No no no! That's not what I understand.
His company was responsible for the alignment, and it was done right
and "WAS worth bothering over."
Well, you basicly said the factory alignment should not be trusted.
Essentially you said that a reviewer should assume all factories screw
up. That is a good idea for reviewers, however look at it from
Frank's company's goal was to product high quality tools and maintain
their reputation. By lumping Frank's company in the same category as
the Harbor Freight class of tools, you essentially told him his
company, and therefore Frank, was incompetent.
No wonder he got insulted.
In another thread ("Trouble setting up new table saw") a guy named Dan
was trying to resolve an alignment problem. Frank advised him that it
wasn't worth bothering over. "lock it down" and "just make sawdust".
Don't you remember, you happened to disagree with that particular
Ya, that's the rub. Do you now see the contradiction? While Frank
was arguing "just make sawdust" in the "Trouble setting up new table
saw" thread, he knew full well how important alignment really is. To
Dan he says "just make sawdust" but in his job he insists that the
alignment is done right. He gets all bent out of shape if someone
says anything that could possibly be misconstrued as a vague
implication that the factory alignment isn't accurate.
I didn't say or even imply that the factory had done it wrong. In my
followup I made it abundantly clear why I thought it was folly to
judge a saw's quality based on it's "out of the box" alignment. I'm
sorry that Frank has put himself through this torture over his
misunderstanding of my statement. It was not meant to disparage his
company or any other company. It was meant to disparage clueless
reviewers. They should first make sure the machine is properly
aligned and then start to pass judgement on its quality, accuracy, and
performance. Unfortunately, you don't see this too often because it
requires the reviewer to possess some knowledge and expertise.
Woah there just a minute Max. I never lumped any companies in with
any other companies. I made no comparisons between brands or makes of
any machines. I never said anything about the competence of Frank,
his company, or anybody making any machinery. This is some major leap
that your are making here that just doesn't jive with reality.
Actually, I have his "explanation" for why he got "insulted". We've
exchanged some email (not that it accomplished anything). I'll do my
best to try and explain it in an even handed manner.
Frank feels that I'm a charlatan, a phony. He even went so far as to
call me a liar. In his opinion, I give "erroneous information about
all manufacturers". According to his email, he finds me "misleading
and despicable" and this is why he thinks my statement was
"insulting". Every time he responds to my messages with what he
considers factual information, it gives me "another opportunity to
drop another thousand words of erroneous information, followed by [my]
spam link." He says that I prey on the "uninformed".
Frank honestly believes that the factory alignment survives the
shipping process 100% of the time. Everyone who buys a new saw should
expect it to be accurately aligned right out of the box. Shipping
can't cause it to go out of whack - even on machines that are returned
with freight damage. And, according to Frank's email, neither can
usage. He's got a box full of "marketing research data" that proves
this to be true. He has never and will never check the alignment on
his table saw because he firmly believes that there is no need. To
say anything different is to disparage a manufacturer's reputation for
I'm not sure where that puts Dan and the misalignment that I helped
him to correct. Or the thousands of other customers of mine who
proclaim how much better their saw works since they have been able to
align it properly. Where does that put all the other manufacturers of
alignment tools? How about all those authors of books and magazine
articles which talk about table saw alignment. These people must all
be charlatans and phonies too. Hmmmm.....at least I'm in good
Home of the TS-Aligner
We have exchanged emails. I responded offline because I felt that
anything I had to say in response to thread posts on the matter would
not do Ed's business any good, and might cause harm. It was a
collossal mistake to do so. A normal person would assume that an
offline communication was not for publication. Ed has chosen to
take excerpts of my emails and provide his own context. I find that
A couple of paragraphs from those emails for clarification:
From my the original email:
"On the thread I offered only anecdotal information and my personal
opinion as an individual woodworker, just a member of the "corner
tavern" that is the "wreck". I purposely did not bring up any of the
information mentioned above.<that would be information derived as head
operations individual for Delta> I have no interest in possibly
having a negative impact, however small it might be, on your business
by going into that. While not personally experienced with your
product, it is my understanding that it is well respected in the
From an email sent just before reading this most recent post:
"While I appreciate any attempt to add to my education, you may be
somewhat presumptuous in that regard. And my position is clear.
