Ridgid R4512 Tablesaw Fence Alignment

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Forum topic by Jnick posted 02-28-2017 02:15 PM 7375 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1693 days

02-28-2017 02:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw ridgid 4512 fence alignment

Let me preface this with I’m a complete beginner to woodworking….

I picked up a Ridgid 4512 saw a couple of weeks ago and just got around to assembling it this weekend, it’s quite the upgrade from a $200 Delta portable saw! Everything has gone well, except for the fence. Out of the box, the fence would not sit on the rail. With the clamp open, the fence wasn’t open enough to grab the back rail and push down into the front rail. Unfortunately, nothing in the manual 9that I saw) stated how to fix this, so I had to tinker with it. I eventually found that if I loosened the nut on the back of the fence, it opened the jaw, allowing me to fit the fence in the T-Channel in the front.

However, no matter what I try, I can’t seem to get consistent results with the fence, aligning it to the Mitre slot. I am using a Mag-Dro in the Mitre slot with a Digital Caliper. At this time, below are three arbitrary readings I took:

.8500 Front
.8480 Back

.7880 Front
.7895 Back

.7970 Front
.7880 Back

So I’m anywhere from 0.0015 – 0.0090, and it looks like the back is tipped in to the blade consistently, which I believe is a bad thing, right? Shouldn’t the back be, if anything, tipped away from the blade 0.0015 or so? Anyway, here’s what I’m seeing….

I can align the fence to the slot but the minute I clamp the fence down, it’s shifting and kicks in toward the blade a bit. I messed with it for about an hour last night trying the following:

Fence unclamped:

Loosen the 4 fence bolts and do the major adjustment
Use the nut on the back of the fence to add tension
Ensure the rails are tight

Other then thinking it’s a bad fence since it came way off out of the box, is there anything I’m missing with the adjustments or alignments?

Any help is appreciated! I’m itching to get this fired up and cut some lumber!

Thank you in advance!

5 replies so far

View RobS888's profile


2829 posts in 3086 days

#1 posted 02-28-2017 03:29 PM

Some of those measurements are ok, 1.5 thousandths of an inch is very good, 9 thousandths is too much. Mine would heel over 10 or 15 thousandths of an inch when I raised the blade.

I had that saw and never got the first fence to work right, Ridgid sent me an new fence and rail tube, but nothing ever fixed the problem. Knowing what I know now, I would return and try another one, while you can. I didn’t, thinking it was just an adjustment… I eventually donated it to habitat for humanity, I couldn’t in good conscience sell it.

Oh, one test you can do is to try raising the blade and checking the alignment again, mine would move the back of the blade towards the fence. That is the worst case scenario because it caused binding and would stall the motor and trip the breaker.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1095 posts in 2703 days

#2 posted 02-28-2017 03:49 PM

Ok, I have been using this saw for a few years now and have the same issues.
Someday, I will upgrade to a bessimeyer or vega style fence it think.
To start off, when putting the fence on the track. I put the fence on the back rail 1st, then set the clamp end in the track. It is loose, but also kinda snaps into the track. Even after you get it all set up. Every time you move it, you will need to clean out any saw dust frome that front track, and then push the fence into the saw table as you lock it in place. Any saw dust in the track can cause the fence to be out of alignment. Really sucks.
And yes, I keep my fence towed out a little on the back side. Setting the fence for a 1st cut goes ok as long as the track is clean, and I remember to hold pressure into the table. After you make a few cuts, and just want to make a micro adjustment. Thats when it becomes a real pain. Alot of potential for the fence to be out of alignment at this point. Always have to remember to clean out the track.
Also, be very careful handling the fence when not in use. Set it down on a flat surface where it won’t get bumped. I have made the mistake of leaning it up against a bench or tool box. If it falls over, you will be re adusting it.

Oh, quick edit. Did you buy this saw new just now?
If so, take it back while you can.and get your money back..
I would not buy it again. By the time I spend money on the fence upgrade. I could by a used cabinet saw, or a brand new Grizzly saw that does not need upgrading. I was a complete beginner too when I bought mine. I wish I had someone to tell me to take this POS back.

-- John

View Stutely's profile


1 post in 1456 days

#3 posted 10-23-2017 01:52 PM

Old post but I’ve got a new take…I think…I’ve had this saw about four years and cringe every time I start a project because I know I’m going to fight the stinking fence.

I could spend half an hour adjusting the fence to the miter slot by loosening the four bolts on the front side, but as soon as I released the clamp it would drift. So I would basically try to align it for each cut and any time I had to move the fence. I also recent added UHMW tape to the plastic slides on the underside per a forum post I came across. That eliminated the play on the slides, but didn’t help with the drift.

The other night I finally decided to figure this nonsense out, and I noticed that it was when I clamped it down it would drift away from the blade on the far end. This was because the tail end clamp was not moving straight in and out but was pulling in at an angle.

So I took apart the clamping mechanism on the back end and found that the spring was the culprit, or more specifically the spring slot. In the first picture you can see the slot the spring slides into. What was happening was those little tabs were bending which caused the clamp to move at an angle which then torqued the fence off to the side instead of straight. My solution was to bend the tabs back down, and cut a piece of maple to fit so that the tabs could be supported. Now when the clamp is engaged the force of the spring is held in check by the wood. The result is a fence that is true and predictable.

I’m still wary enough that I check it, but so far after a few days of using it I?m gaining confidence.

View Jose's profile


105 posts in 2894 days

#4 posted 05-25-2018 01:07 PM

Stutely, is your solution with the maple in the fence still working for you? That seems like a great idea and I will try it on my fence. I’m also fed up with the drifting.

-- Jose

View Bakin's profile


2 posts in 367 days

#5 posted 11-17-2020 03:19 PM

I saw this old post on Rigid Table saw fence alignment issues and wanted to send a note to those suffering this problem. I just installed some new 3D printed rail guides for the Rigid table saw made available from Summers Woodworking Company and they greatly improved the alignment issues I had been having with the Rigid fence.

The new 3-D Printed guides easily replace the Rigid guides or slides in minutes. The new guides are available from Summers Woodworking for $25 a pair. The new guides are slightly larger than the old Rigid guides fitting tighter and removing the extra space in the fit and reducing the wobble from the old guides. These new guides are smooth and the fence moves easily.

Try them out; I’m completely satisfied with my purchase.

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