Yeah, I know, I’m two weeks late in getting this done, but hey, Life sometimes gets busy. (of course that’s not the real reason, I’ve just been a bit lazy.)
I made myself a promise that I would get a new table saw this year. My craftsman contractors saw was at the limit of what I wanted it to do. It would do fine on regular ¾” stock but started to give me fits when I went to cut thicker stock. So Long Story short, (I know, too late) I offered to sell the saw to my brother, and with out giving me a chance to change my mind, he accepted. His benchtop saw was not what he expected and wasn’t happy with it. Whew…thought I was going to have to post it to Craigslist.
Well my brother Adrian (for those who don’t know, he is “lazyfiremaninTN”) was due in Friday evening, but I had already made arrangements to meet Karson and Chis that day at the Woodworking Show in Chantilly, VA. I thought I knew what I wanted when I got there. I knew Steel City was having a sale on the 6” para. Jointer. So that was on my list. I was really looking at getting a Grizzly 10” cabinet saw but I was going to consider a Steel City if they had the new Granite Top to look at.
I was correct on the Jointer, I picked it up for $499 with the built in base and they even promised to send me an extra set of knives in the deal.
As we were walking around I stopped and looked at the Delta Unisaws. The rep (who we will call Tom) was showing me what they had on sales…3 hp 10” cabinet saw, with mobile base, 30 Biesemyer Fence, extension table w/legs and a $200 credit towards any other Delta, PorterCable or DeWalt tools, all for $1314.00. It was too good to be true…I looked at Karson and he smiled and gave a nod. Just then, Tom started to look something up. Opps, he made a mistake. The $1314 price was for the same package but with either the T-2 or the Unifence. The Biesemyer was a $140 extra. I shot him a look that must have scared him because he backtracked and said he would honor what he had originally quoted. Not one to just jump on something, I told him I had to think about it. He whipped out a card and wrote his name “Tom” on it and said his price was good for today only. I said that was resonable and I would be back soon. As Karson, Chris and I walked away, I asked Karson what he thought. He thought it was too good to pass up and that I would be happy with the Delta, not many people he knew that had one complained about it.
We walked around for a while, stopped to see the General tool rep. I liked him but just could pony up for the extra money. I will end up probably getting the Excaliber guard/dust collector arm.
Back to the story, I decided to go ahead and get the saw and headed back to the Delta booth. Low and behold, Tom was busy. Every time I tried to get in his line of sight much less get his attension, he would get busy with someone else. So I left and came back a few times. Finally, I think he got the hint that I was ready and he was going to have to live up to his end. He started writing up the deal and I told him that I was interested in some PorterCable sanders. He told me to go pick them out and I headed that way. I had been thinking about a 6” right angle ROS for some time, they had one left. I didn’t see anything else that I needed (too cheap to spend any more money) so I went and got a 5”343 model. Sanders for me are sort of like clamps, never have too many. I enjoy being able to set them up with different grits and just go from one sander to the next. Who knows, may even sell it, haven’t decided yet.
I told the lady who rang up the sale that I would be picking them up on Sat. It was suppose to rain and I would need a lot of help unloading.
Adrian arrived that night and I told him what I had done…stupid me, I didn’t tell the wife. He almost blew it.
Back to the story, We (Adrian, myself our wives, kids and even the neighbor.) Arrived on Sat and meet up with Chris again. We started walking past the Delta booth and I, as casually as I could, dropped the bomb that I went ahead and bought a new table saw and Jointer. Now, bear in mind, that I have been saving for this for about 2 years. I keep a “rat hole” fund for my tools, when I go to the ATM I would take out an extra $20 and put in a bank evelope in my desk. I would also stash a lot of the money I make on the side as well. I had about $2100 in there. That ment that the money I had spent didn’t impact the budget and my hobbie/retirement was paying its own way. She took it pretty well….well sorta, I now have a much bigger to do list now.
We got home and started unloading the tools. Boy are they heavy! It took two fat guys and two teenagers to get the saw off the truck without dropping it.
Assembly went pretty well with the jointer except for one bolt. Its behind the dust chute and towards the front of the cabinet. I couldn’t reach it very well. Thank God for kids, Adrian’s son, Ian was able to reach it pretty well. I had managed to get it started and about half way on, he came in to the rescue and finished taking it off! I chuckeled at him and he managed to get the bolt back on and tightened down. 3
I was a bit concerned when we opend the table saw box the next morning and didn’t immediately see the instruction book. I quickly found it as I was taking shipping material off the saw. It was inside the cabinet, actually a pretty good place for it. Everything went pretty smoothly except when we went to install the fence system. It hadn’t occurred to me that the fence would come with mounting bolts for every saw on the planet. We went though the instructions several times and finally came to that realization.
After we had all the assembly done, we fired up the jointer, and the lights dimmed. I think I will need some extra ciruts. I knew that before, just putting it off. The jointer worked like a champ! I love it. Its very easy to adjust, cuts as clean as any bladed jointer I’ve ever used. We tested a piece of red oak on it and it didn’t bat an eye so to speak.
The table saw is great as well. What a diffence it makes. I have a Ridgid Carbide blade on it and it cuts like a dream. Its actually a lot quieter than the contractors saw I gave up. Karson was right, no complaints. If ever given the opportunity, I would highly recommend the upgrade from contractor to cabinet saw. And with the new dust collector I got at Christmas, my shop is already a lot cleaner. I still have years of dust to get out of the corners but I’m getting that little by little.
-- Greg - Charles Town, WV