Nothing I have in my data base would be helpful in increasing the
demand for your product. But as stated before, I have no intention of
posting any information that would cause harm either. My choice to
not respond on the NG is in your best interest......<balance deleted,
might cause harm>
Back to the present, so there it is, I've learned my lesson. I will
not respond in any thread that has a post by Ed Bennett nor will we
continue to be pen pals offline.
Well, what can I do?
I still stand by my original statement as it was intended. Any
reviewer who judges the quality of a machine (like a table saw) based
on its factory ("out of the box") alignment (like fence and blade
alignment) is demonstrating his ignorance and doing a great disservice
to his readers and the company that produced that machine. I say this
because I believe that it's rare for machinery to retain its original
factory alignment during the shipping process. I do not believe that
it's valid to judge the quality of workmanship for a machine until it
is properly assembled and accurately aligned.
It's Frank's choice to misinterpret this statement as "insulting and
misleading". He has decided to believe that it was meant as a
"misleading and despicable" "lie" designed to "take in the mostly
uninformed". He insists that it is a derogatory statement aimed at
machinery manufacturers (his, in particular). And, he continues to do
this after having been corrected multiple times both publicly and
privately. His eagerness to take offense where none was intended (or
even remotely inferred) and refusal to acknowledge correction leads me
to believe that his professed concern for my business is very
In my defense, and to characterize just how ludicrous Frank's
misinterpretation is, I would ask people to recall the number of times
I've suggested the use a dial indicator on a stick rather than
purchase one of my products if only blade and fence alignment is
needed. I have even acknowledged the validity of traditional "feel
the rub" alignment techniques (with the caveat that I find them to be
tedious and time consuming). My products are designed to do much more
than that and are a big overkill (i.e. waste of money) for such a
limited application. If you're not going to tilt your blade, cut
miters, change jointer knives, setup a miter saw, drill press, shaper,
band saw, etc. then don't get a TS-Aligner. Not only have I said this
many times in the newsgroup, but it's on my web site too.
I have never intentionally misled anybody in the newsgroup or shared
information that I did not believe to be true and accurate. There
have been occasions where I have been mistaken. But, when corrected I
have always acknowledged the truth and offered sincere public
apologies when appropriate. I know for a fact that I have
successfully helped many people in the group without selling them
anything. I have done my best to adhere to the Usenet guidelines for
commercial activity in newsgroups (which specifically mentions the use
of a web site link in the signature).
There are individuals in the group who feel compelled to denigrate
those who want to develop their machinery skills and make the most of
their investment. They are quick to follow up messages with their
derogatory comments and imagined insults characterizing me and anybody
who would listen to me as something less than a real woodworker (e.g.:
"wood machinist", etc.). When that doesn't work, then they start
trying to embarrass me directly with references to the "Bennett wars"
and other such nonsense. When all else fails they often flaunt their
ignorance as a virtue. Somehow, they can never bring themselves to
see things from a different perspective and allow people to pursue
their own interests in peace. And, they can never admit when they've
gone too far. Well, there's only so much stupidity I can take. The
morons win. "Just make sawdust!"
One last thing: On the topic of "market research studies"...we've all
heard about the market research that led Detroit auto makers to ignore
foreign competition and keep making big ugly cars in the '70s. And,
we've all heard how market research studies said that "New Coke" would
be a big hit. Well, when I get together with my old friends from a
previous job, we laugh over multitudes of similar stories that have
never seen the light of day. I think I can share one that will make a
It seems that the Marketing folks did a study that led them to believe
that a particular product would sell like hotcakes if there was a
version with black "skins" (that's what they call the outside plastic
covers). So, they asked me to run the numbers and report the impact
to warranty cost as a percentage of revenue. Well, the new parts
would need to be stocked in every distribution center, every repair
center, and every dealer repair depot worldwide - a huge inventory.
And, all the service manuals would need to be updated to reflect the
new part numbers. Technicians, warehouse personnel, and call center
agents would all need to be trained. Allowances would need to be made
for the exchange of parts when the wrong color was ordered. And,
there would be the increase in call center traffic from people who
don't get all the updates and need help getting the right parts.
