Newby requests shopping advice

I am preparing for my retirement, and have decided to set up a hobbyist wood working shop. I have decided my first major purchase will be a Delta Unisaw. I like the Delta 36-R31X-BC50 X5 3 HP Right Unisaw w/50" Biesemeyer Fence. I would also like to add in-shop mobility by adding a mobile base.
I would very much appreciate any advice on the best place to buy this machine and places I should stay away from. I'm certain most of you have been around long enough to know where the really good bargains are.
Also, please excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between the right hand and left hand model?
Gary in Virginia
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wrote:

Skip the bargain.
Do you have any decent dealers nearby? As a newbie, a GOOD dealer can be priceless for you. If you have no good nearby dealers, then maybe mail order might make sense.

Google on "Right Tilt vs. Left Tilt".
The "right" specifies which way the blade will tilt. Both sides have advantages and disadvantages.
Barry
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I would suggest going local. A nearby dealer can help you out in a lot of ways, IMHO that's worth more than the few bucks saved by ordering online. I was ready to buy my Uni through Amazon, but then they ran out of the pre-X5 saws. The next weekind the WWing show came to my area and I made a deal with a local retailer. Just a few $ more than Amazon, but they threw in a small Delta compressor and mobile base. Needless to say I am very happy the way it turned out. Enjoy Mark L.
Gary wrote:

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OK, I understand that a good local dealer might provide extra acessories and personal service. According to the Delta Machines webpage, locally I have a choice of a reputable local building supplier and Lowes. I can't see any benefit of buying from Lowes, other than perhaps a 30 retrurn policy? I expect they will ask near retail plus 5% sales tax and personal service limited to using their forklift to load it on my truck at their store. Conversely, I see Toolking has the saw for around $1,750 with free shipping, delivered to my shop door.
I do have somewhat of a personal aquaintance with the store manager of the local building supply, so perhaps I should at least allow them to make a proposal. I think I'll give him a call tomorrow.
Gary

wood
Biesemeyer
base.
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I'd give the local guy an opportunity... He probably can't compete but one never knows. He might and may match the price feeling a small percent profit is better than none at all... He knows he might make it up down the road selling you select materials that S-Lowes don't stock... Just my .02 cents worth...
Bubba ~~~_/)~O~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~
I am preparing for my retirement, and have decided to set up a hobbyist<BR>wood<BR>&gt; working shop.&nbsp; I have decided my first major purchase will be a Delta<BR>&gt; Unisaw.&nbsp; I like the Delta 36-R31X-BC50 X5 3 HP Right Unisaw w/50"<BR>Biesemeyer<BR>&gt; Fence.&nbsp;&nbsp; I would also like to add in-shop mobility by adding a mobile<BR>base.<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt; I would very much appreciate any advice on the best place to buy this<BR>&gt; machine and places I should stay away from.&nbsp; I'm certain most of you have<BR>&gt; been around long enough to know where the really good bargains are.<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt; Also, please excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between the<BR>&gt; right hand and left hand model?<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt; Gary in Virginia<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;<BR><BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Gary (I think) said:

I'll de-lurk here on the local vs. national chain: I recently bought a Delta contractor's tablesaw (X5 w/ 30" Bies.) from a local dealer. Paid a few more $$ than a couple of other places, BUT, the local dealer assembled and delivered it no extra charge. Everything was square and aligned when it was delivered. Delivery guy showed up on schedule, asked where I wanted it and spent about 25 minutes going over operation and features and answering all my questions. As he was leaving he gave me his name and said "if you have any more questions or problems, give us a call." That's worth a few bucks to me. Credit where due: Circle Saw Bldrs. Supply in Houston. No connection, other than as a satisfied customer.
BG
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"Brent Gamble" writes:

a
few
was
and
my
any
me. <snip>
I took exactly the opposite approach.
Bought basically the same saw, had it shipped 2,500 miles, then had to assemble it which took 3-4 hours over a couple of days.
If I had to do it again, would probably use a good local distributor.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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Well, I've been shopping and have found some interesting things. I decided on a Delta Unisaw X5, right hand, 3 horsepower, 50" Biesmeyer. Delta Model 36-R31X-BC50 3 HP Unisaw.
Having made numerous electronics purchases online, I thought there's where I'd get the best price. What I found was: Amazon.com =$1,1799 free shipping, and no sales tax. Toolking =$1,799, free shipping and no sales tax. About 3 other online sellers, I can't remember who, $1,799 free shipping, no sales tax. (see the pattern here?)
Listening to you folks, I thought, yeah, personal service, possible assembly and setup, and a face to yell at if things go wrong, maybe it would be worth a few extra bucks. My first stop was the local building materials company which the store manager is an aquaintance . Delta's website says they are a Delta dealer. Well I was told that they quit carrying Delta tools years ago. Maybe someone should tell Delta?
Next stop was Lowes. It seems that every Lowes store in the world is listed on Delta's website as a Delta dealer. There I found out, special order only, catalog was years out of date,never heard of the X5 series, and no way to cross the part number to Lowes' price list.
Ok, back to the computer. I found a regional hardware store and local wood worker's specialty store in Richmond, Virginia, about a 100 miles from my home. Both said they have 2 of the saws in stock; one assembled on display and one in the box. I'm starting to think, great, maybe I can get personal service after all. I asked how much. The reply was surprisingly, $1,799 plus sales tax. Neither said they would deliver nor discount the display model. Back to the computer.
I discovered that I had overlooked a distributor in Harrisonburg, Virginia, only abount 35 miles away, sweet!! So I give them a call. Yep, they have two in stock, one assembled on display. So I ask, "Howmuch?" "$1,799 plus sales tax." "Do you deliver?" "Nope." I asked him what's up with every dealer I talked to charged exactly the same $1,799? He said that Delta has some sort of marketing requirement that they can only sell for the MSRT. I'm no lawyer, but isn't that price fixing, and illegal?
Anyway, I am now pondering just how ethical is Delta, but will likely go pick up the saw from my local dealer sometime next week. At least its not made in China.
Gary

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I don't think it's an issue of whether Delta is ethical; I think it's an issue of whether Delta wants so keep its network of local storefront dealers. Last year I closed a stereo storefront and went to a home based business after 22 years, and part of the reason was the shoppers who used my storefront and salespeople's time to decide what they wanted, then bought on the internet. The companies who make better things that inherently cost more want to have dealers because they realize that if customers continue to increasingly use this tactic the brand will eventually die from lack of public exposure. So they set a price for all and enforce it. In the short term Delta could have retail dealers show their gear and let the customer buy internet at a discount, as Delta gets the same wholesale price way, and sales would be greater. For a while. Then as retail stores drop their brand (or go out of business) they would inevitably see a serious decline in business. Makers of hgher end products can't successfully turn to discounters like Walmart because there is not a sales staff with the knowledge to sell the higher priced quality product over the cheaper ones.
Wylie Williams The Speaker and Stereo Store

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Unfortunately, my state requires us to submit "use tax" on out of state purchases voluntarily on our state income tax return, so the tax issue is moot.
But then again, two of my local dealers are Tools Plus and Coastal, who are big web vendors. So I can get the web price AND have it today! <G>
Barry
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B a r r y wrote:

Just about every state requires that. Hardly anybody actually _does_ it.

