|Review by JerryinCreek||posted 07-22-2014 01:45 AM||9502 views||1 time favorited||13 comments|
This is a summary of my experience in purchasing, assembling and using this machine.
I began by attempting to place my order on-line, but the choice of lift gate service was not available on the web site. I then called Grizzly and the gentleman who assisted me was going to show me where I missed it. However, I apparently did not miss it, it was not on the web site for this product. The order taker was quite courteous and completed my purchase.
I ordered this unit on a Wednesday and was quite surprised to receive it the following Monday. Standard delivery was a very reasonable $79 and lift gate service was an additional $35, which is the only way to go! The UPS Freight driver even wheeled the pallet into my garage.
The unit comes in two boxes. One box contains the robust wheeled stand. The box it came in is made of super-thick cardboard and lined with foam. It has a lift-off top and carrying handles. If you’re like me you won’t be throwing it away! The second box contains the jointer itself. Although the second box had damage, the jointer itself had no damage. Just a word of caution, I noted the box damage on the delivery receipt that I signed for the driver and on my copy. I also took photos of the box before opening it. I would suggest you do the same for your own protection.
As others have commented, the cosmoline is quite thick on Grizzly products. I followed the advice I read by others and used a product called Orange Blast to help cut through it. It does require a large amount of paper toweling to complete the job. You do need to remove it from all surfaces, or moving parts will not move freely. Afterwards, don’t forget to apply a protectant to the bare iron table and fence surfaces to avoid rust!
The Grizzly web site says assembly should take an hour. All I can say is that I spent the good part of a day to assemble mine.
PROBLEM: The very first bolt I installed (per the instructions) is to attach the locking foot pedal. The bolt screws into a threaded area of this foot. As I tightened the bolt I found that it had stripped. Upon inspection I found that the threaded area was not cleanly cut. I broke off the material that was causing the problem. I then ran a new bolt completely through the hole with the foot removed from the machine and then reinstalled the foot and bolt.
PROBLEM: I moved the fence forward to the front of the machine. I was blessed with a nice scratch across the table (Arrgggg!) (Photo 2).
I inspected the fence and found that an area about 1 ½” long purposely rides on the table when you move the fence (Photo 3). However, this area had a burr, which caused my scratch. I filed off the burr. Grizzly also suggested I adhere a piece of nylon to this area of the fence. I had some leftover self-adhesive drawer runner from a project and this worked well as it is only about 1/16” thick.
PROBLEM: The cutterhead guard does take some maneuvering to install. Be sure to remove the cosmoline from the hole for the shaft you need to insert for assembly. Even though I had cleaned that assembly, the cutterhead guard would hardly move even after applying heavy spring tension. Sanding the shaft solved the problem. Also, the manual says you should apply ½ turn of tension to the spring. I have applied a full turn to get the guard to move at an acceptable speed.
All in all the assembly went well and the machine is easy to adjust to complete your set-up. The machine is extremely quiet and vibration free – a real joy compared to my prior machine. The spiral cutter head makes glass like cuts. The instruction manual is excellent and the Grizzly response to my problems was good. The built-in casters are great and the locking foot is easy to use – all a perfect fit for my tiny shop.
I had some issues that I think could be avoided with closer quality control standards. The staff at Grizzly was prompt and courteous (even following up on my E mails with a phone call!). But, if Grizzly knows that a piece of nylon will help avoid fence damage to the table, why don’t they provide it! Or, at least warn the buyer up-front? And, when I told them that the manual states to use a 13mm wrench. (when in fact it’s 14mm) they said, “I’m not surprised.”
Would I buy this machine again? Yes.
I hope this information helps in your buying decision. Grizzly could get 5 stars by addressing the problem issues I’ve outlined.
-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."