The increase in warranty cost was big enough to shut down the whole
idea. In response, a new market research study concluded that the
black skins would be so popular that people would be willing to pay
extra for the product - so much extra that the increased warranty
costs were completely offset. So, with management's blessing the
project went ahead.
Separate tooling was made (it's tough to flush out a mold after
running black resin), repair part inventories were stocked, personnel
were trained, manuals were updated, notices went out, etc. The new
black skin version was finally introduced and nothing happened. For a
product that was projected to sell about 75 million units, the black
skin version ended up selling between 30-40 thousand units. There
were more spares in the worldwide repair parts inventory than units in
Next thing I know, I'm sitting in yet another Marketing presentation
where the project is being lauded as a big success. Awards were being
given out and people were saying that they should do it again. The
moral of this story is: there is no task that cannot be justified, or
idea that cannot be proven with a Market Research Study. It's the
best evidence that money can buy!
Home of the TS-Aligner
factory setup is a relevant data point, in that it indicates how much
care the Mfr. puts into final stage QC., less shipping jostling. the
shipping is the real bugger for factory setup... you're always gonna
have to do some alignment to a machine that has been moved. a good
argument can be made that the consumer benefits more from the effort
and QC. going somewhere other than into factory alignment, but it also
can be argued that the production line that aligns each and every saw
will have a better handle on and more interest in all of the upstream
precision machining processes.
me, I mostly buy old machines anyway, so factory alignment is kinda a
moot point in my shop.
I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. A company that does not
take measures to insure that a product is delivered in the same shape it
leaves the factory has no "real" QC as far as the customer is concerned.
What really matters is that the sale is completed with a product that is
delivered in the same shape that it leaves the factory. Blaming the
shipping company is a pittyful excuse and is simply dropping the ball where
the customer is concerned. If the manufacturer does not package, package
properly for shipping, and monitor the shipper to insure delivery of
undamaged products it may as well nave no QC at all. Ignoring those facts
is what has gotten many of them in the jam that they are in today.
Sorry to mention this again Frank, Delta had a problem with broken trunions
on their Unisaws some 10 years ago. Does it really matter why the trunion
arrived broken? The consumer saw a product that was broken. That was the
#1 reason I chose the Jet over the Delta when I bought 7-8 years ago. The
Delta setting on the show room floor with the "broken tag" attached to the
top was not inviting. The saw looked fine.
My Jet cabinet saw was delivered with no adjustment needed after factory
alignment, that goes for my Laguna BS, and Delta stationary planer.
And since you mentioned it again I'll reiterate the facts. As a
percentage of units shipped a small number of units were damaged in
shipment in a way that caused trunions to break. Extensivel testing
determined that what caused the breakage was a full running tipover
where the unit was slammed over on a concrete dock or tipped out of a
warehouse rack. I seriously doubt that any "packaging" would have
stopped that from happening, but in any event, you as a consumer would
not want to pay for it. When a rather expensive improper handling
device was added to the packaging, the problem went away. Your
distributor, who left a broken unit on his floor did not have to.
Delta was allowing immediate freight allowed RMA's and replacement
units for any damaged units as they did for any type of damage. Why
your distributor chose to keep the saw is a mystery to me. No end
user customer was ever "stuck" with a unit that had broken trunions.
If the distributor had used the RMA process, you as a consumer, would
not have had the opportunity to see the broken tag.
Your comment about "may as well have no QC at all" is insulting to
those involved with it and is, of course, your opinion with full right
to express it on an open forum
Exactly, Delta recognised the problem and provided a fix rather than let it
I don't know the details however the distrubutor did indicate that they had
been waiting for Delta to send a replacement trunion. The saw looked
factory freah and IIRC the distributor has 20+ stores in Texas. Perhaps
the unit was damaged during delivery to the store vs perhaps from a
warehouse. I do recall mentioning the problem with the saw way back when
and was actually contacted by a Delta rep inquiring where this saw was
located so that the parts could be delivered. He did not mention that the
saw would be exchanged. Time may have been a decising factor.
Well Frank, a comment that may be perceived as an insult to some is often
perceived as a unique opportunity to fix a problem by others. Excuses do
not fix problems.
