I see a lot posted regarding machinery from Grizzly, Delta, General,
Jet, etc. but I rarely see anything regarding Sunhill. Right now they
have a contractor table saw on sale at an attractive price. I've used
some Sunhill equipment and I don't see much difference between it and
Grizzly. Am I missing something?
I've only had one experience with Sunhill and that's
with their 8" jointer. Let me start off by saying that
right now it is working very well and I'm pretty happy
with it. But it wasn't easy getting to that point.
I ordered the jointer and it was shipped to my door
including a liftgate on the truck. I didn't have to pay
extra for the liftgate. I looked the paper work over
and everything looked as I expected. But when I
opened up the box that contained the base it looked
wrong and then I noticed it only had a 1HP 110v
motor. That was certainly wrong. They had sent me
a 6" jointer by mistake somehow. Fortunately I
hadn't even opened the crate that the jointer beds
and fence came in but I had already popped the bands
that held the two boxes together. I called Sunhill
and talked to the manager. He was very sorry for
the screw up and said they would send out the correct
jointer the next day. They also told me to call FedEx
and have them come and pick the first jointer up
freight collect. Ok, they screwed up in the shipping
dept. and shipped the wrong one. I can except that
without getting too annoyed. But in the meantime I
had to waste a bunch of hours waiting for the original
delivery, waiting for the guy to pick it back up, and
then wait for the second delivery. That and I also
had to go through a lot of effort and a half a roll of duct
tape to secure the box I'd opened back on top of the
crate on top of a pallet. That took about an hour more.
To make up for my inconvenience the manager included
an extra set of blades. I wouldn't call it even but it was
I got the new jointer and it was much
heavier, of course. When I opened the box for the base
and removed it I could see that the base was bent a
little. Since there was no apparent damage to the
box I'd guess that the damage occured before it was
boxed up. Not Sunhill's fault. The damage was more
than just cosmetic but I decided to bend it back into
shape instead of sending it back too. It worked ok.
Also, the, "Sunhill" sticker labels on both the base
and on the beds were stuck on very crooked. What
the hell?! Ok, off with the labels. I wanted to make
my own mobile base and I needed to know the exact
height of the beds when assembled *before* I
assembled it. You can't lift that sucker up and put it
on top of a mobile base once it's all together. So I
called and spoke to the original sales guy and asked
him. I'd already looked on their website at the
demensions but I guessed that the height given was
to the top of the fence. The salesman said that this
was the height of the beds. I took his word for it but
I shouldn't have. I needed the beds to be the same
height as my work bench so I could use it as an
outfeed/infeed table if necessary. I spent the better
part of a day cutting, welding, and then painting the
base up. The beds were still in the crate so I couldn't
really accurately measure it so instead I measure the
base and subtracted that from the *claimed* overall
height and made the mobile base accordingly. When
I put the whole jointer together it was obvious that the
salesman was very wrong so the mobile base I'd made
was way too low. I was very pissed off and called back.
The office manager lady didn't seem surprised that this
particular salesman screwed up and apologized. I
told her after the previous problems I'd had it was unlikely
I'd be doing business with them again. She countered
by offering to send me another set of knives as well as
one of their $80 mobile bases for free. Sure! I'll take
that and it showed that they did care about customer
service. I didn't ask for anything. I just wanted to let
them know that I wasn't happy so far. The new base
wasn't going to solve the height problem for me so I
fixed the base I'd built, (cutting lots of welds is NOT
easy) and got the thing all tuned up.
I tried to get the new fence set up right but I noticed
that the fence was bowed and twisted. I can deal with
the slight bow but the twist made the fence useless.
I called again and talked to the manager and he agreed
to send me another fence. I got the fence but it was
a different color and it was obviously for a different
jointer. The webbing was deeper so the 2 outside
mounting holes were so deep the mounting bolts were
just barely long enough to work. But they did just work.
But the center mounting hole was in the wrong place.
That wouldn't work at all but by this point I realized that
I was dealing with such incompetence that I'd better
deal with this one myself. I had to redrill another 9/16"
hole in the fence and countersink it to match up with
the fence tilt mechanism. I painted the fence black
and tuned it up and it's finally working well.
The knives were set perfectly from the factory I might add
and the whole time the people I talked too were very nice
and understanding. The fact that I never lost my
temper with them probably helped. The beds aren't
perfectly flat but very close. The fence isn't quite
perfectly flat but very close. Both face joints and
edge joints come out very flat so I'm happy with the
performance. I have two extra sets of knives and the
most heavy duty factory mobile base I've ever seen
as well as a bowed and twisted jointer fence leaning
up in the corner. After I got the mobile base
from them I was curious what the weight capacity
was and ended up talking to the same salesman. He
told me it was 2000Lbs. Uh...Yeah, right. Just like
with the height of the machine, he just seems to make
up stuff as he goes along. When I called to talk to the
manager he said about 1000Lbs and that was limited
by the castors. That I'll believe. It's super beefy.
So the bottom line is whether or not I'll do business with
them again. Hmmm...Probably, as long as I don't have
to deal with that idiot salesman. I don't remember his
name but it was something Hispanic that I don't hear
everyday. He was friendly but stupid. Ask for someone
else if you get him on the phone and you'll probably do
just fine. Everyone else there tried really hard to make
me happy and that's more than I can say for my past
experiences with Grizzly. Good luck with your decision.
Oh, anyone want to by an awesome mobile base for
an 8" jointer? I'll sell it for $50 plus shipping. I'll probably
have another use for it sometime but for now it's for sale.
I read in an article in a FWW book that you may be able to straighten
out that twist. If it happened due to stress you can clamp one end and
*slowly* apply torque to the other. Eventually it should give
slightly and then shouldn't move again.
Might be worth a shot--if it works you'll have a spare fence as well,
and if it doesn't, you lose nothing.
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