How much runout on TS is too much

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Frank
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No no no! That's not what I understand.
His company was responsible for the alignment, and it was done right and "WAS worth bothering over."

Well, you basicly said the factory alignment should not be trusted. Essentially you said that a reviewer should assume all factories screw up. That is a good idea for reviewers, however look at it from Frank's perspective.
Frank's company's goal was to product high quality tools and maintain their reputation. By lumping Frank's company in the same category as the Harbor Freight class of tools, you essentially told him his company, and therefore Frank, was incompetent.
No wonder he got insulted.
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In another thread ("Trouble setting up new table saw") a guy named Dan was trying to resolve an alignment problem. Frank advised him that it wasn't worth bothering over. "lock it down" and "just make sawdust". Don't you remember, you happened to disagree with that particular advice:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/msg/100bf3217a65a571

Ya, that's the rub. Do you now see the contradiction? While Frank was arguing "just make sawdust" in the "Trouble setting up new table saw" thread, he knew full well how important alignment really is. To Dan he says "just make sawdust" but in his job he insists that the alignment is done right. He gets all bent out of shape if someone says anything that could possibly be misconstrued as a vague implication that the factory alignment isn't accurate.

I didn't say or even imply that the factory had done it wrong. In my followup I made it abundantly clear why I thought it was folly to judge a saw's quality based on it's "out of the box" alignment. I'm sorry that Frank has put himself through this torture over his misunderstanding of my statement. It was not meant to disparage his company or any other company. It was meant to disparage clueless reviewers. They should first make sure the machine is properly aligned and then start to pass judgement on its quality, accuracy, and performance. Unfortunately, you don't see this too often because it requires the reviewer to possess some knowledge and expertise.

Woah there just a minute Max. I never lumped any companies in with any other companies. I made no comparisons between brands or makes of any machines. I never said anything about the competence of Frank, his company, or anybody making any machinery. This is some major leap that your are making here that just doesn't jive with reality.

Actually, I have his "explanation" for why he got "insulted". We've exchanged some email (not that it accomplished anything). I'll do my best to try and explain it in an even handed manner.
Frank feels that I'm a charlatan, a phony. He even went so far as to call me a liar. In his opinion, I give "erroneous information about all manufacturers". According to his email, he finds me "misleading and despicable" and this is why he thinks my statement was "insulting". Every time he responds to my messages with what he considers factual information, it gives me "another opportunity to drop another thousand words of erroneous information, followed by [my] spam link." He says that I prey on the "uninformed".
Frank honestly believes that the factory alignment survives the shipping process 100% of the time. Everyone who buys a new saw should expect it to be accurately aligned right out of the box. Shipping can't cause it to go out of whack - even on machines that are returned with freight damage. And, according to Frank's email, neither can usage. He's got a box full of "marketing research data" that proves this to be true. He has never and will never check the alignment on his table saw because he firmly believes that there is no need. To say anything different is to disparage a manufacturer's reputation for quality.
I'm not sure where that puts Dan and the misalignment that I helped him to correct. Or the thousands of other customers of mine who proclaim how much better their saw works since they have been able to align it properly. Where does that put all the other manufacturers of alignment tools? How about all those authors of books and magazine articles which talk about table saw alignment. These people must all be charlatans and phonies too. Hmmmm.....at least I'm in good company!
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
http://www.ts-aligner.com Home of the TS-Aligner
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wrote:

We have exchanged emails. I responded offline because I felt that anything I had to say in response to thread posts on the matter would not do Ed's business any good, and might cause harm. It was a collossal mistake to do so. A normal person would assume that an offline communication was not for publication. Ed has chosen to take excerpts of my emails and provide his own context. I find that repulsive.
A couple of paragraphs from those emails for clarification:
From my the original email:
"On the thread I offered only anecdotal information and my personal opinion as an individual woodworker, just a member of the "corner tavern" that is the "wreck". I purposely did not bring up any of the information mentioned above.<that would be information derived as head operations individual for Delta> I have no interest in possibly having a negative impact, however small it might be, on your business by going into that. While not personally experienced with your product, it is my understanding that it is well respected in the industry".
From an email sent just before reading this most recent post:
"While I appreciate any attempt to add to my education, you may be somewhat presumptuous in that regard. And my position is clear. Nothing I have in my data base would be helpful in increasing the demand for your product. But as stated before, I have no intention of posting any information that would cause harm either. My choice to not respond on the NG is in your best interest......<balance deleted, might cause harm>
Back to the present, so there it is, I've learned my lesson. I will not respond in any thread that has a post by Ed Bennett nor will we continue to be pen pals offline.
Frank
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"Frank Boettcher" wrote:

You're beginning to see why he has been in my bit bucket for some time.
Lew
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<snip>
Well, what can I do?
I still stand by my original statement as it was intended. Any reviewer who judges the quality of a machine (like a table saw) based on its factory ("out of the box") alignment (like fence and blade alignment) is demonstrating his ignorance and doing a great disservice to his readers and the company that produced that machine. I say this because I believe that it's rare for machinery to retain its original factory alignment during the shipping process. I do not believe that it's valid to judge the quality of workmanship for a machine until it is properly assembled and accurately aligned.
It's Frank's choice to misinterpret this statement as "insulting and misleading". He has decided to believe that it was meant as a "misleading and despicable" "lie" designed to "take in the mostly uninformed". He insists that it is a derogatory statement aimed at machinery manufacturers (his, in particular). And, he continues to do this after having been corrected multiple times both publicly and privately. His eagerness to take offense where none was intended (or even remotely inferred) and refusal to acknowledge correction leads me to believe that his professed concern for my business is very disingenuous.
In my defense, and to characterize just how ludicrous Frank's misinterpretation is, I would ask people to recall the number of times I've suggested the use a dial indicator on a stick rather than purchase one of my products if only blade and fence alignment is needed. I have even acknowledged the validity of traditional "feel the rub" alignment techniques (with the caveat that I find them to be tedious and time consuming). My products are designed to do much more than that and are a big overkill (i.e. waste of money) for such a limited application. If you're not going to tilt your blade, cut miters, change jointer knives, setup a miter saw, drill press, shaper, band saw, etc. then don't get a TS-Aligner. Not only have I said this many times in the newsgroup, but it's on my web site too.
I have never intentionally misled anybody in the newsgroup or shared information that I did not believe to be true and accurate. There have been occasions where I have been mistaken. But, when corrected I have always acknowledged the truth and offered sincere public apologies when appropriate. I know for a fact that I have successfully helped many people in the group without selling them anything. I have done my best to adhere to the Usenet guidelines for commercial activity in newsgroups (which specifically mentions the use of a web site link in the signature).
There are individuals in the group who feel compelled to denigrate those who want to develop their machinery skills and make the most of their investment. They are quick to follow up messages with their derogatory comments and imagined insults characterizing me and anybody who would listen to me as something less than a real woodworker (e.g.: "wood machinist", etc.). When that doesn't work, then they start trying to embarrass me directly with references to the "Bennett wars" and other such nonsense. When all else fails they often flaunt their ignorance as a virtue. Somehow, they can never bring themselves to see things from a different perspective and allow people to pursue their own interests in peace. And, they can never admit when they've gone too far. Well, there's only so much stupidity I can take. The morons win. "Just make sawdust!"
One last thing: On the topic of "market research studies"...we've all heard about the market research that led Detroit auto makers to ignore foreign competition and keep making big ugly cars in the '70s. And, we've all heard how market research studies said that "New Coke" would be a big hit. Well, when I get together with my old friends from a previous job, we laugh over multitudes of similar stories that have never seen the light of day. I think I can share one that will make a point:
It seems that the Marketing folks did a study that led them to believe that a particular product would sell like hotcakes if there was a version with black "skins" (that's what they call the outside plastic covers). So, they asked me to run the numbers and report the impact to warranty cost as a percentage of revenue. Well, the new parts would need to be stocked in every distribution center, every repair center, and every dealer repair depot worldwide - a huge inventory. And, all the service manuals would need to be updated to reflect the new part numbers. Technicians, warehouse personnel, and call center agents would all need to be trained. Allowances would need to be made for the exchange of parts when the wrong color was ordered. And, there would be the increase in call center traffic from people who don't get all the updates and need help getting the right parts.
The increase in warranty cost was big enough to shut down the whole idea. In response, a new market research study concluded that the black skins would be so popular that people would be willing to pay extra for the product - so much extra that the increased warranty costs were completely offset. So, with management's blessing the project went ahead.
Separate tooling was made (it's tough to flush out a mold after running black resin), repair part inventories were stocked, personnel were trained, manuals were updated, notices went out, etc. The new black skin version was finally introduced and nothing happened. For a product that was projected to sell about 75 million units, the black skin version ended up selling between 30-40 thousand units. There were more spares in the worldwide repair parts inventory than units in customer hands.
Next thing I know, I'm sitting in yet another Marketing presentation where the project is being lauded as a big success. Awards were being given out and people were saying that they should do it again. The moral of this story is: there is no task that cannot be justified, or idea that cannot be proven with a Market Research Study. It's the best evidence that money can buy!
Thanks, Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
http://www.ts-aligner.com Home of the TS-Aligner
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There are stories that the "New Coke" was either a marketing ploy, or else a means to change the recipe (i.e. cheaper) without the uproar in the change in taste.
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factory setup is a relevant data point, in that it indicates how much care the Mfr. puts into final stage QC., less shipping jostling. the shipping is the real bugger for factory setup... you're always gonna have to do some alignment to a machine that has been moved. a good argument can be made that the consumer benefits more from the effort and QC. going somewhere other than into factory alignment, but it also can be argued that the production line that aligns each and every saw will have a better handle on and more interest in all of the upstream precision machining processes.
me, I mostly buy old machines anyway, so factory alignment is kinda a moot point in my shop.
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I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. A company that does not take measures to insure that a product is delivered in the same shape it leaves the factory has no "real" QC as far as the customer is concerned. What really matters is that the sale is completed with a product that is delivered in the same shape that it leaves the factory. Blaming the shipping company is a pittyful excuse and is simply dropping the ball where the customer is concerned. If the manufacturer does not package, package properly for shipping, and monitor the shipper to insure delivery of undamaged products it may as well nave no QC at all. Ignoring those facts is what has gotten many of them in the jam that they are in today. Sorry to mention this again Frank, Delta had a problem with broken trunions on their Unisaws some 10 years ago. Does it really matter why the trunion arrived broken? The consumer saw a product that was broken. That was the #1 reason I chose the Jet over the Delta when I bought 7-8 years ago. The Delta setting on the show room floor with the "broken tag" attached to the top was not inviting. The saw looked fine.
My Jet cabinet saw was delivered with no adjustment needed after factory alignment, that goes for my Laguna BS, and Delta stationary planer.
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On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 08:02:01 -0500, "Leon"

