R4512 Review - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-29-2014, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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R4512 Review

First off id like to thank everyone who contributes on this site as it's been a great resource for someone like me who's just starting out. I thought I'd write this to benefit the other novices who might be reading.

I'll spare you the lengthy background just know I'm not really a woodworker, more of a DIY guy who buys tools as my projects require them. Next on my list are built in bookcases, a mantel, and some laundry rooms cabinets. The bench top table saw I owned was not going to handle the large materials that I needed so I started shopping for table saws. There was no way I could justify dropping anything close to the $1000+ that a quality cabinet saw costs so I landed on the R4512. I knew it was a gamble going in but like many of you have probably found, there's nothing else in the price range that can compare.

I'll give you the bad first. Mine did not have the common problem you've probably all read about, the rear of the blade healing out when you raise or lower the height. I had convinced myself I could live with that given it goes back into alignment if you simply relieve the tension on the wheel. My saw DID have the issue you see fewer reports on where the blade cannot be aligned. The trunnions on this saw are mounted to the cast iron table top. To set the blade parallel to the miter slot, you loosen 4 bolts and gently "tap" it into alignment. The issue with some of these saws is there isn't enough room machined into the bolt holes on the trunnions to allow for the necessary adjustments. There are a few posts about guys using a bar clamp to force it into alignment, I do not own a clamp that can persuade the cast iron parts to go where they need to. I do not own a dial indicator and I'm just not going to spend the $$ on a professional alignment gauge. I used a combination square with a 1/32 scale. When everything is said and done, my saw is out of alignment by something less than 1 32nd of an inch. I don't own a tool accurate enough to measure the distance. If I touch the ruler on my square to a tooth at the front, then roll it back to the rear it's not the same. I can get it to tick like I've read about. That being said, it all but touches. With good light and 20/20 vision I can just make out the gap between them. There's no fixing it, Ridgid suggested I take it back to HD or prepare for a long wait while they fixed it. However, with a slow steady feed rate it does not burn or bind anything I've run through it.

Here's the good. For a novice like me, this thing is not even the same kind of tool as my bench top saw. Even with the issue I mentioned this is by far the most accurate tool for cutting wood I've ever owned. I swapped the miter gauge for an Incra and put a Freud 60 tooth blade on it. The fence is smooth and can be set with amazing accuracy. I still measure with my tap on an important piece but basically what you set the fence to is what comes out the other side. I built a 2x5 out feed table for it and breaking down large stock or cutting long pieces of hardwood is a pleasure. It's crazy how quiet it is too. After using it for awhile, I went to break down a 4 x8 sheet of plywood with my circular saw and the noise from the small saw gave me a jolt! My old TS sounded like a 747 revving up.
I've still got a few weeks left on my 90 day retune to HD but at this point I think I'm going to keep it.

Bottom line, if you own a commercial wood shop I'd pass on this saw. If your just starting out, or are setting up your garage/basement I'd say this is a good buy. I picked up a used router and will buy a planer soon and still won't have spent the $ it would have taken to get a better saw.

Hope this helps someone.

Last edited by Jim_677; 09-29-2014 at 10:41 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-29-2014, 10:30 PM
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I appreciate your efforts. You might start off by saying what it is you are reviewing. Then you could break those super long paragraphs into something more readable. Thank you. I just do not have the patients to try to wade through things that long.

George
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-30-2014, 08:39 AM
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Fix the R4512

Jim I think you got MY R4512. As far as I know I DO NOT have the issue of the rear of the blade going out of alignment when raised and or lowered. Mine was seriously plauged with NOT being aligned with the miter slot IMOHO is a hUUUGE Problem. Every other adjustment cakes from that alignment.

When I loosened the Trunnion boltsI did have some SLOP there to mess with, But there is NO way to get it aligned THEN retighten the bolts accurately. ITS NOT GOING to happen.

Heres what you can do and not do. DO NOT BUY the PALs CTS Alignment system see video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9OeVk8-Y3M

STUDY THIS VIDEO so you can understand HOW the idea works... IN THEORY!

Its WILL NOT FIT and comes with the wrong sized bolts. The Bolts you need are 10mm bolts. Take one of the old ones out and take it to the hardware store and make sure you get the right thread count your gunna need 2 that are like 1/4 - 1/2 Longer get a few washer as well just in case. Your gunna need a 10mm drill as well. And a drill bit and a TAP to take the aluminum angel iron your also gunna need.

The Aluminum angel iron L bar wasn't thick enough so I epoxied 2 together. Just logical drill your holes and fit the L Bracket to fit right. SET it up like the PALS example. And use it like the video.

Install it get the rear two bolts just barely snug. Now adjust the small adjustment screws till you get it where you want. Tighten the 10mm bolts down. Remeasure adjust again if needed WALA.

I bought a $30 MIC gauge to use for this Your really do need one.

NOTE the mite gauge that comes with the saw is a sloppy messie mess. Your gunna need to take care in your measurements or get a INCRA V27 for accurate measurements here to.

