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My new Grizzly G0453PX Polar Bear 15" planer

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Forum topic by Tennessee posted 07-22-2011 08:57 PM 5553 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1982 days


07-22-2011 08:57 PM

This is the spiralhead unit.
I received the planer in great condition at work, had a few guys help me trailer it up and set it up in my shop.
Went through the book carefully checking the adjustments, adding gear oil, other lubrication, removing the shipping grease. Two days.
Finally, put a white pine section of 2X4 through it for first test. Had snipe going in, made adjustments to bed rollers, cured almost all of it. Ran for maybe 8-10 minutes.
Moved on to a 5” wide plank of red oak. Very impressed with cutting and low level of noise. Very pleasant.
Finished up Sunday afternoon, total run time maybe 14-16 minutes.

Monday evening, ran the red oak through one or two more passes to check accuracy of gauge. Dead on, good to go. Stopped machine, walked across shop to gather up the first “project” wood that I would put through.
Hit the green button, greeted with a loud hum and a quick pop of my breaker.
Reset breaker, tried one more time, same thing.
Took off base cover, contactor cover, checked overload, good.
Check motor free spin, all good.
Removed the wires from overload leading to the motor, reset breaker and hit green button. Contactor engaged, read a solid 240VAC at the outputs of the overload. Bad motor or capacitor in the motor…
Called Grizzly, he made me do all this stuff over again, and finally agreed I had a bad motor.
They shipped out a new one next day, right off the shelf. I was impressed with the speed.

Very helpful…BUT – my new motor was listed as P0453430, 3HP, 1PH, 220V, Version 1.02.06
The version numbers and the readiness of this motor tells me they are having trouble with their 3HP motors.
I suspect a capacitor, but I have to remove the old one and bench check to see for myself. Meanwhile, four days later, I just got the new motor in a wooden box. Put it in tonight.
Otherwise, it’s a grand machine!!

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com


17 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#1 posted 07-22-2011 09:01 PM

Here we go again. I’m happy that you like your machine and you’re clearly a gentleman. I’m curious to see the posts flow below mine. Is this another case of a satisfied customer with a dead motor? Pleased at how fast they shipped a new motor on his brand new helical cut 15 inch stationary planer? Impressed even?

Like I said, you’re a gentleman. Let’s see how this goes.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2477 days


#2 posted 07-22-2011 09:28 PM

It’s the tradeoff. If you’re willing to risk that there might be a hiccup or two (that will presumably be taken care of with swift customer service), you get to pay less money. That’s how I look at the Grizzly tools. It’s worth it to some, not worth it to others.

Certainly better than paying top dollar, still having something go wrong, and be met with poor customer service. And still better than paying top dollar, still having something go wrong, and be met with GOOD customer service.

Congrats on the new machine – hope the new motor is the last of your troubles.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#3 posted 07-22-2011 09:39 PM

^Live4ever’s got an excellent point that I tend to forget. There are very expensive brands with excellent, good, and poor customer service. I think I may have unfairly criticized Grizzly in the past because they’re often peddled as the “grand solution” here, i.e., great quality/great customer service/ cheap price. Your reward for the gamble, it appears, is a discount. From the accounts here on LJ, it seems to be a relatively decent gamble if you’re up for it. But it certainly appears to be a gamble, nonetheless.

I’m still interested to see how the comments go.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1982 days


#4 posted 07-22-2011 09:39 PM

Obviously I’m not the first person to talk about Grizzly problems. And I agree, this is better for me than walking into a Woodcraft and paying an extra thousand or more for essentially the same function.
I used the same logic when I bought the Rockwell multi-tool, rather than spend $400 for the Festool. The rockwell is heavier, little more ungainly, but for what I need, it works great and I got everything, all attachments and a nice case for $180.
Since I use the planer only a few times each guitar build, (part time luthier), I figure it will get no more than a couple hours of run time a month.
But I would agree, just because it weighs in at 668 lbs. doesn’t make it the best in class.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View TheWoodNerd's profile

TheWoodNerd

288 posts in 2659 days


#5 posted 07-22-2011 09:46 PM

Al, don’t get the idea that more expensive brands are immune to issues. I paid $700 more than Tennessee for my PM 15HH. I had to track down and replace a defective cutter that was 1/32 thicker than the others (one wonders how that passed a QC check) and realign the motor pulleys. Not as painful as replacing a motor, but getting a new motor shipped quickly is better than arguing for weeks to get one, which is the usual story with most manufacturers.

Grizzly is a good company with decent products and they back them up. Why do you have such a problem with that?

-- The Wood Nerd -- http://www.workshopaholic.net

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#6 posted 07-22-2011 09:55 PM

WoodNerd, don’t get me wrong. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve unfairly criticized Grizzly in the past. It’s like watching that handsome, rich, muscular movie star that everyone’s going on about. When you see him on the news, puking on a reporter in his underwear, you think, “see, he’s not so perfect”. I think that I got so tired of hearing how great Grizzly was that I’m hypersensitized to their failures.

You’ll notice that I said, “There are very expensive brands with excellent, good, and poor customer service.” I bought a new Jaguar, many years ago, aware of their reputation. Not only was it a lemon, I had to deal with “Jaguar” attitude. I realize that paying more isn’t insurance.

