Bought a General International 50-185M1 but need advice

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by ssayers65 posted 01-11-2018 02:21 PM 2314 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ssayers65's profile


1 post in 912 days

01-11-2018 02:21 PM

Hey folks, I am new here and new to precision woodworking. I have done a good bit of framing and trim work on homes, but no furniture or cabinet building, which I would like to dabble in. I am therefore very much a novice and need some coaching

I bought this saw for $100 but it did not have a fence or fence rails. Otherwise it seems complete, functional, used but not abused. The saw runs very smooth. I know hardly anything about the General International brand other than it seems to have a good reputation for an Asian manufacture. The model seems to be on the low end of their line and is no longer made.

I figured at the price point I bought the saw I would be ok to spend another 2-300 for a fence system, but I thought I would seek counsel of those wiser than me. If the saw is worth cleaning up a bit and putting a good fence system on it then I am happy to go down that path.

This is probably a loaded question, but if this were your saw, would you ditch it or clean it up and put money in a good fence? If so, any fence system recommendations?

2 replies so far

View cracknpop's profile


426 posts in 3121 days

#1 posted 01-13-2018 12:30 PM

I have no experience with this particular saw, but it looks similar to a Craftsman TS that was my first purchase nearly 30 years ago. I ended up putting a Shop Fox Aluma-Classic fence system (bought from Grizzly) on it which worked MUCH better than the one that came with the saw. Years later, a friend loaned me his dial caliper set up and told me how to check alignment… MUCH better yet. Eventually built a large rolling cabinet for it to sit on as the metal legs were getting wobbly. Built a lot of things using that saw. Upgraded to a Saw Stop ICS a few years ago and gave my old Craftsman to my son.

I guess I said all of that to say this, put a good fence and blade on that dude, align it best you can, see if you can get a zero clearance insert. Then, if you are like me, you will learn a ton while you use it until you are ready to upgrade.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View knotscott's profile


8382 posts in 4148 days

#2 posted 01-13-2018 12:41 PM

General “International” was the import branch of General, that used to be made in Canada. I owned that saw for about 3 years from 2002-2005. It sold for near $750 new. It’s a very good traditional full size Taiwanese contractor saw….pretty similar to the PM64a and Jet of that era. It’s left tilt, has an outboard motor, traditional splitter, solid cast wings, and originally came with the equivalent of a Biesemeyer home fence. Something like the Delta T2 or T3 is a good bang for the buck and is fairly similar to the stock fence. As mentioned by cracknpop, get it aligned, and put a decent blade on it. It’ll do well with a good thin kerf blade. I added a router table to mine. Should make for a nice setup.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics