|Review by SPalm||posted 09-09-2008 04:23 PM||12372 views||2 times favorited||27 comments|
I bought a Steel City 35670 tablesaw a couple of weeks ago and have been able to play with it some. Here are a few of my thoughts.
I picked up the saw at Woodcraft in a small pickup truck. They loaded with a forklift as it is over 400 pounds. There were also a couple of other boxes that contained the fence. When I got it home, four people where able to slide it back and lower it to the ground. I then took off the cardboard and the found a square channel welded steel frame inside for protection. This unbolted from the bottom and lifted off. I had to hacksaw this frame to get it in the trash, but it was worth it. I then strapped it to a two wheeler and got it down the basement.
The only things to assemble were the wings, the hand wheels, and the fence rail. I removed all of the shipping goo and cleaned it up. The paint job is excellent and the fit and finish is first rate. First thing was to bolt on the wings and adjust for them for level. There is a very nice feature here with leveling set screws under each bolt. By using an Allen wrench to adjust and a socket wrench to tighten, this usually frustrating job was actually fun (no shimming). There are solid cast wings for each side and a wooden table board with laminate for the far right wing. This wing will get a router plate soon. Then I bolted on the fence runners. This also was quite easy and adjustable. One caution here is to get the fence runners absolutely level with the top. I used a Wixey digital angle indicator that made this a breeze. Then added the fence rail and measuring tape. The fence itself came preassembled.
All in all, it arrived very well adjusted. The ‘blade parallel to the miter slot’ adjustment was dead on. This is an easy adjustment if needed because the trunion is mounted inside the cabinet, so just loosen four bolts and swivel the table. Again, I did not have to do this. Backlash was undetectable. The blade tilt stops for 90 and 45 degrees are really, really nice. There is a hole for each in the top of the saw that accepts an Allen wrench. The fence was also easily adjustable with Allen screws for perpendicular, parallel to the miter slots, and height off of the table.
Splitter, Anti Kick Back Pawls, and Blade Guard
I am old school so these are new to me, but I promise to try to use them. It is all one assembly. It snaps into a slot behind the blade and then is tightened in place with a lock knob from behind the saw. It is very adjustable and also very easy to remove and install. So far I have been using it. I am used to Board Buddies and really like them but have not installed them on this fence yet.
Two Things I Don’t Like
But they are very minor. The clear plastic lens with the red line on the fence is way too high off of the ruler. Moving your head from left to right will yield different readings. I’ll add a spacer to this soon. Also the fence rides on the rear rail with a plastic foot. I guess this can also be a nice feature, as it slides quite easily. But it also holds the fence off of the table, and would make adding an out-feed table a bit more of a chore. It can easily be removed if I end up not liking it.
Nice saw. Highly recommend. 5 year warranty. It is really nice to have an actual cabinet saw. I bought the 1.75 horse, 30 inch model as it fits the best in my shop and I can run it off of 110 volts for the time being. They put some thought into adjustments and I like that. Dust collection is very good. The combo blade that comes with it seems to be as nice as any I have bought before. The Off switch is easy to find, but I always had it on the right hand side, so there is just a learning curve here. The T-slot miter gauge is as good as expected for standard issue. The fence is very nice, adjustable and solid. There are hooks on the cabinet for fence storage when it is not needed. The saw has plenty of power for me. I have cut some 2 inch beech and maple and it never resisted. It is quickly becoming one of my new best friends.
-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon