General 650 Table Saw Rant

After some significant soul searching, I ordered the General 650 Table Saw. Here's my experience.
1. "Should be in next week." No - no that didn't happen. A month later Thomas Tool, MN gets two of the 650s they ordered. "They used to be packaged better." They are now very poorly crated, exposing all sides to the elements of the delivery ilk. One was damaged so bad it twisted the cabinet - dropped or hit hard. Mine appeared fine.
2. Big saw, heavy. Built a ramp for my truck and rolled it into my shop over PVC tubes. My friends said it couldn't be done alone. I said anything could.
3. Unpackaged. The left wing surface was gouged badly, the motor cover gouged a bit too. Dealer swapped wings with the damaged saw - another long trip for the exchange. Checked it for runout - no problems.
4. Assembly. What a bitch. Oct. '03 Wood Magazine noted the poor documentation General has. Holy shit - what a f@*@ing understatement. Why they bother including anything is beyond me. What was there was either incorrect or inapplicable.
a. The fence rails necessitated drilling the holes larger to fit the bolts that hold it to the table. The holes themselves appeared to be misdrilled as the hole overlapped another one, making redrilling difficult. b. The rails for taper-head screws had no taper, necessitating a trip to get a 3/4" taper bit so they didn't stick out and interfere with the fence. c. Directions state: Mount fence tube to rail using 1/4x1/2" screws. Only the F*#ing holes in the tube aren't threaded. Another trip back to Home Depot for a tap. d. Back rail is missing the screws that hold it in place to the table. Another f%$&ing trip to Home Depot. e. No cord is included, wired cord and plug.
All in all I had to buy a tap, taper bit, cord and plug, make an extra trip to swap out wings, and make three trips to the hardware store to assemble and I now have a gouged motor cover. That said, I now have an absolutely beautiful saw (sans cover), but the hassle, expense and time make me livid. What a joke. This was a spendy saw. I might expect this from the Taiwan stuff, but not at the price point. This thing had better be the greatest tool I ever bought from here out.
Perhaps the Delta or Powermatic would have been the better choice. I'll keep you posted.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) wrote in

<snippage>

OK. Now's the REAL challenge. Forget all that s##t, and make some sawdust, which is the reason you bought the cabinet saw to begin with.
You have our sympathy. Many of us have been there, and worse. But nobody can give you your weekend back, even if they wanted to.
Patriarch
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I agree that it is too bad the fitand finish fo the saw caused so much work. On the bright side though, if your 650 gives you the kind of service my 350 has then the small investment of the week end will be paid back over the next decade or two. You did not mention the blade guard, which is a POS on the 350, makes me wonder if they did something better on the 650? Enjoy getting to know your saw.

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[rant snip]
It's a shame that the machine wasn't better packaged for shipping, and the assembly problems are quite inexcusable. That being said, by all reports the General is a great saw. Do report back when you've had a chance to put it through its paces.
I've a local General dealer within about 5 minutes walk from my office (Montreal) They've got everything set up on the floor so you can take a good look. They also move quite a bit of used equipment that comes back from their industrial customers on trade-in.
I was chatting with one of their reps about a tablesaw purchase a while back, and asked about delivery. No problem for local delivery; they'd ship door to door, set up, and tune the thing for about $50 on top of the machine price.
Two of our BORGs (Reno-Depot and Rona Hardware) recently merged, and since then they are carrying General hardware including tablesaws.
I guess you could say that there is a marked difference between purchasing something on a vendor's home turf and dealing from afar. A similar situation exists here in Canada if you're looking for Delta equipment. Recently I was trying to find a dealer that carries their hollow chisel mortisers. It seems their are none to be found in Canada - their web site will only locate U.S. dealers, even using their "Canadian" search criteria.
Good luck with the saw!
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Hello there,

