More Delta Unisaw questions

Hi people,
I'm trying to decide which saw to purchase and since I have a choice of right or left hand tilting and Beismeyer or Unifence I am confused. Which fence is better..........the Beismeyer or the Unifence? Also..........what are the pros and cons of left hand tilting vs. right hand tilting arbors? Also............is the Delta Unisaw better than the General 350 (please, only serious answers to this question)? Any info would be appreciated. Regards. -Guy
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Put simply, right vs. left tilt and Biesemeyer vs. Unifence comes down to personal preference. There is no overwhelming reason to choose any of them. In short, right tilt is better if you do a lot of work with a stacked dado cutter and want to use the tape to index your fence accurately. The left tilt is better if you do a lot of bevel rips - having the blade tilt away from the fence is necessary to do these cuts safely. Both types of tilt can do all types of cuts, just with differences in the way you approach it. For example, you can still bevel rip safely on a right-tilt, you just move the fence to the left of the blade. Clearly, your capacity will be limited compared to a left-tilt, so if you want to do a bevel rip on a 4 foot wide sheet of plywood and wanted to do it with the blade tilted away from the fence you'd need a left-tilt and a 50" fence. The fence issue is similar - pros and cons to each type. I have a 50" Biesemeyer (on a right-tilt Unisaw, by the way). It just seemed more solid when I compared the two, and it's a bit more straightforward, IMO, to build jigs for the fence. Of course, the Unifence has extrusions for mounting things like featherboards, etc. etc., and many people really like that. You can also move the height of the Unifence, as well as slide it forward, so it acts as a cut-off fence.
So, the only real way to answer this question is to "test drive" each one for yourself and decide what you like best.
I have no experience witha General 350, so I can't help you there.
Mike

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Well, at the risk of having a bunch of DAGS posts, left or right tilt seems to be get left tilt if you're right handed. A left tilt saw, as I understand it, lete waste from bevel cuts fall away from the underside of the blade with the fence on the right side of the cut. If the waste is on top, you risk throwback of the offcut. Also, narrow bevel cuts are supposed to be safer. I am sure others will add their remarks.
Fence seems to be a matter of personal preference. Do you like green or blue or yellow? - pick one - there is no "wrong" answer. Some folks say that the face of the Bies units isn't flat, but two saws that I use have them and they work fine. As for UNI vs General, I think that general gets a nod for quality at a slightly higher cost. I asked for feedback on the General 350 a few days ago and the feedback was that the General was a better saw, but parts may or may not be a problem as it is mfg in Canada. My understanding is that the internals of the saw are heavier and that the arbor pulleys have an extra bearing for support - so the saw is more in the league of the PM66. General also has a left tilt cabinet saw.
The "old" uni's and the "new" X5s are the same saw, both US made. The Delta dealer near me said that in 2004 production of the X5 saws was going to Chiwan, so if you want an American made saw, today, Delta and Powermatic are it. If I can find a General for a good price, I'll be on it like white on rice. Not to clutter things, but the Jet cabinet saw on amazon comes with a router, lift, long table and a hell of a good price with favorable reviews and is also a strong contender.
I think I have this information right and I hope this helps - I'm looking for a saw too... If'n I made any mcsnakes, I'm sure someone will set me straight.
John Moorhead Lakeport, CA
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I am dating myself a bit, but back when I purchased my Unisaw you could only get right tilt. If I were buying a new saw today I would get a left tilt. As others have posted, the big difference is in doing bevel cuts, and in my opinion, the left tilts saws are much better in this area. In the past few years my projects have had quite a few bevel cuts.
I have used the General saw at a friends shop and liked it the same as my Unisaw. I think that they are both great saws and you will not go wrong with either. I would make the purchase decision on the quality of store that sells each saw. If the same dealer sells both, then I would go on emotions or price.
I own the Beismeyer fence, and have used the Unifence on a bunch of saws, and would purchase the Beismeyer again without any hesitation. It is rock solid, and I find it much easier to attach accessories to. That said, I know a few people who love the Unifence. Again, you will not make a bad decision with either fence.
Bob McBreen
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Guy, Search this group for the URL to the FAQ. Your two questions are two of the most commonly asked questions and are covered there thorougly IIRC.
With regards to the General vs. the Unisaw, that's a pretty close race. I own a Unisaw, but the General has a great reputation as well. They're both in the top 3 or 4 of the more popular brands (Powermatic, General, Delta Unisaw, Jet)
Mike Dembroge

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Guy, Here's the FAQ for this group: http://www.robson.org/woodfaq/ It covers the left vs. right & fence selections.

