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Does Table Saw blade alignment matter if blade is parallel to fence?

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Forum topic by umlify posted 10-30-2014 05:47 PM 1312 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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umlify

5 posts in 766 days


10-30-2014 05:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello Everyone,
New to the forums here and a novice/intermediate woodworker. The more free time I have, the more experienced I get in the wood shop.

Here’s my dilemma:
I have the dreaded Ridgid 4512 Table saw with the blade alignment issue (blade moves right when raised and left when lowered) and I cannot get the blade perfectly square to the mitre slots.

So, my question is this: Does this even matter if I end up aligning my fence to be parallel with the blade while making my cuts? The Ridgid fence has enough flexibility in it for me to fine tune how parallel it is before I lock it down.

I did this for a jewelry box last year and it came out good but I didn’t use a lot of advanced woodworking skills like dovetail joinery.

I am about to make a really nice blanket chest with expensive wood and dovetails on all 4 corners and I know the wood has to be perfectly square so this issue is making me nervous.

Let me know what you think, because as long as I will get perfectly straight cuts with the fence being parallel to the blade I’ll be happy.

Thank you,
Ryan


17 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

880 posts in 1898 days


#1 posted 10-30-2014 05:52 PM

Well, if all you ever use is the fence then you should be okay. But if you use your miter slots for a sled or a gauge or any of countless jigs then they need to be parallel to the blade also.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View David_H's profile

David_H

90 posts in 779 days


#2 posted 10-30-2014 06:02 PM

You could also probably align your miter guage to account for the discrepancy. Probably would take a lot of trial and error to get it right.

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

800 posts in 1570 days


#3 posted 10-30-2014 06:15 PM

Or you could fill in and then recut your miter slots to align to the blade!

(Really don’t do this.)

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2432 days


#4 posted 10-30-2014 06:17 PM



You could also probably align your miter guage to account for the discrepancy. Probably would take a lot of trial and error to get it right.

- David_H


Sorry, but no, I don’t think so.
You could get the miter gauge fence to be 90 degrees to the blade, but as it rides the un-square slot it would be dragging the workpiece laterally against the blade.
I have the same POS saw and personally wish the management that came up with this cappy design would all catch Ebola, or something.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View umlify's profile

umlify

5 posts in 766 days


#5 posted 10-30-2014 06:20 PM

Yeah…this table saw has caused me enough grief! But considering I don’t have enough money for a new one, I need to find a way to get by.
As long as paralleling the fence to the blade for making straight cuts will work then I’ll be fine for this project. If I crosscut I’ll either use my chop saw or fine tune the ends with my hand plane.

View retfr8flyr's profile

retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1130 days


#6 posted 10-30-2014 09:48 PM

If you do a search, there are several threads about fixing the blade alignment problems on the 4512. I don’t have one but from my understanding the alignment is only a problem at the full travel height of the blade. Are you saying it moves during the entire length of travel? If that is the case I think you have a different problem, not the typical 4512 alignment problem.

-- Earl

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

403 posts in 2419 days


#7 posted 10-30-2014 10:25 PM

Yes, you need to be square or you’ll have to remedy the error with a plane. I believe Crank said it: don’t let the blade-miter slot issue get you down because sleds, jigs, and gages can be built or at least tuned to square with the blade. For instance, with a sled you screw one edge of the rear fence, use a square to bring the fence into alignment with the blade, and then drive the second screw. Look at that: you’ve overcome the fruits of so-so engineering and slip-shod manufacturing.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

136 posts in 1753 days


#8 posted 10-30-2014 11:11 PM

If your blade is not square to the miter slot no cut utilizing the slot will be true to the blade no mater how you try to adjust it. The front of the blade or the back of the blade will always be closer to the slot. You can adjust the fence to be parallel to the blade and it will be fine for ripping utilizing the fence.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

880 posts in 1898 days


#9 posted 10-31-2014 12:14 AM

Yep, no matter how you cut it, you’re not going to get an exact cut if the slots are not parallel. If you’re off parallel by a couple thousandths then you can most likely get by cross cutting small stock (at least to the standards of my precision). I would also imagine that cutting something like dadoes in a shelving unit could be dialed in with some trial and error. (I pretty much have to do that anyway). Your problem is going to be most evident when cross cutting wider boards.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Crank50's profile

Crank50

173 posts in 1038 days


#10 posted 11-03-2014 05:23 AM


If you do a search, there are several threads about fixing the blade alignment problems on the 4512. I don t have one but from my understanding the alignment is only a problem at the full travel height of the blade. Are you saying it moves during the entire length of travel? If that is the case I think you have a different problem, not the typical 4512 alignment problem.

- retfr8flyr


No, the problem is not only at the extremes of movement.
Any height adjustment causes the blade to yaw and pitch at the same time. That is to say it twists out of square with the miter slots and it tilts a little off of true 90 degrees vertical. Backing off the lifting pressure will let it come back to vertical, almost, but it never comes completely back to the same orientation as before the height was adjusted.
I have run the damn thing up and down dozens of times and never get the same “out of square-ness” any two times.

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retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1130 days


#11 posted 11-03-2014 05:40 AM

Like I said I don’t own one but I don’t think it should be doing that. I think you have another problem aside from the normal 4512 issue. How long have you had it, is it new, can you take it back? With the blade doing that, you will never be able to make repeatable precision cuts.

-- Earl

View umlify's profile

umlify

5 posts in 766 days


#12 posted 11-03-2014 10:28 AM

Good news, I solved the problem! I sold it and bought a Sawstop Professional.
I got so tired of having an inaccurate saw and backing up every measurement with a tape measure or caliper and tweaking various things before every cut.
This Sawstop is outright amazing. Great craftsmanship and extremely well built. And most importantly, it’s dead accurate!

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

136 posts in 1753 days


#13 posted 11-03-2014 11:24 AM

Congrats on the new saw.

I hope that you let the buyer of the Ridgid know about the alignment issue.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

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umlify

5 posts in 766 days


#14 posted 11-03-2014 11:37 AM

Without a doubt. Actually sold it to my brother-in-law who does job-site construction and he was perfectly happy getting this saw.

View wseand's profile

wseand

2754 posts in 2503 days


#15 posted 11-03-2014 12:43 PM

Nice fix to your problem…

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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