I finally settled on a Sawstop Contractor model for my table saw. First, the bad news:
$1449.00 Contractor saw and steel stand
$190.00 Cast Iron wings
$390.00 52” T-Glide fence
+tax= $$$$$$$$—-still too recent to do the math and remind myself.
I didn’t get the moble base ($160) or the outfeed table ($???) as I don’t plan to move the saw around the shop and I plan on making my own outfeed table.
The good news (happily there’s plenty of this):
The assembly was a breeze and the instructions are AMAZING! I’ve bought many ‘assembly required’ toys over the years and I’ve never seen such organized, simple, clear instructions. The hardware was clearly packaged in color-coded step-by-step packaging so nothing was open and loose until I needed it.
The quality of the parts and packaging was exceptional. All metal parts were lightly oiled and critical surfaces were adequately protected with packing materials. The parts for the stamped steel stand and wings were powder coated and gentle on the hands. No burrs or sharp edges to worry about on these parts.
One packing flaw, the horizontal braces that provide rigidity to the base are 2 different lengths. The shorter length goes between the legs on the front and rear. The longer braces go between the legs on the sides. My saw was mistakenly packed with 4 long braces instead. You might wonder why this isn’t in the bad news section. The phone number provided on the first page of the assembly instructions was promptly answered on a friday night by a real, live english speaking person who transferred me to their warranty dept. Again with no waiting, another real, live english speaking person answered (Gretchen if I recall) and after verifying the part number of what I was missing, promised a 2nd day air delivery. Now that’s service. I could complain that the part wasn’t included to begin with, but it was clearly a mistake of hand-packing very similar looking parts that could have happened to any company. As far as I’m concerned the folks at Sawstop really shined and I am confident that if I need anything from them in the future, they’ll be great to work with.
After feeling out the strength and stability of the stand without the 2 missing supports, I determined it would be more than adequate to complete the assembly. (I pushed as hard as I could trying to spread the unsupported legs apart and didn’t get even the slightest movement. When this stand is tightened down, it is very strong and rigid. I wouldn’t dare try moving the fully assembled saw by ‘walking’ the legs on this stand but I have confidence in it’s vertical load-bearing strength and weight distribution.)
Forging ahead, I recruited a helper and lifted the body of the saw onto the stand. Four bolts later I was locked down tight and ready to install wings. Having sent my helper away prematurely, I had a little trouble handling the cast wings while trying to bolt them in place. It would also have been nice to have extra hands while leveling the wings but I prevailed and the cast wings lined up nicely with the top.
After putting on the cast wings, the fence rails seemed like a piece of cake.
Once I put the fence table in, I had to monkey the rails to keep everything level. The instructions had me tighten the rails to the saw top before installing the table but I was off just a smidge and that compounded to 1/4 inch at the far right end of the rails.
Some fine tuning to the fence and we’re done!
-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle