Author Topic: Harvey Alpha Table Saws  (Read 12433 times)

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Offline Climber39

  • Posts: 88
Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« on: January 06, 2021, 11:51 AM »
I'm looking at purchasing a new table saw.  And I keep coming back to the Harvey Alpha series.  Specifically the HW110S-52. Unfortunately there's nowhere regionally,  that I can see one in person.  If anyone owns one,  or has had any hands on experience with these saws, I would love to hear your thoughts. From the looks of it,  they are reasonably priced. And you seem to get a lot for your money.  They even come with the Harvey Compass MG36 miter gauge. And the big Shark S-12S overhead guard looks very nice too. Thanks everyone.  I appreciate your time. 

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Offline JonathanJung

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Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 10:08 PM »
In my opinion, I'd pass just on these points alone:

* they are not a reputable company and are Chinese
* they can't afford / don't want to provide real photos - looking at some of them closely you'll see they are rendered images, not real
* they have to make a big deal about "Worm gear trunnion system" which has been employed for decades on saws
* they have to point out where the blade is
* clearly everything on the page was not written by a native english speaker
* 2-4 business day responses on phone calls
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 09:56 AM by Peter Halle »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3861
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Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2021, 05:54 AM »
I recommend looking at Powermatic or SawStop. Better assurance of support & replacement parts.
Birdhunter

Offline Climber39

  • Posts: 88
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2021, 02:20 PM »
I recommend looking at Powermatic or SawStop. Better assurance of support & replacement parts.

I currently own a Sawstop ICS. And I have an opportunity to sell it. So I was thinking about picking up the Harvey and pocketing some cash. 

Offline Climber39

  • Posts: 88
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 02:49 PM »
In my opinion, I'd pass just on these points alone:

* they are not a reputable company and are Chinese
* they can't afford / don't want to provide real photos - looking at some of them closely you'll see they are rendered images, not real
* they have to make a big deal about "Worm gear trunnion system" which has been employed for decades on saws
* they have to point out where the blade is
* clearly everything on the page was not written by a native english speaker
* 2-4 business day responses on phone calls

Good points.  I was under the impression that Harvey was also an OEM for several companies.  Like how JPW in Taiwan makes Powermatic,  Jet,  etc. Sawstop is also made in Taiwan. I think most of the major brands are now made in Taiwan and China.
The Harvey bandsaws look very similar to the Laguna bandsaws.  And the table saw looks very similar to my Sawstop ICS.  Even the sliding crosscut table looks like the Sawstop version.  I've seen the Shark S-12S blade guard in person,  and it's very nice, and reasonably effective. 
I have a good friend that has the Harvey Gyro dust processor, and he's had nothing but good things to say about his machine and costumer support. I bought one of the Harvey MG36 Compass miter gauges when they were on sale a month or so ago.  And it's very well made.  I bought it to replace a Jessem, and I definitely haven't been disappointed. 

I really do appreciate your time,  and will certainly consider your points.  But I'm really hoping to find someone that has actual hands on experience with one of these machines.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 09:56 AM by Peter Halle »

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 493
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2021, 03:21 PM »
Since you are thinking of ditching a SawStop I will assume active protection features are not a priority.  I would shop for a used Delta Unisaw (or Powermatic 66) vintage 1980s or earlier.  Assume you will have to give it a significant tune-up including arbor bearings, perhaps motor bearings, maybe cleaning up a rusty tabletop, and lubricating and adjusting mechanisms.  If you shop carefully you should be able to end up with a superb tool for around $1,000...maybe less.  Consult this website for many, many successful examples of the restoration of these quality tools:

http://www.owwm.org/

I suggested the Unisaw because there are many out there and parts are widely available.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1734
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2021, 05:40 PM »
Like Kevin I'd suggest looking at a used American made machine. I'm partial to Powermatic PM66s. I've got a 1969 model. I see them pop up all the time on auction sites, Craigslist and Facebook marketplace. They are built like tanks. The 66 has only 2 readily available bearings on the arbor. Depending on the year, motors are also available, earlier models had a slightly different interface for attaching the pulley.  You can have the motor rebuilt if you don't want to try it. you can even have the top reground.

Ron

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3081
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2021, 08:20 PM »
I met the CEO of Harvey when they purchased Bridge City and did a welcome event in their California offices.  Really grounded people.  Jack’s a nice guy and VERY focused on quality. They are a Chinese company and have done contract manufacturing for most of the OEM’s in the machinery space at one time or another.  His issue was his OEM customers beat him down on price and would sacrifice quality, so he made the decision to launch Harvey as the machinery line he really wanted to build.  While there, I looked closely at their machines - bandsaw, tablesaw, dust collector, and lathe and I was impressed with all of them in terms of fit and finish.  My nephew recently purchased their dust collector and really likes it.

