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Thread: Harvey Slider on Unisaw?

  1. #1
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    Harvey Slider on Unisaw?

    All these slider threads got me thinking. Does anyone here have the Harvey compass st-1500 attached to their unisaw? Can you speak on the quality, ease of attachment, capabilities and shortcomings? Thank you in advance!
    "The reward of a thing well done is having done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
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    John, one thing to keep in mind that the add on "sliders" for cabinet saws are not the same thing that a sliding table saw features, especially relative to the position of the blade relative to the sliding mechanism. I've not seen the Harvey, per se, but have seen many folks using the SS equivalent. My biggest concern would be if they stay dialed in. If so, they can be very helpful with many operations.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Hey Jim, oh I'm completely aware of the differences and limitations of cabinet sliders. (one day) I'll get a true slider but I'm keeping my uni for a while since I'd need to relocate to larger space, etc. I use a sled(s) currently but the specs on that Harvey are really attractive and I've looked at the different offerings through the years without any enthusiasm. I guess the Excalibur was the go to for years but meh.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kananis View Post
    All these slider threads got me thinking. Does anyone here have the Harvey compass st-1500 attached to their unisaw? Can you speak on the quality, ease of attachment, capabilities and shortcomings? Thank you in advance!
    I do and I love it. It slides so smoothly I slide it back and forth just to feel the quality. It's rock solid. The fence stays square. Haven't had any problems with dust buildup. No problem recommending it.

    I modified the attachment because my saw is on a mobile base. I used the legs and some angle brackets to secure it to the mobile base. You can see it here at post #19 https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?291149-Harvey-Alpha-HW110S-36-Review

    I also modified the fence attachment using cam levers instead of having to reach for an Allen wrench each time it's adjusted.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Hi Julie, beautiful saw and I really like how you organized blades, etc. Also, I have a similar base on my saw but two wheels stay on the ground with mine... your base is much better engineered but I don't think it was available when I got mine.

    Thanks for passing along your experience. I'm still curious how it would "fit" my unisaw.

  6. #6
    I cannot speak to the Harvey, but, a while back I had a buddy buy the largest Excalibur (I think that was the name) to put on his older pre 1960’s UniSaw and it was great. He was a machinist by trade and was able to dial it in perfectly so that it was as square and tuned up as any real slider would be. He modified his and was able to break down full sheets of plywood with absolute accuracy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Robbinett View Post
    I cannot speak to the Harvey, but, a while back I had a buddy buy the largest Excalibur (I think that was the name) to put on his older pre 1960’s UniSaw and it was great. He was a machinist by trade and was able to dial it in perfectly so that it was as square and tuned up as any real slider would be. He modified his and was able to break down full sheets of plywood with absolute accuracy.
    I have the Excalibur slider and it will take a full sheet as it sits. Crosscutting longer boards or something wide that would be a real challenge otherwise is where I really like it. I've not had any sheet goods on it.

  8. #8
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    When I had an Excalibur on my Unisaw I found the problem of keeping it adjusted and square was the legs moving on the floor. Once I figured that out I used a sheet of plywood with the leg locations marked out and drilled holes for them to drop into. Once the plywood was fastened on the floor my problems of constantly adjusting were over and it worked very well. The sliding attachment like you are looking at seems like it would work very well. I have seen and checked out the Sawstop version like it at a store. Putting the sliding extension on a Cabinet saw is the first step or should I say leap into the "rabbit hole" of sliders.... BE CAREFUL

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    Putting the sliding extension on a Cabinet saw is the first step or should I say leap into the "rabbit hole" of sliders.... BE CAREFUL
    LOL

    Rather than descending into a hole, I find it to be an elevation. Other than the balance in one's wallet, of course.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    I had an Excalibur attachment on a Unisaw for about 20 years. Once I replaced the bowed guide rail and reinforced the angle braces it worked well for crosscutting sheet stock, lumber and large assemblies. The size of the table made it effective for supporting large pieces. Still, it lacked some critical features of a true format slider, specifically the length of cut to straightline a full sheet and close proximity of the carriage to the blade which facilitates a lot of operations, and the sliding action was not as precise and solid. It looks to me like the Harvey unit is well made and should serve well, but for handling full sheets you will want some outboard support and the crosscut fence is not as long as I would want. Perhaps the fence extrusion will accept an extension. A clamp would be a good addition as well.

  11. #11
    had two excaliburs on one saw for cross cutting only. A thing that worked excellent. Cross cut left, slide over to right stop and cut.

    There are different generations of them and i had the first Gen. As sheet size increased accuracy decreased. You set up and cut square and the next cut might be off. Im sure they improved them each generation.

    I bought a sliding table saw used for less than what those attachments cost.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, guys. Over the years, I've looked at the Excalibur products and they never really left an impression. I really like the design of the Harvey. However, speaking with them gave me some reservations:

    The first person I some with (I was asking about compatability) asked what type of saw I had. I replied a unisaw. He asked who the manufacturer was (LOL) and I said delta. He said that he never heard of it and their product wouldn't fit saws such as mine because they were designed for light duty on the jobsite.. it took me a sec to gather my wits and ask to speak to a tech guy that's been around for a while - trying to give the benefit of the doubt to a new/young/inexperienced person...

    He put me through to a tech that handles escalated calls. I asked if he familiar with my saw. He says absolutely. I confirm we're talking about the same product and ask if it fits. He says he thinks so and asks me to measure the width and depth of the miter slot on the left side of the blade. WTH is happening? I asked what that has to do with compatability. He said he wasn't sure and took a long pause. I chose to hang up at that point. I was honestly ready to place an order over the phone and didn't mind doing some minor modifying myself. Kind of turned off now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kananis View Post
    Thanks, guys. Over the years, I've looked at the Excalibur products and they never really left an impression. I really like the design of the Harvey. However, speaking with them gave me some reservations:

    The first person I some with (I was asking about compatability) asked what type of saw I had. I replied a unisaw. He asked who the manufacturer was (LOL) and I said delta. He said that he never heard of it and their product wouldn't fit saws such as mine because they were designed for light duty on the jobsite.. it took me a sec to gather my wits and ask to speak to a tech guy that's been around for a while - trying to give the benefit of the doubt to a new/young/inexperienced person...

    He put me through to a tech that handles escalated calls. I asked if he familiar with my saw. He says absolutely. I confirm we're talking about the same product and ask if it fits. He says he thinks so and asks me to measure the width and depth of the miter slot on the left side of the blade. WTH is happening? I asked what that has to do with compatability. He said he wasn't sure and took a long pause. I chose to hang up at that point. I was honestly ready to place an order over the phone and didn't mind doing some minor modifying myself. Kind of turned off now.
    In their defense that is sort of like calling the Ford dealer to see if their bed will fit on your Chevy. I wouldn't expect that they would be experts on what else they fit and they certainly won't warrant it to fit anything but a Harvey just as SawStop won't tell you how to fit theirs on a Grizzly. The best you can do and Julie might be the go to on this is to know where the mounting holes are located. It's likely you will have to drill new holes and possibly tap them in your saw or in the slider. Some onsite engineering will be required without a doubt. How much you can or are willing to do is in your wheelhouse. Julie already stated it works very well so that's probably as much of an endorsement as you can ask for. Good luck whatever you decide.

  14. #14
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    I would have respected them saying that they weren't sure about compatability and offering the specifications for the mounting holes, etc. If I called a Ford dealership and told them I currently drive a Chevy, I certainly wouldn't expect them to say they never heard of one... and regardless of make or model, if you ask the same dealership what size tires you need, you wouldn't expect them to ask my if you have cloth or leather seats... rim size maybe.

  15. #15
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    Should not be too complicated. It will bolt to your existing extension wing holes. Worst case may include drilling a new hole or two on a bracket.

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