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Help tuning up my new Rigid table saw

4705 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Alonso83
Hello all,

I have been a member for a short time here and love this site! The insight and information here has been priceless to me, as a neophyte.

I have explained that I own a Ryobi BTS21 table saw. This saw has serverd me well in the remodeling of my house and other construction related projects. However, it falls way short on most of the woodworking projects I have tried to build.

After making a Saddling Tenon jig (thank you so much vegasway) for my Ryobi and making a few test cuts at a shallow depth of 3/8's every thing looked good. However, I realized this saw did not have the accuracy to cut the presicion I needed for anything deeper, or could accept a large enough dado set (6" is all can take which gives me 1-3/8" max depth of cut) to accomplish a 1.5" tenon. After examining my shallower cuts of 1" depth, I noticed a slight bevel to my cut. After trying to true up my blade, I realized the bevel knob gear were stripped. After prying the blade/motor assembly to 90 degrees true and setting the bevel lock, it stayed true for another couple of cuts and beveled on me again. The bevel lock is not that robust.

I have known for a few months now that this saw was not ideal for what I was tryinig to accomplish. I have done much research into other saws and cost but, due to reasons I wanted to hold off upgrading to a newer,better, and more expensive saw.

Well, after yesterday I had had enough and decided to buy a new saw. After all the reviews I had read on the Ridgid R4511 compared to other saws that were more expensive, I decided this would be the saw for my skill level (beginner) and budget.

During my review reading, I noticed jocks talking about tune ups and modifications to thier table saws. Some of these are obvious, but because I have never owned a saw like this, I would appreciate any input and advice on all the tricks I could use to bring this saw to its peek.

I got a few from Purplev in his review, but I want to make sure I got all the information right and in order. You know Marine proof!

Thank you all for reading and look forward to all the info and advice.
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Congratulation on the new saw!

start by making sure all parts that you assemble are tightly connected as needed. then before you mod anything - make sure the table saw itself is tuned up properly for true cuts:

1. Blade to Table alignment - make sure the blade is parallel to the table's miter slot (align it with the left miter slot which is mostly the one used for cross cuts). this will be fairly easy since the trunnion is bolted to the cabinet, and not the table top - so all you have to do is loosen the 4 bolts that the table top is mounted with, align with the blade, and tighten them down - IF the blade is NOT parallel with the table.

2. Fence to Blade alignment - make sure the fence is parallel to the blade (you can align the fence with a slight (~0.001") relief in the back away from the blade).

this will ensure that the rip cuts, and cross cuts you make are accurate and square. after that any upgrade is just a cherry on top.

here's a good video by Marc about tuning a table saw

Enjoy your new boards making machine.
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There is some in depth stuff on tuning this saw on the Ridgid forum page that is good. Purp's advice will get you cutting wood accurately right away, so I can't add anything to that part, but I do have a couple of suggestions.

1. Get a better blade than what comes with the saw, good combo's are okay but really I think is better to have a good rip and a good crosscut blade, but that's up to you depending on what you cut the most.

2. You might want to consider taking the T slot foot off your miter gauge, and if you do it's still a good idea when using it to put it into the slot from the rear of the saw and draw it to you.

I have a RAS dedicated for crosscutting and I still did this, just in case I decided to. The only part about having a granite top that might concern me if I did any amount of crosscutting with the miter gauge.

Also at some point you will probably want to mount a sacrificial fence.
Besides the alignments mentioned, also use a good, accurate square to make sure that the blade is totally perpindicular when the scale for tilt is also on zero
+1 on getting a good blade or two. Your 1-1/2hp motor will benefit from a good thin kerf blade. There are lots of excellent choices…plan to spend ~ $35-$100….Infinity, Forrest, Ridge Carbide, Freud Industrial, CMT, Amana, Tenryu, Leitz, DeWalt PT series…all have some great blades.

A good stiff zero clearance insert that won't flex is a good idea too…I prefer phenolic or good plywood for it's stiffness. Get it nice and flush.

You should also consider building a crosscut sled or getting an aftermarket miter gauge…the Incra V27 is a heck of a bargain.
Don't forget to make sure your granite wings are true flat to the main top, also wax the top and mitter slots will be a good idea.

I own this table for just a week and since then I put more than $200 on upgrades, like knotscott said, I just got an Incra V27 out of Craiglist for $27!! brand new, a zero clearence insert from woodcraft a freud dado blade S208 and a 4 piece safety kit. this one says to be for sale online only but that is not true I just went to my local rockler and they have it for the same price.
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