New General International contractor saw

On December 5th I brought home a new General International contractor saw (50-185-M1 left tilt) with the 30-inch (max rip cut) rails. I got it from Hartville Tool for $599 + $91 for shipping as far as the local FedEx freight terminal. FedEx wanted an additional $300 to carry it the 13 or so more miles to my house, so I said "F*** you very much," and then picked it up (over 300 puonds!) myself in the back of my PT Cruiser. I just completed the assembly (didn't have much time to spend on it), which included making a mobile base with Delta hardware BEFORE mounting the saw cabinet to the stand on the mobile base. I am very impressed with the fit & finish of this saw with one minor exception. When I assembled the stand, the corner holes in the top that are for bolting the saw cabinet to the stand were not in the locations they needed to be. The stand itself was fine (correct size, very substantial, went together well), but there was no way to avoid drilling fresh holes in the proper locations to accommodate the saw table/cabinet assembly (which I considered to be no big deal). As Kevin pointed out in an earlier post, the instructions were not very complete (some of the assembly wasn't even covered) and there were quite a few extra bolts, washers and stuff for which I see no need. The table top and wings cleaned up very nicely and assembled nice and flat. I didn't have shimming problems when I attached the fence rails. The fence came in its own box and has a red Canadian maple leaf decal prominently displayed, ensuring that you know it's a product of Canada (the box the saw came in clearly said "made in Taiwan "). To answer the questions from Greg G on the post from Kevin: 1. The table height off the floor is 35-1/4 inches with the leveling feet retracted all the way. You can add a little over an inch by maximizing the leveling feet extensions. With the mobile base, my table top is approx three feet high. 2. The table top and extensions are very smooth (not like the "sandpaper" feel of a new Delta TS I recently looked at). In terms of flatness I can only say that with the extensions bolted on, their edges line up straight with the table edges and I can see no visible angled dip or rise from the table top when sighting with the 24" edge of my carpenter's square. I don't have a machinist's straight edge, so I didn't take a precision look at overall table flatness (the sucker's flat enough for me!). 3. The saw table itself does have a beveled front edge, but the wing extensions do not (giving you a sharp wing corner to deal with at the end of the bevel. 4. The power switch looks like a simple 2-button switch (green-ON, red-OFF). The manual doesn't say it's a magnetic switch and I have not tested it. 5. The fence is super! It's a Biesemeyer clone that I understand General International manufactures under licence from Biesemeyer. The front fence rail has a rectangular cross section, 1-1/2 high x 2-1/2 deep -- edges have a nice chamfer. The fence doesn't move once it's locked in place, but I'm not sure how to measure its deflection. I am very happy with this saw it's the best and sexiest power tool I own. However, at this point I've only fired it up twice. I'm expecting delivery of a Forrest blade, a dial indicator, and a set of PALs for the rear trunnion alignment. I want to be sure everything is properly tweaked before I put this bad boy to work. Merry Christmas to me!
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On 18 Dec 2003 17:48:43 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@net56.net (Sliver Finger) wrote:

Do you NEED this? I bought a kit for my Jet contractor's saw, only to find out that I didn't need it, as the saw was perfectly aligned. I still have the kit, which I'm passing on to the new owner of my Jet, just in case. Maybe he'll never need it either! <G>
Cut a bunch of wood and test it before you spend the cash.
Barry
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Sliver Finger wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Hey, I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions! I had all but given up on the original poster responding.
There is a dealer in Atlanta that stocks the Generals, and the price is certainly right. So, now I guess it's between the Griz G1023SLX for $1180 delivered and the General 50-185 M1 for $649.00, pick-up.
I really need a 14" bandsaw, and that factors in heavily... We'll just have to see how the new year pans out...
Thanks Again, Greg
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Sliver Finger wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Oh yea, I forgot. YOU SUCK! ;-)
But seriously... Enjoy your nice new saw while I piddle along with my Crappy old Delta. I am surprised that it was made in Taiwan, however. With all the maple leaves, I expected it to be made in Canada, eh?
Greg
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Made in Taiwan is the main difference between the General and the General inertnational.
I now have my 25 year old Rockwell for sale, time for a new one. This should be my last one, then my life expires.
D.Martin
Greg G. wrote in message

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