Eric Johnson, how is your GI 15" planer doing?

Sorry to do this, folks, but didn't know how else; I'm using Google Groups to read/post, but it seems threads beyond a certain age can't be "reply"ed to??? There was a thread a year ago on the Dewalt 735 - back in the sprocket problem days - and, Eric, you made this reply on 20 Feb 04:
===Like I said in part one. I worked the Dewalt to it's limits and didn't get it repaired (at my expense) till I replaced rollers bushings chains etc... I now have a General International 15" 3 horse and won't look back. The 735 while when working does a nice job but for only a little more there are certainly better machines available. === I'm shoppping planers now. I have the GI "builders saw" (50-185) that I've been happy with, and of all the "taiwanese" 15inch planers that are on the market, I still think the GI gives the best bang for the buck.
But, on the other hand, for $500 less (or towards another tool! :)) there have been so many glowing users of the Dewalt 735 that it's hard to ignore.
And thus, you, Eric Johnson, are the man whose input I seek :^) I've read the archive threads on general pros/cons of table top v. floor models, but you seem to be one of the few who've used these two machines. How much b.f. have you put thru the GI? What's your assessment a year hence?
Thanks! Chris
p.s. - others are of course encouraged to reply as well, esp. GI 30-115 owners!
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Paging Mr. Johnson, Mr. Eric Johnson. You last posted back in December; where have you gone, man?
And, anyone else w/ this planer, I'd like to hear how it's been working for you!
I finally wore down SWMBO, and got the, "you can get that planer thing" approval last night. The fact that it was my bday might have something to do w/ it :)
Thanks, Chris
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Works great, I am really happy with the power and now have a good feel for the setup. I expect it to be a life long tool. I did have a leak in the gearbox and Workbench was more than willing to fix it under warranty if I was willing to bring that 700# beastie back in there. So I declined, took the seal kit and fixed it myself. Wasn't too bad only took a few hours but it was a pain in the arse to fill the lube back up. I ended up using a turkey baster to transfer the gear lube. I'm not sure if it was a number/boxing problem but mine has cast iron wings, the new model shows rollers.. Can't speak for the roller type model. Fit and finish are the same as the rest of the made in Taiwan jobs out there. I think the one advantage over many similar models is the table is stationary and the cutterhead moves. makes outfeed tables easy.. I did take the time to go through all of the adjustments and was pleasantly surprised to find the factory assembly was nearly spot on. I would like to see a more detailed owner documentation but it 's all there
EJ
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Eric,
Hey, thanks for the reply! I agree w/ you that GI "documentation" is a laugh - my GI TS 'owner's manual' was marginally useful during setup; I was better off getting the help I did from a friend who has experience in such matters!
I think General has updated this 115 model; talked to my local dist. 2 weeks ago, and he's showing them w/ the CI infeed/outfeed tables now instead of rollers. Also General's webpage also shows the 115 picture now w/ cast iron, but the description still mentions rollers.
700 lbs??? Are we talkin' bout the same machine?
As far as adjustments go - once you got it all dialed-in, how minimal is snipe?
Lastly, was the gearbox leak obvious, and how soon into your usage did it manifest?
Thanks for taking the time to feed me info; I think this is the one I'll be getting.
-Chris
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I think rollers where not taken well and they reverted back to cast. I think that's a demonstration of a proper market reaction for "well that didn't work" I think 650 was crated weight, no lifts around here and 3 guys to get it off the back of the pickup, grunting and puffing a plenty. Model on the tag is 30-115-m1a Not sure if it's the same. Short pieces like under 4' nearly no snipe, the worst I've had with it was a huge chunk of cherry 4"x14"x9' outfeed had about 2". Since then I have added the accordion style expandable roller table for outfeed and have pretty much eliminated snipe. I was so accustomed to snipe from the old 733 that I used to compensate for it and add 6" to anything I planed. Still add the spare but generally don't need it. Oil leak I expect was my fault. The machine was sitting in an unheated warehouse, rode in the back of a pickup at about 5 degrees and I had it up and running within 3 hours of bringing it home and I know it wasn't thoroughly warmed up and that has regular automotive gl-5 gearlube. So it was still pretty stiff. I saw the leak 3-4 days after I brought it home. Glad to be able to return some info back to the group for a change.
EJ

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