TS-Aligner and Ed Bennett - A Cautionary Tale - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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TS-Aligner and Ed Bennett - A Cautionary Tale

For those who are not familiar with the product, here is a link:

[URL Link Removed = inactive]

So here goes my review and final conclusion on Ed Bennett's TS-Aligner. The product itself works fairly well but I cannot speak for the integrity of Ed as a business person. I have been trying to contact Ed for the past 2 months to confirm that he received my TS-Aligner as I had sent it back to him for re-calibration. I had exchanged emails with Ed and he had given me permission to send him the TS-Aligner and to include a check for $10 and he would re-calibrate the unit.

I have still not heard back from Ed. The only positive is that he has not cashed the check as far as I know.

Perhaps I should have known better but I did not see this until I had corresponded with him and gained his permission to send the items back for calibration.

Quote:

Quote:
The waiting list for TS-Aligner products is very long. Please don't ask me how long - answering such questions is a waste of time and makes the wait longer for everyone. I have provided a description of the process below. Each step involves elements that can cause indefinite delays beyond my ability to predict or control. People who have more resources (facilities, labor, funding, inventory, etc.) can easily produce delivery estimates. I can not so please don't ask me to. Call me to find out where I am in the process. Call me with questions about woodworking or machinery. Call me about the weather. Call me to make sure that I didn't die or flee to Canada (living the good life on TS-Aligner money in Saskatchewan!). But, don't call me asking for an estimate on delivery. If you pester me about it, I'm likely to get annoyed with you and give the most definite answer I can: "never".

Not very professional. "Never"?....


In my last correspondence which was this morning, I asked him to either return my items with or without calibration or to allow me to return the entire unit. Per his website:

Quote:

Quote:
It's always good business to have happy customers. Happy customers generate more business than all the advertising in the world. I only want happy customers. If you don't find one of my products useful or valuable, then the worst possible thing I could do is make you keep it. I don't want unhappy customers. If one of my products makes you unhappy, then I don't want you to end up getting stuck with it. That places a great responsibility on me to ensure that my customers choose my products because they are the best possible choice. So, I must do my best to provide all the information needed to make the right purchase decision. That's why my web site is packed full of detailed documentation. Since the TS-Aligner introduction in 1991, only five customers have asked for (and received) a full refund.
Some might think this makes me an easy mark. I say that they should think again. I've noticed that some people like to "manufacture" issues of dissatisfaction so that they can obtain "freebies", or "consolations" for their "inconvenience". If I do something wrong that causes you trouble, I'll do whatever I can to make it right. If there is something I can do to optimize my product in your application then I'll do whatever I can to make it happen. But, I won't be the victim of what I call "retail terrorism". I won't pay a ransom (freebie) to save the hostage (the sale of my product). I'll sacrifice the hostage (buy back the product) and eliminate the unhappy customer.


I guess these are just words to Ed.

Thanks for listening and buyer beware but I would stay away from the TS Aligner and not make the same mistake that I did. Besides there are a lot of great competing products and they are delivered in a timely manner with much less attitude. There are also a lot of shop built solutions that are cheap and just as good.

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post #2 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 09:36 PM
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"TS-Aligner comes complete with a 28 page manual full of illustrations and photos and an instructional video."
28 pages and $390.56 plus accessories to align your saw!?
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
"TS-Aligner comes complete with a 28 page manual full of illustrations and photos and an instructional video."
28 pages and $390.56 plus accessories to align your saw!?
I paid about $150. I have had it for a while. Admittedly, not the best use of my money.
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-04-2013, 12:15 AM
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I kinda got hooked on Incra and Woodpecker for any precision setup tools I needed. Very likely some better/cheaper/whatever sources out there but their stuff has always been spot on for me.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-04-2013, 01:54 AM
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$300+ and buy your own dial indicator???

I'm trying to remember..... $25 or so for a magnetic base and dial indicator from HF. Maybe $30, it has been awhile.

A 6" piece of 1/8 x 3/4 aluminum from ACE for less than $5

A piece of flat construction steel (Brace or some such) from HD $3-$4

Pop rivet the steel to the aluminum. Scrap wood for a handle. Use a Crescent wrench to bend the aluminum SLIGHTLY to make a tight fit in the miter slot.

