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  • Safe Table Saw

    I was at our local Woodcraft Store signing books this weekend and saw a live demonstration of a really great table saw. Just thought some of our members might be interested. Check out this link and click on the "hot dog" video. This thing works just as advertised!! http://www.sawstop.com The blade stops, and drops below the plane of the table within a fraction of a millisecond upon contact with skin. The blade is destroyed as is the electronic module that activates it.....but the finger or hand is barely nicked!!! I saw the actual demo and this thing really works!!!
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

  • #2
    I must be really cheap because my fist thought was "wow - that would be expensive to fix the broken parts".

    Reasonability set in shortly thereafter.
    Dan

    -Just do'in the best I can every day

    Comment


    • #3
      Neal,
      I've read about this saw for several years. One of the magazines did a test run on it and it did in fact work as advertised and then some. Seems wood with a high moisture content would occasionally trigger the mechanism. Considering the cost of a blade at $100+ and a good Dado in the range of $300 I think I'll stick to being cautious, hehehe. One thing that does bother me about the company is that before they actually introduced it to market they approached the government to try and make it mandatory.
      Kevin
      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

      Comment


      • #4
        Owler,
        I saw one of those saws about a month ago demonstrated at an open house. It worked really well - I saw the demo 3 times - twice it didn't even nick the hot dog, and once it barely cut the skin. That would have been a bit bloody, but no digits would have been lost. I, too, immediately thought about what a large cost! (Although losing a finger or two is an altogether rather large cost!!) I spoke with the demonstrator (a very able and knowledgable woman) and she said that so far, the company is replacing the module free, if you tell them your story. Apparently, it doesn't happen as much as I might have imagined, but maybe that has to do with the caliber of woodworkers who would spend that much on a table saw in the first place. The gizmo doesn't work as a retrofit to any other saws, and their saw itself is pretty expensive. She was using a cheap blade - but those can get pretty pricey, too - I've seen some as expensive as my whole saw! (Well, not my SCROLL saw - but that is a different animal!!)

        Comment


        • #5
          If you search on line a little, there is a demo on this saw using a hot dog instead of a finger. One other thing to note, since its costly when it does stop the saw, is that the moisture content in the wood can also trigger it to lock up the blade. I can see that being not only costly, but a real PITA. The best safety feature with any tool is common sense. And, no, Im far from perfect, I also have plenty scars, and had a mishap on a TS once too. Dale
          Dale w/ yella saws

          Comment


          • #6
            The same saw was demonstrated at the woodshow I just attended.
            I am not sure of the cost of the saw, or the replacement aluminum brake, which is self destructive.
            There is also the blade that is lost .
            What amazed me more than anything was all the people complaining that the saw blade was ruined and it was expensive to replace the blade.

            I could not believe that people did not see the benefit of keeping fingers.
            My brother in-law works in a mill where the cost of compensation claims is really high. This is where I could see this being practical. Where people are under pressure to meet quotas and neglect the safety precautions.

            Stereotypical comment goes here:
            If computer shows are full of nerds with pocket protectors and toilet paper on their shoes, then woodwork shows have galoots with flannel shirts and bandages on their fingers

            I think the concept of the saw that will stop when body capacitance pulls a charge off the blade is a wonderful idea. Oh I think Nerd just met Galoot and we have achieved nirvana.
            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes the saw is expensive, but my fingers are worth a hell of a lot more to me! Just in future salary loss, not including the pain and therapy and emotional as well as physical scars .

              And the saw is well engineered to boot (I would likely get one if I was in the market for a saw).

              If you visit the website and read the comments about the people that actually have had fingers saved by the device you will see why it actually makes good common sense as a safety device.

              It should be mandatory on all new saws but the lobying is too strong right now: manufaturers would rather have you loose your limbs since they don't pay your insurance coverage, but they would have to spend money to modify their assembly lines if it did become a mandatory safety requirement.

              And if you think you don't need this kind of safety because you're too smart... then you're not as smart as you think: accidents do happen, for whatever reasons, and many people get hurt every year severely. Some of these injuries could be prevented with this device.


