Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Assembling the new SawStop

This should have been the Christmas card that I sent out this year.

Yup, there was another SawStop under my tree this year. Well, if I actually had a tree.

Earlier this year, I bought their Contractor saw. While it was a perfectly nice saw, I was slightly underwhelmed with the fence on it. For my shop, and my students, it seemed a little less durable than it should be. Do you have any idea how hard people can be with the tools at my shop?

The good news is - I had an opportunity to sell the smaller saw and upgrade to their Professional saw. Um... where do I send the check?

I jumped at the chance. A week later, I had a pallet full of parts.

This is maybe the 20th tablesaw I've put together, I used to tell my students in Ohio - buy a saw, I'll help you set it up. Good times.

Since it's
the third SawStop I've assembled in the last three years, so it's getting to the point where I could put one together with one eye closed.

Obviously, the first thing to tackle was the mobile base. Unfortunately, I snapped a axle bolt in half when I was tightening it.

Is it weird that I have SawStop Tech Support on speed dial in my phone?

You have to hand it to them - they have their act together when it comes to directions and labeling of the parts. If you can read the directions and use a wrench, you can put this baby together without any difficulty.

It looks rather vulnerable when it is laying on it's back, but that is how it arrives.

Peel off all the packing to reveal a gorgeous machine.

Some people get excited over a new Mercedes. Me? I'll take a saw.

If I wasn't getting interrupted every ten minutes, I would have had this together in one afternoon.

Everyone kept stopping in to see the new addition.

I would say the hardest part of the assembly was attaching the cast iron wings. But - with a rolling cart, you can do it yourself.

The fence in one of the last things you attach, and their hardware pack is extremely
well designed.

The closer I came to finishing, the more trash built up in the shop. This saw comes with a ton of packing and padding.

And the only problem (besides the broken axle bolt) came at the end, when I had four bolts left over. Since the hardware packs are all labeled so well, I know the leftover bolts came from the fence assembly.

Note to self: lock the door and don't let people hang out (and distract you!) when you're assembling something like this!

So - how is it?

After owning all three versions of their tablesaws, I feel that the Professional saw is the best model for the money. I'm not sure I notice a huge difference between the Industrial saw versus this Professional one. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone with this model from the start. It's hefty and powerful, and every bit as accurate as the higher priced model.

Just my two cents...

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