So now the saw is aligned perfectly but the miter slots are off parallel by half a thou. How do I live with that? In all about $40.

Oh, yeah, I didn't have to deal with Ed.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
Huntington Beach, California
Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-04-2013, 02:01 AM
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KISS principle.
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Last edited by Hammer1; 01-04-2013 at 02:04 AM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-04-2013, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
KISS principle.
+1. There must be an allure to fancy jigs of a variety of colors and materials that motivates individuals to spend their money. I was thinking that analog or digital gauges might just set the mind at ease. Or, they may look very impressive in a drawer or on a shelf in case friends stop over.

Ever since I bought my first Unisaw, I've used nothing but a straightedge/framing square and a tape measure to get a saw into alignment. They weren't saws that may get used on the weekend or for one project, but saws used on a daily basis. No wait...they aren't being used when I'm doing something else, like sanding or finishing. But, at times like that, others were using them.

Maybe I just get lucky. My cut edges are parallel to opposite edges, and 90 degrees from adjacent edges. Cut edges are clean with little to no saw marks. What more can I say.




.
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-06-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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An update to this thread.

I heard back from Ed earlier today and he pointed out some facts which I left out of my thread. In the interest of fairness, I will post the updates below.

I asked Ed for permission to send back my unit on 12/28/2010. I had emailed Ed and asked if it was ok for me to send the items back to him for calibration. Ed responded by saying, that there was no problem and to include $10 for the recalibration. I know Ed is a small scale operation to preserve quality products so I did not understand that this would be an RMA and that a time limit would apply. What i am saying is that I did not realize that this would be an official RMA so that was a mis-undersanding.

I would also add that according to Ed's records, I bought the unit on 11/29/2000. I am not disputing the purchase date. I did not know that I had the product for 12 years.

Ed explained why he did not receive my correspondence and the changes to his business. I do not feel it is my place to comment on what Ed said about TS Aligner and his other businesses. I imagine Ed will do that.

Thanks
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmmmm.... well, another week slipped by and still no information from Ed. I have added the fact that he asked me to add but still no news on when or more likely if I will ever see my items.
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 08:39 PM
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wow... that website looks terrible.
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:22 PM
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-arrogance [ ar-uh-guh ns ]

noun 1. offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.


-arrogance [ar-uh-guh ns]

Main Entry: arrogance Part of Speech: noun Definition: exaggerated self-opinion

-Synonyms:

airs

aloofness

audacity

bluster

braggadocio

brass

cheek

conceitedness

chutzpah

contemptuousness

crust

disdainfulness

egotism

gall

high-handedness

haughtiness

hubris

imperiousness

insolence

nerve

ostentation

over bearance

pomposity

presumption

pride

pretentiousness

priggishness

scornfulness

self-importance

self-love

smugness

superciliousness

swagger

vanity


-arrogance [ar-uh-guh ns]

Main Entry: arrogance Part of Speech: noun Definition: exaggerated self-opinion Antonyms: humility meekness servility

_________________________________

" Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow."

William Pollard

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-17-2013, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Supreme arrogance! Thus my name for him... Soup Nazi!!!
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-23-2013, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Well after 77 days of imprisonment.... I finally got my dial indicator and cross bar back!!!! Yahoo!!!
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-23-2013, 08:59 PM
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Congrats on your recent parole.

Now that you have it back build a shadow box for it and for goodness sake don't do anything with it that might result in a revocation of parole.

Yeesh!

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-23-2013, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
KISS principle.
That is a simple method. Thanks for sharing.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
Huntington Beach, California
Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-24-2013, 12:49 PM
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Rrich, the longer length of the straight edge multiplies any deviation with blade alignment. A 10" blade at full height is only about 8" wide compared to a table saw fence which can be four times that in length. Using the blade to set the fence is like squaring a 48" sheet of plywood with a 12" square.

I've owned or worked with many different table saw fences, some were reliable 99.9% of the time but that .1% is out there waiting for us. All it takes is a speck of sawdust or a loose bolt. Every time I set my rip fence, I check both ends to the miter way, every time. Takes two seconds to save a bad day.

