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General International 50-200r

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Review by gotnonickname posted 06-01-2014 04:16 PM 3904 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
General International 50-200r General International 50-200r General International 50-200r Click the pictures to enlarge them

Purchased this saw after spending time debating which saw offering I was going to give my hard earned cash too. Looked at Grizzley, Saw Stop, Laguna, Steel City, Delta, Shop Fox,Craftsman and many others. I debated the safety aspects of all saws against the Saw Stop and came to the conclusion that for the amount of time I use my saw, and the fact that I am extremely anal about working safely, I ruled out Saw Stop because their price point in my opinion is way to high. Yes I hear it now, what is the cost of safety, and I say to that, its you the operator, which will make or break the issue. I went from an early 80`s Craftsman with no riving knife, to the General with the riving knife. I have a small 2 car garage that I share with a vehicle or two so my needs are portable and not some big footprint saw.

So around April of this year after looking at way to many saws, I went with the 50-200R. What I personally liked about the saw is the following:

Pro`s
Trunnions mounted to frame.
True 2hp motor
The design of the blade raise/lower mechanism
Robustness of the cabinet and saw as a whole.
The fence system was decent for the saw.

Received the saw and proceeded on setting up. Mounted it on a HTC 3000 mobile base first. The extensions next and then the fence. Took a few hours dialing the extensions in. Removed one that needed a little sanding to remove a high spot. Laid the 48” Starrett straight edge across the table and dialed it in. All in all satisfied with how that assembly went.
Installed fence next and this went together well and was surprisingly solid for an entry level fence.
Now to settings. I installed my calibration disk from Freud. I did have this checked by a machinist I use and work with and had him give me a profile of the accuracy of the plate. So I know my plate is very true.

Factory measurement as follows:
table flatness was .005” max error. average was between .001” and .003”. Shocked at that measurement
left slot to disk. less than .002” measured front to back using same point on disk
right slot the same
disk just poking it head out from insert, dial indicator zeroed, then all the way up measured .004”. When going back down less than .001” deviation. Not bad in my opinion. Machining seems to be very good. This cannot be eliminated by changing the 90 degree stop.
arbor with my .0005” dial was reading .0005” or less.
same with arbor flange
fence deviation when pushed on back edge was less than .010” which is very good in my opinion. And this is for a entry fence system. My push was as firm as I would when ripping a board.

Started a large hutch project and was impressed with how well the saw setup and how well the machine has held those settings. I use a Osborne EB3 miter and the factory miter gage. I use the Osborne the most.

A few weeks ago I did update the fence to the VSCTools T-square fence. Made my own rails and installation was quick and easy. The new fence is even better than the factory fence. The extrusion is dead flat over 42”. I have seen a lot of non user opinions on this fence and until you use one, you can`t give it a poor review. I like the fence and have made numerous attachments which make project work easier.

The only cons I have so far are with the shipping container. It was a piece of crap. Did have some scuffs to the paint. Customer service sent me some paint and other items that were found damaged. As for accessories from General, I only purchased a dado insert. I make my own zc inserts so I have not had any experience with Generals inserts. I did make a digital image of the factory insert and sent it to Ron Lee at Leecraft for a possible future insert from them.

So bottom line after almost 3 months of use. Good investment. Very durable. Saw is holding factory settings and I have not had to adjust one thing. If you are looking for a replacement saw, give this one a good look.

Will add pictures later. No time right now




View gotnonickname's profile

gotnonickname

15 posts in 320 days



8 comments so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1325 days


#1 posted 06-01-2014 05:13 PM

Great review, thanks for posting.
This was one of the saws I was looking at when I bought my current saw, but money was an issue.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3361 posts in 921 days


#2 posted 06-02-2014 08:55 PM

Good looking saw there! Thanks for the review.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15304 posts in 1936 days


#3 posted 06-03-2014 09:46 AM

Thx for the review, Enjoy… I’m in the market for a 3-5 Hp saw now and have it narrowed down to two. Just need to pull the trigger. Enjoy!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

226 posts in 208 days


#4 posted 06-04-2014 12:23 PM

Thanks for the review. This is the saw I have been looking for a long time. I want one with same pro’s as you such as the trunions and 2 HP motor. Have looked at sawstop but price is too much. I can get the 50-200R for $1200.00 on sale here. Good price.

Again thanks for the review and I would love to see the new fence.

-- Sean G, Barrie, Ontario

View gotnonickname's profile

gotnonickname

15 posts in 320 days


#5 posted 06-04-2014 01:17 PM

Will try to get pictures of the saw with the new fence by weekend. Too many issues right now to deal with, but will try. Go to the VSCTools website and they will have some info on making the fence rail system. I made my rails so I can easily rip to 36”
Front rail 3×3 x 1/4” 60 long angle
Tube 2×3 x 10gauge 64” long
rear rail 2×2 x 1/8” x 60 long angle
Front rail was mounted using 4 holes and the 8mm threaded holes on table and wings.
Same on back
front rail flush with left extension edge
material was around $80 and only took a few hours to drill and tap. The paint took the longest. USE REALLY GOOD PAINT. I used Rustoleum and was not happy with finish. Probably still too cold to paint when i did paint, but the thickness of the paint is a liittle weak. Should have sent out to the local powder coater and did it right.
tube mounted 4” right of left extension edge
rear rail mounted flush with left extension edge same as front
I also do not have an extension table to make up the space on the right extension table to end of rails. Made a glide on the end of the fence like the one one the fence that came with the saw, so the fence will slide smoothly and not fail into void. Fence needs support from edge to edge like the factory fence. Have pictures of the glide that i can send you if you use this VSCTools fence. Glide cost around $5-$10 using nail on chair bottom glides and a 1/4 – 20 threaded rod and nuts.

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11343 posts in 923 days


#6 posted 06-04-2014 09:21 PM

Thanks for the review. That saw looks very solid. Congrats.

View gotnonickname's profile

gotnonickname

15 posts in 320 days


#7 posted 06-04-2014 09:39 PM

some pictures of the fence.
My quick and easy fence for dado work.

View NormG's profile

NormG

4510 posts in 1752 days


#8 posted 06-05-2014 02:14 AM

Congrats

-- Norman

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