I'm looking to upgrade/ replace my current table saw in the relatively new
future so the review of
mid-priced TSs in the June/July issue of Wood mag was pretty timely.
They rated the Ridgid TS3650 'Top Tool' of the 8 contractor style saws
reviewed. Others entries include
the Bridgewood TSC-10CL, Delta 36-380, Grizzly G0576 and the Jet JWTS-10JF.
Their choice surprised me, but, with the list of std features such as
built-in mobile base, cast iron wings and
large 44x27 table top make it seem like a pretty good deal.
Does anyone have one? Is so, what do you think?
How well does it handle large sheet goods?
Would you buy one again?
I've had the Ridgid TS3650 for a couple months. Previously I had an
old 9" craftsman with a small (but cast iron) top, and a benchtop, so
I can't make any comparison to other contractor saws or the new
hybrids that might be in your budget. I can say that it's worlds
better than what I had.
It does have an issue though. On the arbor there is a short flat
section for the blade. Next to this is a short section where the
threads end that is a smaller diameter than the flat section and the
rest of the threads. The consequence of this is that if you use a
stack dado the second blade in the stack doesn't line up with the rest
and you won't get a flat cut.
Ridgid knows about the problem, and have known about it for a long
time. Saws manufactured after a certain date have a new arbor that
has the threads go all the way to the flat section, but they did not
recall the saws out in the stores. If you end up with the old arbor,
Ridgid will send you a new one if you call them, but installing it is
not simple and they recommend you take it to a service center.
I ended up with the old arbor, and at this point I've just left it
alone. I don't use the stack dado much, and when I do it's generally
internal. So it wasn't a big deal to me.
Other than that I'm quite happy with it. I have not tried any sheet
goods on it yet, but I would do full sheets with the circular saw and
a guide anyway. Some people will complain about the fence because it
locks front and back rather than just at the front, but I have not had
a problem with it. The blade guard is actually usable, while an utter
nightmare to setup the first time it comes on and off with one
thumbsrew and so far has stayed in alignment.
Setup was fairly straight-forward but a couple notes if you do end up
getting it. Make sure you have a full complement of allan wreches, it
needs a bunch of them and it doesn't include them. I think 3/32 was
the one I was missing. It's also got a weird combination of english
threads with metric heads.
The instructions say to put the front knob on first - don't. Wait
till you have the extensions on and the saw back upright. When you
flip the saw over the knob would be in the way.
There are 4 black triangular plates that mount on the legs that the
mobile base mount to. Install these at the same time as you do the
rest of the base, this will save you some time crawling on the floor.
I found that I needed to extend the levelling feet a bit to install
the lift, which is the only really confusing part of the process. The
instructions had said to put the feet all the way in, and then they
want you to level it before you even attach the saw to the base which
doesn't make any sense. I'd recommend setting them about a half inch
from all the way in for starters. Once you get the lift installed
you'll have to tweak these to get it to work right.
And finally, when you attach the front rail the instructions say to
use 4 bolts. There are 5 holes. Use 5 bolts. I have one bolt
sitting in a drawer :)
Good tip, I do use my stack dado on occasion, would use it more if I had a
saw. I'll have to watch out for this.. maybe only agreeing to buy it after
the box and examining the arbor itself..
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