|Review by knotscott||posted 03-12-2009 12:42 AM||5360 views||1 time favorited||8 comments|
The W1677 is a 3hp, 10”, left tilt, triple belt drive industrial cabinet saw with a Shop Fox Classic t-square style fence that offers 26” rip capacity. Shop Fox is part of the Woodstock International group, which is also associated with Grizzly. Both companies are owned by businessman, luthier, and woodworker, Shiraz Balolia. For all intents and purposes, the Shop Fox W1677 and Grizzly G1023SL are identical except for color, retail circumstances, and warranty. The 1677 has two 10” solid cast iron extension wings for a total width of 40”. It’s also available in a few other configurations that include an alternate fence (the SF “Original”), longer rails options (EXT1, EXT2, etc), and there’s also a 5hp option (W1711). The W1677 comes with heavy duty 8” chrome handwheels, a 4” dust port, steel motor cover, a blade guard/splitter assembly, magnetic switch, standard and dado inserts, and a very heavy duty cast iron miter gauge. The Shop Fox Classic fence is a good copy of the venerable Biesemeyer Commercial fence. The most notable difference is that the fence faces are made from UHMW plastic vs the plastic laminated birch ply faces of the Biesemeyer. One downfall of the Shop Fox Classic fence is that in it’s stock configuration the fence rails only offer 26” rip capacity to the right of the blade and 8” to the left. Because this is a left tilting saw, I didn’t envision ever needing the capacity to rip on the left side of the blade, so during the initial setup I slid the front fence rail over to the right an additional 10” for a respectable rip capacity of 36” to the right of the blade and none to the left. This minor modification still allowed me to use the stock bolt holes and required no extra drilling…there’s simply one less bolt holding the rail tube. Since the measuring tape had never been installed on the rail, I was still able to place it appropriately starting at zero. The tape readout only extends to 26” so I’ll have to either measure by hand for rips beyond 26”, or add an extension tape to 36”.
The 1677 was in alignment as received out of the box, so I haven’t needed to make any trunnion adjustments. The fence has required some tweaking to dial in, but it’s a simple process of adjusting one of two allen screws using fractions of a rotation. The miter gauge also required some adjustment but was extremely simple. The stock miter gauge is made of heavy duty cast iron and offers width adjusters for the miter bar to eliminate any slop. As rugged as this gauge is, it lacks the precision and finess of my Incra, Osborne, and Woodhaven gauges. There was one small defect that required a call to Shop Fox’s customer service department. One screw head on the right fence face was snapped off at the factory, and unfortunately it was the first screw which left the front end of the fence loose. The options were to send the entire fence back or fix it myself. I opted to tackle the fix and went out and bought an “EZ-Out” screw extractor. Shop Fox tech service offered one of their 30T saw blades to compensate the expense of the EZ-Out. Fit and finish of the 1677 are excellent, and the Shop Fox color scheme (ivory and black) looks great in my opinion. The powder coat paint and chrome handwheels are flawless. The cast iron surfaces were nicely polished and smooth. I was surprised and disappointed to note that the wings did not include a beveled front edge. I was also a disappointed that the fence rail tubes and guide tube don’t include any type of caps in their ends. These are minor complaints to be sure, but things that I’ve come to expect from my better tools, and are both luxuries that my Craftsman 22124 hybrid saw provided. The 22124 also had 12” wings vs the Shop Fox’s 10” wings, and I do miss the additional 4” of CI surface area. The Shop Fox Classic fence is a very similar design as my former Biesemeyer Commercial fence. I do think I’m going to miss the Biese. While the fit and finish the 1677 itself is excellent, the SF Classic lacks that same level of polish, and it’s most notable on the fence handle which is the one part of the fence that I deal with the most often.
About a month after purchasing the 1677, I bought a “Bolt On Ripping Knife” (BORK) from Bob Ross of Walnutacre Woodworking. The BORK is essentially an aftermarket riving knife that travels up, down, and tilts with the blade. It’s a very nice upgrade to the clumsy stock splitter on the SF. I’ll likely post a brief separate review of the BORK later on.
All in all, the 1677 is a beautiful machine that I’m very happy with.
-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....