|Review by paulzall||posted 02-02-2011 12:16 PM||10060 views||6 times favorited||28 comments|
Delivery and Assembly: I recently bought a Grizzly G0175P Hybrid Table Saw, mainly to get dust collection capability with relatively low operating noise, and I wasn’t disappointed. Delivery was prompt and the packaging was effective with no visible damage. Lacking a forklift or loading dock in my garage, I did have to pay Grizzly an extra $34 freight charge for lift gate delivery.
Fit and finish at first glance looked excellent. The components, including the 2 hp motor, had a reasonably heavy-duty appearance. The cast iron table was flat within .008” (That’s about 1/128th of an inch).
Assembly was straightforward and the manual was one of the best I’ve ever encountered. One of the cast iron wings fit perfectly; the other only needed a piece of masking tape as a shim. I used WD-40 to remove the rust preventative coating (probably cosmoline), which was easy except for the trunnion gear teeth, where it was pretty tedious. I put carnauba paste wax on the exposed iron and white lithium grease on the gears. Also, I mounted the saw on an old Shop Fox mobile base that I had available and which fit nicely.
Solving a Minor Problem of Fit: I did run into a couple of snags though. The shaft for the blade height adjustment knob was grinding against the lower edge of the curved cutout in the front of the cabinet and scraping off paint.
Shaft Scraping on Cabinet
I fixed this by removing the table from the cabinet and adding a 1/16” shim above each of the four attaching bolts. (I had some 5/16” fender washers that served perfectly as shims.) This was a little awkward to accomplish simply because of the weight of the table with the trunnions and motor hanging from it. If you have to do this, I recommend that you loosen all four bolts, but only remove one or two at a time and crank the blade angle to about 30 degrees to get the motor’s center of gravity near the middle of the cabinet.
Shims for Table and Hinge
While I was raising the table, I noticed the hinges on the access door were slightly too low on the cabinet, causing some strain on the locking knob. To fix this, I cut the legs off of a couple of cotter pins and stuck the remaining loop on each hinge pin. This raised the access door 1/8th inch and made life easier. The cotter pins stay attached to the door even when it is removed from the cabinet.
Blades and Adjustments: The supplied blade was a thin-kerf 40-tooth design and was plenty sharp. But I installed a Freud thin-kerf rip blade, which at .094” thickness is the minimum allowable with this saw’s spreader and riving knife. (Even a beginner on a budget should consider spending an extra $60 for a Freud thin-kerf combination blade with its elaborate perforations; your ears will thank you for the reduction in high pitched noise.) Using the thin kerf is equivalent to pumping up the horsepower a tad (an extra 1/2 hp, roughly).
Alignment checking indicated that the blade was nearly 1/32” out of parallel with the miter track, so I adjusted the trunnions to get it down to less than .002”; these adjustments were readily accessible through the rear access panel and the side door. The serpentine belt was quite loose, so I tightened it to spec; a trivial adjustment, which is a bit easier with the blade removed.
Installation and removal of the spreader or riving knife is a breeze, with a little spring-loaded pin locking it in place.
The Fence Design: The fence design looks outstanding to me. It’s a T-square and its weight is supported on the front rail by a pair of brass set screws with what looks like a Teflon button pressed into the tip of each. You adjust these screws along with another one at the far end of the fence to get a 1/16” vertical clearance above the table and to get the side of the fence perpendicular to the surface of the table.
Now for horizontal movement there is another pair of the same set screws, but with their plastic buttons resting against the front edge of the fence guide tube/rail. These should just touch lightly against the square tube when you slide the fence back and forth along it; they have no use when the fence is clamped. (In fact, you should back them all the way out until everything else is aligned!)
There is also a pair of nylon glide pads glued to the ends of a thin spring steel strip riveted to the fence base. These should touch lightly against the back edge of the square tube/rail when you slide the fence back and forth. But the main purpose of these two pads is to press hard against the tube/rail when the fence is locked. This is accomplished by a pair of steel set screws with very fine threads and the relative distance you screw them in is what controls the alignment of the fence. It’s a trial-and-error procedure. You lift the fence out, turn one screw in and the other out a quarter-turn at a time, set the fence back in place, lock it, and check to see if it’s parallel to the miter slot. Repeat until done.
Finally, the last step is to unlock the fence and adjust the two front set screws for smooth gliding.
A problem with the fence:
There is a serious flaw in an otherwise great fence. There are no lock nuts for the fence alignment set screws! And regular jam nuts are too thick to fit in the space between fence and rail. You could use loctite on the threads, but that seems messy for a situation where you have to make numerous trial-and-error adjustments.
Here’s what you can do: Buy a pair of cheap plastic dashboard switches at an auto parts store ($4 each). These will have round plastic mounting nuts with metric threads (M12-1.00). Remove the nuts and throw away the switches. Using rubber cement or similar adhesive, temporarily glue each nut to a the end of a dowel or piece of scrap to serve as a handle and carefully sand the nut down to 1/8th inch thickness; it takes about 1/2 second on a disc sander. That will leave 3 or 4 threads for a perfect lock nut. Being plastic, they are good grippers. Tighten them (gently) on the set screws after alignment is complete. Note: Avoid buying any switches with metal mounting nuts; they might mess up the threads on the set screws.
By the way, there is a typo in the parts list in the owner’s manual; these set screws are shown as M12-1.75×10 (standard thread), but they are actually M12-1.00×10 (extra-extra-fine thread).
Fence Bottom View
Fence Top View
Another minor problem with my fence: On my saw, the fence lock lever seemed to need a lot of force to lock the fence unless I jiggled it a bit. Closer inspection revealed that it was binding against the lock foot and actually trying to bend the foot before sliding on by and locking. A magnet embedded in the lever pulls the lock foot away from the rail for easy gliding when unlocked, but in my case the foot wasn’t going entirely back to vertical when it snapped free of the magnet during the locking operation. It needed help from a spring of some sort.
Unable to find a compression spring with fine enough wire and small enough diameter to do the job, I improvised by stuffing a 3/4” O.D. grommet into the top of the lock foot. A pretty crude rubber spring, but it worked. The part of the lock lever sliding against the foot had a rough cast surface, so I ground it down smooth and polished it up and put paste wax on all the rubbing surfaces. After that, the fence was a joy to use.
Grommet in Position to Insert
The fence is great!
If you are careful with alignment and take time to make the lock nuts, you will have a fantastic fence on your saw, willing to get down and compete with a Biesemeyer.
Miter gauge not so great:
When I tried out the miter gauge, it made scraping noises in the slot. I tried using the miter gauge from my old Delta contractor’s saw and it slid through smooth as silk. Turned out the Grizzly miter gauge had some burrs under its base casting that had just been painted over. Also, the miter bar and T-slot washer had very rough surfaces, and the stop block had been attached to the countersunk holes in the miter bar with pan head screws instead of flat head. In other words, this piece of hardware is a mess and you should expect to spend some time cleaning it up to match the standards of the rest of the saw. I tried polishing up the rough surfaces with steel wool and paste wax, but soon lost interest because I wasn’t planning to use it anyway. (I have an Incra miter gauge that works well for my purposes.)
Electrical Considerations: I needed an extra 220-volt outlet for this saw, but my workshop sub-panel breaker box was full, so I had to put in a couple of 110-volt tandem breakers to make room for another 220-volt breaker, which I added. Then I replaced the appropriate 110-volt wall receptacle with a 6-20 receptacle and was ready to go. I think it took about 45 minutes.
I also made a 12 gauge 220-volt extension cord ten feet long for use with the mobile base. I know this sounds like overkill for an 8 amp load, but the electrical code expects to find 12 gauge wire behind a 20 amp receptacle, which is what you need for matching the plug that comes with the saw. As far as I know, nobody manufactures an extension cord with 220-volt 20 amp molded connectors. Even the 15 amp variety is hard to find.
Speaking of electrical design, I can’t for the life of me understand why the power cord emerges halfway down the front of the base instead of being tucked up under the table, out of harm’s way. Looking inside, I could see no potential problem with operation or maintenance if the cord was moved, and I actually prepared to drill a hole about 7 inches above the access door lock knob for it, but postponed the change when I couldn’t find a suitable strain relief gland in my junk box.- -
If you need to convert to 110 volt operation:
For anyone doing a 110 volt changeover; at the same time you order the saw you should also order the little 20 amp push-button circuit breaker that fits behind the start/stop switch Should be about $3 or $4. You can buy a 110-volt 5-20 plug at a hardware store for $15.
Operation of the saw:
When I turned on the saw, it performed beautifully, with no noticeable vibration on the table and only a light tingling on the fingertips out at the edges of the wings. (Yes, it passed the nickel test.) Noise was just a low pitch business-like hum with the Freud blade. I measured about 80 db idling (about the same as a kitchen blender) and 88 db cutting, with several different blades installed and dust collector turned off. Ripping 6/4 hard maple produced a slight change in sound , but no slowing or burning. Dust collection also worked fine, adding 2 db when idling and no increase when cutting.
Later, I added a router table that I made from a scrap piece of 1” melamine, supported by 1-1/2” steel angle stock bolted to the rails. I still need to make a separate fence for it and a replacement for my temporary dust collection setup. Indulging in a personal quirk, the front of the saw looked too cluttered for my taste so I peeled off the Polar Bear bumper sticker and a couple of decals with the help of some WD-40 and a knife.
Customer service: Another minor quality issue in my fence: one round lock nut was cross threaded on a brass set screw and apparently was torqued down at the factory with a pair of channel-locks. Looked like a beaver had been chewing on it. After I finally got it loose, I cleaned up the threads with a metric tap and die so it works fine now. Grizzly customer service was appropriately sympathetic and promised to send me a replacement pair of set screws and round nuts so it would look nice. I pretty much forgot about it until a month later I got a card in the mail from Grizzly apologetically saying they had to back order the round nut and if I was unhappy with the delay they would take back the saw and refund my money. I had to read it twice before I could comprehend what they were offering to do because of a delayed delivery of a nut.
I begin to see why people rave about Grizzly customer service. At any rate, they are not getting a product return from me; I love this saw.- -
Four and a half stars for a remarkable table saw. (Dropped a half-star because I had to scrounge lock nuts for the fence and because of the deplorable quality of the miter gauge.)
Since my saw was an early production unit, it’s possible that Grizzly has already corrected some of the issues I encountered. If so, enjoy your good fortune in the event you buy one now.