Where can you buy 1000 (full size) sheets of (nice, waterproof) sandpaper for $1.00? Those were the first things to go; I managed to grab 2 boxes in the frenzy, one box of 150 grit, one of 280… Need a sheet? let me know!
At 8:00 Saturday morning, Grizzly Industrial’s annual tent sale in Muncy PA opened their doors. I thought I would check this thing out, and actually got there 15 minutes early thinking I would take a look around before the crowds showed up at 10:00 or so… boy was I wrong!
At 7:45, I was probably number 2000 in line, and there were probably 3000 by the time the gates opened. I heard rumblings in the crowd that many people spent the night in tents in the rain in order to be in the front of the line.
Everyone POURED into the scratch and dent tents when the gates were opened. By the time I got there, all the panel cutting saws and most of the table saws were claimed. I did find a diamond in the rough however, more on that in a moment *.
There were tents filled with hand tools, metal working tools, and woodworking tools to satisfy every woodworker from the garage hobbyists (like me) to high end cabinet shops and everyone in between. I have been seeing ads for Grizzly in woodworking magazines since the mid-90’s and I’ve always wondered how there can be enough woodworkers out there to keep them and all their competitors selling enough new table saws, bandsaws, oscillating sanders, dust collection kits etc. etc. to keep these companies thriving. No more wondering, the volume of people was staggering!
- OK, here was my big find of the day. My goal in making the trip was to look for a replacement for my 10 year old Ryobi BT3000 table saw that still works fine, has never failed me, but is not a heavy and accurate as I’d like. I was going to buy a Grizzly G0444Z table saw which was about $50 off for the tent sale. What I found in the scratch and dent tent filled with saws changed all that… and I may have bitten off more than I can chew… but with some patience and work, I think I can make it work.
What I found was a Grizzly G5959 12” professional quality table saw. But instead of being priced at $1750, I picked it up for $399. HOW you ask? Well it’s missing a part or two… OK, it’s missing a LOT. it has no extension wings, is without a fence or rails, has no blade guard or table insert. It i sans a motor cover, doesn’t come with a power cord or the spare arbor the stock unit comes with, and… what else? ... oh yeah, no handles on the cranks for blade height or tilt.
So what did I get? About 500 pounds of cast iron and a massive motor assembly. As far as I can tell the table is perfectly flat, and the trunion, motor and drive assembly appear completely unused and in perfect working order.
In order to make this usable I will need to: (A) get it off my truck – I am building a ramp this evening; (B) get power to it – 30 amp 220 V, luckily I have some relatives who can help; (C) fill the big hole in the table where the blade comes though – luckily Grizzly sells zero clearance inserts (H0629) – I picked up 2 Saturday; (D) Get a fence for it – I’ll have to make another trip to Grizzly. And that’s it! I will have a working, commercial quality saw for less that $600. From there I can work on making an outfeed table that will wrap around and act as the wings too. This saw will make a great base for me to build the shop around.
So that’s about it, the Grizzly tent sale is worth the drive (the guy behind me in line to check out drive in from Omaha) – this will be an annual trek for me. I am glad I didn’t bring the fam, they would have been bored out of their minds, but for a tool junkie like me, it was nirvana!
Here are some pictures – my cell phone cam’s memory was full and this is all I got. I will post more of the saw I bought as I put it together over the next few weeks.
-- John - Central PA - http://affyx.wordpress.com