|Review by samiam||posted 09-22-2010 06:34 PM||7295 views||0 times favorited||26 comments|
Got this unit home and uncrated after it took 3 weeks to get from Laguna. When I ordered it the unit was on the floor ready to ship and when it was all said and done it hadn’t cleared customs yet.
First thing that I noticed is that the plug on the end of the power cord was only rated for 15 amps. This unit has a 4hp motor so I thought that was underrated. It didn’t matter to me though I had already planned to cut the end off and put one on that matched my set-up with locking plugs. It did seem to have 10gauge wire which should be adequate.
Next was the fence. Wow what a piece. The bolt holding the fence in place does not match the hole that it goes into. Because of this there is an incredible amount of slop. One time you lock it down and the front edge of the fence may be at the edge of the table and the back end will be 1 inch off the back side of the table. This makes it practically impossible to set the fence square to the table or even more exaggerated is when you set the fence at 45. One end may be 42 and the other 48.
The actually fence is made out of light aluminum which is ok I guess but it is not completely flat. If you pay a precision square on the face of the fence it touches on the top and bottom and gaps in the middle. Using a precision straight edge it seems that the fence is straight enough but with all of these issues it is absolutely impossible to get square to the table and the stop used to return the fence to 90 is useless. All of this was reported to Laguna customer service with pictures. I got a call back asking me to send pictures which I did. Following this I got an email saying that they would look into it. I haven’t heard another word from them even after several emails asking for updates.
The next issue I have had is that after running less than one hour the unit threw both of it’s belts off while planning a piece of wood. Replaced belts, started it again and eventually it did it again. I replaced belts third time and turned by hand. It seemed one belt was not tracking right so I removed it and have been running on one belt every since that seems to be working.
The third issue is the mortising attachment that is completely out of square with no reasonable way to adjust it.
I sent there customer service this email:
Tried to set up the mortising attachment on this unit last night for a job that I am doing. First of all I want emphasize my earlier concerns about how heavy this unit is considering it is advertised as “easy to take off and put on with just 3 bolts”. This was even more of a consideration last night as I had to hold it up with one hand while making adjustments with the other hand. Not something I would be able to do very often.
I want to start off with the first picture. It is a front view of the planer/jointer/mortiser with the mortising attachment set into place. As you can see the right hand side is quite a bit lower that the left. In order to correct this you have to hold the unit up with one hand to a point that at least seems level and tighten the bolt with the other hand (No small task in its self). Then you check it for levelness and do it all over again several times until you finally get it level. Practically wore out by the time I get that done.
The next 2 pictures are of the bit alignment with the table. As you can see there is a fence at the front of the table which should be perpendicular to the bit in order to do a mortise square with the wood. This fence is way out of alignment and the is no way to make adjustments. The only way to this and bring it into alignment would be by putting in a bunch of shims under the bolts as you mount the unit (Again while holding in place, hopefully kind of level and tightening with the other hand while placing shims). I don’t have that many hands.
The last picture is of the table and bit which should be parallel to each other. As you can see again they are not even close. There are allen wrench screws beside the bottom two bolts that can be moved in and out to adjust this but unfortunately they are all the way in and actually it is the top that needs to be held out to make the adjustment to bring this in alignment. Again I could make a shim and place it behind the top bolt of the unit and again hold it in place with one hand.
The great part about all of this is that while tiring to make adjustments I’m sure I’ve done a pretty good job of scratching up the front of a brand new machine. A $5000 machine I might add. I have to say that I am very disappointed with this unit as a whole. At least with the mortising attachment I would like to return it to your group and you should pay the shipping. I buy tools so that I can do woodworking not spend all of my time working on them.
I have still not gotten any response about the fence issue or the belts that were ruined during the first hour of running because the both flew off the pulleys. Please respond to all of these issues.