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Don't buy this tablesaw til Hitachi hires me to redesign it

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Blog entry by Obi posted 03-06-2007 04:08 PM 1394 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found a major design flaw with this Hitachi Table saw and it became evident when it caught fire.

The flaw is the angle adjustment is not like the other cabinet saws, for their adjustment handle is strait out the side. This one has two plastic gears that connect and then the angle asjuster is out the front. Well I’m sure everyone knows that fire and plastic do not play well together and when this tablesaw caught fire, it melted the little gears and now the thing doesn’t adjust by the handle, I have to remove a panel and turn the adjusting rod by hand. That, my friends, makes for a pain in the ass. (There is no way to sugar coat this)

Now I want to totally redesign this saw. Replace the (so-called) 3 HP motor with a real 3 HP motor and get a longer shaft and stick it out the side and make the angle adjuster handle like the other guys. (My saw told me “Daddy, I’m not like the other saws, I’m different.”)

After I redesign the handle and give it a bigger motor (maybe V-Twin) I’ll change the name to Binford, and take over the Super-Hero Name of “the Toolman” .

The last thing I want to do is take this makeshift P.O.S. sawdust funnel at the bottom off of it, and put the dust collection to an apron around the bottom so that the sawdust doesn’t collect inside it and catch fire again (The present design has a lip where the sawdust collects and regular vacuming doesn’t get it all because of the deep recesses.

I can do it, I can redesign this saw. I have the technology. I can make it faster, more powerful. And when It’s done, I should send the design to Hitachi and maybe then they can start a fad and along with the other major tool makers make a REAL cabinet saw.
The Ye Olde Signature Series

Holy Bat droppings, Batman … I’m becoming Eddie Bower



15 comments so far

View cabinetman's profile

cabinetman

144 posts in 3611 days


#1 posted 03-06-2007 04:25 PM

Obi

Are you married to that saw? Has it become part of your family? Think about the cost and time you will put into something you already called a POS. I know the aggravation of going through a similar process and it just doesn’t pay. Sometimes the backyard engineering department can come up with a good fix. Personally, I’ve learned the hard way not to waste my time unless the fix is waaaay cheaper, and I have the time. Some of the hybrid cabinet saws have tried to capture the market with what they thought was a psychological advantage.

In essence, plastic parts do not belong in there. That should have been your first clue. I did buy a small 10” bench saw from the big box store years ago when I needed a TS to rip small stuff on the job. It claimed to be a 2hp. NO WAY. Anyway, it did do what I needed it to do for $100.00. It was easy to carry and I made a stand to bring it up to the height of a folding table. The table was basically a hollow core door ($5.00 at garage sale), and a folding leg kit from HD ($15.00). Worked great until the tilt mechanism went south, and the clutch for the height adjustment for the blade decided not to clutch. I can raise and tilt, but it’s a hassle.

After that, no more plastic, and no more cheap tools.

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3704 days


#2 posted 03-06-2007 04:32 PM

The redesign isnt that hard. Replace the shaft, remove the plastic funnel bottom (which is what iwas calling the P.O.S.) The basic design of this $500 saw, makes me want to spend another $20 on a shaft and drill two holes that are already reinforced. And if all else fails it will be my Designated Dado saw.

View cabinetman's profile

cabinetman

144 posts in 3611 days


#3 posted 03-06-2007 05:12 PM

I used to do dadoes and grooves on the TS. My take on that is that I find it too hard to hold down the stock while pushing it through. Small pieces maybe. I do most all my dadoes with a router, and a very fast jig that works like a “T” square. I find it easier to handle the router. http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u3/cabinetman_photos/T-Square1.jpg

Used with a bar clamp, the far end of the clamp rides against the jig to keep it from moving left. This jig can be made any length.
http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u3/cabinetman_photos/T-Square.jpg

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3704 days


#4 posted 03-06-2007 05:24 PM

Great idea. When I started this a year ago i “accidently” bought a router bit that i believe is a 3/4” bit. I’ve never used it, now i need to go find it and see what it really is. Might have been a case where I accidently bought what i really needed, and just didnt know it.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3767 days


#5 posted 03-06-2007 05:50 PM

Sorry for your dilemma Obi.
Those manufacturers are always taking the cheap route. I’m glad I bought my Ryobi when I did, The new model they replaced it with is not as good, they cut corners on everything.
I thought you were part owner of Ryobi, they use part of your handle in their name. LOL

I’m like cabinetman, I dado with my router. It’s such a hassle to setup your saw, I can be all done with my router, before I can even get my saw setup. My dado blades are like new yet.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3868 days


#6 posted 03-06-2007 05:58 PM

SawStop Beckoning Obi

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3782 days


#7 posted 03-06-2007 05:59 PM

When you finish with that I want you to tackle some Dewalt misdesigns and Marks got some issues with Portacable. I had a Hitachi miter saw that was always shedding little pieces of plastic. Seems they aren’t made to be moved around twice a day like you would do on a construction site. I payed plenty for that saw.

