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Thread: What are the best contractor / hybrid saws in the $500 - $1K range?

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Posts
    2,058
    I was able to pick up a slightly used Grizzly/Polar Bear 0715 for around 5 Benjamins recently. The PO stated he only had issues with the 45* tilting alignment but he squared it before I got my mitts on it. Good power with 220 volts-not sure if this is an issue for you. If you get one of the Grizzly machines, do yourself a favor; get rid of the blade that comes with it and get some better quality cutters for the machine. Makes all the difference in the world for quality cuts.
    Keep your eye on the local classified ads such as Craigslist or newspaper ads; you may get lucky like I did.

  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Saul View Post
    I do have a question though - the saw is bolted down to the pallet for stability, which is nice, but it's not obvious to me how to remove the bolts, and there's no mention of it in the manual (which, I might add, is all in English). Any tips for unbolting the saw?
    Congrats.

    The saw is held onto the pallet with socket head cap screws. You will need a hex key to undo them. You will have to lay on the ground and reach in under the pallet to undo it. I believe there's either 2 or 4 bolts.

  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Martel View Post
    Congrats.

    The saw is held onto the pallet with socket head cap screws. You will need a hex key to undo them. You will have to lay on the ground and reach in under the pallet to undo it. I believe there's either 2 or 4 bolts.
    THANK YOU for the pro tip. It ended up being really simple to detach the saw from the pallet, but it sure wasn't obvious that a hex key was the answer. You saved me all sorts of frustration.

    I moved the saw onto the Shop Fox mobile base, and attached the cast iron wings. This was a heck of a job to do solo, but I managed. My next question for you guys is, how perfectly level must the wings be to the saw?

    I've got it pretty close - as close as I can get it without using shims and seriously upping the frustration level. I haven't broke out the feeler gauges and taken any hardcore measurements, but my gut is that the saw is more perfectly flat than the wood I'll ever put on it. If I'm being nitpicky though, the right hand side of the table, where it meets the wing, seems to be ever so slightly proud in its center relative to the wing. Or, maybe the wing is slightly concave. But again, this difference is only ever so slightly noticeable when running a hand across the top, and basically invisible to the naked eye, even when using a straight edge. I want to call this good, but tell me if i'm wrong.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    4,712
    If the wood doesn't catch on the wings in either direction, you should be good. Get the blade aligned with the miter slots, then adjust the fence to be parallel with the miter slots too. I'd make some test cuts first before checking the wing flatness further. If it cuts perfectly, no need for further adjustment.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  5. #50
    Josh,

    Congrats on the new saw. I hope you love it as much as I love mine. You're not kidding about the wings being tough to do by yourself. You know what they say around here, no pics and it didn't happen! Best of luck! Glad to see you were able to overcome the shipping issue and get a great saw for your money.

  6. #51
    Pics to come, I swear.

    I'm still only about 75% through the assembly, since I was away from home over the weekend. So, if you recall from early in the thread, I have a shiny new Delta T2 fence here from my abandoned Craftsman 113 rehab project. I was going to try to put that on my 0771, if possible. It's looking now like that's not going to happen. The holes on the Delta rails *almost* align, to the point where drilling new holes in the rail wouldn't leave enough meat for the hardware to hold on to. I could always drill new holes into the table and the rails, but that's where the law of diminishing returns kicks in for me. As much as I like the Delta fence, I would much rather find something that's closer to a direct replacement.

    And the thing is, I think I'm going to want a new fence for this saw sooner rather than later. Others have said that the fence is a weak point on the 0771, and I think I agree. With the obvious caveats about how I haven't made the first cut yet, it's not just that the fence is lacking Bies-style functionality i want, it's just not built up to the same heft as the rest of the machine. It feels like it belongs on some other, lesser saw.

    Also, as others have noted, it's during the fence part of the assembly that you start to get into areas where the instructions are either unclear or just plain wrong in a few places. It's as if they've made some adjustments to the hardware and fasteners that are included that are likely an improvement, but none of these changes are reflected in the manual. I mean, how hard would it be to include a link to a revised manual, or attach an addendum as a PDF in an email when the order ships? I'm not accustomed to this sort indifference to important details with any other sort of product.

    In the meantime, if anyone knows of aftermarket fences that are more a direct replacement I can start lusting over, share away. Window shopping is at least half the fun.
    Last edited by Josh Saul; 05-13-2015 at 1:38 AM.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    4,712
    You might check with Grizzly's tech service about aftermarket fences.... one of theirs could be a direct fit. If not, the Vega is a great fence, sometimes a good bargain, and is an easier install than most.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Huntington, WV
    Posts
    32
    You might want to look at shop fox fences, I believe the shop fox line is made by grizzly, there is a chance they might line up. There is a guy in Huntington that stocks some shop fox fences, even has Shop Fox machines in his store. Give him a call he has always been very helpful to me, his shop is called Withrow Sharpening Services.

  9. #54
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Mililani, Hawaii
    Posts
    175
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Saul View Post
    The holes on the Delta rails *almost* align, to the point where drilling new holes in the rail wouldn't leave enough meat for the hardware to hold on to.
    The T2 fence is very nice, it's like a Biesemeyer Jr. but with a smaller front tube and a rail at the rear that the fence rides on. If it were me, I wouldn't give up on the T2 fence just yet...

    The rails are just made from a steel 1-1/2"x1-1/2"x1/4" angle, I'd just get some new steel angles and drill the holes as necessary. Steel is cheap and the 1-1/2" angle shape is very common that any steel supplier will have it in stock. An hour or so of your time and can of spray paint and you I think you can adapt the T2 fence system successfully.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Mort Stevens View Post
    The T2 fence is very nice, it's like a Biesemeyer Jr. but with a smaller front tube and a rail at the rear that the fence rides on. If it were me, I wouldn't give up on the T2 fence just yet...
    I'm not ready to kick it out the door yet, because it is so nice. I'm really bummed that installing it as-is isn't an option. I am still not crazy about the stock fence. It's not a T-square design, and I feel like I'll always have to nudge and measure, nudge and measure, to get straight accurate cuts. Getting a piece of angle iron and drilling out all those holes myself is an option. I'm thinking about it. But at a certain point I'll have to decide how much value I put on my time. If something out there is a direct replacement, I'll have a hard time not pulling the trigger.

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Mort Stevens View Post
    The rails are just made from a steel 1-1/2"x1-1/2"x1/4" angle, I'd just get some new steel angles and drill the holes as necessary. Steel is cheap and the 1-1/2" angle shape is very common that any steel supplier will have it in stock. An hour or so of your time and can of spray paint and you I think you can adapt the T2 fence system successfully.
    Back to what Mort was suggesting - I don't know why this didn't occur to me earlier, but I think a very simple solution has been sitting right in front of me all along.

    The problem is that there are too many pre-drilled mounting holes on the rails. So just flip the rails over and end-for-end, and drill all new mounting holes on the other side of the angle, the one with fewer holes. (Or in the case of the back rail, no holes.) For the front rail, drill new holes to mount the tube. I checked, and the existing holes won't interfere with this. The key, as Mort pointed out, is that the rails are just angled steel, and both sides of the angle are the same size.

    Is there any reason why this won't work? I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to think of it.

  12. #57
    Definitely watching your solution for this. I will be getting a different fence eventually, and the T2 is definitely cheaper than a Vega.

  13. #58
    Josh, Were you able to install the Delta T3 on the grizzly?

    I am in the exact same situation as you. I was upfitting a craftsman 113 and the motor went out on me. Now I have a T3 fence, HTC mobile base and diablo blade all looking for a new saw. I'm seriously considering a the grizzly you ordered. Would love to hear how the fence installed and any suggestions/pictures you have for installing.

  14. #59
    I haven't installed the Delta fence yet. I'm pretty sure it will work, for the reasons above. But the reason why I haven't installed it yet is that even thought the stock fence is aluminum and doesn't have that unobtanium Biese feel to it, I still haven't had actual problems with it yet. Maybe I just got lucking setting my saw up. If I get to the point where I outgrow it as my woodworking progresses, then I'll make the switch.

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