I do set the outfeed end strong by the thickness of the line on my tape. It's not much but enough to keep the "back" teeth from touching the work. I don't use the scale and pointer on fences, just line my tape up with the tooth and take the measure to the miter way. I set the infeed end to one side of the measurement line and the outfeed to the other side of the line. I didn't do this in the past but I learned the hard way, never take anything for granted.
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-24-2013, 01:03 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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confused

These 2 pictures seem contradictory:






In the top photo it show the procedure I use.
In the lower one, it shows measuring to a tooth on the blade..... just a good example of a bad example?

Also a floating tape that is not bumped to a fixed point may give a "floating" result.... another bad example possibly?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-24-2013 at 01:07 PM.
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-25-2013, 01:57 AM
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Woodnthings, the pictures show two completely different things. The straight edge against the blade is used for aligning the table saw top with the miter ways. This only needs to be done once in many cases but should be checked from time to time, especially on contractor and other portable type saws. It's one part of tuning a table saw.

The second set of pictures in the other post is how I set my rip fence when I want to rip a board, on a tuned saw. As I said, I've had many rip fences on different table saws. Most of the newer ones, Unifence, Biesmeyer, etc. also have a scale, even my old jet lock has one but I don't use them. Blades vary in thickness and I often add an auxilliary fence, both of which throw off the scale. Instead, I just hold my measuring tape at the measurement I want to cut, 8" in the picture, and then look to see what measurement the tape reads at the edge of the miter way. Then I move my fence over to that measurement from the miter way. Then I lock down the fence and check the outfeed end. In other words, I don't slide the fence over measuring to the blade tooth like so many do and I did. I want the rip fence strong on the outfeed end just the thickness of the mark on my measuring tape and during my tune up process above, set the fence so, but I still never trust it, ever. The slight amount I off set the outfeed end is why I tried to show the two sides of the mark on the measuring tape with the awl as a pointer.

My Unfence is usually dead on, as I adjusted it when tuning, but I never take for granted that it is. I always check both ends to the miter way every time I set the fence for a rip. I didn't used to but once in a while it wouldn't be correct and I might get burning or excess marking on the cut or the board might pull away from the blade, depending on which direction the fence was off. My old habit of just setting the pointer to the fence scale, locking down the fence and going to work is over. Some folks may think I'm nuts but I crosscut a lot of plywood using my rip fence, often pieces that are a lot longer than they are wide. You can be in deep trouble with this type of cut if the fence isn't correct and I don't recommend this for folks that are not in command of their table saws. Those of us that do it every day have no trouble handling large sheets or making cuts that others wouldn't consider doing on a table saw. When you walk that fine edge bordering on kickback, you make sure the saw and fence are set up properly but I want it correct for every cut, every time.

Since I do this for a living, I approach my tools like a truck driver starts a haul. Before I start up, I check all the tires, lights, signals and on through the check list. There are still dangers to be faced but at least I know the equipment is ready. I never get in my car or truck without taking a walk around. In the business, it's part of your training and it becomes second nature. I try not to forget a single accident can end your career. Most folks get hurt on woodworking equipment from not taking an extra second or two. We usually ruin a few work pieces for the same reason. Either one costs me and I can't afford it.
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-25-2013, 02:07 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Thanks for that

I could see you were huggin' the mark at the front and pushin' it at the back of the table. Just a "fuzz" as my contractor buddy would say.
I use a Unifence also and trust it to be square/parallel when locked. I don't check it that often, but I may after seeing your post. I measure from the tooth to the fence even though I've set the indicator and tape by cutting a piece then measuring it to see if was exactly what the tape said....it was supposed to be. Measure, cut, check, recheck sorta thing, but I still have an issue trusting the dang thing.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-05-2017, 01:39 PM
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T S ans R S Aligner

I purchased the TS and RS Aligner from Ed Bennett and unfortunately never got a chance to used them. I purchased them on 9-2-08 and are still in each of their storage boxes and have never been used. I came across them in my last move and hope someone can make me an offer so these tools don't get wasted. If you are interested you can email me at [email protected]. Thanks Beau
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