Federated Tool Supply in London Ontario carries the full line of Delta Mortisers,
www.federatedtool.com
They are not an e-commerce company, but email them to see what they can do for you.
Oh ya, I am the sales manager for the company....
Thanks,
David.
Every neighbourhood has one, in mine, I'm him.
Remove the "splinter" from my email address to email me.
Newbies, please read this newsgroups FAQ.
rec.ww FAQ http://www.robson.org/woodfaq / Archives http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search Crowbar FAQ http://www.klownhammer.org/crowbar
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Thanks for that, David.
You should get hold of the web page guy at Delta and let him know that Federated exists!
Cheers,
-Greg
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<more snippage>

In November and December, in the US, you couldn't locate a Delta hollow chisel morticer either. No stock to be found for this neat holiday gift. (Yes, dear. Just tell the man you want the thing that drills square holes, like on Norm's show. No, I don't particularly want a Jet. ;-) )
They finally came in mid-January, but were sorta scarce again thereafter. Demand/supply balancing is always a gamble, in any industry. No one wants too many of anything, especially when 'the suits' are talking about closing facilities and selling companies.
It's rather a shame that I ended up cutting all the mortices another way. I really ought to set up the Delta, before the warranty runs out....
Patriarch
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On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 15:37:57 -0400, "Greg Neill"

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James,

Huh?
Do you mean the braided steel line? That is to hold the long pin you can use to lock out the on button.
The switch itself is secured to the bottom of the angle iron with one of the bolts that passes up into the main front fence tube. Follow?
David.
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On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 03:12:21 GMT, "David F. Eisan"

oops!
Yes I follow now, thanks to one Daved Eisan. I'll check out where I think I put those parts, in the morning.
Thanks again, Dave-
Can't blame me, without a bit of instruction, who could figure out those strange parts?! Warn't no instruction- and as has been said many times, the instruction book is - oh never mind.
James snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com
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Delta hollow chisels in the Montreal area ??? Rona l'entrepot and Reno depot have them in stock. You can also find them at the Delta service counter located in ville St.Laurent. They even carry 2 different qualities.

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Well, live and learn. Strange I don't remember spotting them there. I'll have another look-see.
Again, it's interesting that the Delta website's distributor lookup page for Canada fails to note these outlets.
Thanks.
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On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 15:37:57 -0400, "Greg Neill"

Let's see, I got mine at Crappy Tire (Canadian Bebelle to you). # 55-5924-2 for the Mastercrap one, but they also used to (& still might) carry the Delta.
Lee Valley has it too:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=1&pageA702&category=1%2C180%2C42334
So you can drive up the 417 and get yours.
As does my Home Hardware store (ex Beaver Lumber - Le Castor Bricoleur to you).
And there is a Delta service centre somewhere in the industrial boondocks of the West Island. I was there a few years ago. Try the yellow pages.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html
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Ah. I was looking for a dedicated mortiser, rather than a drill press adaptor/attachement.

Thanks.
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On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 11:25:25 -0400, "Greg Neill"

Ah. I should have read your post more carefully. Sorry.

Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html
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On 21 Apr 2004 10:25:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) wrote:

I bought mine in December and drilled nothing to install the fence itself. I did have to drill a few holes in the table board.
Are you SURE you put the fence on right?

They did on mine.
Barry
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Yes, yes, the fence is installed correctly. And all four holes for the front rail line up after using the notch in the top rail, one of few worthwhile instructions. But the two holes that that needed to be screwed to the table were quasi-misdrilled and undersized. And if that were the only complaint, I'd be quite happy.
I wrote a letter to General outlining the experience. Call it therapy. And yes, I have moved on. I now have a perfectly dialed in saw with a perfectly flat surface. I'm getting the JoinTech SmartMiter Sled dialed in today and plan to start cutting some wood this weekend.
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On 22 Apr 2004 06:45:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (MN Guy) wrote:

Good for you, man. People with negative experiences with a particular toy, will feel like they're being accused of something. Sorry about my contribution to that. "Trying to help without calling names" might be another term for that :-\
Just look at the dumb idea I had re the power switch!
Now cut wood!
James snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com
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