Until a few weeks ago, I was aimed at getting either a Felder or Knapp
Table Saw. It would take me 18 months of saving to afford one of those.
Then, a fellow in my Woodworking club showed me his Inca with a bolted
on Sliding Table made by Robland. He suggested I look at General.
The Canadian General Saw is about $1000 more than their Taiwanese
Is the Canadian equipment important enough to pay an extra $1000. ?
Is General better than Grizzly?
How does that sliding table with outrigger perform? On crosscuts, say,
or for ripping big panels?
Gary in Los Angeles
(with eyes bigger than his wallet)
Depends on what you want to use a tablesaw for, how often you will use it
and how much you're into woodworking. The Canadian made General is a buy
once in your lifetime saw. You'll likely never need to buy another one again
unless you plan on going into commercial woodworking and even then, the
General would hold it's own.
In my opinion, that's a definite "Yes".
Only experience I have with sliding tables is what I've played with at
woodworking shows. If you're got the room and expect to be cutting panels on
a regular basis, as well as having enough spare cash to buy one, then I
think they're worthwhile. But again as I mentioned, it all comes down to how
much you think you'll be using it.
On 29 Aug 2005 15:12:21 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Yes. The General 350 is especially a quality product. although the
dust collection could be better. Take a look at the Powermatic 66
(my favorite) too, another excellent machine. Another decent table saw
is the Delta Unisaw.
In general, yes. Grizzly is lowered priced and also scores lower in
precision. But, I'd go with a Grizzly cabinet saw over a Powermatic
contractor saw, both for about the same money.
I'm not familiar with the sliding table w/outrigger, but you can
easily build an extension outfeed table and panel cutter. Don't
expect a lot of precision cross-cutting from a table saw.
As with any table saw purchase look at the warranty, fence, large flat
heavy table tops.
In answer to your questions:
My only experience with Europea Format saws (those with a sliding table
supported by an "outrigger" is watching and drooling over an Altendorf
as it operated at nearby Anderson Plywood near the old MGM studios.
Unvelievable, for safe handling of 4x8 sheets of 3/4. The saw ripped
them into 18" strips like it was cutting bacon with a sharp knife.
Meanwhile, the operator stood at the corner, a good 4 feet to the right
of the blade. Safety is my big reason for wanting a slider.I will be
doing a lot of sheet work, and will be alone in my new shop.
In talking to owners of these format saw, I would say the safety margin
over a regular tiling arbor table saw is about the same as the
difference between a radial arm saw and compound sliding miter saw.
As to getting a solid table, the General model from Canada weighs 750
lbs plus with a slider and 5hp motor. The same item in General's
Chinese version weighs 500. Whatever I buy, this will be me first and
last table saw. The 5hp is important because I'm moving to timber
country in the far north part of California. Wet wood might be more
common than I'd like.
General was the manufacturer of Biesemeyer fences for decades, so that
part of the deal is a slam dunk.
Yup. it's fun to take 1/2" strip off the length of a 4x8 sheet.
I have shoulders and a lower back which remind me on a rainy day that I
ran one of those for a living.
They're not that expensive when bought used. 3-5 K will get you one.
Saws like that ( http://tinyurl.com/8kfwf ) cut real nice, but you still
have to feed them sheets. <G>
Enough nostalgia. Yes, it is safe to buy a General 350. Damned nice saw.
I have used one. It would be my first choice for my next saw.
Before buying my General I looked at the competition pretty closely; having
been stung with a Powermatic Artisan saw ten years ago. The attention to
detail on the Canadian General is superb. Unfortunately, the quality of the
competion has slipped badly in the last few years. The General is
engineered for a lifetime of service.
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