Monthly Book Giveaway - March 2023

RingMaster still around?

I ordered a RingMaster and received it in April last year. Just last week, I finally opened the box and started trying to assemble it, when I discovered that the pivot bolt assembly is threaded 5/8-18 on the outside of the larger part, and the plate which it is supposed to screw into is threaded 5/8-11. I called and emailed RingMaster on Friday, and haven’t heard anything back. I left another voicemail today, and hopefully I’ll hear back, but if not… well, it looks like a simple enough part that I could get someone to make me one that will work.

Looking at the replacement pivot bolt kit, it appears that has the coarser threads, so I could also just order a replacement and hope someone will ship it to me, which is probably cheaper than getting one made, but with no response to phone calls, is anyone even there to ship the replacement part, or have they closed up shop? Their online forum is now completely empty except for a post from me asking if there’s anyone home, which is worrying.

Anyway, if any of you can offer a suggestion, I would appreciate the help.


40 Replies

Looking at the picture, that part the bolt slides into looks like a small angle grinder adapter that allows a metric wheel to attach.
These are 5/8-11 threaded on the outside and have metric threads on the interior (M10).
You could possibly drill out the center to get a fit with your bolt (3/8-18 I assume?)

I'm just guessing, but on the front page of the website they have a line to check his "Woodworking show" Schedule. IOW which shows he will be at and when. That link is here. Now these dates read as 2017, which could be all he ever did, or the same weeks but this year? It's highly possible he's still around, just out on the show circuit trying to drum up new bidness. It is the time to make your mark if you are a small sized woodworking company. 

IOW don't worry too much for at least a week. The website is up and running, usually if they go belly up, they quit paying the fees to keep a web presence.
The owner used to be on LJ with the member name of Ringmaster.  Looks like his last activity was 2019.  I sent him a PM to see if he responds.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Yeah, Splint. Thanks for another possible source, but I was also remembering how my daddy taught me that “Cross-threading is as good as LocTite. Once.”

Yeah, George. But it would be nice if they returned phone calls. I’ve got RingMaster parts all over the top of my table saw at the moment. Tomorrow when I get to the shop for the first time since Sunday, I’ll probably sweep all of those parts into a bucket, and if I don’t hear something from them soon, they’ll end up in the same scrap pile as the JointMaker Pro, all because of a $9 part.

Thanks, Nathan. Let me know if you hear something.
Well, I decided I wanted the sumbitch working, so I placed an order for the pivot bolt assembly for $18 (with shipping). We’ll see if that ships or I get an answer to my support email first. 
Dickie Bird comes to mind  as a user  and then the man in the green cape  for metal fabrication fix. 

Regards Rob

Thanks, Rob! I figure I’ll ask Dick if I don’t hear from them soon. And I’ve got another friend who machines stuff and believes he owes me a favor, so I’ll probably bug him if I decide to get a part made.

The order for the pivot bolt I placed yesterday hasn’t been filled, either. Made a box to hold a couple sharpening stones today. Will paint it tomorrow morning after I plane the dovetails flat.
I tend to sympathise  with you Dave
The ringmaster is yet another great machine not available in Australia, along with Shopfox Grizzly and Williams and Hussey gear.

We have although over the past few years got Micro Jig gear available and advertised here too. 

Regards Rob

Do you have a 5/8-11 die Dave?  You could run it over the 5/8-18 threads and make them work.  Wouldn't be pretty but given in the application, I imagine it would work just fine.  Definitely wouldn't be the first time a fine thread had been coerced into being coarse or visa-versa.
I don’t have either 5/8 inch die or tap, Kenny. I only go up to 1/2 today, except for the 1-8 I have for making things for the lathe spindle. As I said, up-thread, “Cross-threading is as good as Loc-Tite. Once.” And I’ve seriously been considering that as time passes.
Say, Kenny… if I were to change the threads on one of the pieces, would it be better to change the bolt or the hole it goes into?

