Disappointing Craigslist Find - Looking for TS3650 rails

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Forum topic by nealius posted 03-23-2014 05:18 AM 3559 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 2141 days

03-23-2014 05:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw ts3650 r4512 fence


As some of you may know, I’ve been looking for a used table saw to upgrade my aggravating old craftsman 113. After watching craigslist, estate sales, auctions, etc. for months, I finally found something good (or so I thought). A small local cabinet shop was closing and selling off their equipment. Since most of the owner’s money was tied up in the big cabinet saws, shapers, and drum sanders, he was willing to give me what I thought was a good deal on a gently used Ridgid TS3650.

So I drove out to look at the saw, and everything seemed as he had described it. The motor ran nice and smooth with no vibration, the blade raised and beveled smoothly. The fence appeared to be the stock 3650 fence. So I picked up a few other things he had, paid the man and drove home.

I spent most of the afternoon dismantling, cleaning, and re-assembly the TS. Everything went smoothly until I tried to put the rear fence rail back on. The rail didn’t match the drawing in the manual and couldn’t be attached the way it was described. After some head-scratching and research, I determined I have rails (front and back) from the newer Ridgid model R4512.

It’s pretty clear to me that someone did a little garage engineering to make this fit. Different fasteners, drilled out holes, the signs are there.

Here is a picture of the rear rail I have (R4512):

And here is a picture of a TS3650 rail from the internet. Incidently, this is from a blog where the user is putting TS3650 rails on his R4512:

Thanks to the previous owner and his handy drill, the new rail attaches to the table, but there are a few other problems I’ve discovered that are not so easily fixed.

1) The new rail is taller and impedes on the miter slot. I could drill out the holes and allow the rail to sit lower, but that would cause further problems. Which leads us to the next problem.

2) The new rail impedes on the motor mount and keeps the blade from beveling to 45 degrees. I can only get 41 degrees of travel. Here is a picture of the splitter mount hitting the rail:

3) The new rails make the fence sit up off the table about 1/8th of an inch. This is obviously bad if you’re cutting thin stock.

I’m kicking my self for not picking up on these things, but they were clearly Ridgid rails on a Ridgid saw. They looked like they fit, and fence clamped down well. I guess that’s what you risk when dealing on CL.

So here’e my plan:

Option 1:
Does anyone have the stock TS3650 rails? Upgrading the TS3650 fence is a pretty common, so there is bound to be some LJs with the stock rails who no longer have a need for them. Is there anyone who would be willing sell them to me for cheap?

Option 2:
Option 2 is to go ahead and make the fence upgrade I was going to save for a year or two down the road. It looks like there’s a fair price on a Delta T2 here:

Are there others in that price range I should consider? What about other ideas for resolving my fence/rail issue?

I’m very appreciative of this site an all the members that make is such a valuable tool. Thanks for all your responses in advance!

21 replies so far

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1305 posts in 1869 days

#1 posted 03-23-2014 06:25 AM

So looking at the 2 pics it looks to me like if you flip your rail counter clockwise 90 you’ll have the same mounting that the 2nd pic shows. Why wouldn’t that work?

edit: remove the splitter mount. I assume you have another one inboard by the blade, make a splitter that uses that one alone.

-- Jeff NJ

View DangerDoug's profile


82 posts in 1882 days

#2 posted 03-23-2014 08:41 AM

Option 3
1) Mod the aluminum rail with a small notch to get to 45 degrees.

2) Make up wood sliders; a 24” x 24” square plywood and a nice piece straight hardwood for cut off sled(s). (I could live without a metal miter T block, never use them anyway)

Wood Slider Tip: Dado a slight grove in the 2’ x 2’ plywood for the hardwood strip, works a little better than nails or small screws.

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2863 days

#3 posted 03-23-2014 12:11 PM

Buy a new rear 3650 rail from m&d mower. The OEM fence on the 3650 is every bit as good was a t2, and it offer 6” more rip capacity. Also, if you are willing to sacrifice the usefulness of the front rail tape, and give up rip capacity to the left of the blade,the OEM rails of the 3650 can be slid to the right for upwards of 42” of rip capacity, and perhaps as much as 48” of rip capacity.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3157 days

#4 posted 03-23-2014 01:40 PM

I have this saw and I like it. I bought mine in 2006. Well worth some fix-up work. You may be able to notch the rail as has been suggested, by Danger Dug, for the saw blade tilt issue. Also notch for the miter slot issue. You could add some material, either wood or metal, to the underside of your fence to make it touch the table saw top. If all this does not work as you like then look into replacing the rail with the right one as toolie suggested.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4453 days

#5 posted 03-23-2014 01:56 PM

I have this saw, and have never felt the need to upgrade the fence in any way.

To me, you just need to decide between two options:

1. Use the workarounds already suggested and live with what you’ve got.
2. Buy a new rear rail, which a little research shows is available for around $55.

Personally, I’d just buy a new rail (unless a fellow LJ happens to have one lying around).

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bobsboxes's profile


1369 posts in 2899 days

#6 posted 03-23-2014 02:21 PM

I also have this saw, I also picked up one at a gauge sale for my son. This is a good solid saw, I have never had any issues with the fence. If no one has a rail, I would just order the rail for $55 and you will be happy with it. Our saws are about 8 or more years old and are still very true. My 2 cents.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2812 days

#7 posted 03-23-2014 02:34 PM

I’d either order the rear rail as mentioned above, or cut the current rail for the motor, also mentioned above.

