We got our 2 sawstop saws on 12/28/04
I've spent the last couple weeks setting em up - biesmeyer overhead
bladeguards, full outfeed tables, excalibur/exactor sliding tables. I'd
forgotten how long it takes to set up shop.
We haven't run the saws much yet, but here are some observations I've
made so far.
These machines seem as well built as the unisaw that we bought 4 years
ago(not saying much really).
An extention table flatness problem has been mentioned, but our tables
and rt wings are flat within .010".
We never put on the left wings since we installed sliding tables, so I
cannot speak to that issue.
The trunnions, arbor shaft, bearings, and even the main table are
beefier than comparable parts on a unisaw and I think even a pm 66.
The polished handwheels are big and heavy with very nicely spinning
Height & angle adjustment are smooth and easy (of course the machines
are brand new, so they better be) .
I'd like a polished tabletop, and these are just ground, but that will
make the first scratches less painful.
The machines are smoother and quieter than the last unisaw was when new.
A nickel sits on edge on the tabletop from start up through cutting 8/4
maple through shut down.
Initial indications are that these machines are well made. - time will tell.
There is alot going on inside of these saws.
I like the linear (rather than arc) raising action, it seems much more
intuitive even if more complicated.
A gas spring supports the arbor and assists blade raising.
The splitter/blade guard/riving knife is EXCELLENT - easy to change,
easy to adjust, and wedded to blade height like it should be.
The blade guard itself is only about 1-1/4" wide and contoured to "hug"
the blade- much less obtrusive than traditional guards.
We will likely ALWAYS use the riving knife and the overhead blade
guard. I expect significantly fewer kickbacks as a result of the
"invisible" riving knife.
The brake cartridge is not the easiest thing to change- but it will
probably become easier as we do it.
The extenion table is gloss black laminate. Black? Gloss? Can you say
glare? We will probably start with sanding out the gloss, then get rid
of the black if it is still too annoying. Sawstop took the color theme
WAY too far here.
I look forward to seeing how the DC shroud works, but this is an arbor
nutsucker waiting to happen.
What happens to the dust that gets past the DC shroud, how much dust
will build up inside the cabinet, how hard will it be to get out?
If the DC shroud is effective, it should keep all of the other parts
cleaner for smooth operation and less wear.
The large access door should allow enough access to service the saw, but
it's under the extension table, so it still won't be easy.
The belt access door seems appropriate, not sure about the single
splined belt - seems a bit light.
The bump switch is well located and a good size, after not much use, we
should be able to easily shut off the saw, but it will be a while before
we stop doing so inadvertently.
The arbor/arbor nut wrenches are WAY TOO BIG, this will encourage
overtightening and our ARBORS will be STRIPPED in no time. Are you
reading this Steve?
The fence is a biesmeyer clone - faces are replaceable with "keyhole
slots" - this is ok, but I don't really feel that they are flat/secure
with no way to tighten them.
Rare earth magnets on the fence lever and dust shroud door are nice
details, as is the "soft" fence handle.
The "power disconect switch" is on the rear of the left side of the
cabinet (beneath our sliding table) this is too hard to get to for
routine blade changes etc...
In order to get inside the cabinet to change the brake/make adjustments,
the throat opening is larger than a unisaw's. This is ok access-wise,
but having less of a smooth, flat tabletop can be problematic.
The process to "by-pass" the sawstop machanism must be done each time
the saw started in by-pass.- a pain if we're cutting a buch of aluminum
We occasionally used 8 1/4" thin kerf (3/64") blades for slotting and
making scale lumber - sawstop requires 10" blades or 8" dados.
Hmmm, if we use the dado brake and an 8-1/4" blade...
We need to explain to 500 college students why and how the saws are
Gloss black extension table?
Seperate arbor nut/washer invites droppage into dust collection and
"washerless" re-installation. (We had welded a washer to a nut to
eliminate this on unisaws)
I have to get rid of 2 old unisaws, 1 jet sliding table and 1 excalibur
The height of the back fence rail makes it impossible to mount a flush
outfeed table (same as biesmeyer). I re-drilled and lowered, now 1 of
the doors doesn't open past he rail, arggggh.
SawStop has provided us with a spare brake cartridge, so we will be
"test firing" a saw on Thursday, Jan 13th at 3:00pm. Your welcome to
join us if your in the area (Minneapolis).
It seems that there are few reports of sawstops in action on the web, so
I will try to post to rec.woodworking if anything of interest comes up.
Enough for now, smoke if you got em.