G1023 SL Review (long)

Well, I recently purchased a G1023 SL from Grizzly, so I thought I'd make a contribution to the collective knowledge base.
I placed an order for the saw on the Monday March 29 in the late evening, and it arrived on Thursday April 1. I picked it up at the freight dock in my Chevy minivan. The guy that loaded it was extremely helpful and took great care getting it in my van. He had to get extra long forks to reach into the van because the rear door flips up and was in the way.
The delivery consisted of two packages. The first was the fence and it was not terribly heavy. The rest of the saw was in one large, heavy box. It weighed over 400 lbs., as expected. To get it out of the van, I laid a 3'x3' piece of plywood up against the bumper of the van like a ramp. The saw was tipped on its side in the van, so my dad and I simply pulled it out and let it gently slide down the ramp, then we tipped it completely upright. Next we loaded it onto an appliance dolly and wheeled it into the garage. No problem.
I unpacked the fence and found that all pieces were accounted for, and all was in good condition. At the freight dock we noticed that both boxes had minor fork holes. This was noted on the bill of lading. Next, I unpacked the large box. Again there was a fork hole but this time there was a minor scuff to the paint on the side of the cabinet. However, it was so minor that you really have to get right up to it and look very carefully to find it, so I will not even worry about it. So again, all pieces were in the box, and all of them were in good shape.
Assembling the saw was straight forward. I first cleaned the cosmoline off the edges of the saw and the extension wings (I'll explain my method in a moment). I read the instructions step by step and found them to be easy to follow. Everything went together easily. I had heard that I could look forward to rough edges and burrs, but I found nothing of the sort. I did have to shim one of the extension wings with masking tape (as suggested in the manual) to get it flat with the table top.
To clean the cosmoline I used kerosene. I knew from previous experience that this was the solvent of choice, but I used a slightly different method than I had before. I poured some kerosene into a cup and used a chip brush to "paint" it on all the parts that needed it. I used it quite liberally, then I simply let it soak and do it's job. I messed with some other things for a while then went back to the saw armed with a roll of paper towels. The cosmoline wiped off with ease and everything was clean and shiny within fifteen minutes. A couple of spots required a little elbow grease, but really no problems. Well, there was the stink. Man did it smell like kerosene in my shop.
Finally, I had to wait a while to actually try out the saw. I had begun to wire a subpanel to my shop back in the fall but it was not complete. I had no power, so the saw was all dressed up with no place to go, so to speak. I spent the next week digging a trench and laying cable and wiring up the panel in my spare time. Today I finally finished the wiring and tried it out.
There was one exception to the ease of assembly that I experienced with the rest of the saw. The blade guard was horrible. I gave it an honest try, but I could not get that thing lined up well enough to actually perform as a safety feature. It was a safety hazard, but what is new? I removed it. I'll put a splitter on there before I do any ripping, and I'll wear a face mask etc.
So my final impression is that the saw is a great buy. I haven't done any real work with it yet, but I am very impressed with what I got. I love the power, but I'll have to get used to it. I did notice a slight increase in the tendency of the wood to ride up on the blade with the additional power. You have to understand that I am coming from a very crappy Craftsman contractor style saw. I love the fence. It's rock solid as others have reported. The miter gauge is nothing special, but it functions and was set dead on at 90 degrees from the factory. I was expecting it to be horrible from other reports that I have read. It's not pretty, but it functions which is more than I can say for the other one I owned.
I'll stop now. If anyone has questions about something I missed or what ever, let 'em rip.
Brian
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"Brian Mahaney" wrote in message

A good story is one that ends well ... congratulations, sounds like you got the last table saw you'll ever need. It's a good feeling.
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Last update: 4/08/04
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Yeah, what a piece of junk. I cut the guard and the back side off of mine with a hack saw, filed the edges smooth, and just turned in into a splitter. Works just fine that way, and looks just like the Biesmeyer model now(http://www.biesemeyer.com/safety/index.htm ).
Brian.
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Oops, here's the image I was trying to direct you to:
http://www.biesemeyer.com/images/jet-Slitter2.jpg

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My saw blade guard aligned fine, but I agree it is garbage. I'm very pleased with my saw otherwise. Excellent finish, runs smoothly, etc. One other note is the self-adhering measuring tape for the fence. I made sure not to stretch it when applying it, but it doesn't match up perfectly with my tape measure (even after burning an inch of my measure.) It's within 1/32" over the entire 54" length, but you may want to consider a Starrett fence tape.
Brian wrote:

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On Sat, 10 Apr 2004 18:19:08 -0400, "Brian Mahaney"

Saved for future reference.

Try Odorless Spirits next time. It's one tenth the odor of kero and is quite volatile so it evaporates nicely.

That's good to hear.

How do you like the trunnion assembly? Is changing the blade angle and/or height quick, accurate, and painless?
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Seems great to me. Everything is heavy duty. Again, you have to understand where I'm coming from. The Craftsman saw I had was very difficult to work with. The cranks were small and difficult to turn. The Griz is very easy compared to that. It moves up and down and tilts with ease and there is very little backlash. I haven't had time to put it to the true test of a real project, but it seems great. I'll try to post a few updates as I use it because I know there will be little issues, and a review isn't always good if it is only glowing.
Brian
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believe. Delivery was very prompt. The truck had a tail gate lift so it was set down right on the street in front of my house. I have a wheeled dolly that I used to move it in to the garage. It was laying on its side when the truck pulled up and the truck driver wondered if I wanted to refuse it. They are quite top heavy. I took a chance and accepted it and as it turns out there was no damage. It seems to be built like a tank. I also got one of the wheeled bases for it. It was money very well spent because I often need to move it around.
Some areas I'd mention to you. The elevating hand wheel has a small wheel lock in the center. When you raise or lower the blade be sure to tighten this wheel. The blade has never creeped up or down on me but one time when I was cutting a piece of wood I felt something drop on my toe. I froze and turned it off and waited for the blade to stop. It seems that the small locking wheel had vibrated out and dropped on the floor by way of my toe. No injury. Anyway the wheel has a point on it that pushes two little cone devices outward and that is what locks the blade at what ever height you put it at. I did not lose the two little conical pieces but I could have. They look like 9mm slugs but I'm sure they are not.
The other thing is that after a year or two I noticed some metalic clinking sounds when I would turn it off. Something was loose. Turns out it was the pully on the arbor. The one with multiple belts on it. One of the set screws was loose and the pully was not tight on the arbor. It was a real stinker to get the allen wrench into the set screw with the belts on but if you work at it it can be done. I suppose it would have been easier if I'd removed the table but I just didn't feel like doing all the re setting etc. It is just hard to get at reaching up from underneath.
Do I like the saw? Yes. Would I buy it again? Yes.
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