I just purchased the General 50-185 L M1 tablesaw and figured I would
add to the general body of table saw opinions and knowledge on the Wreck by
posting my experience with it so far. Here goes:
I purchased my saw in Brattleboro VT at Brown and Roberts Hardware.
Brattleboro is about an hour north of my house in Massachusetts. This was
the closest General reseller. Cost was $679.00 out the door for the 52"
model. Three well padded boxes, one big (most of the stuff), one long
(rails), one small (fence). All fit snuggly into the small Toyota pickup I
borrowed from work.
At home, my lovely apprentice (wife) and I managed to get everything into
the basement piece by piece, though the main cabinet was a bit heavy.
Assembly was quick at first despite the poor instructions and the
right-handed model pictures. The quality and heft of the parts is sufficient
enough to suggest that this is good saw. Hardware is of good quality, though
there was lots of stuff included that had no purpose and was nowhere to be
found in the instructions.
The main cabinet, extension wings, and stand went together easily and I had
no problems lifting and shifting things alone. Minor problems started with
the front rail, which took some trial and error to get mounted correctly.
The back rail went on without a hitch. The fence guide was a pain in the ass
to shim using masking tape (as suggested in the directions) and when I got
to seven layers of tape and was still not able to clear the fence on to the
table I decide to use some spare washers to shim the fence guide.
Fortunately, I had just the right washers on hand to shim the fence guide up
sufficiently and get the fence to work smoothly. Phew! I did not need to
drill any holes to get the rails mounted.
Well, after a large frosted mug of cranberry juice I decide to press on past
the midnight hour and get this saw tweaked up and making dust. I gave all
the hardware a last little torque, checked clearances inside the cabinet,
adjusted the belt cover so it didn't scrape, and cleaned the goo
(cosmoline?) off the table and wings with mineral spirits and applied a coat
of wax . I then tested the hand wheels for smooth and unobstructed operation
and mounted a new Freud TKR906 combo blade. Small digression--Freud blades
are superb and very reasonably priced. I fired the saw up and was really
impressed with the smooth and quiet operation of the motor. I crosscut and
then ripped some inch and half pine, and then some one inch white oak. VERY
SMOOTH AND ACCURATE. I then ripped and crosscut some more oak by forcing it
into the blade a lot faster then I ever would normally. Again, very smooth 2
HP performance just like I expected, with NO tear or burn on the wood edges.
The fence works smoothly and accurately, same with the miter gage.
This is my first table saw. I did lots of research and googling before I
made the purchase. I feel like the price, features, and quality of this saw
made it a good buy. The 2 HP/15 AMP @ 120V motor was a big factor in the
decision because it offered the most power I could get without wiring for
220 in my basement. When Fine Woodworking called it a "best buy" in their
annual "Tools and Shops" issue (Winter 2003/2004), well, that just
solidified my choice.
Thanks for the indulgence,