Table saw purchase

Folks, 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,
KMBrown
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Kevin wrote:

When you get tired of fighting with that useless pile of junk, you can mail it to me. I'll even pay half of the shipping. :)
Seriously, we could use more posts like that. Yours was about the best "here's what it was like to put my new toy together" review I can ever remember reading.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Kevin wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

You REALLY Suck!
But seriously...
Thanks for the info. I am in the market for a better table saw, and although I really want a cabinet saw, the twice-as-nice price tag is somewhat of a deterrent. The Shopfox W1677EXT2 is more of less what I had in mind, if only Grizzly would sell their G1023SL with left tilt, extensions, and SF fence themselves - maybe it wouldn't be in the Unisaw price range.
That leaves the General 50-185LM1 and the Grizzly G1022PROZX as the only real contenders in my price range. Neither of which I can see locally for a hands on evaluation.
Could I ask you a couple of questions about the General? I have perused their web site, but little information is available. I have found not one good picture on the web either.
1) What is the table height off the floor? 2) How flat and smooth is the machine work on the table/extensions? 3) Is there a bevel on the front edge of the table? (so that the workpiece and jigs won't catch on a sharp 90d edge) 4) Is the power switch a magnetic type? 5) How is the fence? Is the fence rail a round tube, angle or square tube design? Deflection amount?
If you are up to such nonsense, maybe you could snap a few pictures of the fence, tables, and mechanism details and post them in a.b.p.w. for us to see. :-)
Thanks, Greg
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Greg G. wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

Incidentally, if you are a newcomer here, don't take offense to the above statement. It seems to be a common congratulatory response here on the Wreck - especially to a GLOAT.
Roughly translated, it means, "I wish I were lucky enough to have scored what you have". ;-)
Greg
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Greg G. wrote:

Forgot to add "you bastard" ;)
Or is that just supposed to be implied? <innocent look>
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan wandered in from the void and babbled something like:

I contemplated adding that, but it seemed a little over the top. It seemed implied... ;-)
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saw
Does it actually say it is a 2hp? Thinking that was an awful lot to get out of 15a, I did a seach on the saw, and found it listed as 1.5hp; though even 1.5hp would be pretty good.
Just curious. That you like it is all that is really important.
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