So after much research and debates, I have finally charged the card, and 2 days later the delivery arrived with the new saw in the box (I opted to have it delivered from the store as opposed to pick it up myself – at 450lbs, I simply wouldn’t be able to unload it myself) Delivery from HD was swift and smooth, positive and friendly guy stop at my place saturday morning, and helped me position the box in my garage – I couldn’t be happier (took 5 minutes, 4.5 of those was chitchat).
So. I have the box in my garage, little will it do in it’s current status – gotta start peeling the layers off:
First off, came the carton box. which shows the 2 piece steel crate that holds everything inside in place and protected:
Unbolting the Top part of the Crate (8 bolts) and lifting it off enables access to all the parts (top carton protects the table top and has the user manual , blade, and belt on it. Side box has the extension tables and fence system):
Taking off the top cover shows the Granite table top, and the saw in a standing up position between the boxes:
After moving all the boxes aside, you get to the actual saw, motor, trunnions, and table top all connected already:
Minimizing Weight for Assembly (one person job):
Since I’m all by myself for this assembly, and since the trunnions are cabinet mounted- I figured I can take the table top off, which will reduce the weight of this beast and make it a bit more manageable for me to move it around for assembly of the parts. I also figured I can take the motor cover completely off, giving me easier access to the inside of the cabinet for this phase (I’m really glad I did these as it seriously simplified things later on):
Mobile Base (Herc-U-Lift):
Next was the herc-u-lift mobile base assembly phase. as others have noted before, the instructions are somewhat vague, and although I’m really good at following directions, and I really love putting things together – it could have been made a bit easier, and I can see why others can have some difficulties with this part.
One good tip I picked up was to install the dust chute in the base PRIOR to mounting the herc-u-lift mechanism, I can see that if it was done the other way around (as the instruction hint) it would be pretty impossible to accomplish.
when installing the base, I installed all bolts and screws by hand, and left a little play in the assembly (as to not tighten things off square). After I bolted the entire base to the saw cabinet, I went ahead and final-tighten all bolts with the screwdriver (impact) this way things are aligned properly and no tension is present between the parts.
Here you can see how I was able to lower the saw on it’s back and install the mobile base by myself:
Now I was able to lift the cabinet on it’s mobile base. Thanks to the weight reduction I had done, I was able to do this by myself pretty easily (mind you, I’m strong, but not a big guy at ~150lbs).
To install the belt, I lower the blade assembly, and tilted to 45, again – since I removed the top, and the motor cover, access to the motor pully and arbor pully was as easy as 1-2-3 reach in and touch:
Time to put that table top back:
The extension wings came in fairly easy with the aid of the assistance-bars. After hearing of an incident of the granite chip when trying to align it, I made sure the ext. tables are somewhat away from the table while doing the fine adjustments to it so that they won’t rub against each other:
Last was putting the Fence in – rather intuitive, and easy to follow, also installed the power switch on it, and put the motor cover back on, eh-voila. it’s alive! 3 hours total assembly time- not too bad.:
1. each bag of bolts have a ‘figure’ character on it and a list of parts it contains – those refer to the parts-assembly-pamplet, and NOT the user manual – this one is actually easier to follow for assembly then the user manual (I had both in front of me while getting this done)
2. I had originally checked out the Steel City 35920 saw (which is how I became to learn of the Ridgid one) and I find the Ridgid saw to be of higher finish and feel – maybe psychologically, but still – for me it’s real.
3. Miter gauge and Miter slot feel really snug, though smooth – I like that. I still havent used the saw, so this might change – so far, this is the first impression.
4. Herc-U-Lift is phenomenal! this was actually one of the main reasons I chose this saw as opposed to the SteelCity one (there were other reasons though). This mobile base is easy and smooth to operate (glides on the floor like on ice!) yet, when it’s brought down – this thing is ROCK-SOLID! and I ain’t talking about the granite ;o)
5. Home Depot was actually surprisingly a pleasure to work with on this purchase, they even called me to see how I like the new saw… Haven’t had that from HD yet. I wonder if it’s a new business plan they are running, or if it’s just that particular store.
All in all, I’m very pleased with this purchase. this is no PM2000, but I am no production warehouse either. looks like this one is the one for me, it has all the features that are important to me (motor in cabinet, cabinet mounted trunnions (just a bonus), built in riving knife, built in dust control (I’m a big fan of ‘built-ins’), mobile base, and 110v with an option to go 220v at a later date). At a price that I can afford (yes, that also plays an important part for me as I’m not using this as a money maker (yet) so cost plays a part in the decision).
I haven’t yet had a chance to start up this one yet (not even put a blade in it yet, and still need to align the top to the blade), but I’ll write up a full review on performance once I have a bit more experience with it. so far – I really like it – and I don’t like the Ridgid line of products much in general.
Finally the search is over. :o)
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.