New DJ-20 jointer arrived today - defect noted


Well, after saving up for several months, equivocating about my jointer decision, buying the DJ20 X5 from Amazon Tool Crib, and waiting 6 weeks for the back orders to fill, my jointer finally arrived today via ABF Freight. I thought I'd give my experience for those who might benefit from (or be entertained by) it.
(1) ABF was supposed to deliver the item between 1 and 4 PM today, but showed up at 9:30 AM, without calling first. Fortunately, I was home and didn't have to wait around all day for them to show up. If I wasn't home, I would've been PO'ed at ABF, since we arranged the time last week on the phone.
(2) It turns out the driver was the same guy who delivered my Unisaw a few months ago. I tipped him them $15 for helping me unload the saw and getting it up my driveway. This time, my neighbor helped me get the equipment off of the liftgate onto a steel-reinforced truck/dolly with 10" pneumatic tires I built just for such deliveries. The driver seemed to be waiting around for another tip, but since he didn't really help, he got no more than a warm thank you from me.
(3) The jointer came in two parts. One was the base and motor in a large cardboard box, with gross weight 130#. It came from China. The box had a small ding in it, but no visible internal damage (I opened the box before the driver left). The other was the jointer head unit, which was crated, net weight 400#. The whole unit was preassembled with the center casting and both tables attached, making this a very long and narrow crate. It came from Taiwan. Multiple shipping labels were on it, with the originating label from Kingcraft Machinery Co. Ltd. in Taichung Hsien, Taiwan, who I suppose built the unit. No visible damage to the unit.
(4) My neighbor and I wheeled both containers on my truck down my backyard hill to the walkout basement door and into my shop. Total time to get the equipment from the truck to my shop was 15 minutes.
(5) The X5 rebate offer allows for a mobile base. I redeemed my TS for one which took two months, so I decided to buy the jointer mobile base earlier, so I would have it at the time of delivery. I will redeem the rebate for the PC router instead. I mounted to motor to the brackets in the base unit without trouble and put it onto the mobile base myself.
(6) I completely uncrated the jointer head unit and was impressed by the way it was packed. The whole jointer was completely sealed in thick plastic with multiple silica bags within. There was a thin layer of dried cosmoline on the infeed/outfeed tables and on the cutterhead, but not the tremendous amount of sticky cosmoline I have been used to in the past. It only took a few minutes to clean everything off.
(7) After cleaning off the tables, I noticed two dents in the outfeed table, much to my disappointment. The dents were not in the cast iron part of the table, though. Rather, they were in the so-called table lip of the outfeed table, which is a separate piece which looks like cast aluminum, rather than iron. One dent was right on the edge of this lip towards the front of the unit, depressed about 1/32 of an inch, as if someone dropped something on it or struck it with something. The other was more like a small surface irregularity about 1/64" deep. I can tell these occurred in Taiwan, because it was obvious to me that someone had try to sand these dented areas. However, there was no way these defects could be remedied with sanding.
(8) I called Delta and informed them of the problem. They told me they could send a serviceman out but this would take "a while" to get someone scheduled. They suggested that I first try to install a replacement of the table lip they would overnight to me. I told them I would be glad to try to install this replacement lip, but it looked like the table had been ground with the lip already on, and I was unsure if I would be able to create a perfectly flat surface where this aluminum lip met the iron table. I also realized it would be a royal pain to install this lip, since the screws holding it on are covered by the cutterhead. They suggested that I turn the jointer head on its back and unbolt the outfeed table from one of the parallelogram rods, pivot it on the other (attached) rod, and get to the screws that way. I wondered whether removing the cutterhead wouldn't be an easier solution.
(9) Any thoughts on any of the above, particularly #8, would be appreciated. I'll give an update when I get the replacement lip.
All in all, I must say the machine is a beauty, but such careless (and selfish) attention is a royal PITA! The production crew obviously saw the defect but still let it go through! Oh, well, I guess it could have been worse...
Thanks, Stu
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Do these affect the function?
While everyone wants a perfect machine, the cure may be worse than the original problem. If it was just an appearance issue, I'd learn to live with it.
If it was a local dealer, you could try to swap something or take a discount to keep it.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Thanks for the input, Edwin.
A minor mar or cosmestic defect I could live with (and have on various previous purchases). I totally agree that trying to attain perfection is a waste of time, is futile, and creates unwanted stress, IMHO.
However, I believe that the location and depth of this dent might be significant enough to create a potentially inaccurate cut. The dent is about 1/32" deep (lower than the surrounding table and has dimensions in the X and Y planes (i.e., parallel to the surface of the table) of about 3/4" x 3/4". Plus, it's about an inch from the front of the table. If I'm edge jointing in this area (and I like to move the fence from time to time to distribute wear, so I'm likely to encounter this area occassionally), the outfed lumber will not reference the outfeed table properly in this area until it reaches the level table beyond it.
I suppose that this dent won't be much of an issue, but since Delta is sending me a replacement lip, I guess it can't hurt to try it (I hope). I haven't actually hoisted the head onto the base yet, since it will make it more difficult to do the swap-out. If the job looks too involved, perhaps I'll just overlook it.
In that case, I wonder if this obvious defect will be enough to detract from potential resale if I ever decide to sell it in the future.
Thanks, Stu