I’m guess I’m just a little surprised at how FAR some people are able to look the other way when a brand new piece of equipment arrives with a dead motor. I’m not saying they’re wrong. I’m just saying I’m surprised.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2477 days


#7 posted 07-22-2011 10:37 PM

Al, what makes Grizzly so great on this and other forums is not some form of perfection or greatness but just that they hit that price/value/risk sweet spot for such a large swath of woodworkers. It’s not like the “perfect” movie star, but more like the one “that’s just like me.” LOL

Anyways, this is probably the stationary planer I’ll be looking at one day if I ever get a larger shop space, so I appreciate you posting your experience, Tennessee.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

222 posts in 2556 days


#8 posted 07-22-2011 10:53 PM

live4ever, I will agree that grizzly has a less than great reputation for quality control, but as said before, all companies have issues occasionally, like a bad batch of motors, or whatever else. Plus in this situation, Tennessee said it actually worked at first, so it must have worked when it left the factory. there is no way that QC could have cought that one.

When I consider grizzly tools, I look at it this way. Because I am saving up for each big tool, the price effects the timing, if it is $1000 less, I can buy it at least a month sooner, so if I end up wasting a week waiting for a part, and have to do a little more assembly, I’m still ahead of schedule, saved money, and have had very little frustration thanks to their excellent customer service, versus potentially having similar problems with a company with horrible customer service.

I guess it depends on how much you value your time. For $1000 savings, you MIGHT have to make a phone call, spend 2-3 hours working on the machine, and ,as I explained, actually have your tool sooner. Bottom line, 2-3 hours of my time isnt worth $1000.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1507 posts in 2276 days


#9 posted 07-22-2011 11:02 PM

ILhave to agree with bertha on this one in that I am a little surprised that we have become accustomed to less than perfection. (mediocacy). I personally own and operate mostly vintage delta machines and mostly these machines do what is required day in day out without having to keep your fingers crossed. I too am guilty of buying some grizz. equip. simply because I thought it to be a good value, and I still think so. Im not sure whats going on with the grizz. motors and electronics as of late but something is for sure. I think they are trying to carve their way into the future. They outsource alot as well. The countries of orgin on these machines are now experiancing an industrial revalution sorta like we did in the 20 s and 30s. Differance is we did it bigger and better. On the motor thing all I can offer is that I have a couple of grizz. machines from the 80s and all is well, then I have one (3hp) motor on a shaper that had to be rebuilt after one year of use. Heavy use I might add but the older machines were seeing heavy use as well.. Hope it holds up for you and BTW I sold a grizz. 15 inch planer 5-6 years ago. It had the 2hp and held up pretty well for twenty yrs. of frequent use. JB

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#10 posted 07-22-2011 11:32 PM

This is why I like this site so much. It’s hard to have a conversation like this in real life. I have a few opinions on a few things that are cast in stone; none of them involve woodworking. I like feeling out my position by talking to people smarter than me. I’m glad to have this resource.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1982 days


#11 posted 07-25-2011 09:23 PM

Well, my new motor is in and running, and so far, all is well. I thought about all these comments as I changed out the motor in my shop on Saturday. It was about 90’ and I decided to open the garage door and turn on the big fans rather than use the AC. Two liters of Gatorade later, that was probably a bad decision…
In any case, since I did not experience any smoke or smell on the motor that failed, I think it’s safe to say one of the caps went, a fairly simple and inexpensive fix. If true, I’ll have a spare motor for the future. I have not checked it out yet. They obviously did not want me to ship back a 70lb. motor that probably is not worth what it would cost to ship it. I will say that these motors are really cheap, and the wire terminations are of the 14 gauge wire size variety, certainly not capable of sustaining 15 amps for any period. Not even a name on them, just an info sticker. Grizzly is what we think, a middle-of-the-road company that services a lot of medium income people. All that hogwash about all those companies they sell machines to in the front of the main catalog, I wonder how many of those units have been modified, are not used, or other various problems, and how many are capable of working 8-10 hours a day, five-six days a week, months on end? I’d love to see the percentages.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#12 posted 07-25-2011 10:11 PM

Well, it’s done at least, Paul. I learned quite a bit about your ordeal; keeping my mouth shut will be a viable option in the future. I’m glad you got your machine up and running. If you replace the cap and get a bonus motor for a DIY project, you may end up a big winner. My next planer will be an expensive one. My run of the mill DeWalt 735 has given me such pleasure that I’m looking forward to a big stationary unit. I’ll be honest though, I probably won’t be buying one like yours;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1982 days


#13 posted 07-28-2011 09:40 PM

Well, this experience has taught me that I probably will look at higher grade for the next big tool, which may be a larger bandsaw. Powermatic is on my list, but a ways off. In the meantime, the Grizzly is working fine. This is a great forum, really like the honesty and courteous nature of people.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#14 posted 07-28-2011 09:45 PM

I’m glad the Griz is working fine. That planer has some impressive specs. I was recently in the bandsaw market. First, I looked at Laguna and they pestered me like used car salesmen. Then I looked hard at the Powermatics. After all my research, the Powermatic looked like the one for me. Then out of nowhere, I found an old restored 20” Delta Rockwell. I’ve got a 1” Lenox carbide on it and it’s ridiculous. I’m not sure if you like vintage machines but I got a lot more saw for a lot less money. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View venicewoodworker's profile

venicewoodworker

100 posts in 2096 days


#15 posted 08-04-2011 04:37 AM

I am guilty of following Norm’s word of wisdom…..”Don’t waste your hard earned money on a cheap tool….you will spend more in downtime and replacing it rather than investing in a top quality one.”

I prefer the good ones and will sit without if I have to. However, my 1941 vintage Unisaw was a bargain and I will never look for anything but vintage Delta/Powermatic for future purchases. They are WAY better quality than what is out there today and still have parts (if needed) available.

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