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Guy LaRochelle wrote:

Neither. It comes down to personal preference like Coke or Pepsi, Ford or Chevy.

One thing to keep in mind, a lot of hobbyist are book smart and don't have much practicle application experience. This shows up best when a Left-Tilter tells everyone how dangerous the Right-Tilt machine is. The trouble is, this Left-Tilter has (usually) never run a Right-Tilt machine.
With that in mind, I have a Right-Tilt and I like it just fine. I have never owned a Left-Tilt. (end of full disclosure)

No, the Unisaw isn't better than the 350. In fact, from my own arm chair comparison I'd pick the 350 if money were no object. I answered this without smiling to show how serious I am/was.

Not a prob Guy.

Truly, UA100, another guy...
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Guy,
In my opinion, half the fun of buying tools is researching which ones to buy. You will get lots of good answers here. Also, you will want to look at Groups.Google.Com where you can spend 12-15 hours reading about left vs right tilt.
BTW, I have a Grizz cabinet saw that is left tilt. The dado blade issue is more significant than you may think.
Montyhp

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;~) The single most asked question in this group that I paste this rubber stamp answer to. Both saws will make all the same cuts. Some easier on the left tilt, some easier on the right tilt. Strictly personal preference. But if you need to be steered one way or the other, Advantages: Are you right handed? Get the left tilt. 1. Left tilt has the bevel wheel on the right side and is easily turned with your Right hand. 2. Left tilt can rip a narrow bevel with out having to move the fence to the left side of the blade. 3. Left tilt allows the blade arbor nut to be removed with your right hand. 4. Left tilt allows your to remove the arbor nut and turn it in the direction that you would expect. 5. With a Left tilt, when both edges of a board are beveled, the sharp point of the bevel is up on the fence when cutting the second bevel as opposed to the bottom of the fence where it might slip under. 6. RIGHT tilt if you are left handed. The bevel wheel is on the left side of the saw. 7. RIGHT tilt if you "must" use the fence distance indicator when using a stacked dado blade set. The blades stack left, away from the fence. The indicator remains accurate. On the left tilt, the blades stack towards the fence and makes the indicator inaccurate. In this case use a tape measure to set the fence distance. 8. RIGHT tilt allows you to remove the arbor nut with your left hand but the nut must be turned clockwise to loosen. Bassackwards to normalcy. If considering a cabinet saw, with wide 50" rip capacity. The Left tilt will most often afford you the most storage room under the right table extension. The RIGHT tilt has an access door in that location that will demand room to open. The left tilt allows you to have access to the motor and or the insides of the cabinet from the more open left side of the saw with out having to crawl under the right extension table. Very nice if you ever happen to drop the arbor nut inside the cabinet.
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Leon wrote:

I go running, screaming and rending what hair I have left !!!!!!!!
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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============================Without reading any of the replies (Yet) I wanted to add mine.
Fence: Hey either is fine... I love my Biesmeyer but would have no problem with the Uni Left vs Right:. Personal choice ..Honestly! The Saftey issue is all crap... I own both a left and Right Tilt saw Left Tilt Contractors, Right Tilt Cabinet saw. NO difference that can not be overcome General vs Delta: Hell mine is a Jet... Buy what you like.. The major difference between them is how long they may last...Most likely your grandson will be the guy who needs to replace the saw or it could be your GREAT Grandson who finally wore the damn thing out.... anyway it should not be your problem...
Just my opinions... I would be happy with "almost" any good fence...(I admit to a strong love affair with my Bies) either Right or Left...depends on what they have in stock ... maybe a 50.1 percent chance I would go LEFT... its that close... And as for brand... ??? My opinion is that they are all good..and like I said they all will outlast YOU...
Bob Griffiths
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HI,
Thanks for all the replies................much appreciated. Regards. -Guy
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