General International table saw, first impressions and some questions...

Ok, finally bit the bullet, and grabbed a tablesaw. As luck would have it, a local dealer had a GI 50-185 in stock, and I had made up my mind that if I could find one of those, I'd take it. There was even a "pre-show" special on the saw, $50 off ($900CDN or $650US instead of $950) with the 52" fence. And the wood-working show isn't even in town! :)
First impression, all the lock washers were missing from the hardware. Not a big deal cost-wise, but I really wanted to play with my toy, not go out for a drive. Also, the paint on the wings is pretty sloppily applied, and why do they bevel the front of the main table, but not the wings? Kinda defeats the purpose of beveling anything, if you don't do it all, doesn't it?
Second impression, the manual sucks. In particular, the part about mounting the motor is really unclear. Took me three tries to get it right (this could be SUS, however). And the measurements for the holes, if you want to make your own base for it (which I did) are dead wrong. They say 11 1/2" by 11 5/16". It's more like 14 x 18. Just a little off...
Third, the anti-kickback pawls suck. This is my first question. How many of you use them/don't use them? The old saw I tried of my FIL had them, and they were gravity powered. These ones are spring loaded, and keep snapping down either on my fingers or on the table (scratching my new wax job). I can live with the the splitter and guard for now, but the pawls? They don't seem like they'll be easy to remove/disable. Also, why can't the manufacturer's put a "good" splitter in? There's some good ones out there, that move up and down with the blade, right? Seems to me it would be much cheaper to do it up front, rather than an aftermarket accessory.
Fourth, the manual for the fence sucks even more than the manual for the saw (and it's a General fence, not GI). Either that, or the saw and fence don't match up. They include lock washers in the fence kit, as well as nuts and flat washers. But they only mention using the flat headed bolts (screws??) to attach it. The fence holes in the saw are all threaded, but the provided bolts/screws don't fit in them. This manual is also full of spelling mistakes, which aren't a big deal, but they bug me. And who there thought up the "support foot" at the rear of the fence? The hole for this is two inches into a tube 1.5" high. There's two sharp nails sticking in about 1/2", around 1" in. And you're supposed to squeeze two fingers in there, and thread a nut on the support foot. What fun! Saw draws first major blood! For the love of God, make the fence 1" shorter, then move the nails BEHIND the bolt! It also says to adjust the foot so the fence is level, but it doesn't say how. So I ended up shimming it with a leftover washer (which wouldn't go on the rear fence support, since the webbing under the table was in just the wrong place for the hole that was drilled. Another example of how the fence doesn't quick jive with the saw). Seems to have done the trick. After all that, the fence drops on, and preliminary feedback is good! Seems square to the miter gauge slots, and slides easily along. But the pointer window is cracked on my fence. I can live with that, but still... Shouldn't come out of the box like that.
You may have noticed (those of you that are still awake, that is) that I don't mention anything yet about hooking up the power. That's because I can't figure out how to mount the power switch. There's nothing in either manual about the switch itself, and where it's supposed to attach. The exploded diagram shows a funny piece of wire (like a lower case "q", and there's a loop of string attached to it. I also have a bolt and flat washer left in the bag with the "q". But how am I supposed to attach these four pieces together? That's my second and final question, for the night.
Anyways, I'm off to bed. My back is sore from the 320 pounds of cast iron I've been heaving around the last two afternoons. The kids have had their mouths washed out with soap after they repeated all the new words they learned from Dad. I've got scraps, nicks, and cuts from my elbows down, and they're all covered with cosmoline, WD-40, and Topcote. That should keep the infections down, right? Or is that rust...
Clint
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Hi Clint, Here is a hint as to where the switch goes. Cheers, JG
http://www.general.ca/product/inter/50175an.html
Clint Neufeld wrote:

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I know WHERE it goes, I just don't know how to attach it there. Am I supposed to drill and tap holes? Shouldn't that be done already, if that was the case?
And what's the string for? And what's the wire 'q' for? The exploded diagram shows the wire 'q' in use on the power switch... Wait a minute, I think I've got it! There's a hole through the "ON" button. If I put the 'q' on the string, it will dangle there beside the switch. If you stick the wire through the "ON" button, it will prevent the saw from being turned on. Ah, the wonders of what 6 hours of sleep can do for you! :)
Thanks so far.
Clint

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Clint,
Use one of the bolts that goes up through the angle iron into the square fence tube to mount the switch to.
The main table is bevelled to ease the mitre gauge onto the top. The wings don't need this.
David.
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Thanks. That did the trick. Must have been a blonde moment. Yeah, that's my story! :)

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Woo-hoo! First cut! Still got some tuning to go, I think, but I have sawdust! :)
Clint

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I have seen this on other saws too and never knew why. Hmmmmm.
John
David F. Eisan wrote:

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