Sometimes I’m Man-Dumb

Every sitcom and commercial for the past 50 years has used the old trope of the man too stubborn or proud to read instructions or ask for directions, usually resulting in some sort of comic folly. Lets call it “man dumb.” Granted, I hate to trade in sexist tropes, but there really is no other way to put it: sometimes I’m also man dumb.   I don’t always ask for directions or read instructions when I should.  Case in point is my table saw.

A few years ago I got a Grizzly G0771 hybrid table saw. It was a good choice for me as it struck a good balance between the substance of a cabinet saw and the mobility of a contractor saw.  In my small shop, I need to be able to wheel larger tools out of the way.

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And while I love to use hand tools, I desperately wanted a table saw and was willing to sacrifice some of the precious real estate in my basement.  I assembled it and have run a lot of wood through it.  It worked okay but not great.  I thought perhaps I had been spoiled by using my father’s heavy duty cabinet saw.  You see, I assembled the saw without ever opening the owner’s manual.  That’s right, man-dumb.

After three years I finally opened the owner’s manual and went page by page measuring, squaring and adjusting (plus had the blade resharpened by Forrest Industrial).  It wasn’t that off just a 1/16th here and 1/32nd there.  My lord what a difference.  It cuts straight, square and smooth. It really is a very good saw; the only “upgrade” I have made was a zero clearance throat plate from Highland Woodworking. Had I read the manual three years ago when I first set it up I could have saved myself so much hassle. So, Grizzly, you have my apologies for the light swearing that went on for the past few years–in reality, the problem was the user, not the manufacturer.

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