              As for Kevin's comment on the false positives detected:
              Two simple solutions you can combine
              1: get a moisture meter they are around a 100$ (or less) and are actually usefull in the shop
              2: there is a switch on the saw if you find that the content is too hign that lets you turn off the safety temporarely
              http://marleb.com
              DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

              NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=
                It should be mandatory on all new saws but the lobying is too strong right now: [U]manufaturers would rather have you loose your limbs since they don't pay your insurance coverage[/U], but they would have to spend money to modify their assembly lines if it did become a mandatory safety requirement.


                Come on, do you honestly think ANY company would rather you lost a limb then provide a safe piece of equipment?At the costs this feature involves,they would not be able to put tablesaws in the shops like mine, because I simply cant afford it. What I can afford is common sense, and the time to think over real well each cut I make, something that should be done with any tool, every time! edit :One other note.. What did you do with your blade guard/holddown on your scrollsaw?What would stop you from doing the same with this safety feature?
                Last edited by lucky788scroller; 10-30-2006, 09:20 PM.
                Dale w/ yella saws

                Comment


                • #9
                  Our local Woodcrafters has one on display. $3500 - $4000, I'm for safty... but not at that price.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gotta go with lucky788 on this one.......

                    I've seen Sawstop in action and it is pretty neat! BUT, it would have to come down substantially in price for me to even consider it. No matter what built in safety features there are, my most important "safety feature" is the one atop my shoulders........
                    ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

                    D. Platt

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The company was just starting out when I was in school for machining. My understanding was that they went to a lot of the table saw manufactures and tried to get them to offer it as an add on. And of course they said people don't want that. I don't belive that this piece of safety equipment was ment for the home shop but more for the cabinet shops out there. Think of the guy ripping big sheets of plywood all day long and after awhile he looses respect for the saw and what it can do. Then boom he looses 3 fingers and gets blood all over the place. Now for the employer for this guy has to dish out all kinds of money.

                      The cost is basically your saw blade and the aluminum block that shoots into the blade. I think I saw that the block was about 60 bucks and the blade anwhere from 50 bucks and up. Even if you triggered it once a week it would still be cheaper than the loss of body parts.

                      All and all I think that the idea is great but a crash is kind of expensive but then that's all relative (A crash on one of the CNC's I work with could be over $10,000) I would have gone a different route instead of the aluminum block but that's just me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marcel in Longueuil
                        It should be mandatory on all new saws but the lobying is too strong right now: manufaturers would rather have you loose your limbs since they don't pay your insurance coverage, but they would have to spend money to modify their assembly lines if it did become a mandatory safety requirement.


                        As for Kevin's comment on the false positives detected:
                        Two simple solutions you can combine
                        1: get a moisture meter they are around a 100$ (or less) and are actually usefull in the shop
                        2: there is a switch on the saw if you find that the content is too hign that lets you turn off the safety temporarely
                        Marcel's first comment is exactly the reason I will never buy nor will I ever recommend one of these saws. This is exactly what they tried to do. Let the market decide. If the major manufacturers find that this is a profitable add-on, I'm sure you'll see it offered. It has nothing to do with whether they "care" if you lose a limb, it has to do with if the market wants this product. Apparently, they felt that the market didn't. Time will tell if this is correct. With our rediculously litigous society, you think if saws were inherently unsafe there wouldn't be a line of lawyers waiting with lawsuits?
                        When I think of the types of saws I could buy for $4000, this one doesn't even come close. You can add board buddies, an overhead splitter and power feeder for far less than this and buy a awfully good saw. Most major cabinet shops I've seen have automatic feeders and workplace accidents are quite rare. I'm with Lucky and Bear as well, I sure couldn't afford one of these, as it is, I usually save up for the blades, and to lose one due to a misfire is not something I could afford at $100 a blade. I've worked with power tools for many, many years. Virtually every accident I've seen or had is avoidable (fortunately, I still have everything attached).
                        What good is a moisture meter if you're cutting green wood? What good is the safety feature if you can disable it. I can foresee it misfiring once, costing the woodworker a bunch of money and the safety feature being permanently disabled.
                        But hey, if $4000 isn't much and you have a stock of blades, go for it.
                        Last edited by Jediscroller; 10-31-2006, 05:30 AM.
                        Kevin
                        Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                        Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't you think that as anything else, something that just came to the market is more expensive and it's price will go down as the production goes up?

                          Of course $4 000.00 is a lot of money, for me too. And yes it's aimed on "cabinet" type saws which are mainly aimed at enterprises.

