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Tool Gloat: Ridgid TS3612

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Forum topic by harriw posted 06-17-2012 03:04 AM 6210 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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harriw

116 posts in 1673 days


06-17-2012 03:04 AM

Hey folks,

I’ve been looking for a used table saw for a few months now, and have posted at least a half dozen “found-this-on-craigslist-what-do-you-think” posts in that time. So after all the great feedback I received on those posts, and now that I finally found and bought one I thought I’d share what I found and wound up with :)

First, just some background: I’d been using my FIL’s old craftsman RAS for almost 9 years now. But this fall while doing a lot of molding work on the house I borrowed my Dad’s Dewalt 12” Miter Saw. I was absolutely AMAZED with that tool. The accuracy and ability of the tool, quality of the cut, etc. all blew me away. It got me thinking about what I might be missing out on from a table-saw vs. RAS perspective, and I started looking.

As the title says, it’s a Ridgid TS3612. The last of an era :) I found it for sale almost a month ago about an hour-or-so away in Syracuse, but they were asking $475 for it. After inquiring, I found that they bought it at a garage sale from a neighbor a few years ago and hadn’t touched it since. Said neighbor had claimed he bought it new for $1200 (...?). They thought $475 was a good deal, and were just trying to get back what they spent on it.

Anyway, I did my best to gently let them know that they’d WAY overpaid, gave them a counter-offer, provided a few links to support it (such as the brand new R4512 on the HD site for $530), and politely asked them to let me know if they decided to lower the price.

Well what do you know, they sent me an email 3 weeks later (last weekend), and I went and bought it that same day for $350. I know most would say I overpaid (and would be correct – especially considering the $40 in gas it cost me to go get it). But I’d been looking for something like this for almost 3 months now, and was willing to spend a bit more than I expected to get what I wanted. I’d looked at the craftsman version of this saw locally, inquired here about a similar Jet and Grizzly, and found there was always a drawback to them all. For $200-250-300, all the others needed something to bring them to the level of the stock TS3612 – I’d need to add cast iron extensions, or the blade was right tilt instead of left, or I’d need to go buy a mobile base, or the fence was a POS, etc., etc. So maybe I paid a bit more than the going rate, but I walked away with a saw that meets all my requirements, and should make sure my skill is the limiting factor and not my saw for quite a few years to come :)

Anyway, I got it home, took off the rails and extensions, cleaned up and waxed the top (WD40, scotchbrite, and the ROS followed by johnson’s), and went through the manual cleaning, lubing, and aligning everything. There are some glue stains on the top that I can’t get out, but it’s smooth as glass, and wood just glides right across it. The wings do have a tiny bit of a dip in the middle of the two outer edges, but are dead-flat at the edges where the rails bolt on. Unfortunately I don’t have a dial indicator, but using the 5-cut method (2-cut method for the rip fence) and a micrometer, I’ve got the fence toeing out at the back by 0.003”, and the stock miter gauge was actually dead-nuts square (0.000” difference using the 5-cut) after just taking out some of the guide-bar slop with a center punch (VERY pleasant surprise). It passes the nickel test, but there is some vibration there I’ll try to eliminate if possible. I think it’s probably the motor vibrating on the spring mount – not sure there’s much I can do about it. It doesn’t seem to affect the cut at all anyway. I’ve also got the cursor on the rip fence zeroed in. It’s AWFULLY nice to be able to make accurate rips without touching a tape measure :) Never dared to even try that on the RAS.

I haven’t done anything serious with it yet – basically just milling down some 2×4’s into 1/2” strips to screw around making mitered frames – but it cuts like a dream! It’s going to be an absolute pleasure to use. I went back to check the square on my RAS as long as I was doing 5-cuts, and couldn’t believe how rough it was to use after working on the Ridgid for a few days.

At any rate, here’s a few pics of it after being disassembled, cleaned up, and re-assembled and aligned (sorry, I was too excited to get started to take any before pics):

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I just had to share my excitement somewhere :) Thanks everyone for the help along the way! Hopefully soon my questions will start trending towards project questions instead of tool-purchase questions :)

-- Bill - Western NY


6 replies so far

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2601 posts in 2483 days


#1 posted 06-17-2012 03:44 AM

Looks like you got a good deal there!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3792 days


#2 posted 06-17-2012 03:52 AM

I think my FIL has that exact saw… wouldn’t mind having one like it.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6474 posts in 2064 days


#3 posted 06-17-2012 04:01 AM

Looks great, enjoy!

View Richard's profile

Richard

400 posts in 2157 days


#4 posted 06-17-2012 04:03 AM

Looks sharp – I’ve got the Rigid TS2412 with the exact same wings. The TS3612 is a very capable machine and it should take you a long time to outgrow it.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View harriw's profile

harriw

116 posts in 1673 days


#5 posted 06-17-2012 04:04 AM

Besides the stains, slight dips in the extensions, and the minor vibration, the only “problems” I’ve found so far are that it’s missing the clips to store the rip fence on the stand (under the table), and that some of the letters from the “RIDGID” decal on the front have peeled off. I’m sure I can make up some clips from some scrap metal, and I’ve got a buddy who makes and sells custom vinyl decals for a living, so I might get him to make me a replacement decal just for grins, LOL.

BTW, does anybody know if you can still order the Ridgid dust collector inserts they made for these saws? I’m guessing nobody keeps inventory on that sort of thing 10 years after a model is discontinued?

And oh yeah! The TS3612 apparently came with a blank zero-clearance insert. Turns out nobody’s ever used the one that came with this saw! So it’s ready and waiting for me whenever I get around to putting a good blade on it. Might be a while, as I’m quite pleasantly surprised with the stock blade.

BTW, my micrometer says the splitter is around 0.075” wide, so I’m thinking I can safely use a thin kerf as long as I’m careful setting up the splitter with it. Does this match others’ experience?

Think I’m going to like this saw – I keep looking for stuff to cut on it, and already have a decent-sized pile of sawdust underneath it. :) I already have a few small pieces of furniture planned for the wife’s sewing room. Need to find a dado blade for it first I think.

-- Bill - Western NY

View toolie's profile

toolie

2025 posts in 2094 days


#6 posted 06-18-2012 07:41 PM

1). congrats on the saw. while $350 isn’t a steal, it’s still a gloat. here’s your “you suck”!
2). the 3612 is probably the best contractor TS ever made.
3). being a gray made by emerson electric product, it carries a lifetime guaranty, regardless of who owns it.
4). i have that plastic DC accessory on my 2412. it’s no longer avaialble. fashion your own from ply or mdf and flange it between the saw cabinet and the leg stand.
5). the herc-u-lift is the best mobile base ever made.
6). change the motor and arbor pulleys to machined units and get a link belt. eliminates the rest of any motor vibration (i have this s/u on an emerson built c-man(same guts as the 3612) and it works GREAT.).
7). don’t ever change those wings. they are great for clamping featherboards.
8). keep that CI table covered and it will go several years before it needs additional attention. make a cover like this from masonite/hardboard, wax the slick surface of the hardboard and it’s great light assembly/glue up table. and with the waxed masonite, allow the glue drips to dry up and they are easily removed with a sharp fingernail from the masonite.

enjoy your great find. it’s a terrific saw.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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