This is the new Taiwanese saw that Delta has been selling for the last several months. I picked this one up at Woodcraft during their last 10% off Delta sale. Overall, I am very impressed with the fit and finish of the saw with one exception, the upper and lower blade guides.
I have had this saw for a few months now and really have not had much use out of it because it had a pretty severe case of blade drift. With the factory blade installed it was so bad that it could not come close to cutting a straight line. Looking at possible causes, I found that the bearings for the upper blade guide did not line up so that the faces were parallel with each other. Another customer in the store had mentioned that he had the saw and had that problem as well so I think it is something Delta needs to look into. I was not at all impressed with the workmanship on the upper and lower guide assemblies. The upper guide is a pretty crude cast iron casting and there was plenty of slop in all the adjustments. I decided to email Carter guides about a replacement. I found out that they were working on a prototype kit for this saw and were willing to sell me the prototype at a discount if I was willing to provide them with some feedback. In the meantime I called Delta and they sent me out a new upper guide mount, which was parallel.
When I got the prototype kit, I installed it on the saw and hoped that it would correct the problem with the drift. It did not. As it turns out there were a couple of issues with it that I communicated back to Carter. The most significant issue was the upper guide mount needed to be remade so that the guides would mount farther out. I am hoping to get the new piece very soon but for now I have the original blade guides mounted on top and the new Carter guide on the bottom.
From the beginning, the saw ran very quietly and smooth. The blade tracks straight as an arrow without any adjustments. Since the floor in the garage is uneven, I have noticed that the saw is susceptible to vibration if it is not level on all four corners.
The table comes with a rear extension bar that should help on larger pieces. The fence is pretty solid and comes with some extremely long guide rails. The rails are so long; that I have them mounted backwards since the saw is near the outside door and would be poking everybody as they walk in front of it.
The table trunions remind me of my old 14" delta saw, similar pot metal construction but they look like they will do the job. There is also an auxiliary tilt support on the right side that can lock the table adjustment. Access to the lower blade guide for adjustments is not as easy as it could be. It is probably better with the carter guide than with the original.
The saw comes standard with a magnetic controller and is wired only for 220. The wheels are spoked cast iron and there is a 2 speed pulley to change blade speed. The saw comes standard with 2 4" dust ports and from the photos you will see why I want to get them hooked up to the DC system soon. Since my garage ceiling is on the low side, the blade-tensioning lever is very close to touching the ceiling. I have the saw on a shopfox mobile base and that doesn’t help. This is one tall saw. The tension gauge is up near the blade-tensioning lever.
I ordered 2 new blades from John at Woodcraftbands.com. This saw takes 136" blades and he sent me a 1/2 and 3/4" lenox blades that arrived within 3 days by priority mail. I think the cost was about 13-14 per blade, much cheaper than other vendors. Give him a call, he is a good guy to do business with. Within the last week I finally got a new blade installed and the difference is like night and day. I would not have believed that a blade could make that much difference. The saw tracks as straight as I would like. I have not yet tried resawing a large slice yet, but I don't think it will be an issue.
So the bottom line is that I am fairly well satisfied with the saw in its present condition. I figure what I saved on the 10% off sale was spent on the carter guides. I will post a few more pictures when my camera battery is charged again and will answer any questions people might have.