I originally had a hard time deciding between the G0586 and the G0490.
So many people had good things to say about the 586. And I was
wondering whether I would be annoyed by the longer infeed and shorter
outfeed tables. I finally decided to go with the G0490. It was a
little lighter making shipping cheaper. With the cheaper shipping, it
was only about $40 more. The fence was taller, but shorter. And there
was a 3hp motor instead of 2hp on the 586.
The jointer arrived on Tuesday via saia. I paid the extra $30 for
liftgate service. It was in two boxes. One was a cardboard box
containing the stand with the motor already attached. The other box
was a plywood crate containing all the cast iron parts. The driver
backed the truck into my driveway and wheeled the boxes into my garage.
While I was looking things over, he told me that he shipped the same
thing to someone else nearby that day. He also described how he
delivered a 15' long canoe earlier in the day. I was sort of amused
by the idea of mail-order boats.
There was a tear in the cardboard box containing the base. It looked
like forklift damage. Inside the box, the base was wrapped in 1/2"
Styrofoam boards. The only thing protecting the base was luck. It was
a big enough tear that the base could have been severely dented. It
turned out to be in perfect condition though. The plywood crate also
had a little forklift damage, but it was on one of the plywood feet so
it wasn't important. The crate was nailed shut. It felt like I was
opening a plywood coffin. It was about 6' long and 2' wide. The
driver hung around long enough for me to put a straight edge on the
tables. He was very helpful.
The first step was to open the box and attach the foot pedal/wheel.
Over on woodnet, there was a thread complaining about how the caster
wasn't level when the base was on the wheels. Mine had the same
problem. Since the caster isn't level, the weight of the machine
makes the caster want to return to the low spot after you move it.
It's really not that big a deal though. It's easy to move around
and swivel the caster even with this problem. I plan on making my own
mobile base later. This should get the machine about 8" higher, more
comfortable for my 6'5" frame. The casters make sort of a tricycle
that I don't care for also. The back two wheels don't turn meaning
you have to steer the jointer instead of just putting it wherever. The
bases I make have four locking swivel casters. To make matters worse,
the jointer is sort of top-heavy. I have a hard time resisting the
urge to slide the non-swivel casters rather than steer the machine the
right way. On concrete, the machine wants to tip rather than slide.
All of this is minor stuff, and I have a fix for it anyway.
The next step was to put the jointer on the stand. I got my wife to
help. At first, we couldn't budge it. That's when I discovered
that it was bolted to the plywood box (duh). After removing the bolts,
we picked it up and set it on the base. I have two bits of advice
here. The first is to find the bolts and remove them, not just the
nuts. There's a little pocket under each table. If you put your
hand in the holes under the crate, the holes for the forklift forks,
you can remove the nuts, which were hand-tight. If you don't take
the bolts out, they'll interfere with setting the jointer on the
base. The instructions say nothing about this. The second is to not
have your wife help. My wife is probably stronger than most and this
was at the edge of her ability. I should have gone with my original
plan to buy an engine hoist. Also, you have to position the jointer
just right on the base so that the eight holes in the base line up with
the threaded holes in the cast iron. This would have been much easier
had the weight of the jointer been suspended a fraction of an inch
above the table.
The cosmolene came off easily with scraping and mineral spirits.
There sure is a lot of cast iron. The instructions show the rebating
ledge as a separate piece but it was already attached and aligned
perfectly. I measured the tables with my trusty (painted) straight
edge. They were perfectly flat except for one low spot on the outfeed
table where I could just slip a piece of paper under the straight edge.
It turned out to be not enough to worry about. The outfeed table was
already correctly set to the blade height. It was a pain to clean the
cosmolene off the cutter head. And another tip, run the machine before
waxing the top. The cutter head will throw off some crud and splatter
it all over the infeed table.
I noticed that there was some overspray on the cutter head. It
wasn't that much and shouldn't interfere with anything. There was
also some overspray on the plastic bag containing the fence bracket
oddly enough. Beyond that, there was no paint where it shouldn't
have been. The only other cosmetic thing I saw was that the model
number on the front of the stand wasn't exactly on straight. But you
can only see it if you get down and look closely.
The fence ended up needing a little adjustment. There's a knob that
forces the fence to 90 degrees. It was of a bit, but was easy to
correct. I also attached the power switch stalk. The switches feel a
little cheap, but work just fine. The machine came without a plug. It
also came with a plastic 4" dust collection hood. Eventually, I'll
probably replace the hood with a 6" version. Also, the dust chute
inside goes from the cutter head to the 4" outlet, but it doesn't
have a top. Some shavings were able to escape from the sides of the
cutter head. Others on woodnet have mentioned this. It should be easy
to cook up a board to seal the top of the chute. I assembled the
machine using my impact driver with hex sockets. This greatly sped up
As a test, I ran a 4' long 5" wide board of (very) rough sawn bass
wood. It's a wonderful machine. I set it to 1/32". After several
passes, I got down to a good finish which caused to suction effect on
the outfeed table. It's easy to run the board through too fast and
get scallop marks. Just slowing down a little makes the finish almost
perfect. We'll see in the coming weeks how the machine does on the
hard maple and hickory I picked up last weekend.
Over all I'm very happy with it. I'd say the fit and finish is on
par with the delta machines that I have, maybe even better. Every bolt
hole lined up perfectly, which I can't say for my delta sander.
There were no rough spots anywhere on the castings, and no paint
defects. And (except for the fence) it was set up perfectly out of the
box. And there's virtually no vibration. I'd say it's a winner.