In Projects, Shop Blog, Techniques

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This week I was finally able to purchase a new table saw.  I had been "getting by" with a lowly Ryobi 10" contractor saw with a tiny table.  I tried the 'build a saw stand to extend your work area' projects, but nothing can replace a nice large table on a "table" saw.  With a tiny budget, I decided on the new RIDGED saw.  I purchased it still "in the box" and hauled it home to my workshop.  This baby weighs about 475 lbs. in the box, so (with the help of my teenage son and nephew) I opened the box on the trailer I used to bring it home and after unbolting the metal frame inside the box to protect it during shipping we removed it piece by piece and carried the pieces into the shop.  The instructions for assembly leave a lot to be desired.  They do not give the sizes of the screws/bolts to be used in each part of the assembly, so you basically have to guess which ones to use where as you assemble the saw.  This was only a minor problem which only required one extra trip to the home center to buy another set of bolts for one of the final steps in the assembly to get the right length of bolts for the rear fence rails (apparently I had used them somewhere in the assembly of either the stand or mobile base ).  The instructions said to place the central part of the saw on top of the stand/mobile base and line-up the bolt holes to attach the stand to the saw.  This virtually impossible to do as the central part of the saw weighs about 400 lbs.  I found it much easier (with the teens' help) to turn the central part upside down on the cardboard packing box and attached the stand/mobile base to it.  I had leveled the granite top pieces and the feet during assembly and was relieved to find that the arbor, miter grooves and fence all lined up perfectly from the factory.  For safety's sake I left off the dust collector bin which goes between the stand and the body of the saw, because I don't have a 4" dust collection system and the instruction state that trying to use it with a shop vac creates a possible fire hazard.,  I rubbed the table top clean with some paste wax and then made a few test cuts (using the 10" blade from the factory) only to find that the 24 tooth blade furnished by RIDGED left a horrible edge on the ripped boards.  I exchanged it for the 84 tooth Bosch blade I had been using on my Ryobi contractor's saw and the rip cuts came out straight and so smooth you hardly needed to sand them (I was tempted to say as smooth as the granite table top).  The assembly (including the extra forty minutes for the second trip to the home center and swapping out the blades took about  seven hours.  Other than the minor problems I've pointed out here, the finished product is fantastic!  I'm running it on 110V with the option of switching it to 220V later.  It runs and cuts extremely quietly and true.  My shop is small so the mobile base is really handy.  For the modest price of $599.00 and the cost of a better blade I feel I couldn't have gotten a better saw for twice the money, and maybe not even then.  It's also the only saw in its price range and class to offer a riving knife as part of its safety package.  I can't say enough good things about this saw.

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