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Thread: New (to me) General 350 Table Saw

  1. #1
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    Cool New (to me) General 350 Table Saw

    Finally pulled the trigger on a new saw. Still love my Rockwell Beaver 34090A but thinking of some bigger projects and decided to get a full size cabinet saw. I'll be looking for a new home for the Rockwell Beaver once I get the General up and running. According to the seller this saw was used to build one home and then stored for 20 years so it's low mileage, runs smooth blade moves up and down and tilts effortlessly. Don't have a precision straight edge but using what I have the top is dead flat. Missing the motor cover which I understand was optional so probably never had one, it's on my list to fabricate with a dust port. The catch for the access door is missing a part but I think I can fab one (the seller said he might be able to find one for me). It had the original General fence with the pipes front and back and an extension table, not unlike the original fence on the Beaver but a little better. I talked the seller into swapping the fence for a Biesemeyer he had on another saw (he's retired and buy, refurbishes and sells saws etc as a hobby business). The mounting angles and rectangular tube have seen better days and are a little shorter than I want so I'm getting replacements from a recycler which I'll clean up, paint and drill as required. The fence itself needs a little work. My Delta T2 copy of the Bessy rides on a pair of nylon screws for adjustment, this Bessy gas a couple steel screws in that place so it's steel on painted steel, so I'll have to either get replacement pads or go the nylon screw route like the Delta fence. The fence has nylon pads on the bottom where it rides on the table, my Delta fence has a nylon guide at the back which rides on the rear angle iron, I understand the Bessy does not have a guide which rides on the angle so it it just rides on the table, might add a rear guide like the Delta fence.
    Other than those small mods, I need to make a mobile base for it with a router station in the extension (more on that when I get into it), don't have welding skills so I'm going for a wooden structure with some angle iron to support the saw. I've got some tropical hardwood from some stone shipping frames about 3" x 3", looks like some kind of Mahogany, very heavy and strong. Anyone care to share their wooden mobile base ideas or plans? Plan on 4 locking casters from Lee Valley, which I have on most of my shop tools and carts, they have a load capacity of 100 KG or 220 pounds, the saw itself is around 450 pounds plus say another 100 pounds for fence, storage, extension table with router etc so well under the 880 pound capacity of 4 casters. Need to add 240V to the shop for it. It's a 1 1/2 HP dual voltage motor currently wired for 240 V. I plan on adding a 20 Amp 240 Volt outlet next to my panel in the garage (12 Ga wire), I might cut the existing 20 ft cord leaving say 3 ft on the saw and making the rest an extension cord so I can unplug right at the saw. Make sense? In a thread a few years back Rod Sheridan suggested running 3 conductor wire and installing both a 240 V and split 120 V outlet in a 4 x 4 box, looks like a good idea.
    Based on the serial number it was built in 1972.
    One more question, there is a 3/4" bar out the back with a bracket on it for the splitter supported blade guard. The manual says it's threaded (Threaded support rod part # 357-15A), the part which projects outside the cabinet is not threaded and while it is easy to turn, turning it seems to have no effect. I expected it would spin off but after 15 to 20 rotations it hasn't moved out at all. I may end up leaving it on to support the guard if my shop made overhead guard doesn't work out but I'm puzzled why it turns freely but doesn't spin off. I suspect it's held on with a retainer which is covered by the bracket which supports the splitter on the arbour. No need to remove it now, just curious what's there since the manual describes it as a threaded rod which it doesn't seem to be.
    Any suggestions on dust collection would be welcome, I have seen a few comment that a dust port on the motor cover is ineffective.
    20210913_145233.jpg20210913_145431.jpg20210913_145449.jpg20210913_161544.jpg





  2. #2
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    Anybody out there with a Bessy, mind checking the gap between the vertical leg of the front 3" x 3" angle (ie front rail) and the 3" x 2" guide tube that the tee section rides on. Looks like about 3/4" should work, same as the Delta T2. Since I'm using all new tube and angles I need drill new holes.




  3. #3
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    That is a great looking saw Doug. I love those old Generals.

  4. #4
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    The shaft out back is to support the guard/splitter.

    It shouldn't be loose, probably a setscrew needs tightening. The rod rotates with the trunion tilt so the guard/splitter tilts.

    Regards, Rod.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    The shaft out back is to support the guard/splitter.

    It shouldn't be loose, probably a setscrew needs tightening. The rod rotates with the trunion tilt so the guard/splitter tilts.

    Regards, Rod.
    Thanks Rod, I was aware it supports the splitter/guard and I have the splitter & guard. I have a shop made guard with dust collection which I might install, if so I'll want to remove the bar and bracket on it. It's not loose, just spins freely which I agree is to allow it to rotate when tilting the blade. The confusing part is, the manual describes it as part 357- 15A a threaded support rod so I assumed it would spin off. Looking closer, there is a bracket which holds the front part of the splitter on the trunion and is held in place with two bolts, I suspect removing that bracket exposes the end of the rod and how it is retained, probably a clip of some kind. For now I'll leave it in place as I need the splitter/guard.

  6. #6
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    IF they are both pushbutton control I would go with the riving knife. I would put the unifence on the one I keep. You can buy the longer unifence rail for about $100 and lean it up in the corner for "whenever". Or you can buy a complete longer unifence, with or without saw attached. And mix and match rails and sell the third saw.
    I bought a Unisaw just to swap motors and resold the now under powered one for what I bought it for. Motor swap was done and sold in about one week. I sold it to the used tool store to get rid of it quickly and easily. They have a forklift and cash.
    Bill D

  7. #7
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    There was a set screw on the inside of the base on mine. There is a notch you can feel on the motor side where the rod goes on to the trunnion. If I recall it was as a 4 or 5 mm set screw.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    IF they are both pushbutton control I would go with the riving knife. I would put the unifence on the one I keep. You can buy the longer unifence rail for about $100 and lean it up in the corner for "whenever". Or you can buy a complete longer unifence, with or without saw attached. And mix and match rails and sell the third saw.
    I bought a Unisaw just to swap motors and resold the now under powered one for what I bought it for. Motor swap was done and sold in about one week. I sold it to the used tool store to get rid of it quickly and easily. They have a forklift and cash.
    Bill D
    I think you meant this for Eric's thread on the General vs Uni

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Tubergen View Post
    There was a set screw on the inside of the base on mine. There is a notch you can feel on the motor side where the rod goes on to the trunnion. If I recall it was as a 4 or 5 mm set screw.
    Thanks I'll look for it if I decide to remove the rod.

  10. #10
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    Hit a bit of a roadblock. Don't know if it was properly aligned before but after moving my saw, the blade was out of alignment by 0.033" front to back. Followed the procedure to adjust it. Loosened all but one bolt and hit the top with hammer and block of wood. Got it to 0.020" but no further. Tried loosening the fourth bolt, still no joy. Tried tightening a different bolt thinking the top might have maxed out the slot clearance with the back right bolt tight. Still no joy. Thought maybe saw was shifting on the base rather than the top shifting on the cabinet so I wedged the cabinet in the base (I need more work on the base but that's a separate issue), still no joy. Thought top was seized to cabinet with rust as the saw has sat for years so I loosened all the bolts. Sprayed WD40 around the top of the cabinet and tapped the top up with the hammer and block, still no joy. Other than applying more force and I'm giving it a good whack with a heavy hammer, not sure what to do next. Here's a picture of my measuring jig which holds the micrometer in the miter gage slot.
    I also checked it with just an adjustable square and confirmed it is out.TS TUNING.jpg
    Just to be sure the top wasn't seized to the cabinet I used a car jack and gently lifted left and right sides of the top off the cabinet with all the bolts loose and then lowered it back down.
    Any suggestions?

  11. #11
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    As I recall fine woodworking had an article on cleaning and tuning several years back. While I never needed to do the full cleaning etc they showed lifting the table all the way off (2 people) but it gives you access to the belts - and potentially a good opportunity to replace them and also check that the trunnion has not shifted on the bolts that hold it to the cabinet. May be room to shift this a bit to get he alignment set. One quick question Would be how far out it shift the other way. The slots could be packed with crud. I would consider lifting the table to inspect

  12. #12
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    Thanks Paul, It was out 33 thou and I have it down to 17 thou. I blew out the slots with air on the three loose bolts, put a pipe clamp on the table across the back and used that plus the fence rail to twist it the direction it has to go, still can't get it down to something acceptable (around 5 thou). Working on my own so removing the table isn't going to happen until I can get some help. I might twist it back the other way just to see how far it will go then jack the top up so I can make sure the slots are clear and maybe file them to get the extra 12 to 17 thou I need. Still open to suggestions.

  13. #13
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    Doug I have filed the slots on the top of a Unisaw cabinet for exactly what you are dealing with on your saw. I agree with Paul that there may be room to shift the trunnions on the cabinet as well. Both of these solutions involve removing the top though. Do you know anyone that you could borrow an engine hoist from ?

  14. #14
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    Without the extension wings, the top isnt too bad. Maybe 75lbs? If you had a platform on sawhorses, you could scoot the top off and on by yourself. Otherwise, an engine hoist with straps would be an easy one man solution. I picked up a 2 or 4 ton hoist 6ish months ago for $100. Its a handy thing to have around.

  15. #15
    As I recall the trunnion and table top are held down by the same set of bolts so getting them aligned is challenging. As suggested, you may need to enlarge the bolt holes to make it happen. Other than that they are nice saws, although any spare parts will be hard to source. I would look at getting a shark guard or an insert mounted splitter for safety.

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