Those that act on that valuable information tend to stay in
business and or not get sold every few years.
You should absolutely not take offense if you were not responsible.
It can be said that it is equally insulting to the buyer when the
manufacturer defends a product and
or its manufacturing and delivery by blaiming how the product was handled.
WHO chooses the shipping company? The dealer/consumer does not care, as the
fact remains that the equipment is in no condition to be used. No one but
the manufacturer is responsable for its merchandise and how it arrives
because they are the only ones that can do something different to remedy the
problem. Ultimately the manufacturer needs to eat a slice of humble pie
and get with the program, catch up with the competition, and deliver what
the buyer expects to get. Imagine going to a new car dealership with 1% of
the vehicles coming off of the deliveries trucks being wrecked badly enough
that it cannot be sold. For the average dealership in Houston that would be
1 to 2 vehicles every week. It probably happens but in the 10 years that I
worked for an automobile dealership I never saw it happen. GM used to have
a terrible problem with damaged parts deliveries. They switched to a
dedicated carrier with equipment specifically designed to deliver auto parts
and sheet metal with out damage. They may have considered it an insult when
we dealership managers complained about the quality of the packaging and
delivery process however we never heard complaints from GM.
On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 14:53:59 GMT, "Leon"
Please excuse my top post,no offense is intended, but I've been down
this road with you many times over about a five year period. Not
going there again. Any one interested can google away. I will
always just single post respond when you bring it up, provide a
brief outline of the facts, let anyone who reads make up their minds.
Where is there to go Frank? I was only pointing out that a manufacturers
responsibility is and the "Fact" that Delta had problems with broken
trunions. Why they had problems is beside the point as far as their target
audience is concerned. Ultimately Delta made changes to lessen the
And to be fair, Delta was not the only company that had shipping problems.
Grizzly had a tremendous problem with their shipper several years back.
Apparently they too have taken steps to correct the problem.
Not particularly true......as a consumer if a product has a particular
design flaw or simply suffers from inept shipping it is of note. Even
significant if down the road one must move the saw to another location one
might need to know shipping precautions. On the other hand if said expensive
product has a particular design flaw a replacement part may still leave you
with a soon to expire machine just past warrantee......why does indeed
in an ideal world all shipping variables can be taken into account. in
the real world, shipments get tossed around by storms at sea, pallets
get left out in the rain and boxes get dropped. the higher degree of
precision the factory setup the more susceptible it is to change- any
change, even temperature swings. now, generally woodworking equipment
isn't the most precise stuff around, and I'm sure the manufacturers do
cost- benefit analyses of precision factory setup among other things
and find a happy medium. then we as users tweak the machines to our
individual requirements, even using aftermarket parts and devices. no
prob (TM Joat) everybody gets what they need and a thriving economy
exists based on table saw alignment devices.
very few precision machines arrive from the manufacturer plug and play
at their optimum performance, and the ones that *must* do so come with
a tech from the factory to do the setup.
On Oct 17, 8:34 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I think it's important for the factory to test machinery before it
ships. And, you can't tell if a machine is operating properly
(accurately) unless it's aligned. Aligning it at the factory also
proves that it can be aligned. You would be amazed at the number of
customers who call me to say that they cannot move the trunnions
enough to obtain proper blade alignment because the castings are so
far out of whack. My own unisaw was incapable of blade tilt all the
way to 45 degrees as delivered. I had to go after the castings with a
file (as recommended by the tech support guy) before it worked
It's not very reasonable to expect that a machine can maintain proper
alignment after riding around on fork lifts, in trucks, and on rail
cars. The amount of vibration and thermal variation that it receives
would challenge the skills of even the best engineers to come up with
ways to maintain alignment. It would be a waste of time and money to
implement such countermeasures to ensure that factory alignment was
maintained during shipping. If a manufacturer really wants to ensure
the best customer experience, then they should sell through dealers
who provide accurate setup and alignment at no extra charge. But, in
this "big box" retail world, it's not a very practical option.
In the 16 years that I've been making TS-Aligners (many thousands of
units), I think I've heard from only 3-4 customers who said that their
machine was accurately aligned from the factory. I chalk it up to
Home of the TS-Aligner
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