I debated their Tablesaw in my new shop but decided to go with Sawstop due to the safety features and I wanted something more portable and thus purchased their Jobsite Pro version.

Virtually all woodworking machines outside of the European lines are now made in China, so I’m not sure a machine coming from China is necessarily a downside.  Heck most of what we buy now comes from China, but that’s another debate.

I recently bought a Jet 12” J/P with a spiral head.  While I like it, upon receiving it, I did note the fit and finish were not up to what I saw at Harvey in their machinery.  And Jet is part of one of the larger machinery groups that has consolidated Powermatic and Jet among other brands. 


Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 607
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2021, 08:23 PM »
In my opinion, I'd pass just on these points alone:

* they are not a reputable company and are Chinese
* they can't afford / don't want to provide real photos - looking at some of them closely you'll see they are rendered images, not real
* they have to make a big deal about "Worm gear trunnion system" which has been employed for decades on saws
* they have to point out where the blade is
* clearly everything on the page was not written by a native english speaker
* 2-4 business day responses on phone calls

Harvey are a highly reputable company. They now own and manufacture the tools for Bridge City. They build tablesaws and other machines for many companies, such as Laguna ... which is why the tablesaws resemble each other. They have an innovative dust extractor. Much more. Are your remarks tongue-in-cheek or serious?

Here in Australia, their tablesaws have a good reputation.

Regards from Perth

Derek
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 09:57 AM by Peter Halle »
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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1398
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2021, 09:33 PM »
Someone linked to a different product they make recently.  The company quickly raised a bunch of flags, and it doesn't have to do with china. Having different websites that if you go to one, it completely hides the origin of the company from you is sketchy.  Showing only renderings of products is very sketchy.

They may make perfectly good stuff, but the way the present themselves is cause for making folks run.

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2021, 10:20 PM »
Someone linked to a different product they make recently.  The company quickly raised a bunch of flags, and it doesn't have to do with china. Having different websites that if you go to one, it completely hides the origin of the company from you is sketchy.  Showing only renderings of products is very sketchy.

They may make perfectly good stuff, but the way the present themselves is cause for making folks run.

Which link and which company? If you are talking about Bridge City Toolworks, they _routinely_ post renderings because the tools haven't been made yet; this since at least a decade before the sale to Harvey. The blog used to show parts in production long after the product went on sale.
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Offline fshanno

  • Posts: 1069
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2021, 12:20 AM »
Are all the Chinese saws made by one company?  Who knows.  I don't really care.  You pays your money you takes you chances.  I know my Chinese Grizzly G0691 looks like a bunch of others.

I bought it because it was the cheapest 3HP saw on the market at the time.  $1250 delivered to my garage.  Honestly I haven't regretted it.  Built a bunch of stuff with it and it hasn't let me down.

But I wish I had a PCS.
The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1398
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2021, 12:38 AM »
Someone linked to a different product they make recently.  The company quickly raised a bunch of flags, and it doesn't have to do with china. Having different websites that if you go to one, it completely hides the origin of the company from you is sketchy.  Showing only renderings of products is very sketchy.

They may make perfectly good stuff, but the way the present themselves is cause for making folks run.

Which link and which company? If you are talking about Bridge City Toolworks, they _routinely_ post renderings because the tools haven't been made yet; this since at least a decade before the sale to Harvey. The blog used to show parts in production long after the product went on sale.

Someone posted a router table harvey makes. That is the only reason I heard of "harvey". I know nothing of Bridge City other than having heard the name here.  I don't know how posting renderings of a tool that hasn't been made yet would help anything. You shouldn't be showing something if you haven't made it yet.  The use of renderings and not real product has become a major issue the last decade, often used by startups, the same companies that later fail to get off the ground, but also because the bulk of them are scams. If you are a legit business, don't present yourself like scammers/frauds/etc.

Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 230
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2021, 07:23 AM »
i thought all of the IKEA catalog is CGI

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 220
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2021, 09:25 AM »
i thought all of the IKEA catalog is CGI

Maybe, but tens if not hundreds of millions of people have walked through physical IKEA stores over the decades and purchased those CGI rendered products. Harvey may sell a lot of tools, but you would be hard pressed to find diverse and trustworthy first hand reviews of them. So a CGI render is quite concerning.

Offline ghjaxman

  • Posts: 135
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2021, 10:32 AM »
My .02 cents is when John Economaki (Owner of Bridge City Tools) decided to retire, he sold his company to Harvey Tools.  John is a perfectionist and wanted the tools to be made to the highest quality.  The fact that he sold to Harvey Tools shows me that they will make high-quality tools.  Before he sold to them they were already producing his tools for markets outside the US as a kind of trial.

As NeilC post stated above Jack will do a great job if given the chance.  Neil is a reliable source both here on the FOG and on the Shaper Origin Board and I agree with what he has stated.  I have no interest in either BCTW or Harvey, but I would not hesitate to order from either company.  BCTW and John just announced the new drilling jig MJ-3.  I have been waiting for years to purchase this tool since it has been out of stock for years.  I have a small shop, very small and this jig will let me drill holes similar to a large drill press but it will fit in a box.  I will order one once it goes on sale, made by Harvey and it is not going to be cheap.  I am also going to buy their new router tables as well.

I understand not buying from them if you haven't heard of them or dislike China, we, fortunately, have a lot of choices now which is great.  But I am not concerned about the quality of the Harvey Tools I buy.

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 206
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2021, 11:51 AM »
If Harvey's CEO is so focused on quality, why don't they open a proper US office that provides great customer service?

When I had questions about their Gyro dust collector, I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to simply talk to someone at Harvey about it. The phone number they provide on their US site is useless as it always goes to voicemail. My VM and email went unanswered for several days and I couldn't talk to anybody until I discovered a phone number here on FOG. It was a personal cell phone of someone at Harvey who had intimate knowledge of their dust collectors.
Searching for a personal phone number on forums to just talk to someone at the company doesn't scream quality to me.

On January 1st I purchased Harvey's MG-36 miter gauge and it is still sitting in their warehouse. They sent me a tracking number, sure, but it simply shows that the label has been created, meaning it still hasn't been picked up by UPS. This is what Chinese companies do on eBay to deceive customers -- they'll create a fake label and mark your order as shipped to comply with eBay policies while in reality the order you placed with them will be shipping from China and take 4-6 weeks to deliver by a completely different delivery company with a different tracking number.

Do they have such an overwhelming amount of orders that they can't ship something for 7 days or they simply don't care about customer's experience after the purchase?
If a simple miter gauge takes them more than a week to ship, how long will they sit on a machine purchase, weeks, months?

Harvey may make high quality tools, but at this point their US office is a mess. They feel like a mom and dad shop with exorbitant prices.

Offline serge0n

  • Posts: 206
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2021, 12:01 PM »
Wow, progress -- I just called Harvey's 888 number and someone picked up! I asked them about my order and they have no idea where it is. The person on the phone was very apologetic and promised they'll find out and call me back.
It's bizarre that they don't even know what has shipped and what hasn't. What if you are too busy to call them, your order will remain in the warehouse indefinitely?

Their "contact us" page still states that it may take up to 4 business days to get someone to reply to a phone call.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3693
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2021, 12:12 PM »
Snip.
This is what Chinese companies do on eBay to deceive customers -- they'll create a fake label and mark your order as shipped to comply with eBay policies while in reality the order you placed with them will be shipping from China and take 4-6 weeks to deliver by a completely different delivery company with a different tracking number.



Know nothing about Harvey's business model or have had any prior experience with its service or product. But your comments about the eBay shipping practice by some merchants is pretty spot-on. Many a time, I received my order weeks, if not months, after I lodged a missing item request to eBay. I started my eBay account in the 90s. but have stopped shopping there in recent years.

Instead, I now order things from Amazon even though the goods may come from the same factory or distributor in China, because the Amazon shipping dates are more reliable. I don't mind about the goods coming from China, but I need to know when it's actually coming, not when the seller says it'll be coming.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 12:18 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Climber39

  • Posts: 88
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2021, 06:50 AM »
If Harvey's CEO is so focused on quality, why don't they open a proper US office that provides great customer service?

When I had questions about their Gyro dust collector, I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to simply talk to someone at Harvey about it. The phone number they provide on their US site is useless as it always goes to voicemail. My VM and email went unanswered for several days and I couldn't talk to anybody until I discovered a phone number here on FOG. It was a personal cell phone of someone at Harvey who had intimate knowledge of their dust collectors.
Searching for a personal phone number on forums to just talk to someone at the company doesn't scream quality to me.

On January 1st I purchased Harvey's MG-36 miter gauge and it is still sitting in their warehouse. They sent me a tracking number, sure, but it simply shows that the label has been created, meaning it still hasn't been picked up by UPS. This is what Chinese companies do on eBay to deceive customers -- they'll create a fake label and mark your order as shipped to comply with eBay policies while in reality the order you placed with them will be shipping from China and take 4-6 weeks to deliver by a completely different delivery company with a different tracking number.

