enter the bear

you’ve come a long way baby

My dad was probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to getting me started in woodworking.  He’d probably consider himself more of a do-it-yourselfer than a woodworker.  Nevertheless, he has built lots of stuff using what many woodworkers would consider very primitive and, dare I say “cheap” power tools.  I’ve had my share of inexpensive tools as well – and I have certainly built many things with them.  But occasionally the opportunity comes along to upgrade.

time and money; money and time – but not necessarily in that order and not necessarily at the same time

Pictured below is my progression of table saw upgrades.  The little Craftsman is the tool I’ve had for the longest, and built the most with.  I still have the saw, partly because I don’t think it would be worth the effort to sell, but also because I’ve been playing around with turning it into a disc sander (that probably won’t happen).  Right now, it’s just a miter saw table.  It doesn’t have wheels, so moving it is a real pain.

IMG_1062

the old Craftsman tables (now a miter saw table)

The Rigid was an upgrade from about a year or so ago.  After getting the saw I was extremely impressed, especially when comparing it to the Craftsman.  Of course, after getting the saw and using it for some time I started seeing negative comments from other owners regarding the saw’s setup accuracy.  So I took a closer look at mine to see if I had one of these not-up-to-par saws.  Luckily, after lots of inspection it turned out that I got one of the good ones.👍

the Ridgid upgrade

the Ridgid upgrade

I’d likely been satisfied with the Rigid and never considered upgrading if it weren’t for my recent sale of another toy – yes, I sold my Harley.  😥   This put a little cash in my tool fund so I jumped on the opportunity to upgrade – yet again.  This time I went with the Grizzly 10″ cabinet saw.  I bounced back and forth on which version to get (the G0691 has a wider table).  If I had a larger, more dedicated, shop I’d likely had gotten the wider one, but I’m afraid moving and storing that beast would be too much of a chore – and I tend to move tools a lot.

So now I currently have 3 table saws – I do plan on selling off the older ones.

now for the review

When the Grizzly G0690 finally arrived it came in 3 boxes, the heaviest being about 500 lbs.  The saw was packaged extremely well and I didn’t notice any damage on the packaging or the components inside.  I took the packaging off and cleaned the table surface with Simple Green.  There wasn’t as much cosmoline on this tool as previous purchased Grizzly tools – but it was still very well protected.

the grizzly g0690 - as rec'd

the grizzly g0690 – as rec’d – not a one man moving job – but I managed

g0690 - packaging

very nice packaging

g0690 - unboxed

g0690 unboxed

A couple of things I’d like to see differently, right off the bat, is the green stripe at the bottom of the saw is nothing more than a sticker.  I  burnished all the stickers down a little more just for good measure.  There was a gap all around the motor door when closed.  This really isn’t a big thing but if I want the dust collection to work its best, I’ll have to do something about this – I’ll probably put some type of door gasket here when I seal up the rest of the gaps in the saw later.

g0690 - green tape

green tape – I was afraid I’d mess this up putting it into the mobile base

g0690 - motor door

motor door – this gap is a little concerning but I’ll seal it up when I go over the rest of the saw and seal up any other gaps

moving the beast

I had purchased the recommended mobile base from Grizzly and had it assemble and waiting for the saw.  The base of the saw is 20″ x 20″ but I assembled it to about 21″ x 21″ and after walking the saw into the base (remember this thing is 500+ lbs.) I tapped the mobile base up tight to the saw with a rubber hammer – then snugged the bolts down.  This seemed to work pretty good.

walking the saw on to the mobile base

walking the saw on to the mobile base (I ended up putting the saw on the base backwards to what I intended, but I wasn’t gonna change it after I realized it – I’ll just live with it)

assembly elves

It appeared after reviewing the assembly instructions that some of the steps had already been completed by the assembly elves prior to arrival.  Thanks guys. 👍

on the level

After reading others online reviews and setup reviews (and even the instructions suggested it) I figured the cast iron table wings were gonna be in need of some shimming to get flat with the cast iron top.  But much to my surprise the wings bolted up flat right from the get-go.  In fact, the needed absolutely no tweeting or calibrating at all.

IMG_1040

installing the cast iron wings

IMG_1039

no shimming needed

off the rails

The rails and rip fence were individually boxed and boxed very well. Had I upgraded to the wider saw these would be the main components that would have been different.  The Rigid has a good rip fence but was a bear to adjust.  In fact the last time I did I ended up stripping the 4 tiny adjustment screws and had to replace them.  The Grizzly fence system is the best I’ve had this far.  It moves like silk, easy to fine tune, and has almost no deflection.

IMG_1042

the rail system

the fence

the fence

more power Scottie

The saw came with a 6 foot power cord but I decided to replace it with a longer (20 ft), more supple, cord.  And since I had to run 240v for this new beast I had a twist-lock receptacle installed and I put a twist lock plug on the new power cord.

new power cord and recep (top) , old on bittom

new power cord and recep (top) , old on bottom

nickel test

So there is this thing called the nickel test people do when you set up a new tool to see how smooth the motor is on startup. What you do is stand a nickel on end and start-up the machine.  If there is no vibration, the nickel remains standing. Well, mine failed!  Well, it did during the first startup.  After running it for a few mins, stopping and restarting it a couple of times, I guess all the wrinkles got ironed out and it managed to pass.

conclusion

I’ve been using this saw for a few months now and actually used it for my recent bookcase build and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with it.  My only complaint might be that I didn’t get the wider model and that I now have to build new jigs for it as the ones I built for the rigid won’t fit.

I actually sold the Rigid to a friend who had the contractors version and his crew had lost the fence. Rigid wanted $300 just for the fence. 😳

btw

In no manner was I compensated for this review and I am not endorsing any of these products.  I have received no monies (yes, that is a real word) from Craftsman, Ridgid, or Grizzly – but I’m open to negotiations – have your people call my people. 😳


Advertisements

One thought on “enter the bear

  1. Pingback: chasing decimals | SouthernGrain | woodcraft & design by David Colley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s