|Review by Marty5965||posted 01-27-2013 09:44 PM||4297 views||0 times favorited||12 comments|
Got this saw new for Christmas. it replaced a smaller, direct drive Craftsman TS that I had had for a few years. The box is a monster, weighing in at a little over 275 ibs. You will need help (or some lumber to use as a ramp) getting it out of your vehicle. Once on the ground though, it moves around relatively easily (at least on my garage floor) since it is extremely well packed and a sturdy box.
The top packaging slab is a polystyrene tray that contains 90% of the bits and pieces with the remainder of the box being taken up by the top, business end, of the saw. Everything was well packed and arrived with no damage or missing parts.
Assembly is pretty straightforward, assuming you actually follow the steps in the manual. If you don’t, you will be removing the back of the saw to set the blade. There was some finesse required on a couple of the leg screws and you certainly need to be patient but the saw body went together very nicely. The rails are a two-piece affair that butt together nicely and have sufficient support and fastenings so that they will not pose any alignment problems. Some of the screws on the rear rails are very difficult to tighten due to the presence of casting webs on the top. Main table is flat and true and the side tables, while not solid, are adequate.
The blade stop adjustments (90 & 45) were right on out of the box. The fence, which is very solid and has a good supply of T slots was easy to adjust but I did have to tweak the trunnions to align the blade with the miter slots. It wasn’t much, but the front trunnions are a bit awkward to reach from the back of the saw and this, coupled with the difficult rear rail screws caused me to deduct one star from my rating. The miter slots are standard (without the “Craftsman” tang) and the miter gauge is actually usable, which was a pleasant surprise.
I did not install the blade that came with the machine but used a Freud Combination blade instead (50 Tooth). It sails through softwoods at full height thickness but I did have to lower the feed rate on 8/4 hard maple but it cut clean and true.
I am no expert, but for me, this saw was a good compromise between cost and capability. I am sure it will serve me well as I get back into woodworking after a number of years.
-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....