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18.10.2013 admin
If you wish to advertise on our site, please contact the advertising department and inform them on what pages and in what positions and in what form would like to see your ad. There are a couple of techniques I use to sort out thorny and complicated issues; follow the money and check the math. The general public is being presented with this issue as one of dangerous machinery, numerous injuries and an affordable easily adoptable solution. Last Friday, we received a letter and a four page statement from the Power Tool Institute, an industry group representing several major machinery manufacturers. So if most of the saws in use are the value-engineered benchtop saws it makes sense that they account for most of the injuries. If the government issued regulations to protect the stupid things people do, there would be so many that they would: 1.
Just so you know, I was following all the safety rules, including my guard was in place, but the guard itself bound the stock that I was cutting, my hand slipped causing it to enter under the guard injuring my thumb. I agree with dreamcatcher, use common sense, take your time, think your cuts through before making them. You must remember that work in the field doesn’t allow the same time and resources as in the shop.
I am one of the miss fortunenet that have had an accident with a table saw, luckaly it only cut the tip of my index finger. Gass is an inventor of wonderful technology other manufacturers never considered or, at least, never brought to market. We all like the idea of safety, but nothing is free and all things have consequences, many of which are difficult or impossible to foresee. As a matter of personal choice, I own a Saw Stop cabinet saw and like it for its quality and relative safety.
Not always, but usually, the narrow “wisdom” of a few in the government is no match for the broader, more dynamic, and more adaptable realizations and good sense of the many as exercised through a more free marketplace. I am not saying all government safety regulations are a bad idea, nor that the marketplace is infinitely effective in all matters.
In the realm of table saws I would like to think that I have used more sizes, types, and qualities of table saw in my life time than the majority of your readership.
I use common sense to overcome ignorance and that’s the real way to stay out of danger. I use jigs, push sticks and anything else that keeps my hands as far away from the blade as possible. All the pros I know have cabinet saws in their shop and also have bench top saw to haul around when needed. The worst accidents I have personally heard about have been from inexperienced users on a bench top saw. I can think of nothing worse than a government agency telling the citizens what they may and may not do. I *like* having the assurance that the I won’t get melamine in my milk (like what happened in China). And your car example is poor–the government already regulates all sorts of safety aspects for vehicles. The tragedy of these amputation injuries is worse because they have been largely preventable for the past decade.
Workers have to deal with job-site demands to get work done faster or risk their employment. If you would like to contact us about a potential serious injury or wrongful death claim, or would like to see a particular topic covered on our site, please complete and submit the form below. Auto-suggest helps you quickly narrow down your search results by suggesting possible matches as you type. I recently found a great deal on a used Delta  Rockwell 34-448 table saw which came with a recycled 83" unifence rail and unifence. Not ever seeing the plans I would assume that the majority of the structural integrity of the unit is in the torsion box and the maple is simply trim. I also try to remember that my little corner of the world is just that, it isn’t necessarily a reflection of the world at large.
Yes, there are a lot of accidents every year to users of table saws, and these accidents can have a devastating effect and cost us all money. The last time we checked, most of our readers owned what we consider to be serious table saws; about 60% own contractor type saws, about 30% own cabinet saws and less than 10% own benchtop or portable saws.
That was my assumption; I tend to agree with those that think these low-end saws are inherently dangerous. Is it possible to equip benchtop saws with a SawStop-like device for anywhere near the $100 price we hear quoted so often? In a comment on an earlier post a reader pointed out that recent media coverage of this issue makes it sound quick and easy; slap a $100 gizmo on every saw and no one will ever get hurt again. One company is trying to make the saw that most DIYers use so expensive that we will not be able to afford them.
Many DIY’ers would probably take exception to several of the methods I use regularly on a table saw (more so on my bench saw than my cabinet saw).


