|Review by longhornboyd45||posted 01-15-2010 11:14 PM||8150 views||2 times favorited||17 comments|
In my quest to become a better woodworker, i decided it was time to purchase some tools to upgrade my shop (aka Garage). With a few projects under my belt, i decided to quit paying the local Big Box astronomical prices for their s4s lumber and go and get myself a jointer and planer.
After browsing numerous sites and reading reviews i opted for the Grizzly GO452 and GO505 would fit my needs as a beginner woodworker. This review will be only of the G0452 jointer as i have yet to put the planer through its paces.
I placed my oreder online and the jointer left the warehouse on November 2nd arriving just in time for my birthday on the 6th. I was very excited as after reading Chris Schwarz book “Workbenches” i had already picked my first project to christen the new tool, a traditional workbench.
The jointer was sent in 2 large boxes and delivered to my house via freight. The driver was very nice and assisted me in lugging them into the garage (I’ll meet him another 3 times). After reading the manual and determining everything was present and acounted for, I began assembly. The entire machine went together without a hitch and the instructions were very detailed. It took a little longer to get all the packing grease off than the actual assembly of the machine. The fine tuning was pretty easy and within a total of 3 or so hours had the maching ready to go.
It was time to run my first peice over the head and i could not have been more anxious. I grabbed some scrap i had lying around and made my first pass. The blades were sharp and seemed to cut with ease as i was only going for about 1/32”. After about 4 passes inspecting each time i noticed that my stock (which was already milled before starting) Was taking quite a bit more off the front than the back and was making it’s way to becoming a nice wedge shim.
Now, thins might be my first jointer, but i was fairly sure this is not the outcome i had expected. It was then time to go back to the manual. While the manual is excelent for the setup and tuning, i could not find my issue in the troubleshooting area. After some diligence looking online i figured out the problem. The beds were not coplainer with the infeed table sloping downward toward the head at about 1/16” over it’s lenght. A little disheartened i returned from the shop and called their customer service.
I stated my problem to the rep and they immediately put me through to a technician. I explained the problem and he recommended i try and shim the infeed table. Thinking to myself that i’m sure i had enough technical know how to do this task, i agreed and headed back to the shop. I pulled out the manual once again and analyzed to exploded view of parts and how to remedy this situation. I soon realized i did NOT possess the ability to remove the cutterhead, pins and bolts holding the infeed table in place, remove the 80-100lb table and accurately shim it to make my brand new tool do what it was designed to all the while keeping all the planes in perfect alignment. I also realized that this is the one side that i will be used to make most adjustments and a shim could easly be thrown out of alignment. Back to Grizzly it needed to go.
After phoning the technician the next day, i indicated my inadaquicies as a machinist and they agreed to have me ship it back on their bill. It took a few weeks to coordinate with the trucking company and ship it back, but back it went to have the surface reground. I’ll admit that i waited about 3 weeks to send it off, and after a month at grizzly i recieved a call from the freight company that they had it at the local loading dock ready for delivery. We scheduled the delivery for the 30th of December and right on time it was back in the shop. As soon as i could, i pryed of the tob of the box and removed the packing tape to finally rejoin the table to its base. Once the packaing was removed i went in to inspect the top and immediately noticed something was very wrong. There was no cutter head. Hoping this was not the case i looked deeper. Not only did i not find a cutter head, I also noticed the outfeed adjustment handle was not present. looking a little further i found the handle to the infeed table broken off in the box and the bolt that tightens on the infeed table to be sheared off inside the machine.
After a few choice words and letting my temper cool with a nice Shiner Boch, i made the call back to customer support to share my findings and request a return and refund. They promptly sent me the information and return slip and i sent it off one last time. I simply could not justify to myself sending it off for repair again with a chance that it still might not come back correct. I thought a third strike might just put me over the edge.
I really would have liked to give this tool a glowing review, but as you can tell i just cannot. I never even really got to use it so this review is probably not too helpful to most. A few things i would note about the machine are that it has plenty of power given it is only a 110 machine. The fit and finish were nice and it is very easy to setup. Customer service was very courteous except i might not recommend teling someone that just bought a brand new tool from you that they should have to fix it themselves.
Overall, i am disappointed and out the $75 shipping fee and cost of 2 sheets of ply to ship it back to them twice, but i would consider buying from them in the future as i continue to expand my shop on a budget. As for another jointer, I think i’ll just be heading to the local Woodcraft store and get one there. At least there won’t be the shipping issue to contend with and i can talk or have the machine inspected in person.
Thanks for your time.