather than horizontal bolts into the main table like a “normal” table saw.

View BuckeyeNate's profile


9 posts in 2253 days

#7 posted 04-16-2013 01:09 AM

I did play with the locating pin, but i had it pretty snug still. I will take you advice, and more and less not use them and see if i can get better results.

View _Whitey's profile


17 posts in 1789 days

#8 posted 02-25-2014 03:38 PM

I purchased this saw, or one very similar just recently and found that the alignment pins were missing. When I called tech support about the pins, I was told that they were removed at the factory purposely because they were impeding setup and were no longer being used.

I am having the same problem with the miter gauge setup and am happy to have found this post. My problem varies slightly, as I was able to get my tables straight, flat and spaced perfect. But after I installed the the fence brackets, which seemed to bolt on a little tight, it seems that they have pulled the wings out of alignment. I am trying again tonight to align the tables, following these instructions, and then carefully installing the fence, possibly honing out the holes slightly with a file or dremel for a more comfortable fit, and see what happens.

All in All I am pretty happy with the fit and finish on this saw and the construction of it so far. The Manual completely sucks. BUT the redeeming value there is that the tech support team is very helpful. I will post updates as I make my way through this.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2815 days

#9 posted 03-26-2014 07:35 PM

I recently bought the 35955 for a pretty good price on amazon. The wings on it mount the same exact way as the 35990.

So add me as one more happy camper to have found this post.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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