Do they have such an overwhelming amount of orders that they can't ship something for 7 days or they simply don't care about customer's experience after the purchase?
If a simple miter gauge takes them more than a week to ship, how long will they sit on a machine purchase, weeks, months?

Harvey may make high quality tools, but at this point their US office is a mess. They feel like a mom and dad shop with exorbitant prices.

I also purchased the MG36 miter gauge from Harvey.  Although I've had a much different experience than you described.  Mine was shipped within a day or so.  And landed on my doorstep within 5 or 6 days of purchasing it.  However I did get mine soon after they were launched.  The MG36 is a relatively new product,  and has been on sale for the last several weeks.  Perhaps they just sold all of their stock in the U.S.  I realize that doesn't excuse their customer service practices or lack of any information for a customer.   Just offering a possible explanation..I know that kind of stuff is frustrating.  Especially when it's something expensive.  And the MG36 definitely isn't cheap. 

On the bright side,  when you do finally get it, I think you'll be very happy.  I can't remember being more impressed with the build quality of a woodworking gadget.  It's impressive imho. Same high quality over built feel of the Jessem,  but more refined with better fit and finish. I love mine. No tool or equipment is perfect,  but that miter gauge is pretty darn close. 

Offline Climber39

  • Posts: 88
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2021, 07:08 AM »
Since you are thinking of ditching a SawStop I will assume active protection features are not a priority.  I would shop for a used Delta Unisaw (or Powermatic 66) vintage 1980s or earlier.  Assume you will have to give it a significant tune-up including arbor bearings, perhaps motor bearings, maybe cleaning up a rusty tabletop, and lubricating and adjusting mechanisms.  If you shop carefully you should be able to end up with a superb tool for around $1,000...maybe less.  Consult this website for many, many successful examples of the restoration of these quality tools:

http://www.owwm.org/

I suggested the Unisaw because there are many out there and parts are widely available.

I'm not overly concerned with the braking tech. I am borderline fanatical about safety in my shop.  Mainly for 2 reasons,  my shop is about 200 yards from my house,  so if I were badly hurt,  I might not make it up to the house.  And second,  my wife and I are pretty serious climbers. Rock climbing is definitely our first love. Hence my FOG handle. And Climbing with missing digits would just be heart breaking. So I always use push sticks,  grippers, stock feeders, etc, and most importantly a riving knife.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 476
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2021, 09:45 AM »
Keep your SawStop ICS. Nothing rivals it. The brake technology is what makes the saw worth the money. The saw stop has great customer service, not sure of Harvey company? I called last year and no one picked up? They probably do make good tools, kudos to them. I looked at the Saw Stop jobsite pro saw and purchased that saw from WoodyCraft, the following day I returned the saw after I went to Eagle tools and examined their floor model. Accidents due happen and your paying for piece of mind, insurance, with the SS... don’t sell it!

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 788
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2021, 09:46 AM »
Keep the SawStop ICS. Find another way to locate more money. As someone who went through a legitimate "SAVE", your fingers are priceless.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 1153
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2021, 11:30 AM »
Keep the SawStop ICS. Find another way to locate more money. As someone who went through a legitimate "SAVE", your fingers are priceless.

Not to offend the OP but Kodi is correct that you cannot get rid of that saw. No matter how safe you think you are there is absolutely not a single case where I could think of that would involve selling a top notch saw to get a lesser model, much less one without any finger saving technology.

I went 20+ years without an incident and then had one after a long day. Without the SawStop I would have been missing at least one finger, which in your case would put an end to your rock climbing. Figure out another way to locate more funds for whatever you are after.

If you do sell let us know where you are as I and others would be interested in your ICS. I have a PCS and have no qualms about climbing up the chain.

I'll have to add that the Harvey sliding table looks interesting and will fit a SawStop without any drilling.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 11:33 AM by JimH2 »

Offline bootsiechickie01

  • Posts: 4
Re: Harvey Alpha Table Saws
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2022, 08:58 PM »
Since you are thinking of ditching a SawStop I will assume active protection features are not a priority.  I would shop for a used Delta Unisaw (or Powermatic 66) vintage 1980s or earlier.  Assume you will have to give it a significant tune-up including arbor bearings,,perhaps motor bearings, maybe cleaning up a rusty tabletop, and lubricating and adjusting mechanisms.  If you shop carefully you should be able to end up with a superb tool for around $1,000...maybe less.  Consult this website for many, many successful examples of the restoration of these quality tools:

http://www.owwm.org/

I suggested the Unisaw because there are many out there and parts are widely available.

I don't understand why the price is so high. It looks very demanding. I'm not biased about being made in China. I will try it if revised on price.