Introduction: "Saw-Pal" Installation on a Rigid R4512 Table-saw

About: I've built houses, decks, custom cabinets, furniture of all types. Ive done furniture repair and restoration, residential and commercial remodels, restaurant seating and tables and hotel furniture. Ive been a …

I purchased myself the Rigid R4512 10 Table saw, I really like the saw, but I noticed that the blade and Miter slot parallel alignment just wasn't up to my standards... I opened the manual to go through the entire adjustment procedure and the very first thing to ensure, is that the blade and miter slot are parallel to one-another. After checking this alignment I was surprised at how much it was off. So I went through their instructions step-by-step and made it worse. Tried and tried and tried again, I got it close, but still wasn't very happy with it... Someone recommended a set of these things called "Saw Pals"
After looking into them it seems like it would be a perfect upgrade for my saw and made the alignment process a "breeze", so I ordered a set of them.
After I got them I set a-side half a Saturday to fiddle with them and try to get them installed and the saw properly aligned. Only to find out that they do not make these SAW PALS for the R4512. They just wont fit!
Well, here is how you can get them to fit.

This process requires grinding the "ears" of the rear trunnion (the trunnion you slide from side to side to adjust the blade/slot alignment). I do not know for a fact, but I'm pretty sure this process will affect certain parts, or even all of the lifetime warranty that this machine came with...  That noted, I do not believe they would even notice that they have been ground at all.
Anyway, read on if you're still interested...

Step 1: Remove the Trunnion and Grind/file..

Unplug the saw and pull your little yellow safety clip out of the on/off switch. :)
next get the allen wrench for the trunnion bolts There are only only two bolts to be removed, to remove the trunnion. As you loosen these bolts the trunnion, sawblade and Arbor shaft will begin to drop. you can prop a piece of wood in there to hold the assembly up while you work. ( just dont prop the trunion).
After you get those bolts out, the trunnion will drop right off so watch your fingers, and dont drop it (cast iron cracks pretty easily).

Step 2: Clamp It in Your Vice and Go to Work!

There are many many ways to do this, use your own judgement, but here are a few ideas anyway
you can file it,
Maybe use a belt sander to grind it down
grinding wheel
angle grinder
metal cutting saw
there are a few,
no matter what you choose, keep in mind the heat treatment in the metal, if you start grinding it on a grinding wheel, belt sander or angle grinder its gonna get hot real quick. that could mess with the stability of the iron.
I was totally prepared to break out a file and go to it, but I walked into a local machine shop and talked with the owner about what I needed (1/8" shaved off of each ear) he handed it to an employee and told me to tell him and he walked away... I got to watch him do it on a mill (the proper way to do what I wanted to accomplish) it cut through like butter on his machine and what I was left with was some nice custom machine work for the price of a six pack of his favorite beverage. :)

Step 3: Time to Install the PALS

Basically, once you got the grinding done, follow the instructions on the PALS kit, you will have to purchase some different posts and nuts, but it should be available at any hardware store. refer to your saw manual for exact sizes.

And now your done...
Some saws come with their own "easy alignment system"... This saw does not! but it does now!
It does seem like quite a bit of work to make these things work. but It was WORTH IT! If you are having issues getting it square look into them...  I have my saw blade parallel with the slots within .001" along a 24" length. and this ensures every other step of alignment is going to be that much more accurate!

Thanks for looking
Im going to enter this in the "Fix and Improve it", so please vote for me!

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