Not to be completely defeated, today I mounted the rear rails on the saw, mounted the MDF-topped steel extension, and temporarily hung the power switch off the rail with some stove bolts and nuts. I had to cut off the plug from the saw to connect to my locking extension cord as well.
I popped a 50T CMT General Purpose blade on the saw and checked the parallelism of the mitre slot to the blade and it was out by about 7 thou. Easy enough to adjust on a cabinet saw (thank goodness) and now it’s under 1 thou. I put my Incra mitre guide on and fired it up. I put a scrap of 3/4” ply up the mitre gauge and pushed it through the blade.
Sounds downright mean
Now, this is coming from someone used to a portable jobsite saw, and this was only 3/4” ply, but I could not tell the saw was running by touch. There is zero vibration. Additionally, there was just no resistance when the wood hit the blade. The sound didn’t even change. The wood was just suddenly in two pieces.
This is not likely a big deal to most of you, but this is the first real saw I’ve ever used and holy cow what a difference.
I can’t wait to get the tube and fence on and really get to work on this thing. Despite my issues with the tube, I’m in love.
-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...