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Thread: General International experience

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Campbell River, BC
    Posts
    400
    Real Name
    Garth Sheane

    Unhappy General International experience

    About 10 years ago I started outfitting the shop in preparation for retirement, so I wouldn't have to fork out the money from pension payments. I thought GI was a good choice ... middle of the road pricing, etc. I'm still okay with my choice, but I've been disappointed with a few things.

    The drill press problem is annoying. When the bit binds (drilling steel), I usually turn the quill backwards by hand to free the bit and find that the big nut on the top loosens off and the pulley starts to slip. The nut is inside the cone of the step pully, so it isn't the easiest to get at. I tighten it and carry on, but it's a nusiance. I need to see if I can get a second nut to act as a lock nut.

    The lathe was under engineered (I wrote about it awhile back on the forum) in that the pulleys on both the motor and drive shaft were tightened only by small set screws, which would slip and scar the shafts. I've had a machine shop cut key ways in the both pulleys and shafts, but lost my lowest speed in the process. I've just had this done, so I don't know how it will affect my ability to rough out blanks. The speed jumps from 480 rpm to over 1200.

    The table saw trunion isn't 100% on. The trailing edge of the blade has always chipped out one side of the cut, worse with larger blades. I had a company rep come out shortly after buying it and he tried to adjust it by forcing it into line after loosening the mounting bolts. It seemed okay for a little while, but went back to the problem a short time later. I guess one day I'll take it apart and see if I can make an adjustment. I've had trunion problems on other saws and know they can be tricky.

    The 17" bandsaw hasn't given me any grief, so I'm can't complain about that!

    None of these problems are show stoppers, but they are annoying. Just thought I'd note these problems so people buying the brand will know what to watch for.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Winnipeg Mb. (the Peg)
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: General International experience

    I had a GItable saw for many years and no trouble with it except the shaft bearings. I replaced them with ones from the local bearing company and it was much better. I also switched to a link drive belt.
    Your problems with pulleys are not unique to GI but the quill nut on the drill press is a design fault. You may want to secure the nut with a drop of Loctite. Use the strongest they have. If you ever need to loosen it just apply a heat gun and it will come right off.
    73,

    Bruce in the Peg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: General International experience

    Hey Woodbuster,

    I used to own a G.I band saw which was awful in many respects. I since upgraded to a heavier duty Craftex which I am more than satisfied with. I have a few friends and some family who have also not been too impressed with their G.I equipment. To be honest, I think its more of the premium we pay for the tools and expectations we have that leave us disappointed. I always thought that G.I tools were overrated/overpriced, but that may be just me as others on this forum have found some of their tools good buys.

    Cheers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    A.B. Normal

    Default Re: General International experience

    I have a 17" band saw and a bench top hollow chisel mortiser, both of which have been great.

    Regards, Rod.

    P.S. I did have to replace the guide bearings in the band saw after a Doberman urinated on it, however I don't think that was a design/manufacturing fault.
    Last edited by Rod Sheridan; 11-08-2010 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Added Post Script

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bromptonville Québec
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: General International experience

    Rod: what was the Doberman making in your shop. Ha ha ha

  6. #6

    Default Re: General International experience

    I've had a GI jointer for 5 years and have no negatives at all.

    Just don't ask me about that POS Chinese Delta 14" bandsaw which is out in the shed until I unload it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: General International experience

    Great equipment, I have a GI 6 inch long bed jointer, 13 inch planer and 1.5 hp dust collector and all have worked perfect since day one. All have been very well used in the last three years and show no signs of wear, cutters are all still very sharp. I have seen how many people use/abuse or take care of their shop tools, could be part of the problem. I also hear lots of complaints about steel city, I bought a SC 14 band saw two years ago and love it. Runs very quiet, has lots of power and will resaw with no drift. As for the drill press problem, what speed and size of drill is being used and at what feed rate. Is any cutting oil being used when drilling steel ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakville, ON
    Posts
    149
    Real Name
    Albert

    Default Re: General International experience

    My experiance with General and General International woodworking tools is good sofar.

    I own thier 350 table saw, 160 lathe, 8 " jointer, 15" planner, 24" double drum sander, edge sander, drill press, mortising machine, bench grinder, bench top sanding table and dust collector.

    All are very good quality and design. They are sturdy while in use. They operate well offering comfort while in use. Once I was happy with the brand I always considered them when comparing other equipment.

    My none General equipment -
    My bandsaw is a Laguna and works well. The General was more robust looking but lacked the technology available on the Laguna. Honestly, the Laguna website marketting sold me on the bandsaw.

    My shaper is a Delta X5. I was leaning towards the General and was ready to buy and the salesman blew it. Then I came acroos the X5 and found it to be well established in many shops.

    I have a bunch of General's Equipment and do not hesitate to recommend them for hobbiest like myself. I also like that the are represented by established stores in my area of Ontario.


    Regards,

    Albert in Oakville

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Sherbrooke, QC
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: General International experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Rod: what was the Doberman making in your shop. Ha ha ha
    Quote of the (yester)day...nice one Owen!
    What was urgent was done yesterday, right now I'm working on the impossible...if you want a miracle give me 24 hours.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: General International experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffmacd View Post
    Quote of the (yester)day...nice one Owen!

    Made me laugh..........Rod.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Campbell River, BC
    Posts
    400
    Real Name
    Garth Sheane

    Default Re: General International experience

    I would still buy GI in the future. I'm glad to hear so many of you use this brand without problems. My problems are all fixable. I just thought I'd mention the quirks to see how others may have dealt with them.

    Cheers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Waterdown, ON
    Posts
    1,543
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: General International experience

    I have lots of G.I. green in my shop (TS, jointer, drill press and dust collector) and have had no issues. I did add a link belt to my table saw which made a huge difference.

    I'd have no issues adding more G.I. equipment in the future.

    AK

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Golden B.C.
    Posts
    1,773

    Default Re: General International experience

    Just bought a GI air cleaner and had a GI TS for years that had some issues, I went back and forth with them with and service was fine. I tend to think of them with in the same catagory as Craftex and King (though I've never used those brands).

    Matt
    SPCHT


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: General International experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Rod: what was the Doberman making in your shop. Ha ha ha

    I don't know, however he obviously wasn't pleased with the band saw...........Rod.

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