My Unisaw Saga

Hi Y'all, Most of my friends aren't really into woodworking so they wouldn't understand. I hope y'all will indulge me while I tell my tale.
After 14 years of cursing my Grizzly contractor's saw, I finally broke down and ordered a real cabinet saw. I won't take you through all the research I did, or all my reasons why, but I settled on a left tilt "Factory Reconditioned" Unisaw with Beisemeyer fence. I felt like I got a good deal from the only authorized dealer for factory reconditioned Unisaws, Redmond Machinery in Hotlanta. I saved a few bucks on shipping by picking it up at my local freight company.
One fine day back in December, I went to the freight company and had them forklift the saw into the pickup. I had arranged for 3 friends to help me get the crate out of the truck and into my shop. I was glad 2 of them were large and muscular (I'm not). That sucker was HEAVY. We took the crate apart, and there she sat. Not a scratch on her. No evidence at all that it had ever been used at all.
Life intervened, and it was a couple of weeks before I had time to start the assembly and setup process. That's when I found the TRUNNION WAS BUSTED! Redmond Machinery never gave me any trouble at all. They immediately said they'd ship me another saw. Didn't even ask me if I dropped it (I didn't). When I mentioned how much trouble it was getting it in the shop, they said they'd have the next one delivered to my door by lift-gate truck and pick up the broken one at the same time.
That was nice, but I still had to get the thing down 3 steps from my shop and uphill across 50 feet of soggy grass. I tried a call to Delta to see if they could send somebody out to fix it. I got quite a lesson in Unisaws. Delta has had a problem with broken trunnions, and has done extensive research to find the cause. They claim that in almost every case, the shipper tipped the crate over. The cast iron trunnion can't take the impact of the motor and arbor when it slams on its side. I checked the crate, and sure enough, the slats were broken where the saw bolted down to them. If the rear trunnion was broken, they could ship me another one and talk me through the installation, but since it was the front trunnion, it had to go back to the shop. I elected to just take Redmond up on their offer of another saw.
I found that a Unisaw alone without the cast iron extensions and without the shipping crate is managable on a 2-wheel dolly. I got the thing back in the garage all by myself, and crated it back up in the original crate which I had never gotten around to disposing of. Bragged to my friends about my strength.
Like the corpse of Sam McGee, the thing mocked me for the next 3 weeks. I couldn't get rid of it. It seems Redmond sold me the very last Reconditioned Unisaw they had. Christmas had wiped out their new saws too; there simply was nothing to do but wait until Delta shipped them more saws. I bugged them about 3 times a week to be sure they didn't forget about me, but my only other option seemed to be to cancel the order and buy another saw. That would have meant more money and maybe more time. They began to promise me things to sweeten the deal. First a premium blade. They don't sell Forrest blades, so I settled for a Freud LM-74 Glue Line Rip Blade. Then they agreed to throw in a disappearing splitter too.
Finally, the replacement saw arrived. It was still on the truck when I saw the label on the crate - 5 HP Single Phase Unisaw. I'd ordered a 3 HP! Quick call to Redmond. They gave me a choice, did I want to keep the 5 HP saw or send it back? Don't throw me in that briar patch. Yeah, I guess I'll just keep it, even if it means I'll have to put in a 40 amp breaker and heavier wire.
At last, after several afternoons of tinkering, I got the 5 HP beast wired in, set up, fully adjusted; ready to try it out. I have a dial caliper with 0.01" graduations, but they are pretty far apart on the dial, so I figure it's good to about 0.0025" anyway. I squared the blade and the fence to the miter slots so I can't see any change in the needle at all.
WOW! Nothing in my experience prepared me for what this thing will do. The fence locks down perfectly parallel to the slots every single time. I'll need a more accurate tool to measure the difference. After a couple of adjustments, I set the hairline cursor on the fence at 4 inches and ripped a piece. Then, just for fun, let's check the width of the board with the dial caliper. Absolutely dead on 4 inches. That was lucky, lets try it again at 3 1/2. Dead on again when measured with the dial caliper. I did it again and again to convince myself it wasn't luck. I knew that the human eye can detect minute differences in alignment of parallel lines, but this thing seems to defy all logic.
I ripped a scrap of 6/4 cherry, just looking for a challenge. The sound of the blade never even changed pitch; and the edge looks like it's been sanded. I'll have to find something tougher if I want to challenge it. I can't wait to put it to good use.
Friends, it's been a long road, but tonight, the smiles are worth the miles. I haven't been more impressed with a machine since that Honda Interceptor back in '83, but that's another story. Thanks for listening.
DonkeyHody Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net says...

... snip of long tale of the agonies of defeat and final joy of triumph.