If you decide to go with cutting the current rail, another thing I’d do is enlarge the current mounting holes so the fence can sit lower. I like my fence about 1/16” above the table so I can cut 1/8” materials without an auxiliary fence. Or you could just clamp a borad to the fence flush with the table for thin ripping.

There’s a lot of solutions to your problems. The questions is do you want to spend more money or time fixing them?
I always aim for a middle ground.

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

View woodworkingdrew's profile


190 posts in 1844 days

#8 posted 03-23-2014 02:43 PM

I purchased a used 3650 off craigslist, its a great saw. My advice would be to check out eReplacement Mine had a missing guard and splitter I had to pruchase. The precision and alignment is great, so my advice would be not to do any more modification. Purchase the stock rail off the internet, it will be a lot less headache down the road.

-- Andrew, California

View wreckingball's profile


17 posts in 1767 days

#9 posted 03-23-2014 04:26 PM

If it were me, and I couldn’t find someone who had that rail for a lot less than $55 (or free), I’d just bite the bullet now and get the Delta fence and rail system.

I have the R4512 and after using the stock fence for about a week, I installed a Beisemeyer style T-square system, and am very glad I did. I personally don’t like any fence system that locks at the rear.

My $.02, FWIW, IMHO, and all that…

-- Everything under the Sun is in tune, but the Sun is eclipsed by the Moon...

View nealius's profile


47 posts in 2141 days

#10 posted 03-23-2014 08:51 PM

Thanks all for the responses.

I’ve decided not to modify the rear rail to make it work. The notch I would have to put in the rail is right were the rail joiner is for the two pieces. That coupled with the other issues makes this option too painstaking for what I would end up with.

So I’m leaning toward purchasing to OEM rear rail as many of you have mentioned. I believe this should solve most of the problems. However, I still have a R4512 front rail. The rip fence seems to fit in it ok, but having never used a TS3650 fence, I wonder what impact the R4512 rail is having. It does seems to raise the fence some as I’ve mentioned. I could add an auxiliary fence to solve that problem, but I’ll probably always wonder how much better the intended setup would be. You don’t know what you don’t know…

Thanks to everyone for your input. I’ll let you know what I end up doing in the event someone else has this problem in the future.

View nealius's profile


47 posts in 2141 days

#11 posted 03-23-2014 10:53 PM

Has anyone had any experience with Outdoor Distributors? It looks like they might have the best deal on a rail.


View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2863 days

#12 posted 03-23-2014 11:23 PM

However, I still have a R4512 front rail

I’m confused. It sounds like you got a 3650 with a 3650 OEM fence. But the above quote makes it sound like you have the front rail of a 4512 ( which is a square tube) where the OEM front rail of a 3650 is anything but a square steel tube. There is no way an OEM 3650 fence would work on a 4512 front rail. Care to clarify.

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

View nealius's profile


47 posts in 2141 days

#13 posted 03-23-2014 11:35 PM


Are you thinking of the R4511? I think it has a square tube. The R4512 has an extruded tube that is very similar to the 3650 as far as I can tell. The 3650 and 4512 front tubes have slight profile differences, but I can’t tell if that really affects the way the fence clamps on them. The notable difference is the R4512 has two piece rails and a joiner.

From my research, the TS3650 had one piece rails that were shipped in a separate package from the main saw box and they were notorious for getting separated in shipment. My guess is that the original owner bought the saw on clearance without the rails then got HD or Ridgid to send him replacements, which happened to be for the R4512.

So to clarify, I believe I have a TS3650 with a 3650 rip fence and rails (front and rear) from the R4512.

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2863 days

#14 posted 03-24-2014 12:42 AM

My mistake on the 4512 rails. I’m surprised that the 3650 fence would work on the 4512 rails. Does the 3650 fence’s micro adjust feature work on the 4512 front rail? We’re it my saw, I’d seriously consider getting the correct rails for the 3650 fence. The OEM fence on my 2412 is not as nice as the 3650 fence, and the 2412 fence is every bit as accurate as the t2 I have on a c-man 113 saw. That accuracy, combined with the ability to get more capacity out of the 3650 OEM fence make it the preferred choice over the t2, IMHO.

FTR, the 3660, successor to the 3650, was packed in one box instead of two and it had a better leg set bracing system. All other aspects of the two saws were the same, and so the parts of both saws are interchangeable.

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

View Kickback's profile


127 posts in 2870 days

#15 posted 03-24-2014 01:42 AM

I have the same saw purchased used with the OEM fence and rails. They work perfectly so I would be inclined to just order the front and rear rails direct from Rigid and get the saw back to its proper configuration. I just looked up the rails on Rigids parts site and they are still available so I wouldn’t wait too long or else risk not being able to get them from the OEM. The rear rail was $60 and the front rail was $160 if I remember. It isn’t cheap but it will be super easy to get that saw back to normal with the original parts and you won’t have to do any modifications to make anything fit. I am getting sick of spending time making things work instead of working with wood so I try and get the right stuff whenever possible.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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