Jobsite carpentry can be quite dangerous and it takes a bit more cunning to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
I assume finding a new means of dropping the blade gets the TS manufacturers around one or two of Mr.
I did not damage the blade, I was able to remove it from the brakeshoe and still use it today. This is particularly true when even well-intentioned government regulators get into the game. Quite another matter, however, is the government dictating the marketplace with very specific device requirements, replacing our ability to choose in the matter. Perhaps there is another, or six other, great safety ideas out there whose development will be stunted by regulations favoring a particular device such as Saw Stop’s. But government restrictions, particularly at the behest of those who stand to gain directly from them, ought to be viewed, at the very least, with great suspicion, and the possible consequences must be considered. Having read the PTI statement and having kept an ear to the unfolding saga in the USA around this matter, it would appear that the real issue confronting you may no longer be about safety.
It’s not that I am a total jerk but imagine how would a veterinarian feesl about a hobbyist animal doctor?
If raising the prices to ridiculous levels saves thousands of people from getting hurt then I guess I am for it. It’s far more cost efficient than any mechanical nanny device and 1000 times more effective.
Pros spend many hours week in and week out at the saw, sooner or later they may get careless,but it may take years or it may never happen.
I have been fortunate, because during that time, I’ve had no real injuries to speak of.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 40,000 Americans wind up in hospital emergency rooms with table saw-related injuries every year, and 4,000 of these involve amputations! The Commission has indicated it will address whether this technology should be incorporated into all table saws in the future.
While it would be nice if manufacturers improved their products on their own, history shows it sometimes takes government action to bring about safety change, like airbags, seatbelts, and child safety seats. Defects in wood and distractions beyond the operators control will always exist, especially in the high school woodshop.
Rather than pull out bits and pieces, we encourage you to read everything that PTI has to say, follow the money and check the math. There is a lot of energy involved in stopping a table saw blade, and the saw itself must be able to absorb that.
When production models first appeared, the difference in price was much higher, and today the SawStop industrial cabinet saw costs about $1000 more than a comparably equipped Powermatic 2000 table saw.
If CPSC requires brakes on all table saws, and a brake-equipped benchtop saw is possible to engineer, the cost will likely be around $1000. Let’s take a realistic look at the numbers, and ask the media and CPSC to do the same.
Why not simply make cigarettes illegal and eliminate all the death and expense of lung cancer and emphysema? But hey, I do a lot of trim carpentry and that is how I was taught to make tapered and scribe cuts. Funny thing is that I learn by listening to the tragic stories like Osorio’s and others here and where I work. I would like to see all the table saw companies invent their own proprietary flesh detection technology – we will surely lose if there is only the one Saw Stop as an option. Gass’ patent rights and possibly on their way to a brand new proprietary (even safer?) flesh detection system.
While I would rather that consumer choice would move the TS makers to be more innovative, it is indeed an industry that has historically proven to hesitate to change (it took Delta about 70 years to make dramatic improvement to their Unisaw!).
As for the cartridge I was out the price of a new one, but I would rather have that than thousands it would cost me at a hospital for an injury. I think I read that when he first invented his technology he offered it to all the manufactures and they dismissed the idea. Such requirements are almost invariably heavily influenced by favored “insider” corporate operatives who use their position to slant things in their favor. As you point out, Bob, maybe costs will drive some woodworkers to do foolish rigging of cheaper methods and get hurt that way. It’s about commercial advantage, a desire to monopolise a market and attempt to stifle innovation through legal means in order to eliminate any future competition.
San Diego physicist developed a system which could tell the difference between wood and flesh and then apply a brake which stops a spinning blade faster than the eye can see!  For reasons which defy adequate explanation, the major table saw manufacturers turned him away when he approached them about incorporating this safety feature into their products. At the San Diego Child Injury Law Center, we know how devastating amputation injuries can be  and how product design should always be at the forefront in eliminating preventable injuries.  The country shouldn’t have to wait another ten years and risk another 40,000 preventable amputations before changes are made. If you dig below the surface there is a lot more to this issue, and a lot of things we assume to be true because of our particular point of view turn out to be just the opposite. Yearly cabinet saw sales number in the thousands, contractor saw sales in the tens of thousands, and benchtop saws in the hundreds of thousands.


As a group, we need to take responsibility for our own safety, and stop putting our hands into the path of our table saw blades.
Will casual users of tables saws decide to spend five times more for an entry level saw, or will they start bolting circular saws upside down to any handy surface with a cobbled together fence? The system can be disabled when you need to cut wet pressure treated wood or a piece of aluminum, as in my case. I feel that like all technology as it comes available the whole industry should take the initative and adapt. In other words, the government is not an impartial referee, but picks de facto winners and losers in the game. It doesn’t matter the brand, I know exactly what it is going to do when I turn it on. If you really understand how a table saw works then you understand that it cannot hurt you if you use it properly. For long cuts I try to get someone to pull the board from the other side when I am pushing too close to the blade. This proposed legislation will cut down on the number of injuries because it will cut down on the number of saws. As a group, they have a lot at stake, and no matter which side of the debate you’re on, there is some surprising and interesting information in their statement. Benchtop saws are where the money is in the table saw business, and this segment of the market could well disappear if CPSC steps in.
The cheap saws on the market aren’t ruining things for those of us who are more serious about the hobby and better equipped.
It would be like setting off an automobile air-bag in a toy car, there wouldn’t be much left.
As the debate over regulation continues, this $100 cost per saw figure is still being used. Get a life people, if you don’t follow the saftey rules published by the manufacturers, suffer! I imagine making the cut for a split second before actually making it and in that time I think of all that could go wrong and set a plan in mind to take the appropriate action if necessary. I have often wondered why the blade must drop into a brake and thus destroy the blade and part of the machine. I think Gass came up with a wonderful and safe idea and I know that SAWSTOP saws are more costly that the average saw but if you put it perspactive, the cost of an injury out weighs the cost. Would I like the sawstop, you bet, but I’m also satisfied with the saw I could afford. All under the claim of helping us because we are supposedly not wise enough to choose for ourselves. Maybe many experienced companies will drop their lines of table saws and inexperienced companies will produce saws that are deficient or unsafe in other aspects. So the problem therein doesn’t reside with the low quality saw but rather with the low quality user of the saw.
Find me a person who was cut by a table saw and I will find a person that was injured due to ignorance.
This and following posts will look at different aspects of this information and we can try to sort this out together.
If the blade is already below the table what’s the harm if it’s still spinning? The manufacturer of the saw became aware that he could use the force of the blade stopping to release it from a clip and let it drop below the surface of the table, so it was implimented.
If at some point you get the notion that you might stick your hand into the blade then immediately stop what you are doing and think it over – there is probably a safer way.
I am not some woodworking guru and I am definitely not just lucky so far – I simply think my cuts through.
Like I said before working on site is a much different work environment and should be treated as one… attempting to forcefully apply perfect shop standards into a inherently imperfect scenario just will not work. It is about time that the rest of the industry catches up and implaments the same type or something like the Sawstop technology.
If a particular cut seems dangerous on the table saw I might decide to use a different tool or method to make the cut. Dreamcatcher is 100% right: common sense and a little familiarity with the machine works on every machine in the shop. To make matters worse they were placed in sketchy working conditions where lighting was poor, dust collection was non-existent, and users were over worked and undereducated. Think it through: will there eventually be flesh-detecting gouges and chisels for my lathe???!!!??



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