Theres a reason this saw is so cheap huh. But after you get it all dialed in and replace the miter gauge it a real sweet ride
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think pals will help. It isn't a question of being able to shift the motor assembly, there just isn't enough room machined into the bolt holes on the trunnion to allow it to move. Mine is bottomed out and still out of alignment. Short of removing the trunnion an grinding on the bolt holes there's not much to be done. I've read several other reviews that have mentioned this issue.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 09:09 AM
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This looks to be a nice set up. It also looks very doable to be made at home. You can get a dial indicator from HF for $10 to $12. These dial indicator are rated at .001, which is fine for this kind of set up. You can make a hardwood insert for your miter slot to hold the indicator. Also you do not need to use aluminum, steel would also be suitable. I would also guess that a 10-32 screw would be a good size for the adjustment screw. As already indicated threaded rod or long bolts and nuts that will match your existing threads will be readily available at a hardware store. If the saw's holes in the casting are too small you can just drill oversize.

Paul
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_677 View Post
I knew it was a gamble going in but like many of you have probably found, there's nothing else in the price range that can compare.
Just to clarify, there are 2 other options in this price/performance range:
- Craftsman 21833 - can be had for $486 currently; the twin of the 4512 but with a few improvements
- Delta 36-5100 - also in the $500'ish range

All 3 have their pros/cons and there are numerous threads on here discussing each. You should seriously evaluate all 3 while you still have the return option.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 10:33 AM
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When I worked in the printing industry we had a fix to align printing units on the base when there was not enough adjustment room. To gain 1/32" cut the shank of the bolt down by 1/64", this still leaves enough meat to hold the trunnions securely.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbk123 View Post
Just to clarify, there are 2 other options in this price/performance range:
- Craftsman 21833 - can be had for $486 currently; the twin of the 4512 but with a few improvements
- Delta 36-5100 - also in the $500'ish range

All 3 have their pros/cons and there are numerous threads on here discussing each. You should seriously evaluate all 3 while you still have the return option.
From what I read the craftsman had all of the same issues and of the two, the Ridgid had the better finish.

I checked out the Delta at my local Lowes and still felt the Ridgid was a better option. delta was almost $100 more than the Ridgid too.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
When I worked in the printing industry we had a fix to align printing units on the base when there was not enough adjustment room. To gain 1/32" cut the shank of the bolt down by 1/64", this still leaves enough meat to hold the trunnions securely.
Grinding the threads would scare me. I've got a carbide burr that will fit the bolt holes on the trunnion. I may remove it and add a 32nd there
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 08:43 PM
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Craftsman - slightly bigger motor, better wings, longer extension cord, arbor lock. Same issues plague both concerning the trunnions.
4512 - lifetime service guaranty
Delta - much better fence, everywhere-else it's a question mark due to aluminum trunnions and Delta service issues

I have a 4512 which I love immensely and I've created several threads around. I would select the Craftsman over it after seeing the Craftsman first hand. It is just a little bit better. But regardless my point was concerning your statement there was nothing else in the price range that can compare. All 3 are in the same range and all 3 easily compare and/or could be argued better. Other novices may read this thread and miss out on the different options which potentially could suit them better.

Last edited by rbk123; 10-01-2014 at 08:47 PM.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 09:03 PM
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I have an R4512 that is issue free and wouldn't hesitate to buy one again. With some quality blades, it's a beast. Of course, I also added an Incra 52" rail system with router table and joinery system, but I would have done that to any saw.

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post #12 of 14 Old 10-01-2014, 10:52 PM
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George,
Are your patients waiting for you in the waiting room while your patience is being tried by overly long paragraphs? ;-)
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-02-2014, 12:36 PM
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I would just like to say after all I have been through with this saw, I love MY R4512 so much I an gunna have T-Shirts made saying just that.

After you correct the Sloppy Manufacturing and correct some its issues it really is a great tool.

I will share this with you all and maybe someone can help….

I usually use Johnsons paste wax on the table at least every week if I use the saw or not. I love how wood glides across it. BUT I canner seem to keep it from rusty lightly in spots…

So a Guy over at LUMBER JOCKS told me to clean it off good and apply 3 coats of spray SHELLAC THEN put some wax on it..

I did and I hate it. No matter how much I wax over the SHELLAC I cant get that same TEFLON like smooth glide on top of it..

I plan to strip it off next time I have a chance…

Ant ideas on how to stop it from Rusting after I strip the SHELLAC???
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-02-2014, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
I just do not have the patients to try to wade through things that long.
Then dont comment. Seriously, did this post contribute anything to the OPs review other than your conceited view that everybody should tailor their posts to suit you better?

My apologies to the OP and all other posters for temporarily hijacking the post, these things just irritate me.

Op, excellent review on the saw. As far as the alignment issues go, dial indicators with a 1/1000 resolution can be had rather cheaply. As mentioned, Harbor Freight has one in the $20 range that should be sufficient, but personally i use this one:

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Mag...-Special/G9849

Somehow i cant bring myself to trust measuring implements from HF. I know, them and grizzly probably get their gear from the same factory somewhere in china, but for some reason i trust grizzly more for some reason, i dunno. At any rate, the grizzly kit gets you a magnetic base too.

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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