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 3629 days


#8 posted 03-06-2007 06:42 PM

That is too bad about your table saw Obi. While you can do the re-design, is it worth it? Maybe now is the time to step up and get your dream saw. It sounds like you are really busy, and need something that is dependable and long lived.

It sounds like a cabinet saw may be your next step. Since I do not have much experience with table saws, I will defer to the others on which to get. But just think, the purchase of the saw is a legitimate business expense. It sounds like your business can support it, so I would say step up to what you want to get rather than trying to fix this one.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3704 days


#9 posted 03-07-2007 12:25 AM

The saw still runs fine, it just becomes a hassle to tilt it to 45 degrees. And the Grizzly got posted because I thought I’d look for a 3 HP motor because this motor looks very easy to replace. and replacing the shaft is another easy thing to change. And since looking busy is about all I’m doing and my business can’t quite support a new saw just yet and since the saw is still running fine, minor upgrades are more feasable than a New $1,000 griz at this time

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3868 days


#10 posted 03-07-2007 01:12 AM

Obi:

Try Ebay. There is a guy in York PA that removes electric motors from new wood working machinery, and he replaces them with air or hydraulic motors for the local Amish folk.

I don’t know if he’s in there all the time. You might also do a google search for woodworking York PA

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3767 days


#11 posted 03-07-2007 01:19 AM

Karson
How do the Amish get the hydraulic, or air pressure without electricity? Do they use diesel ?

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3704 days


#12 posted 03-07-2007 01:30 AM

Dick, they make the horse run really really fast

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3868 days


#13 posted 03-07-2007 02:00 AM

Yes. I stopped at an Amish shop last week and saw his setup. he has 2-2,000 Gal Air tanks and a Hydraulic pump off a diesel engine. He also runs a freon compressor to pipe cold to his refrig in the house. (Kind of like an old ice box). He has an Air makita chop saw, an Air Blum drill for 35 MM door hinges. An air radial saw, and a hydraulic table saw and planer. He uses propane lights (kind of like camping Coleman lights) if he needs to finish up something and its starting to get dark. He also has an haydraulic air vacuum system.

He also has battery spot lights in his spray room if ne needs it. And he has the neatest air window fan in his spray room.

No I don’t know how he recharges his batterys for his spot lights.

His phone booth is in a little glass walled shed off the end of his driveway.

The Amish church allows them to use phones if they are in business. No one answers it. They leave a message and he returns the calls.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 3778 days


#14 posted 03-07-2007 03:53 AM

I’m glad that the only thing that burned was the plastic gears, Obi. I’m sorry that the manufacturer built such a fire hazard and that the fire happened. Did you contact Hitachi? If so, did they offer any kind of fix for the problems you made note of? What were the conditions at the time of the fire ( cutting a lot of wood none stop, was the saw in operation, just shut down, etc.) The reason I ask is because I think knowing the conditions may prove valuble to help the rest of us protect against such a fire.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 3704 days


#15 posted 03-07-2007 04:09 AM

Mark, this saw is basically considered a contractor’s saw because it has the legs like it does and the saw sits on it with the metal lip folded inward. The sawdust settles in the corners and doesn’t ever make it to the dust collection. As I was milling some rough stock, I believe that a very thin piece (very simular to the shavings from a fine plane) and the blade rubbed against something long enough it got hot enough to catch something and then the sparks ended up in the corners where the sawdust had collected on the ledge of the table, and poof* fire.

I’m not going to waste my time contacting Hitachi just so I can listen to their bullshit about blah, blah, blah. Instead I’ll just make sure that I do my part to inform everyone who is in the market for a table saw, that this one has flaws.

I also plan on pointing out this flaw for I believe it to exist on every “Contractors” saw that has the metal frame bent inward.

A Cabinet Makers saw such as most of the saws owned by most Lumberjocks doesnt have that problem, I dont think, because the intire frame appears to be one solid piece of metal and all the sawdust ends up on the floor or at the bottom, and not caught in between the wiring and the case.

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