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I admit it... I splurged on a new "toy"

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  • I admit it... I splurged on a new "toy"

    So after much debating, I bought a Sawstop table saw--the 36" contractor version, and now have a roll-your-eyes story too.
    I got a few discounts from my favorite hardwood store for buying from them. Yay!
    In a small shop I couldn't live without the mobile base.
    I also added the cast iron wings.
    It took a full day to get it assembled, everything squared, leveled, and true.
    It was absolutely beautiful. I flipped the first switch to turn it on. Diagnostic lights flashed and all was good.
    But the moment of truth was when I flipped the switch to start the blade itself.
    My bubble of happiness burst. Total confusion reigned supreme.
    The motor turned extremely slowly, then speed up a little, then slow again, and made a weird noise.
    We shut it off quickly and rechecked everything. Nothing made it better, and it was late on Friday afternoon 2 weeks ago.
    The next Monday morning we got hold of tech support, and the guy was delightfully helpful and courteous.
    He had us test diagnostics, wall voltage, machine voltage under power, the belt and the switch. Everything was great.
    Then he had us hold the phone to the machine and try and start it up, and he heard the problem.
    He said he would Fed-Ex a new 'centrifical switch' to us for the motor, as they've been known to be finicky.
    Got that on Thursday morning. But.....you guessed it....that didn't fix the problem. Sigh.
    Back on the phone he said it had to be electrical, so he'd just cut to the chase and send a whole new motor.
    Fed Ex came Saturday and the new motor went on.
    And....happiness. It sounded gorgeous, smooth, and wow!
    Then I put the zero clearance table insert into place and ran the saw again.
    I hit the stop switch quick. Another problem was audibly apparent
    The slot precut into the insert was cut crooked---at a slight angle. The blade rubs the middle and one end of the sides of the cutout on the front right side and back left side. Definitely not cut at the same angle as the blade sits in the machine. Not enough rub to hear it when the machine was off...but when it turned on you heard metal on metal.
    So....back on the phone the the ever so helpful guy at Sawstop tech support.
    He said they'd gotten in a bad batch from the manufacturer and tried to put modification instructions into each saw they thought had the defective inserts.
    Mine didn't have the insert, so he emailed it right away. The instructions aren't too bad and it'll only take about 15 minutes.
    Tomorrow I will do the corrective modification. And then just maybe I can actually cut a piece of wood with this thing.
    I couldn't believe all that transpired. Still shaking my head in disbelief I've had it 2 weeks and still not been able to use it---thank goodness it was full warranty.
    I look forward to using it, and even took some of your suggestions and picked up an Icra 1000SE miter gauge for it while I was in replacement parts limbo.
    Sawstop's tech support was awesome and ranked right up there with Ray at Seyco for helpfulness and questions.
    Without having used it yet, the only thing I might have done differently would've been to see how much assembly would've cost.
    Would I buy it if I had known about the problems? Not if that was normal for their reputation and quality. It is not, so I still would buy it.
    It is so much safer and hopefully will give me several decades of good use.....and I'll always have this story about it's history.
    I knew you all would just shake your head at this, but like me you also understand someone has to get the patience tester!
    Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

  • #2
    Wow, story indeed and much more patient then me and more accepting then I might have been with a brand new piece of Expensive equipment. Iโ€™m glad to hear they have been great with responding and sending out the parts quickly. DH has a Sawstop table saw. Has had it for a few years now and has been quite happy with it. Since he still works full time, and since his employment and thus paycheck require full use of his hands ๐Ÿ˜‰ I considered it a wise investment and encouraged its purchase when he looked at them to replace an old table saw. Even with its safety features, I admit to be intimidated by the table saw and leave that to him for cutting and just wait for him if I need something cut on it. Congratulations on your new toy, err tool. I am sure it will be well used.
    Melanie from East TN

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    • #3
      Thanks for the story. "Stuff" happens even in the best. It is how the company handles it that separates the good from the bad. Keep us posted.
      Scott
      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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      • #4
        Good saw and miter gauge. Be very careful with the miter gauge. If it makes contact with the blade, the cartridge will fire. There have been a few of these mishaps. Also, you may want to have a spare cartridge.

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        • #5

          So glad they were supportive, it is a bit disappointing that they had to be. But like any tool manufacturer they have to out source many of the components like the motor. At least the motor is mounted externally for an easy change. How true was the blade to the miter slots etc.
          I like the fact that they already have the dust ports built in. The mobile base that they show in the video looks like a great design.

          How were the assembly instructions? The ones I received with my Infinity router table were a bit lame, had to look at pictures on the web to clarify frame assembly.

          I look forward to your review after you have done some cutting.
          Rolf
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

          Comment


          • #6
            Sawstop instructions are some of the best I've ever worked with. Each part comes labeled with a letter to match instructions, hardware in color coded and labeled to match labels and colors in instructions. Full poster size instructions with pics in addition to manual instructions. Could only find one place they could've added a sentence to make it better, and that was on the mobile base (it is great) Getting the cast iron wings bolted on and truly level and flush to the main body was actually the hardest part---because of their weight and the slight play that occurs when bolting things together, but certainly not because of the instructions. It didn't help it was 90 degrees in the garage all day. Hubby glanced at pics in instructions as I read the verbiage.

            External mount on motor is fantastic, and it has the spring 'clip' for mounting into perfect tension location, which also makes putting the belt on a breeze too. Zero pinched fingers.

            The blade seems to be perfectly parallel to the miter slots, and my separate digital indicator gave me perfect readings on blade perpendicularity to table for a true 90. They explain how to adjust it, but mine was good.

            I'll make sure to keep that miter gauge an inch or so away.

            More updates to come later!
            Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

            Comment


            • #7
              As far as the Incra miter gauge, if you keep it 1/4 inch away you will be fine, but you will have to adjust it when doing angle cuts, itโ€™s a great miter gauge, RJ
              Life Begins @ 190 MPH

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              • #8
                It was a tough choice on the miter gauges---based on recommendations here. I researched the Kreg and the Incra. They were pretty much tied. I let fate decide it. Went into my nearest 2 hardwood stores. #1 sold Kreg, but they were out of stock and didn't know when an order would come in that didn't already have backorder reservations (the same store already had my DeWalt planer on backorder). So, I went to store 2 (competitor), and they had one of the Incra 1000SE's in stock. They offered me a discount too, so the Incra was chosen. I look forward to NOT running to my son-in-law's house to use his miter saw. And this should be more accurate if I practice a little!
                Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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                • #9
                  Linda - Here is my gimmick for the Incra 1000SE on my SS CNS. I scratched a line 3/4-inch in from the blade end of the fence. I then use a ruler to set that line 1-inch from the side of a carbide tooth on the blade. Then I line the 1-inch mark on the fence ruler to the scratch line.

                  Now, the Incra fence is always 1/4 inch from the blade and the fence ruler is accurate for cutting. Just remember to reset that when you move the miter to an angle and when you move the miter back to 90ยฐ.

                  Attached Files
                  Tony

                  My Son-in-law said "Darnit, I cut this board twice, now. And it's still too short."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Back in the late 90's I bought a Incra 2000 Miter gauge. Incredibly precise. The problem was that it only adjusted in one direction, It rarely gets used. It locks in to half degrees. More recently I bought a Kreg fence which has a pin that precisely locates the frequently used angles.
                    That is my go to. If I ever do a segmented bowl, On my list, I will set up the Incra. They are both very precise once setup. Certainly better than what comes from the factory.
                    Incra 2000.jpg Kreg Miter.jpg
                    Rolf
                    RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                    Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                    Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                    And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Congrats on the new saw. Hopefully you are able to get all the issues worked out and start enjoying it soon.
                      Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                      • #12
                        I am not certain about Rolf's comment.

                        The Incra 1000SE adjusts in both directions. I have been using mine for quite a few years and it is very accurate. It is also easy to adjust so it fits the miter slot properly.

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                        • #13
                          I didn't see any mention of the blade after it made contact with the zero clearance insert plate. Depending on what the plate is made of, I would be closely inspecting the carbide tips on the blade. It has been my experience that once carbide makes contact anything harder than sheet aluminum, damage can take place.
                          Hank Lee
                          Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

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                          • #14
                            The insert plate is a hard rigid plastic/polycarb type of material. The instructions Sawstop's provided says to use the blade (which was not carbide) that came with the saw and raise the blade (while running) slowly up into the insert, then lower the blade back down, then tilt it 25 degrees and repeat, then again at 45 degrees. If I were to buy a replacement table insert from them, the paperwork indicates it would come without any saw blade cutout at all, and I would need to perform this task to create one. Probably better anyway if the manufacturer can't cut them straight ๐Ÿ˜‚. But thank you for suggesting I check those teeth for possible damage. Sometimes it is the little stuff we forget.
                            Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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                            • #15
                              Quartz. What are you not certain of?
                              I needed to make a couple of custom sized Octagonal replacement windows, I wanted the most precision. I don't remember where I bought it. If I had seen the bi-directional Incra 1000 I probably would have bought it instead. With the 2000 you have to choose to work from the left or right of the blade. Needless to say I use the Kreg 99.9 % of the time
                              Rolf
                              RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                              Comment

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