I recently took delivery of my General 650 (left hand tilt) cabinet saw.
This is one fine piece of machinery. However, the documentation is
criminal, and I've seen that some people have been drilling their
tabletops to get the fence rails attached. This is not necessary, at
least with the combination of parts I received. The saw, with table,
legs and rails is called the Millenium Edition.
1. Through instructions in garbage.
2. Look in long square tube for bag of hardware ;) Beware iron filings
also stored in the tube. (You can discard the filings)
3. Start with front rail. Locate a small chisel mark about 2' from the
left of the rail. Line this up with the LEFT side of the blade (NOT the
RIGHT side as the instructions say). Now, 4 bolt holes in the table
should be visible through the holes in the fence. 2 of the holes are
3/8 tapped, but alas, General only provided two 3/8 machine screws, and
we need them for the back rail. Bolt on with 1/4-20 hex bolts. You can
now use the nice "L" tool that General supplies, but don't worry if the
rail sits a bit low. Mine is 1/16th too low, and it works just fine.
4. Install the back rail in a similar fashion, using two 3/8" slot head
bolts. These are the oddest looking bolts I've every seen and the heads
are too big for the countersunk (sp?) holes in the rails, but again, it
seems to be non-critical.
5. Do NOT install the square tube yet, or you will have to remove it
later ;) (Some of us are too impatient.)
6. Install the table between the rails. I took 2 pieces of scrap 3/4"
MDF, 4"wide and about 4' long, with good straight edges. Clamp these,
on edge running down the saw, and clamp the table to them as well. This
will hold the table temporarily so that it is flush with the top of
the cast iron saw wings. Use a caliper to ensure the top of the table
is not going up, or down in relation to the bars. (This part is obvious
Next, drill 1/4" holes, 4 in the front and 4 in the back using the holes
provided on the front and back rails. Use 1/4-20 bolts, large washers,
lock washers, and nuts on the 2 holes closest the saw (on each side).
Install the legs on the other two holes, again with 1/4-20 bolts, lock
washers and nuts. (but no large washers). Tighten it up.
7. Now install the square tube. There are about 6, or 7 holes drilled
in the bottom of the tube and horizontal part of the front rail. These
should all line up. Use stubby bolts (not sure of size, but General
includes them), correct wrench is 7/16 I believe.
8. Put on the rip fence to the right of the blade. Push it till it is
just in contact with the blade, and adjust the plastic measuring gauge
until it reads 0.
9. Play around with the rip fence alignment if you want. Play around
with the mitre fence alignment if you want. Both of mine were perfect
(or at least orders of magnitude better than my old, 30+ years Rockwell
contractor saw.) I'll probably spend more time tuning it in the days
10. There was one large piece of scrap metal also shipped with the saw,
carefully machined and weighing about 30 lbs. This can be attached to
the rear of the machine somehow I believe. I hope mine doesn't rust too
much sitting in the corner. How can General ship a useless piece of
crap like their blade guard when there are better, removable aftermarket
solutions. ARE YOU GUYS ASLEEP UP THERE? DORMER VOUS?
Overall, the installation, once I threw out the instructions was simple
In general, this is about the nicest tool I have ever used. When I
removed the motor (recommended if you are moving it into your basement
as it lightens the saw by quite a bit) the trunnions and bearings spin
effortlessly. It is so smooth, the inertia of the mechanism keeps going
after you stop moving the cranks. When the motor and V-belts are
installed, things are 'heavier' but this is a joy to use. Everything
was shimmed and accurate right out of the box. I can't test runout but
the wood I cut was smooth and square. The motor clunks solidly before
it spins up. Power to spare.
(Oh, yeah, you might want to check all wiring before powering up. When
I removed the motor, one of the crimp on connectors, on L1, came off in
my hands! Nice way to start a fire)
The fit and finish of my machine are far above King, Jet, and others.
The powder coat paint is very tough, and beautiful. The case is solid
and dust collection looks good. This truly is the Cadillac of table saws.
DEAR GENERAL, IF YOU ARE LISTENING-
It is often the little details that make the difference in customer
satisfaction. Your machine is first rate, but you are missing the
details. Spend some $$ and re-write your documentation. Hire a
professional, don't do it yourself. ( I challenge the president of
General to read the English instructions and try to follow them. They
are the worst crap I have ever seen. You should be ashamed)
Get a consistent bolt package with all Robertson head bolts. You go to
the trouble of drilling and tapping 3/8 holes in the table, then you
don't use them. You send a set of rails with extra holes drilled in it
on your 'Cadillac' model saw. You need to re-design and modernize your
blade guard. The table you include does not match your own
specifications and should be made of MDF, with Arborite and a hardwood
frame, NOT particle board with vinyl. This will peel, chip and absorb
moisture. The locking knobs on the cranks look like they may have been
'cost reduced', instead of more durable bakelite (not sure about that).
You could probably save cost and offer a better product if you
replaced your mitre gauge with an 'indexed' type model which locks in
every 5deg. (See woodpecker.com). Get your QC guys to check all wiring.
Anyway, hope this helps someone and prevents them from needlessly
drilling their tabletop.