How to Align the Spindles on the Blue Ripper Miter Master v1.1 rail saw

This tutorial will guide you through how to make sure your v1.1 Blue Ripper Miter Master rail saw is aligned so that it can cut perfectly straight miters.

We are working on creating images for this tutorial along with a printable instruction sheet.  If you need guidance through this tutorial, please give us a call at 1-888-996-4777. We have released this in this unfinished state to help those who have purchased pre-release editions of the v1.1 Blue Ripper Miter Master rail saw.

Preconditions

These instructions assume you are using a version 1.1 Blue Ripper Miter Master rail saw.  You can identify the v1.1 as it uses two of the Makita 9566CV grinders and does not have any way to adjust the height of the blade; the spindles that the grinders attach to do not have a large long thread on the outside.  If you have an earlier model with the threaded spindles, you can still check your alignment with the instructions below, but adjusting the alignment is not so nice and easy.  If you need to adjust the alignment on one of these older saws, please give us a call and ask to talk to tech support about how to adjust your original edition Blue Ripper Miter Master.

Please be aware that you need thick-core blades to prevent the blade from dishing during the cut.

You also need to make sure that if you are using alloy metal matrix blades, aka "metal bond blades", that the edge is kept sharp and square.  Please see our video tutorial for how to grind the edge square using a common shaping stone.

Tools you will need

  • Blue Ripper Miter Master Alignment Verification Bar Assembly - included with all v1.1 Blue Ripper Miter Master rail saws, purchased separately on earlier models.
  • 1/4 inch Allen Wrench (aka hex key)
Procedure Steps: 

Step 1: Setup

Set the Blue Ripper Miter Master on the rail.
Note: make sure both of the Makita grinders are unplugged to prevent damage and injury from accidental activation. Miter Master on RailMiter Master on Rail

Step 2: Clearing the shielding

Remove the plastic water shield on the Shielded Template Guide Assembly [a], and lift the edge of the Skirt side water shield [b] to get them out of the way. Also make sure the water system hoses are up and out of the way [c].
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Step 3: Attaching the alignment bar to the countertop arm spindle

Put the alignment bar onto the spindle with the peak facing upwards and tighten it onto the spindle.
Attach alignment barAttach alignment bar

Step 4: Setting the levelling bars

Set the angle aluminum levelling bars on top of the rail so that they are aligned with the back edge of the rail and hang over the front edge on either side of the machine as shown. Slide the levelling bars out to the edges of the alignment bar.
Set levelling barsSet levelling bars

Step 5: Settling the alignment bar

Gently tap on both sides of the alignment bar. There should be no motion that does not cause the levelling bars to lift. The levelling bars should be touching the back rail, front rail, and the alignment bar without any gaps [a].
If you do have a gap between the rail and the angle aluminum [b], then even up the alignment bar so that there are equal sized gaps on both sides. Take care as uneven gaps can throw off your measurements. Slide shims of paper, plastic, or metal of equal size under both ends to make sure the gap is eliminated and your measurements are accurate.
Alternatively, if you do have a gap between the alignment bar and the angle aluminum, then even up the alignment bar so that there are equal sized gaps on both sides. Take care as uneven gaps can throw off your measurements. Slide shims of paper, plastic, or metal of equal size under both ends to make sure the gap is eliminated and your measurements are accurate.
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Step 6: Measuring the alignment

Use an allen wrench or a measuring device to measure the distance between the rail and the peak of the alignment bar next to the angle aluminum. Compare the distance on both sides. If the difference is less than 1/16 of an inch, then the alignment is good. If the difference is greater than 1/16 of an inch then proceed to the next step.
Check left sideCheck left side Check right side: Spindle is alignedCheck right side: Spindle is aligned Check right side: Spindle is not alignedCheck right side: Spindle is not aligned

Step 7: Correcting the alignment

If the spindle is not properly aligned, then determine in which direction it is out of alignment. Using a ¼ inch allen wrench, adjust the tightness of the two alignment screws as shown [a][b].
Note: make sure the middle screw is tight before adjusting the alignment screws [c].
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Step 8: Repeat

Repeat steps 6 through 8 until the difference between the two sides of the alignment bar is less than 1/16 of an inch.

Step 9: Attaching the alignment bar to the skirt arm spindle

Remove alignment bar from the first spindle, flip it around so that the peak is facing up, and attach to the second spindle.
Switch spindlesSwitch spindles

Step 10: Setting the levelling bars

Place the angle aluminum bars on either end of the alignment bar with their backs flush with the back of the rail just like before.
Set levelling barsSet levelling bars

Step 11: Settling the alignment bar

Give the alignment bar a few taps on both sides to help it settle in and check to make sure you don’t have gaps (see step 5 if there are gaps).
Settling the alignment barSettling the alignment bar

Step 12: Measuring the alignment

Measure the distance between the rail and the peak of the alignment bar next to the angle aluminum [a]. Compare the distance on both sides [b]. If the difference is less than 1/16 of an inch, then the alignment is good. If the difference is greater than 1/16 of an inch then proceed to the next step. Because the alignment bar is so close to the rail it can be hard to get an accurate reading. If you find that to be the case, simply swap out the allen wrench for a sharp cornered ruler or similar.
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Step 13: Correcting the alignment and repeat

If it is not properly aligned, then determine which direction it is out of alignment. Then using a ¼ inch allen wrench, adjust the tightness of the two alignment screws shown here [a] and then repeat previous step.
Note: make sure the middle screw [b] is tight before adjusting the alignment screws on either side of it.
aabb

Arm Adjustment Step 1

If after attempting to align the spindle you find that it’s out so far that the screws just can’t quite adjust it into place far enough to get it right, then one or both of the arms may have been knocked out of alignment.
To correct this, loosen the alignment screws back to neutral so they aren’t pushing on the spindle [a]. Then slightly loosen the two screws holding the arm to the baseplate [b].
aabb

Arm Adjustment Step 2

Adjust the arm to make sure it is square with the baseplate of the Blue Ripper Miter Master.
Adjust the armAdjust the arm

Arm Adjustment Step 3

Tighten the screws and proceed with another alignment check and adjust normally as needed.
Tighten screwsTighten screws
Notes: 

Steps 3-8 and 9-13 can be switched as it doesn’t matter which spindle is aligned first.