Not one to participate much in blogs (actually this is my first), I couldn’t help but share this with people
who could at least appreciate some of the complexities of woodworking machines and the trials that
My family and I moved into a new house about 3 months ago. The house has a 3 car garage that is going
to be my new woodworking shop. In anticipation of the move, the day we closed on the property I finally
ordered my long awaited table saw (replacing a very old Craftsman contractors saw) from Grizzly. Expecting that
it would be at least 2 weeks before the saw would be delivered, figured we had plenty of time to get moved
in and at least partially settled before the saw arrived.
The saw arrived 5 days later to a garage/shop that was literally filled front to back with moving boxes.
My wife and I had to do some emergency rearranging just to fit the pallet in there. And there it has sat
for the last two and a half months, still crated and resting on the pallet. Between hurting my back during the move
(nothing serious, just getting older), work and trying to get the house ‘just right’ there hasn’t been time
to work on getting my shop set up. Well last night I’d had enough of waiting and went out to the garage
to set things straight. Unpacking the crate was uneventful, at least until it came time to move the saw
from off the doubled crate to the concrete floor. Struggling to attach it to an appliance dolly it tipped over
and landed with a resounding kabloom on the floor, hitting squarely on the cast iron edge of the table top.
My heart skipped a beat thinking the worst had happened and I had just broken the saws top.
My wife rushed into the garage to see a stricken look on my face, me standing over my poor table saw laying on it’s side next to the pallet. She’s worried about me, and I’m worried about the saw. We get it upright
and immediately look to see what kind of damage I had inflicted on this innocent saw. We look and look
but can’t find even a scratch, chip, dent or anything else amiss with it at all. I’m frankly amazed no damage
has been done to my baby whatsoever. Huge kudo’s to Grizzly for making a me-proof tool.
In elevated spirits my wife and I move the saw to what is hopefully going to be it’s final resting place, dead center of the two-car stall area (o.k., slightly to the left, but hey). Unpacking all of the ancillary packages that came with the saw is more time consuming than I had imagined. Wouldn’t you think they could at least
assemble these things a bit more at the factory? I attach both of the cast iron side extensions, assemble the
extension table with adjustable legs, the front and back rails and the Shop-Fox fence system. Then according
to the instructions, the blade guard and splitter are next on the to-do list.
I locate and identify all of the requisite parts and position myself on the out-feed side of the saw in preparation. Instruction booklet in view, all of the parts within reach I grab item #1 on the list. A threaded rod that will attach to the trunnion through a small cutout in the rear that will allow the guard to tilt with the
blade. Searching for several minutes without finding this elusive threaded hole it is supposed to screw into, I finally dig out my trusty flashlight for better viewing (all the internal parts are painted black, and it’s dark in there). Shining the light in through the little cutout, I can see no obvious place to attach this rod, there
is no place at all to attach, screw-in, glue or otherwise secure this one item. Read and re-read the instructions from front to back and can identify no steps that may have been missed. Opening the motor-mount cover, laying on the cold, hard concrete and shining my trusty torch into the dark, cavernous under-belly of the saw I see what is amiss. The motor mount and trunnions have been completely knocked off there mounts, and are hanging only on the gear rods on the back side…
Lifting the motor and all of that cast iron from below, with one arm, wouldn’t have been doable even if I were 20 years younger and filled with youthful enthusiasm. So I am forced to enlist the help of the only other
person in the world that would completely, and without question, understand that even though this is Sunday night, getting late, and the kids need parental guidance and supervision, this is something that just has to be done now… my wife.
She doesn’t say anything at all as she helps me remove the Shop-Fox fence system, front and rear rails, extension table, and both cast iron extensions wings. She doesn’t say anything as we remove the table-top
mounting bolts, remove the top and set it ever so carefully on one of her antique sewing machine consoles (protected by a generous amount of padding), and she only smiles as she helps me man-handle the motor and trunnions back onto the tracks, both front and rear. She doesn’t even say anything as her hands get slowly covered in grease and some other unidentifiable goo from the innards of the saw.
Three hours later, and a fully assembled table saw, with all of the extras carefully, and lovingly set just-so, tweaked and aligned as perfectly as I can possibly get them, I come back into the house a tired, bruised, greasy and a little bloody (sharp parts and a little too much gusto re-assembling), my wife is waiting for me with a hug and a kiss.
All in all it took almost six hours from crated to assembled saw. Every minute of the process more than worth it. I walk away from the experience a bit more impressed with Grizzly’s quality of workmanship and a better understanding of what all makes my saw what it is. It also doesn’t hurt to know how to disassemble this thing down to its smallest parts for future reference.
Now I just have to wait for the electrician to run that pesky 240 volt circuit out to the garage. Perhaps another mini-story in the near future?
Good night all!
-- Still learning everything