And since you mentioned it again I'll reiterate the facts. As a percentage of units shipped a small number of units were damaged in shipment in a way that caused trunions to break. Extensivel testing determined that what caused the breakage was a full running tipover where the unit was slammed over on a concrete dock or tipped out of a warehouse rack. I seriously doubt that any "packaging" would have stopped that from happening, but in any event, you as a consumer would not want to pay for it. When a rather expensive improper handling device was added to the packaging, the problem went away. Your distributor, who left a broken unit on his floor did not have to. Delta was allowing immediate freight allowed RMA's and replacement units for any damaged units as they did for any type of damage. Why your distributor chose to keep the saw is a mystery to me. No end user customer was ever "stuck" with a unit that had broken trunions. If the distributor had used the RMA process, you as a consumer, would not have had the opportunity to see the broken tag.
Your comment about "may as well have no QC at all" is insulting to those involved with it and is, of course, your opinion with full right to express it on an open forum
Frank

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----- Original Message -----

Exactly, Delta recognised the problem and provided a fix rather than let it continue.
Your

I don't know the details however the distrubutor did indicate that they had been waiting for Delta to send a replacement trunion. The saw looked factory freah and IIRC the distributor has 20+ stores in Texas. Perhaps the unit was damaged during delivery to the store vs perhaps from a warehouse. I do recall mentioning the problem with the saw way back when and was actually contacted by a Delta rep inquiring where this saw was located so that the parts could be delivered. He did not mention that the saw would be exchanged. Time may have been a decising factor.

Well Frank, a comment that may be perceived as an insult to some is often perceived as a unique opportunity to fix a problem by others. Excuses do not fix problems. Those that act on that valuable information tend to stay in business and or not get sold every few years.
You should absolutely not take offense if you were not responsible.
It can be said that it is equally insulting to the buyer when the manufacturer defends a product and or its manufacturing and delivery by blaiming how the product was handled. WHO chooses the shipping company? The dealer/consumer does not care, as the fact remains that the equipment is in no condition to be used. No one but the manufacturer is responsable for its merchandise and how it arrives because they are the only ones that can do something different to remedy the problem. Ultimately the manufacturer needs to eat a slice of humble pie and get with the program, catch up with the competition, and deliver what the buyer expects to get. Imagine going to a new car dealership with 1% of the vehicles coming off of the deliveries trucks being wrecked badly enough that it cannot be sold. For the average dealership in Houston that would be 1 to 2 vehicles every week. It probably happens but in the 10 years that I worked for an automobile dealership I never saw it happen. GM used to have a terrible problem with damaged parts deliveries. They switched to a dedicated carrier with equipment specifically designed to deliver auto parts and sheet metal with out damage. They may have considered it an insult when we dealership managers complained about the quality of the packaging and delivery process however we never heard complaints from GM.
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On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 14:53:59 GMT, "Leon"
Please excuse my top post,no offense is intended, but I've been down this road with you many times over about a five year period. Not going there again. Any one interested can google away. I will always just single post respond when you bring it up, provide a brief outline of the facts, let anyone who reads make up their minds. Frank

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wrote:

Where is there to go Frank? I was only pointing out that a manufacturers responsibility is and the "Fact" that Delta had problems with broken trunions. Why they had problems is beside the point as far as their target audience is concerned. Ultimately Delta made changes to lessen the problem, right? And to be fair, Delta was not the only company that had shipping problems. Grizzly had a tremendous problem with their shipper several years back. Apparently they too have taken steps to correct the problem.
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Leon wrote:

Not particularly true......as a consumer if a product has a particular design flaw or simply suffers from inept shipping it is of note. Even significant if down the road one must move the saw to another location one might need to know shipping precautions. On the other hand if said expensive product has a particular design flaw a replacement part may still leave you with a soon to expire machine just past warrantee......why does indeed matter.
Rod
.
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Well, you simply pack the tool the same way it was shipped. If it shipped successfully 1 time it should ship sucessfully another time providing you use a good shipper.
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in an ideal world all shipping variables can be taken into account. in the real world, shipments get tossed around by storms at sea, pallets get left out in the rain and boxes get dropped. the higher degree of precision the factory setup the more susceptible it is to change- any change, even temperature swings. now, generally woodworking equipment isn't the most precise stuff around, and I'm sure the manufacturers do cost- benefit analyses of precision factory setup among other things and find a happy medium. then we as users tweak the machines to our individual requirements, even using aftermarket parts and devices. no prob (TM Joat) everybody gets what they need and a thriving economy exists based on table saw alignment devices.
very few precision machines arrive from the manufacturer plug and play at their optimum performance, and the ones that *must* do so come with a tech from the factory to do the setup.
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On Oct 17, 8:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I think it's important for the factory to test machinery before it ships. And, you can't tell if a machine is operating properly (accurately) unless it's aligned. Aligning it at the factory also proves that it can be aligned. You would be amazed at the number of customers who call me to say that they cannot move the trunnions enough to obtain proper blade alignment because the castings are so far out of whack. My own unisaw was incapable of blade tilt all the way to 45 degrees as delivered. I had to go after the castings with a file (as recommended by the tech support guy) before it worked properly.
It's not very reasonable to expect that a machine can maintain proper alignment after riding around on fork lifts, in trucks, and on rail cars. The amount of vibration and thermal variation that it receives would challenge the skills of even the best engineers to come up with ways to maintain alignment. It would be a waste of time and money to implement such countermeasures to ensure that factory alignment was maintained during shipping. If a manufacturer really wants to ensure the best customer experience, then they should sell through dealers who provide accurate setup and alignment at no extra charge. But, in this "big box" retail world, it's not a very practical option.
In the 16 years that I've been making TS-Aligners (many thousands of units), I think I've heard from only 3-4 customers who said that their machine was accurately aligned from the factory. I chalk it up to pure luck.
Ed Bennett snipped-for-privacy@ts-aligner.com
http://www.ts-aligner.com Home of the TS-Aligner
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