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Thread: General 650 purchase decision

  1. #1

    General 650 purchase decision

    Hi, ! Iím a beginner woodworker getting a shop setup... Iíve come across a General 650 3HP that seems to be very well taken care of and comes with several blades, dado sets, and a sled, outfeed table and mobile base. Iíve got them down to $1250 and seems like thatís going to be the number if I want it. Seems like this saw is very highly regarded, but not a lot of info out there on it and mixed info as to availability of parts... that being said, it also doesnít seem like anything would break on this thing that cant be replaced with aftermarket, ie: fence, motor, bearings... Iíve been struggling with whether I want to take up the room in my garage or not, but at the end of the day, I dont think that I want to settle for a portable bench top saw, so why not go big? Also, Iíd probably cut down the rails to save room if it came down to it. Question is.... at $1250, should I do it, or wait for something else to come along, or is there something in that price range that I should consider instead? Thanks for the help!

    A3D87D71-39B7-4AA5-8613-A5B866435E4F.jpg

  2. #2
    That saw with the extras seems like a good deal to me. You will love it.

    I have a PM66 but at the time I bought it General was on the list.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    5,380
    Is that US or Canada dollars? Seems high for USA. Location. A used Unisaw 400-600 US here.
    Bil lD

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
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    1,750
    That is no Unisaw. General (Canada) saws are the best cabinet saw ever made. I know that comment will excite some guys around here but they are that good. Buy that thing now . I see them in the 1500-2500 range Canadian about 5-8 times a year. There is a fair bit more cast iron in the trunnion system on these saws compared to a Uni and they run smoother. Have a Baldor motor stock. The 650 is also the left tilt version.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the responses! This is exactly the feedback I needed to pull the trigger.. hopefully its still available!
    Bill, I was struggling with pricing on this, but everything I was finding that would be possible alternatives locally over the past 8-10 weeks were pretty beat up PM66ís and unisaws for 6-800 that were in need of a fence, mobile base, possibly a motor, and a few were 3PH and I didnít really want to deal with VFD or phase converter,.. or paying 300-400 for a single phase motor replacement... at the end of the day, those would have been as much or more all-in and Iíd have a project on my hands. Iíll keep you all posted on this!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    785
    That’s a great price for that saw in today’s market - which is slightly inflated because of the pandemic.

    Anyone who tells you that price is high hasn’t tried to buy anything in the current climate. There is not a lot of inventory new or used in most places. Especially in good condition.

    Ask yourself its worth this way: What other saw can you buy new for 1250$ today if you wanted ?

  7. #7
    Looks like Iíll be picking it up today or tomorrow, so now I have a few more questions =)

    They are also selling a delta 50-850 dust collector with tubing for $200.. might be able to get that down, but would that be a good unit/ price? Itís probably bigger than what Iíd want in my garage, but might grab it for now if its a good price? Seems that from what Iíve researched Iíd have to spend another $200 on a better filter?

    And finally, Iíve done some research about what to look for when evaluating a used table saw, but any additional input would be great. Hereís what Iím thinking...
    1. Bring a level or straight to evaluate table flatness.
    2. Run arbor / blade assembly through full range
    3. Listen for any obvious issues from motor/ bearings
    4. Check belts
    5. Check fence for operation and accuracy.
    6. ??
    I read that I should check the castings for cracks, etc... I assume I can only see so much with a flashlight and mirror without taking the table off?
    Anything else you would recommend or that I should look for?

    Additionally, as far as loading this up, Iím planning on bringing a friend and the seller said they would help load it. Iíve got a low trailer and the saw is on on a mobile base,.. probably no clearance to be able to get much help from that, but whatís the best way to approach this? Should I plan to remove the table? If so, I assume a set of sockets should be all I need?

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Black Oak Ark.
    Posts
    149
    Not to preach , but get that weight predominatly in front of the axle . Some don't know that , so just an FYI . Sounds like a good buy .

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Is that US or Canada dollars? Seems high for USA. Location. A used Unisaw 400-600 US here.
    Bil lD
    Maybe where you are, but here it is close to double that for one in good condition with a 3 hp motor. Assuming you can even find a used one.

    Powermatics can go for 3 times that amount.

    The used tool market is very uneven around the country.

  10. #10
    Not sure how much you were planning to dismantle it at all for transport but
    1.) I would take off the cast iron top - BE SURE to watch for shims at each of the 4 bolts holding the top on, and note WHERE they came from (which corner) so you can put them back
    2.) I'd also remove the motor as a 3HP motor is heavy and bouncing in a trailer won't do any good for the motor mount.

  11. #11
    That's a beautiful, classic saw, that came straight from the factory, with fully flattened and aligned tables. Use care moving it. I've owned PM66s and I've worked on a General and General would be my choice any day. You just can't beat the quality of that saw. It's a heirloom, for sure. Enjoy!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    2,281
    Boy, if it is set up and everything is flat, square, and true I wouldn't take it apart. Hire a rigger (not two yokels with a truck) if you can't manage it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central MA
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    1,375
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Beaupre View Post
    Not sure how much you were planning to dismantle it at all for transport but
    1.) I would take off the cast iron top - BE SURE to watch for shims at each of the 4 bolts holding the top on, and note WHERE they came from (which corner) so you can put them back
    2.) I'd also remove the motor as a 3HP motor is heavy and bouncing in a trailer won't do any good for the motor mount.
    This saw (and every cabinet saw) shipped from the factory with the motor and top installed. Removing them for just transport is a fools errand.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,750
    My pet system for hauling table saws is to flip them upside down in my pickup. They are top heavy machines and ride like a dream when upside down. the only thing I take apart is the fence/side table. I have loaded 4-5 Unisaws by backing up to them and dropping the tailgate and just tipping them on, then keep rotating until they are upside down. Wrap two ratchet straps around them one behind the saw fasten to the front of box, the other in front of saw fasten to the rear of box. An old piece of carpet or even cardboard under the saw to protect the top.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
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    15,600
    Quote Originally Posted by Blakemore Kearney View Post
    Looks like I’ll be picking it up today or tomorrow, so now I have a few more questions =)

    They are also selling a delta 50-850 dust collector with tubing for $200.. might be able to get that down, but would that be a good unit/ price? It’s probably bigger than what I’d want in my garage, but might grab it for now if its a good price? Seems that from what I’ve researched I’d have to spend another $200 on a better filter?
    Thanks again!
    $200 is a good price if it hasn't been beat to death. I’ve been using the Delta 50-850 for many years. It’s a decent DC - not great, but not bad either. It’s 1-1/2hp. The original Delta bags are horrible. You’ll want to upgrade to 1 or Ĺ micron bags ASAP if it hasn’t been upgraded already. You can also do a canister filter upgrade. Congrats on the General 650, it’s a great saw.
    Please help support the Creek.

    When I was a kid I wanted to be older...this is not what I expected.

    ---

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