A few years ago, I had the misfortune (read: ignorance) to buy a Delta
36-600 table saw. Paid <$400. It worked fine for a couple of years,
but burnt brushes regularly. Then, new brushes wouldn't do the job and
I turned it over to see what was what. Lots of flame with new brushes
lasting a few minutes, and then nothing.
Dead saw. Carcass picking time. Removed motor from pot-metal trunion.
Motor is a one piece affair with a separate lay shaft bearing the blade,
reduction driven by a belt. It finally took a large bearing press to
remove the cogged belt wheel from the motor itself! That, after calling
around and being told that the canonical fix was to load saw into truck
and remove to nearest dump.
Well, turned the commutator on a lathe and reinstalled. Unfortunately,
I managed to upset one of the bearings in the lay shaft, and it had a
tight spot in the turn I could not manage to adjust out. Saw is back
together, runs with one hell of a loud knock!
I figure it'll die squarely in the middle of the next project, which is
yet to begin. So I'm now looking for a "real" table saw ;) So, now I'm
reading here, there and everywhere to see what that saw should be. I've
got a few items of info, I'd like to check here.
1) Catering to the insanity of expecting to save enough money for "the
best", I took a look at Powermatic. Well, Jet bought Powermatic a few
years ago, vowing to touch nary a hair on the Golden Head. Latest read
report indicates that Powermatic contractor saws appear to authenticate
the myth of beer cans used by a hundred monkeys from the far east.
Tales of parts aligned large fractions of an inch out of true, etc, etc.
2) Local Home Depot stocks Ridgid. Ridgid had an excellent rep, but
when made by Emerson Tool. Ridgid now owned by Ryobi. Scratch Ridgid.
3) High profile brand name saws... well, yeah, but that's way too close
to the insanity of 1).
4) Looked at Grizzley. Seems okay, but no recent great shakes. Looked
at General International, and it would seem I found a winner. The
General International contractor saws come in both right and left tilt.
Consumer Report (their webpage) cites the left tilt model as the one to
buy as of April this year.
Comments on any of this?