Years ago, Jack Welch, CEO of GE, made a rather tongue in cheek remark
about the world wide pursuit of low cost labor, something to the
effect that if you truly want the lowest labor cost, build the factory
on a barge, then tow it to the lowest cost labor pool.
When the pool moves, move the factory.
Using contract manufacturers pretty much accomplishes the same
Did you note the comment that the only thing the new saw has in common
with the classic Unisaw is its name.
Nevertheless I thought some of the new features were quite interesting.
Both the height and angle wheels are on the front. The demonstrater
claimed that the new angle guage was accurate to 1/2 degree. Built in
riving knife easily adjusted for non-through cuts or completely removable.
Love to get one of these. Years ago, I did an endurance report on what
might have been one of the last USA made Unisaws, for WWJ. It would be
fun to do a back-up with this one, see how it compares, and how many
problems crop up over a year. What improvements are real; what
improvements are marketing. Take the lid off and check the trunnions
for size and machining and the complexity--and size and quality--of
any lift and tilt gearing that differs from the original Unisaw. Check
how difficult the saw could be to adjust in 10-15-20 years, not that
I'll be checking tablesaws at those times, but others will. Check
prices. Yeah, this has to be for what Lew calls the "carriage trade"
for a series of reasons. Chinese labor costs may have risen
considerably, but they are nowhere near most U.S.labor costs.
Pollution controls in the U.S. add to costs, as do other environmental
regs. Insurance costs are higher here. U.S. cast iron probably still
draws a premium. Add to that the simple fact that they're apparently
pushing this saw as a complete item. Will they offer the basic saw and
let the woodworker build his/her own tables, drawers, etc.? At the
moment, it doesn't sound like that is going to happen. I'd also like
to see if there are plans to follow the Steel City example and make a
solid granite top available.
I wish it a solid success.
But I also wonder if they'll offer the basic Unisaw as, say, Unisaw
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