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Sounds to me like another nail in the Delta coffin. They used to make really great machinery....but now.... Dave
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Hey Dave: I kindly disagree with you. Delta is doing what the stupid American public woodworker is driving it to. People decide to buy from Amazon or who ever is cheaper or so they can get around paying the sales tax. I was a Delta dealer for years and believe in Delta. But everyone wants to buy it "cheaper"....so Delta has to make it cheaper or people will buy Grizzley or other imports. It is hard knowing what to do. If a customer had purchased this jointer from my store, I would have personally delivered him a new unit with no dents and set it up for him. However, I could not compete price wize, but the customer always wanted me to match mail order price but give full dealer service. You can not have your cake and eat it to!! I do not know what the answer is and I sure hope Delta can survive and get it right. Sorry to go on like this but I feel very passionate about buying and supporting your local dealer and Delta.
Mike
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On 13 Apr 2005 05:44:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ccrtc.com wrote:

As a guy with a very gray shop, all of it from the local Delta dealers, I'd like to agree with you 100%.... but you have to admit, they do slack off a bit when it comes to the finishing touches. Overall, they're better tools than most of the junk out there, but I'd rather pay the extra $20 and have them make a guy at the factory deburr everything and maybe give the cast iron parts a good going over. For my part, I don't want them to be cheaper, I want them to be better. They should stick to quality and go for snob appeal. The guys who want a Wilton tablesaw are going to get one of those no matter what they do, and the guys who want a well-made Delta should damn well be willing to spend an extra couple of bucks for it.
FWIW, the Grizzly stuff I've seen up close is held to a higher level of quality than Delta's current crop. It won't be long before I switch to the green guys, and it's got nothing to do with the price tag. I'd like to stick with Delta, but there is starting to be way too much plastic and pot metal in the tools I buy.
I'm getting really tired of the race to the bottom. *sigh*
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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Here's what I'm wrestling with: Grizzly has its share of plastic and pot metal too. But when you compare price tags, you can get more cast iron from grizzly for the same money. And since I've heard such good things about grizzly's customer seriver, and delta's quality slide, it makes the decision that much easier.
brian
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wrote:

I guess the thing that bothers me is that when I look at Grizzly's design, it's immediately obvious that if a part breaks, I can either fix it with a part from the hardware store, or make a new one myself. They're similar engineering-wise to the stuff I fabricate all day at work, and that means that I can just replace the parts if I need to, whether the spare parts are still in stock or not. With a lot of the Delta stuff, I get worried just looking at it, because I know that if the molded plastic widget formed around the oddly shaped metal piece breaks, I have to pay Delta whatever they're currently asking to fix it- or buy an entirely new tool. The reason Delta keeps my business so far is because I can buy them at the local dealer, and they've been very good about honoring their warranties.
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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 23:35:54 -0400, Electric Stu

If this is largely cosmetic, I'd ignore it.
I cannot stress this enough - I buy big machinery local for just such an eventuality. But this isn't the only reason - I want someone else to do the grunt work of lifting this thing around.
Woodcraft (where mine came from) offered to carry it into my shop. And I'm sure they would have taken care of an issue like that had it occured. As it worked out, there were no defects to my DJ-20 right from the start.
Good luck with yours.
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have
s/Delta/Grizzly/g
Every time I read stuff like this, I regret the $800+ I spent on my delta contractor's saw instead of getting a cabinet saw from grizzly for the same money.
brian
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Brian,
I assure you that you bought the better saw. I have sold and used Delta for years and I believe that the Delta contractor saw ,in a home workshop ,can not be beat. Great saw and with a precsion fence...it is tops. I had thousands of dealings with Delta over the year and they always gave me the power to take good care of my customers. George Max said it best that he always buys big iron local.....words to live by!! Good luck, Mike
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Brian,
I assure you that you bought the better saw. I have sold and used Delta for years and I believe that the Delta contractor saw ,in a home workshop ,can not be beat. Great saw and with a precsion fence...it is tops. I had thousands of dealings with Delta over the year and they always gave me the power to take good care of my customers. George Max said it best that he always buys big iron local.....words to live by!! Good luck, Mike
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I'll put my Delta Contractors saw up against any Grizzly. I get smooth cuts, in fact, I make do without a jointer. My saw is my jointer.
The saw is quiet, runs true, and the top is flat. If I wasn't burned out from just finsihing my taxes, I could likely think of more superlatives to heap on my saw.
And I have used other saws. Many hours on Unisaws, and I even used my FIL's grizzly a few times. He offered me the grizz, in fact, I turned it down, rather have my Delta Contractor saw.
Only disclaimer- I do not suck up my sawdust. So the lack of a full cabinet is not a problem for me anyway.
-Dan V.
wrote:

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20 Years from, when you need a part for that Delta, it will be on the shelf. Griz will probably only be a memory... Jut bought an arbor for my 1945 8" contractors saw. Was in stock at Delta....

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my
You have a lot of faith in Delta that I just don't have. Delta stocks those parts for one reason: people are still buying them. But that means that they have to maintain a warehouse somewhere to hold these parts. As soon as it's no longer profitable, that service will be gone. I'm surprised they're still doing it. The chinese tools will have the same issue, but at least you don't pay a premium for the same tool, with the same quality, made by the same people.
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You may be right. I can only go on past performance, since the future isn't written yet...but how many 1945 arbors do you think they are selling? Yet they still had it...
brianlanning wrote:

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Delta has gone down hill very rapidly over the past few years. I was talking to the porter cable guys one time after the merge, and they were complaining that the work load went up horribly, because of Delta's Poor quality. I will never buy Delta again, for the simple fact that they would not replace or repair a bad Band Saw table. Which was not only a pain to use but was a hazard also. It was bent up in the back portion, and when trying to cut a piece of wood it caught. I called them and explained the problem, and that I purchased the saw locally at a tool show in un-open boxes and that it was not damaged in any way, their reply was, you probably did it. I started looking on the REC and found several ppl that had the same problem. DELTA Never Again!!!
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