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Disappointed with steel city 35990c, what should I do?

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Forum topic by manyironsinfire posted 02-28-2013 05:57 AM 2401 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 1339 days


02-28-2013 05:57 AM

I purchased a steel city contractor saw last weekend and I’m having a good bit of buyers remorse. They brag about the cabinet mounted trunnions but its worse then a table mount the way they did it in my opinion. The seams for the wings are in the miter slots, this really over complicates things if you ask me. Here’s the problem I have.

I aligned the blade to the table first, then installed and leveled the left wing with the 4 jack screws, was fine. Next I installed the right wing, here I found out that the alignment bolts for the wing wouldn’t allow me to position it correctly with the main table. So I took the left wing off and repositioned and resquared the table to the blade. Reinstalled the left wing no problem. Put the right Wing on, now the bolts don’t allow me to have the wing close enough to the table. So I took the wings off and after some measuring determined that the rear trunnion/ table mount needs to be moved to the left about a 1/16th to truly fix the problem. Can it be moved over without throwing the trunnion movement out of whack? Could maybe get it just moving the main table again but that’s getting old.

I hate to see what resquaring the blade is like with the fence on, i can see every time you do you’ll have to readjust the miter slot gap and possibly wing level. Here’s a link to the manual that has a parts diagram on page 40. The front and rear trunnion/table is part 249 and 222, if anyone wants to give some advise I’d appreciate it. Suppose I should call call tech support but I’m equaliy tempted to take it back.

http://www.steelcitytoolworks.com/products/35990C/35990C_manual.pdf

This is after figuring out their bad directions, bolts not in the bags they say. I got longer bolts for the table since the original ones only had a couple threads holding. Took 2 trips to the bolt place because they re 5/16 bolts with a metric Allen head on them, I thought they were metric so that’s what I got the first time.

To anyone that has one, has it held miter slot square and gap spacing well or have you had to adjust it? I suppose if this only needs done every few years I could live with it.


27 replies so far

View toolie's profile

toolie

1762 posts in 1284 days


#1 posted 02-28-2013 04:36 PM

while i don’t have a 35990c, i’ve always been a fan of their tools and haven’t often read any negative comments about their tools or their CS/tech support. based on your description, it sounds like you’re assembling the saw contrary to the OM instructions. mu suggestion is two fold. (1) take a deep breath and walk away from the process for a while. (2) call SC tools. when i’ve contacted them about a tool they sell that was a clone of a jet BS i had, their suggestions proved to be much more helpful the the woefully inadequate response i got from JET. good luck.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 1339 days


#2 posted 02-28-2013 05:01 PM

Ok I’ll give tech support a try. I haven’t touched it in a few days so think I’m ready now.

What did I do contrary to the manual? It says the blade is pre aligned at the factory, it was .015 out. Also said wings are leveled at the factory. They weren’t even close.

It’s not a bad saw for the money, I got it on sale for $605. The next cheapest thing is in the 900-1000+ range. Just think they could have been wiser in its design but that was probably to accommodate the granite top option.

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toolie

1762 posts in 1284 days


#3 posted 03-01-2013 01:04 AM

you got a good price for that saw. the manual seemed to want the wings (both of them) attached to the table before attempting to align the blade with a miter slot. i think that’s because there is something peculiar about the miter slots, like their width is adjustable in some way since the wing/table seam sits within the slots. there was a posting about the miter slot not being wide enough on this or one of the other forums i frequent. once the user there followed the CS directions, all was well. this could be your problem. if the miter slot is adjustable, this could be the source of the .015” you’re experiencing.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 1339 days


#4 posted 03-01-2013 04:18 PM

Ok that makes sense and that’s what the tech guy said. He said put the front and rear rail on and get the miter slot the right thickness then you can move the table and wings as a unit. He also said just take the alignment pins out, he said they won’t be on the next production run and don’t really do anything.

Yea that was a very good price, online isn’t always cheaper.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112093 posts in 2233 days


#5 posted 03-01-2013 04:22 PM

I guess the thing to do with any tool we buy we should check the return policy of the company we buy it from before taking the plunge .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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gtbuzz

357 posts in 1097 days


#6 posted 03-01-2013 06:41 PM

Wow, how did you manage to get it for just north of $600?

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 1339 days


#7 posted 03-01-2013 08:30 PM

Well, hartville hardware had them for 675 on sale a few weeks ago, then I found a place closer that had them for 670 regular, 605 on sale for a week.

I just tried it like they saw, what a pain. If they would have just milled t slots like everyone else it’d be no big deal.

What would be my next best option if I take this back? I see the ridgid r4512 for 500 with stamped wings. I was planning to replace the fence on this anyways and it would need it even more. Any recommendations?

View toolie's profile

toolie

1762 posts in 1284 days


#8 posted 03-01-2013 08:44 PM

next logical step up would probably be a griz 0690/1 or a 1023, assuming you’re put off by steel city. both are well regarded, good value cabinet saws. none of that overpriced mustard yellow “gold standard” nonsense.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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nwbusa

1017 posts in 942 days


#9 posted 03-01-2013 09:36 PM

I agree with toolie, though note that the Grizzly saws are twice what you paid for the SC. Also need to consider the power requirements for the 3hp saws. Not sure if you have 240v available in your shop.

