If you didn’t get a chance to read my earlier entry about the Unisaw arriving at our shop, click here to do so.
Ahhhh! The sweet sound of a table saw running. Come on. Admit it. Some of you thought you might never hear the Unisaw running, didn’t you? I have to admit that I had questions myself. In fact, I had a running joke with the Delta account reps , and I assume the folks at Delta through transference , that the saw has yet to be fired up. Even during the Editors’ Event held in Jackson, Tenn. (to read about it, click here), no saw was available for us to use.
Other than the very first e-mail about the Unisaw redesign (which I received prior to the beginning of the Presidential primaries), no one who I knew of had heard a redesigned Unisaw run, except for the one saw that Scott Phillips demonstrated at the IWF show in Atlanta. Well, now you can rest assured. The saw does run and it sounds great!
Assembly was fairly easy. I was frustrated when I couldn’t find the instructions for assembling the extension table. I scampered into the office to watch the included DVD (although it wouldn’t take a master’s degree to figure out what went where). After opening all the boxes, I did find a guide that detailed the installation of the table, fence and rails boxed with the Biesemeyer fence. (I was like a kid in a candy store , anxious to get this saw powered up, so I kind of skipped a few steps here and there , like unpacking all the boxes before I got started with assembly.)
As I worked toward the end of the assembly process, I found an innovative installation for the front tube of the fence system. On all the other table saw fence systems I’ve assembled, I’ve had to position the front tube, then reach up from the tube’s underside to install the bolts that hold things secure. On the Unisaw, you insert the bolts through the front rail from the top side, then turn a serrated flange nut just onto the bolt. From there, you remove an end cap from the tube and slide the tube over the bolt heads. Once the tube is aligned, it’s a matter of tightening the bolts. It’s very easy to do, but you have to have the room to complete the task.
Additionally, I had to tweak the settings on the fence system to get the unit sliding smooth and locking tight. My first impression is that there is a fine line between achieving both. I’ll look more closely at that in the future.
I couldn’t help but make a few cuts with this saw when I had the assembly complete. I ran a piece of maple , tiger maple, of course , and it felt like a hot knife going through butter. (Yes, your old beater feels great when you install a new sharp blade, but this felt better than that.) Over the next few months, we will get the chance to work day-in and day-out on this saw and we’ll share our findings (good and bad) in the August 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking. Look for it!
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