|Review by Matt Schnurbusch||posted 08-14-2008 01:43 PM||14353 views||7 times favorited||17 comments|
Grizzly G0555 Bandsaw Assembly
This is a really long post. If you just want to see the slide show click HERE.
Due to the recommendations of the woodworking world and the World Wide Web as a whole I bought the Grizzly G0555 Ultimate Bandsaw. Now, I know there are a bazillion people out there that are PowerMatic freaks, or Delta freaks, or <name-that-brand> freaks, but at the end of the day we all have a budget that we have to work within. If you have the funds to go PowerMatic, or one of the other “high-end” brands then I’m envious. From everything I’ve read in countless forums websites and magazines, Grizzly is the way to go for the budget shopper (strictly on stationary tools). With that being said let’s get to it.
I ordered my saw, and received it about 4 days later. Be advised, it says very clearly on the box “DO NOT STAND ON END”. Either shippers do not read the boxes, or they don’t think the labels apply to them. I arrived at the back of the truck with my heavy duty two wheeled hand cart in tow to find the driver carefully lowering my saw down on its end. The box was beat to H-E-double hockey sticks. I took a picture, and it’s in the slide show, but it does not do it justice. We laid the box down for me to inspect the innards. I was ‘OK’ with what I saw so it was time to get it out of the middle of the street and into the shop. Mind you, in my excitement, I still hadn’t seen the label stating not to stand it on end. The driver stands the box back up ON END and onto my cart. I sign the papers (noting the damage to the box) and wheel it away. While going down the sidewalk I see for the first time… “PRECISION MACHINERY. DO NOT STAND ON END” My heart sank, what could have possibly broken? Well, at this point I’m almost there so why bother stopping now? A few more steps and the “precision machinery” is in the shop and gently laid back down on its side.
I’m chomping at the bit to get this bad-boy put together, but the wife has to work late. So, I have to get my son off the bus (insert favorite cuss here)!!!
Too many days pass before I get back out to the shop. My shop is 12 miles from my home but that’s a different story. Anyway…
After entirely too long, I get back out to assemble the saw. Because the box was beat up so badly, I opened it carefully and slowly. I didn’t want to be the cause of more damage, if it existed. To my delight, the saw was almost completely unharmed. One of the upper side panels of the base was bent, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how that happened in shipping, it was bent the wrong way. In any case straightening it out was not a problem, tap, tap, tap. The only other “issue” was that the bottom blade guard was bent. Again no problem to straighten, but with this one I can blame packaging/handling.
Now, before I go on (and on), I am one of those rare people that enjoys assembling stuff like this. If I remember right, it took me about 3-and-a-half hours to put this beast together. I read several reports where it was done and running in 1.5 hours and I can believe it. I just really like to take my time. It doesn’t help that I am a slow reader.
After reading through the manual completely (great assembly instructions) I started to work. I removed the machine from the box. I stood it up so I could revel in its glory. Then I thought, “boy that was heavy… How am I going to install the riser and assemble this thing alone?” Well, I work alone almost exclusively so I improvised like I always do.
Installing the riser, alone, was the first order of business. Like I said this puppy is quite heavy. So I strategically cut the Styrofoam packaging to use as an assistant. With my little helper the install was quite easy. It still took a little man-handling but it wasn’t too difficult. After the saw was back vertical (the exciting part) I decided to assemble the base. I separated all of the hardware first so I knew what was what and got started. The base was no problem and again the directions were great.
Now, pick up the saw body UUMMPHH!!! And set it down without scratching anything. At that point the saw was basically done. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know there are still lots of steps. But, the directions are great so follow them, UNTIL…
When you get the entire saw assembled, but before you install and tension the new blade STOP!!! This was where the assembly instructions, or lack thereof, became a problem. Grizzly mysteriously left out the part of the instructions where you have to adjust the tensioner assembly when you install a riser. Not knowing this, I installed the new blade and tensioned it per the directions. What I didn’t notice was that the tension cross bars twisted up like used tin-foil. I’m mean that bad boy bent like, well look at the picture.
I called Grizzly the next day, cuz they were closed GRRR!! And they sent out the replacement parts immediately. The customer rep also forwarded me an instruction set to adjust the tension assembly via email in a pdf. I received the parts in 3 days. I’m glad I didn’t NEED my saw. But hey I still call that pretty darned good customer service. Granted, they left it out of the instructions sent with the machine and/or the riser, but they gladly worked with me to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
The new parts arrived, and again 3 days later, I was able to get out to the shop to install them. I think it was five bolts total for the whole assembly. It took about 3 minutes. Making all of the necessary adjustments to avoid bending everything again took another 2 minutes. Kind of a bummer it took 5 minutes to fix, but six days to get the parts and have time to get back at it. I guess that’s why I’m writing this.
I got to use the saw today for the first time. I love it!! I don’t even have a good blade on it yet and I still LOVE IT. If you want to view a slide show of the assembly process now, go here.
If you have any questions send me a PM or email me at email@example.com
Oh, the light you see in the last pic of the slide show… 20 bucks at Target. Magnetic mount or clamp mount. Runs on three AAA batteries. Bluish LEDs that provide pretty good light. I just have it clamped right now, but if I decide that I like the light it provides I’ll drill, tap, and mount it.
-- - If you can't have fun doin' it, it aint worth doin' - Matt