                          But what if the insurance industry did it's share and reduced a pro's insurance fee for having such safety equipment? (just a thought)

                          Kevin says "Virtually every accident I've seen or had is avoidable " OF COURSE! but they still happened and that's why they are called ACCIDENTS.
                          Only a complete imbecile would put his hand on a saw blade on purpose.

                          I agree that most small shop owners can't afford the high cost of these saws at this time, but how many of them have sufficient insurance coverage should they have an accident and loose a finger or two, or slice themselves up enough to require extensive surgery, or even just a couple dozen stitches?
                          Not all of us I'm sure.

                          And you say that false positives COULD be expensive: that's speculation, have you even seriously looked into the saw before making such assertions? or is just a couple of reviews you read that made up your mind right away?

                          I always find it difficult to understand why people are against safety (ie: safety belts in cars. years of use have proven they do save lives and reduce injuries. Yet people still refuse to wear them even where they are mandatory)

                          And yes I admit having taken off the blade guard on my table saw: the manufacturer must have put it there as an afterthought: it's a PITA to install and remove, and the splitter doesn't follow the blade when angled. Otherwise I would use them regularly. I'll put all chances on my side.

                          By the way: I have built an over the blade dust collector that acts as a sort of blade protector (Excalibur style), and use the micro splitters (from micro jig) on 90 degree cuts, along with my Grrrripper or other push stick. I make it a habit of not standing directly behind the blade or behind the piece that risks to kickback. I also wear eye & ear protectors and if required a dust mask.

                          I also try to Analise all cuts before proceeding, it helps avoid size mistakes.
                          I still have experienced "avoidable" mistakes, aka accidents, such as kickback.

                          I earn my living at a keyboard, I don't want to lose it or even jeopardize it: I worked too hard to get where I'm at. And that is something I think of every time I enter the shop: When I go in my shop it's to have fun, but I respect the tools: metal & wood will always win against flesh, every time!

                          And as far as the utility of being able to disarm the safety: it's exactly for those time you want to cut greenwood or other high moisture content wood, and notice I said "temporarily disarm": it defaults to active the next time you turn the saw on. Not so dum if you think about it.


                          So it's all MY point of view: it doesn't have to be yours and I'll respect you no less for it. But as far as I'm concerned the risk of a $200 misfire is nothing compared to the savings I would incur that ONE time it would save my fingers that came in contact with the blade.
                          http://marleb.com
                          DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

                          NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, I've looked into the saw and the sawstop mechanism long before it was introduced to market. There was a lot of discussions about this on several woodworking newsgroups and it was almost universally not acceptable. It's not speculation that once the mechanism fires the blade is ruined. I use Woodworker II blades and Freud Dado blades. I can get the Woodworker II blades on sale for $100 usually and the Freud dado's are between $250 and $300. Add to that the downtime in my shop of 33 cents a minute and there is the cost. Of course, for me this isn't a hobby, it's a part-time job and every minute not producing is money lost. So, a false positive (which has happened in every test I've read of this saw) WILL BE expensive, especially for small commercial shops that only have 1 or 2 saws operating. I don't see this as being targeted toward commercial shops as I already stated most have automatic feeds of some type and no one's finger's are anywhere near the blades as a result.
                            My point about the accidents being avoidable is that if you're careful and follow safety precautions the odds are that you'll never have a problem. The other thing regarding table saw injuries is that the most common injury (by far) from operation of tablesaws is due to kickback, not accidentally hitting the blades with your fingers (something I'm painfully aware of after my most recent stupid mistake).
                            I don't have a problem with the safety features themselves, I have a problem with trying to dictate them. Like you said, seatbelts are a good thing, but I don't need the government dictating that to me, it's a personal choice, as this fortunately is (at least for now). As far as temporarily disarming the saw, trust me, folks will find a way to permanently disarm/disable them.
                            I agree that we're all entitled to our points of view, I hope you didn't take more from my ramblings than just that. This is my point of view from the commercial side which is probably (as always) a little skewed and not necessarily the correct nor the only point of view. Heck, I enjoy these discussions.
                            My suggestion to folks who are really concerned about kickback during ripping and are purely doing this as a hobbyist is to buy a good bandsaw and not worry about it at all.
                            Kevin
                            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And only a 2 year warranty? Rediculous. With that kind of price, they should warranty it for no less than 10 years. They could probably replace this saw 4 times and still be money ahead.
                              Mike

                              Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                              www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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