... it was a pleasure

Well-spoken! Good luck with your new acquisition, the longer the anticipation, the greater the reward.
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Snip

mechanic, and that was NOT one of their best efforts! Glad you like the new saw. Bruce
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Bruce, Ya know, You're right. That darn engine melted down on me after just 10,000 miles. Not enough oil getting to the head as I recall. But while it was running . . . MAN, WHAT A RIDE! I blew away a bunch of 900 cc bikes with my little 750. And it handled well in the twisties too. But that's another story . . . .
DonkeyHody Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (DonkeyHody) wrote:

That was one of the first street bikes that really handled. The oil problem was that the oil pump sent oil to the top end without first sending it through the oil filter. I replaced a lot of cams and cam followers on those bikes. Spend most of my time working on GL1800's now. They are having their own share of new bike problems. Bruce
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Donkey, Purty good story. I've got an older Unisaw with a "wimpy" 3-hp motor. I'd sure like to see what it could do with a 5-hp............
Larry
-- Americans snipped-for-privacy@totacc.com

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Lawrence R Horgan wrote:

Damn! Mine's even older and the motor is "less than a horse".
By the way, BitchSlapBobZajicek had also bought a reconditioned Unisaw from Redmond. It also took two round trips, two crates into the basement shoppe and two assemblies before he got one fit to run. Of course, he's in At'Lanter which only made things easier in that he could go and stand in front of the nice man at Redmond and complain in person.
UA100
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On 1 Mar 2004 20:26:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (DonkeyHody) wrote:

I noticed that new Unisaw boxes in my local Woodcraft's warehouse have shipping tilt "tell-tales" stuck on them. Now I know why.
Barry
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When I got my unisaw, the guys at Woodcraft told me that they got a 5 hp PM66 in one time that was upside down on the pallet. Seems that the shipping company had knocked it over. It broke off of the pallet, so they repackaged it their way! Needless to say, that one went back.
Grant
B a r r y wrote:

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On 1 Mar 2004 20:26:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (DonkeyHody) wrote:
Nice tale. Congrats.

Minor nit. Hogs (acutally, pigs) find truffles. Squirrels find acorns.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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Just to be a snit. The saying as my Grandpa told it was. "Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes" <grin> Puff

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wrote:

No, not a snit. That's the alternative saying. I wasn't explicit enough. So here goes:
Even a blind pig finds a truffle now and again. Even a blind squireel finds an acorn now and again.
It was the mixing of the metaphor to which I was alluding.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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LRod writes:

Those are French pigs. I won't take that any further. But obvoiusly you don't live in the country. Pigs will root in damned near anything and eat damned near anything: I recall one friend who back then raised thoroughbreds, finding a couple dozen hoglets in his newly seed alfalfa patch where they had grubbed up well over 2 acres, maybe 3. When he calmed down enough to not use his shotgun, he ran his neighbor's hogs off, called the neighbor who thought it was funny (I forget how much the reseeding of alfalfa cost back then, but it was appreciable), then called a lawyer.
Charlie Self In a New Hampshire Jewelry store: "Ears pierced while you wait."
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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On 02 Mar 2004 14:43:09 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

Comedy 101. The point of the metaphor is that even seriously disadvantaged servants occasionally achieve success in their area of expertise should sufficient opportunities be presented.
It's not about servants in other fields, no matter how ubiquitous their presence.
Thus, although squirrels are known for finding acorns, and we might presume a blind one would have a serious disadvantage, the sheer proliferation of acorns plus genetics assures that the blind one would occasionally have success.
Similarly, (french) pigs are used for hunting truffles, and although we might presume a blind one would have a serious disadvantage, the sheer proliferation of truffles (albeit buried) plus genetics assures that the blind pig would occasionally have success.
That the argement can be made that a pig, blind or otherwise, will dig up anything is utterly beside the point.

I posted about that the other day, except it was Tattoo Charlies; Tattoos While You Wait. I asked, "what other way is there?"
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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Down he-ah in Missippi, thays HAWGS. Back in my Grandpappy's time, a hawg was only fed when they was fattn-n him up fer to eat. Rest O the time, hawgs run wild on the farm and ate what they could find. Big part O their diet was acorns. Some O them hawgs just couldn't be caught when it come time to pen 'em up. They went a little deeper in the woods and found more of their kind and made little pigs. Afore long, the woods was full of wild boar. Now that you had yore history lesson, maybe you won't be so quick to pick nits with a country boy (Grin).
DonkeyHody If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?
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Well hell, I always thought a hawg was like the 12lb 8oz. largemouth bass I got hanging above my fireplace!!!
--
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
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I usta ride a 73 model hog.
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snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com says...

... I've always heard it as "even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then". Made sense to be because the first time I heard it I had finished reading Homer's Odyssey and remembered the reference to the pig keeper whose hogs thrived on the acorns they found in the forest on one of the islands (it's been a while now, so the details are somewhat fuzzy).
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Snip

How did I know that you were going to find the Trunnion busted.... More often that not if something is busted on a Unisaw, it is the Trunion... For years Delta blamed the shippers. About a year ago Delta finally admitted it was a quality control problem during assembly.
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