-- John, BC, Canada

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 1339 days


#10 posted 03-02-2013 06:20 AM

What about the go661? I was trying to keep it cheap and simple with the steel city but that’s how it goes. If they had the miter tracks machined in I’d be perfectly happy.

I could run a 3hp 230 saw, I had dreamed about getting a old unisaw awhile ago but they aren’t cheap either but you have something when you get done there.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1762 posts in 1284 days


#11 posted 03-02-2013 05:00 PM

but you have something when you get done there.

yes, an old right tilt cabinet saw. the right tilt and reduced mobility relative to a contractor saw on a herc-u-lift are what motivated me to sell the “old arn” unisaw i refurbished and keep my two contractor saws.

but your suggestion of the 661 is a good one. it’s ~$130 more than a 715p, but it’s fence offers 6” more rip capacity. either of those two would probably be a good step before the ~$1400 needed for a 3hp cabinet saw. and they are both dual voltage motors.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 1339 days


#12 posted 03-03-2013 06:04 AM

Good points toolie. Well I was wanting a contractor saw for lighter weight as well but now I’m thinking if you have a good enough mobile base it shouldn’t be a big deal. It takes up the same square feet if its a contractor or cabinet.

Found this 1023 on ebay close to me, was interested if he would come down on price till I looked it up and it’s the old model without a Riving knife. I could replace the 3 phase motor, he says its 3 horse but model number saws 5hp. And making rails wouldn’t be a big deal. But no riving knife is a deal breaker. Thoughts? Seems to me the 1023 new is a good deal, you get a lot for the money. just can’t see spending that much, would be overkill for me.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3PH-GRIZZLY-10-INCH-TABLE-SAW-W-FENCE-/151004665441?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2328945661

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5462 posts in 2031 days


#13 posted 03-03-2013 11:44 AM

A couple of random thoughts….

- I’d be hesitant to return an otherwise perfectly functioning 35990 until I’ve exhausted every possible fix for the miter slot issue….especially if you like the saw.

- More rip capacity can be added (pretty easily and cheaply) to most left tilt saws, so I wouldn’t let that be a big factor.

- The G1023 seems steep considering it’s 3phase, has a bad arbor, might be missing a wing, and doesn’t come with the rails. I’d have them double check the model number, get the specific suffix, and have them read the phase and hp from the motor plate….I didn’t know they offered a 3-phase motor for the 1023 (it’s obviously possible). It’d be very easy to typo “3ph” instead of “3hp” (could be a typo in your favor). Also, check what fence it has. I’m thinking $450 is more fair if it has the Shop Fox Classic fence, and truly has a 3-phase motor….I’d be willing to go a bit higher if the motor is 3hp single phase.

- The BORK aftermarket riving knife will fit the G1023. He’s made some nice updates to it recently too.

Good luck and please keep us posted!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 942 days


#14 posted 03-03-2013 03:14 PM

On the 35990 (C or G, it doesn’t matter) you want to loosen that “alignment bolt” because it HINDERS ALIGNMENT. :) (go figure). I mean, loosen the the nut from underneath until it’s nice and sloppy.

Installing the wings:
One at a time
Level FIRST. Just get CLOSE on the miter slot width, but keep it on the OVERsized side as you level the wing.
With the leveling pillars adjusted and the wing screwed down tight you attain level.
Now Loosen the mounting bolts for the wing but keep that leveling pillar locked in place.
Insert a 3/4 spacer in the miter slot and tap the wing in with a rubber mallet. Go slow. You’ll get it.

The split miter slots are DIFFERENT as is the wing mounting method. But not HARD once you figure out the mechanics behind it. Level wings FIRST, adjust miter slot width SECOND. Make a 3/4” spacerfor the miter slots. I have one and now I can loosen the wings, pull the wing away from the main table, align the main table to the blade, insert the spacer, tap the wing back in, tighten the mounting bolts, DONE!

Once the wings are LEVEL you don’t need to mess with the leveling pillars any more.
Once the table and blade are aligned you don’t need to mess with THAT any more.

I wrote this up in detail somewhere. First wing took me over an hour because I had to figure everything out. Second one took me maybe 15 minutes. Now I can loosen or remove them and get them back on and adjusted in minutes. NO SHIMS like a “normal” wing because you adjust using the leveling pillars.

Just remember to REALLY loosen that alignment stud. That drove me nuts. And just snug it when you’re done so the nut doesn’t fall off. :) Once the wing is secured with the mounting bolts closest to the main table, it ain’t goin’ anywhere.

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 942 days


#15 posted 03-03-2013 03:22 PM

OK that was easy..
Found it. Read this.

Should fix ya right up.

Oh and yes, for some of the table-to-cabinet bolts, you need to be somewhat of a contortionist, but no worse that when I was trying to loosen trunion bolts on an R4512 (table mounted). The cabinet mounted trunions are easier, believe me.

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