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Ridgid R4512 Fence Alignment

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Forum topic by splinterking posted 663 days ago 4328 views 1 time favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


663 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question ridgid r4512

Hi, I’ve looked pretty throughly online for answer to this and could use some help. I’ll preface this with I know this is the absolute entry level saw and maybe I’m expecting to much. Also I’m just a beginning woodworker so i could just be screwing up.

Anyway here’s the problem I’ve aligned the fence on this saw about 5 times now using an A-Line-It dial indicator. I get it nice and aligned checking it repeatedly as I tighten the bolts. I check after I tighten everything down securely and it’s fine. Then after a move it up and down the rails a few times and check it, it’s off by anywhere between .015-.05. Which seems like a pretty big swing on a dial indicator to me. Just to make it interesting it’s dead on every once in a while.

So I guess my question/thinking is am doing something wrong or missing something or should i just really be looking at a fence upgrade? Then of course if I’m upgrading the fence for $160-$350 then should I just return the R4512 and buy Grizzly or Steel City (which from what I understand would be the next level up)? Everything else on this saw is pretty good, blade alignment, arbor runout etc.

Anyway any help, opinions etc. would be great.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain


33 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1016 posts in 912 days


#1 posted 663 days ago

Welcome to LJs, splinterking. I own this saw and also dealt with fence alignment issues, so maybe I can help. First, a few questions. Where are you measuring the error? Fence to miter slot, front or back, both. ...? Which bolts are you tightening, the four at the front of the fence? These details might help us narrow down the problem.

It took me a little work but I got my fence dialed in and it is repeatably accurate. The R4512 is a good saw for the money, and although the fence is not the best in the world it is not a bad system. Let’s see if we can nail down the problem.

-- John, BC, Canada

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RussellAP

2944 posts in 913 days


#2 posted 663 days ago

I have a 4512 too. The fence was not set right at the factory, so I just loosened the screws by the indicator and lined it up and tightened. Easy peasy. Check progressively down the rail for alignment and make sure the rails are lined up.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#3 posted 663 days ago

Hey thanks for your reply nwbusa and the welcome. Since you have the 4512 and got it working it gives me some hope! I like the saw in general esp. compare to the job site saw I was using before.

I am referencing off the miter slot, the A-Line-It thing fits in the slot and then you zero it out and move it from front to back along the miter slot. I’ve tried it at various distances from the miter slot. The fence is moving away from the miter slot at the back.

I’ve been loosing and tightening the four bolts by the fence handle to make my adjustments. I’ve been leaving the closest bolt to me a little snug to keep it from moving to much allowing my to make a more accurate adjustment(in theory). The last time adjusted it, once I got it in place I tried using a clamp to hold everything in place.

Also I started measuring it again because I notice the wood appeared to drift away from it at the back. Although I was cutting short piece the see to come out accurately, I just thought the drift was weird so I checked it.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

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RussellAP

2944 posts in 913 days


#4 posted 663 days ago

Some people have had trouble with the blade going out of alignment as it’s raised and lowered. You sure that’s not what’s happening? Because once you get the fence aligned with the blade, it shouldn’t come out unless the rail is out of alignment, and that hardly ever happens.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#5 posted 663 days ago

@RussellAP~ i did check the blade alignment, I read a lot about that issue before I bought the saw and luckily I haven’t notice any problems. I checked it several times just to be sure before I finished the assembly. But thanks for trying to help : )

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#6 posted 663 days ago

UPDATE: I have gotten down to a consistant .020 by tightening the rear bolt on the fence. But here is what I noticed that made me do that, even with the front four bolts tightened down when the fence was tightened down it moved right at the far end, but stayed zeroed at the close end. So obviously it’s dragging it’s self right a bit(about 10-15 K). Is this indicative of anything else being out of adjustment?

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View yrob's profile

yrob

340 posts in 2279 days


#7 posted 663 days ago

It sounds like your rails were not installed properly on the saw. The back rail is out of parallel with the front rail slightly so your fence binds and ends up going out of parallel as well. I may be wrong but it is worth checking. I have the previous model (3650) and once I adjusted everything right (it took me several hours the first time..) it stayed dead on and is never off.

-- Yves

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#8 posted 663 days ago

That would make sense. I my just be dim, but how would I check for parallelism in between the rails? Just with a tape measure? And what would I do if they are off?

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1064 posts in 1419 days


#9 posted 663 days ago

Are you locking the fence down before you check it? The fence should align itself as you lock it down. If not you may need to adjust the locking mechanism to make it tighter. If the rails have a lot of friction when you slide the fence tey a little WD 40.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#10 posted 663 days ago

It slides on the rails slide good. They seem to be parallel. To answer your question it actually goes out of alignment more when it’s locked down. I’ve tightened the locking bolt quite a bit and have only seen minimal improvement. I will try to lock it down more and see if that helps.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1016 posts in 912 days


#11 posted 663 days ago

It sounds like you’re on the right track. Definitely check the parallelism of the front and rear rails. You could shim one if needed but that will hopefully not be necessary (it wasn’t for me). Also, I’ve read that some people prefer the rear of the fence to be “open” (heeled away from the blade) by a few thou, to make rip cuts a bit easier. There are a few components that can have an interactive effect on the fence alignment, so just keep tweaking as needed and make sure things are square etc. as you go. The saw is capable of being setup nearly perfect, and once you get everything aligned it should stay aligned.

-- John, BC, Canada

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#12 posted 663 days ago

@nwbusa. I have to admit a I’m a little discouraged right now, but tomorrow is a whole new day to mess with it. I’m think about taking the fence off the T base and see if does just need the face of it cleaned. It kind of acts like its seating back down in a particular spot and that’s why I’m not getting anywhere. Thanks for your help.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

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cutworm

1064 posts in 1419 days


#13 posted 663 days ago

Wonder if one of the nylon slides on the fence could be broken or worn?

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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splinterking

50 posts in 663 days


#14 posted 663 days ago

Yeah I looked at the nylon slides and they seem alright from what I can tell. I just got the saw a couple weeks ago so they’re still basically new. I thought at first there might be away to adjust them, but no such luck. That would make sense to why the fence wants to kick out though.

-- "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." ~Mark Twain

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2944 posts in 913 days


#15 posted 663 days ago

If you align the fence and then close it, does it stay in alignment? Does it then stay when you open it and reclose it repeatedly?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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