Still nothing from RingMaster. Thinking I’ll have to reverse the PayPal for the replacement bolt if I don’t hear anything on Monday, at which point I should order either a tap or a die, but I don’t need both. 
I would change the male threads Dave.  It will be easier to make a replacement for it if it doesn’t hold up long term.
Dave, I know that you said that you tried to call.  Out of curiosity I just called and the answering machine said that they are closed (it is Sunday) and listed normal office hours and then gives you a list of names and extensions you can select to talk to someone in particular.  Did you try each individual to see if anyone answers?  

Also, if you can find a regular bolt of 5/8-11, I would think it would be easier to find someone who can drill a hole through the middle of it than to re-thread and possibly mess it up.  Of course you have nothing to lose from rethreading the one that has the wrong thread on it since it is useless to begin with. 

In the mean time, you can probably just use an unmodified 5/8-11 bolt without the bolt that goes through the center.  The 5/8 bolt will lock down the pivot.  I do not usually completely lock down the center bolt anyway.  I usually leave it loose enough that it slides without loosening it.  It is sort of a PITA to loosen it each time you move the carriage.   The rear bolt locks it down just fine, especially if you are using the index pin.  Even if I am not using the indexing, I will adjust the index so that I can use that to further lock it in place.  If you feel like the carriage moves or vibrates too much, you can try adding a spring clamp or something.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Yeah, Nathan. I tried the various extensions. No answer anywhere.

I cleaned most of the shop this morning. I suspect if I don’t hear from someone tomorrow, I’ll just sweep all the RingMaster parts into a bucket and send it to the land of misfit tools along with the JMP.
I woke up this morning thinking about your predicament and it occurred to me that with my wood lathe, I could try chucking a bolt and drilling a hole through the center.  The largest bolt I could find laying around was 3/8 but it worked pretty well.

I used my pin jaws to hold the bolt and started with a center drill bit.

After getting the pilot, I then switched to a twist bit. 

I actually chose a drill bit that was too large for the inner thread dimension of a 3/8 bolt and before I broke through the bottom, the bolt turn into a spring but otherwise it worked very well.  Just a little cutting oil and about 200 RPM.  Note that both the center drill bit and the twist bit are cheap Harbor Freight purchases.  The center drill bit makes it easier to get it started in the center without it walking or the twist bit flexing.    I think that if I had used a smaller bit to leave a thicker wall, it would have worked perfectly.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

I hope you find out good news eventually... I'd prefer they're still in operation just took a week or two off... I have had it bookmarked for a while, but just now starting to be at a place where I was able to pick one up

Nathan has a good idea Dave.  If you can find a bolt with the right threads that's the right size, you can probably just drill the thru-hole.

Or, if you can give me the dimensions (length, shank diameter, thru hole diameter) I can just whip you one up and send it on its way.  Should be a pretty quick and easy job.
Still no response from them. Been a week and two weekends. Would not do business with this company again.

I agree, Kenny. Nathan’s idea looks like it’ll work, and I’ve got everything I need to do it except for the 5/8-11 bolt and the lower speed on my lathe (the HF lathe doesn’t go slower than 600rpm). I should figure out which grade I want before heading to the hardware store, I suppose, though the lowest grade they have is probably plenty good, and easier to drill. Or I’ll make notes of the dimensions and shoot you a message tomorrow.

Yeah go with the lowest grade.  And 600 rpm is plenty slow for drilling just go slow and clear the chips regularly.  Cutting fluid wouldn’t hurt if you have any.  If it doesn’t work out though, just let me know.
Hopefully, your hardware store is well stocked.  5/8 bolts are not the most common thing in the world.  I do not think that my HD or Lowe's carries them, if they do, they probably do not have the small shoulder length that you need.  The hardest part may be finding one with the right shoulder size but you can probably get away with one that is threaded the full length, since it is just a pivot and not really turning on it or anything.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.