Yup. And sometimes you walk into the Coastal store and they'll give you a better deal than you'll get on the 'net.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Do you have a local Woodcraft, or similar store? At least twice a year, the Rockler and Woodcraft stores in my area (SF Bay Area) each have factory sponsored 10% off events, which they advertise heavily. I've found that talking to one of the store management team will often get me the information regarding the next expected occurance of such an event, and I can plan my purchase(s) for then, if I choose. I bought my saw, essentially the one you describe, about 15 months ago at Woodcraft. Paid $1700, including the CA sales tax, forklifted into the back of the pickup truck.
BTW, at the last of the season Woodworking show in Sacramento, CA this weekend, the local-to-Sacramento big iron dealer had the not-X5, but essentially the same saw at a better price than you quoted. And a DJ-20 jointer (demo) at less than $900. Had I not promised my wife that I would wait on the jointer, it may well have followed me home.
Clamps, handplanes, wierd stuff, I buy on the web. Otherwise, if the local dealer has it, they earn my business.
Happy hunting!
Patriarch
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=================I think Delta has made the decision to keep a large base of dealers and one method is setting a floor price for which their products can be sold for... as far as Delta being unethical I do not see why your would think of them this way...to me it is smart business...
Sure amazon has the bucks to buyt 100 unisaws from Delta, and turn around and shave 100 bucks off their reail price and Delta most likely would be just as happy loading up 2-3 tractor trailer loads and shiop them to amazon... HOWEVER within a year or two most Delta dealers in the country would see the "movement" of Delta machines slow to a point that they will stop investing their inventory dollars with Delta ... as a result Delta would sell a lot less machines ...
All I can say is (as a long time Jet Cabinet saw owner ...10-15 years now) that the Unisaw will outlast you .. 10 years from now you will discover that your saw cost you 15 bucks a month to own and most likely will discover that the cost of Walnut or Cherry lumber to feed thru that CHEAP SAW would have increased in price to about that same 15 bucks a board foot...
Bob Griffiths
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Sorry Bob, I don't understand? Are you saying the Delta is a cheap saw and will increase the cost of materials (I see you're partial to Jet)? Or are you saying I would be better off buying a quality saw such as the Delta Unisaw because CHEAP SAW's increase the cost of material?
You did bring up an interesting point. Unisaws were manufactured long before I was born and are still in service (I'm now 55 years old). And so, they will likely still be of significant value after I have expired, bringing a substantial return at my estate sale, thus reducing the cost of ownership considerably.
Gary
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I don't see how Delta will sell a lot less machines? My micro economics class in college taught me that lower price results in an increased demand for a given product, not less. Not living in a mega-metropolis, I do not have a wood workers boutique that offers additional personal services, therefore my local dealers, the internet, and Amazon esentially offer the same service/product, a Deleta Unisaw in the box, no delivery, no set up.
Free enterprise says whomever can deliver a product at equal or better service at a better price survives, and the inefficent and low sevice merchants fail. Go Walmart! (kidding of course). Actually, its really sad how big business is "killing the little man" as Allen Jackson calls it.
Its also sad how we tend to buy at the cheapest price, not thinking where the money is going. As I understand it, Delta is the last of the American made brands. If I were a professional woodworker, which I am not, and everyone were buying nothing but foriegn products, eventually all of my customers would be out of work or be flipping hamburgers somewhere and could not afford my products. Then we'd all be out of work. And so, I am willing to pay a little more for American made products, (I own 5 American-made Chevrolet trucks), knowing someone somewhere is working, paying taxes, not recieving public assistance, and has a few bucks to buy whatever I am producing.
Gary
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Gary, I see you've had the same experience as many of us - there is no "local dealer" to speak of in many locations and tool companies kid themselves (and YOU) by listing "dealers" who carry maybe two paper clips in their brand.
Over the last five years, I've begun to deal more with Amazon.com. Believe it or not, I consider them the high-touch seller for many items, including most tools. (They purchased Tool Crib, an old mail order house.) In your shoes, I'd prefer to have that super heavy item delivered to the house and wave a couple of steaks in front of the driver to wait while I made SURE all the parts and pieces had arrived intact.
If there's a woodworking club or school nearby, wave a few steaks/gift certificates in front of one of their local mavens if you want personal help setting things up. Many guys enjoy playing with new models they don't see up close any other way. It pays off a whole lot more than putting that money into sales tax, IMHO.

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