Be Safe Out There

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Blog entry by mjpierson posted 06-24-2007 03:01 AM 1143 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I went to a local woodworking store, WoodWerks, today. They had a promotional video for the SawStop table saw. The video is on the front page of SawStop website a compelling video to at least be careful with your TS.

-- Mike - Columbus, Ohio

14 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile


1779 posts in 4086 days

#1 posted 06-24-2007 03:46 AM

I have watched this… very dramatic.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4064 days

#2 posted 06-24-2007 04:39 AM

Fear is always a powerful motivator. Show the worst that could happen and convince people that the only way to prevent it is to buy into your idea. I’m not down on sawstop, it looks like a great idea, more saws should have it. I’m just sick of the marketing, if you cant sell it with sex, sell it with fear.

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4082 days

#3 posted 06-24-2007 05:06 AM

It is that…I agree with you CC…the marketing gets to you. However, I know 2 people that cut off pieces of themselves on tablesaws. One had two fingers sewed back on, the other lost the tip of his thumb. I just wish I had the space and the $ to get one.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4307 days

#4 posted 06-24-2007 01:33 PM

Push sticks are a lot cheaper than SawStop and getting people to use them is as hard as any other safety equipment. Not to point fingers at anyone (sorry for the pun) but, JockMike had a close shave a while back because he used his hand instead of a feather board to keep the wood against the fence. Luckily, he just nicked his finger. I’ve been needing to build a fence with a T slot so I could mount a feather board or two to hold the board down on the table. For some reason, a reason unknown, I keep procrastinating. My point is…all the safety equipment in the world won’t do any good if you don’t use it or use your brain and think through the operation before turning on the switch. SawStop’s demo’s are very impressive.

Mike, thanks for the reminder to be safe! We need that reminder every day.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Sawhorse's profile


281 posts in 4436 days

#5 posted 06-24-2007 01:53 PM

I got to see the Saw Stop in action at a Safety Conference in Houston, TX last year, and let me tell you that stopping mechanism is lightening fast, with barely a scratch to the hot dog they used to simulate a finger. But at $4000 it is a tad pricey….being a safety director for a company and dealing with safety issues all the time, I love the saw stop, but can’t justify the cost personally. Maybe one day….

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4020 days

#6 posted 06-24-2007 04:48 PM

They make a good case for larger commercial shops, however. The video states that most accidents occur among professionals that use the saw day-in and day-out. In those cases, you’re responsible for people other than yourself. The additional cost of one or two Saw Stops with necessary accessories (modules, spare blades) are quickly offset by the elimination of one injury. The cost of medical bills, increased insurance, and the (very real) possibility of a lawsuit could cripple a shop.

On the other hand, one-man shops like most of ours don’t have this problem. We all know the risks associated with power tools (and I’ve got the scar to prove it), and we take personal responsibility for our actions. Additionally, we generally don’t have the distractions associated with commercial operations. Total concentration on the task at hand is the best safety device there is. My personal shop rule is that NO ONE interrupts me when I’m operating a power tool—don’t even walk into my line of sight! I don’t care if the house is on fire, it can wait 30 seconds. Well, in that case you can wave to get my attention if I’m running a sander, but NOTHING WITH A SHARP EDGE!

I’ll save the extra money when I buy my saw, and spend it on accessories to make the machine safer.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4033 days

#7 posted 06-24-2007 04:58 PM

It’s good technology. They are introducing a contractors saw in the fall with a price point that may bring this technology into the hobby woodworkers shop. I like the idea, but I worry as technology advances faster than we evolve, we start to use it in place of common sense.

We see it already with antilock brakes, collision prevention, traction control. Pretty soon, people won’t be able to drive a car that doesn’t stop for them, or doesn’t automatically slow down when they approach other traffic. Pretty soon stop signs will emit a signal that will key the car to bring itself to a complete stop instead of the human nature roll through.

I’m okay with the technology, but the eventual outcome of the machine running us instead of us running the machine is a concern.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4064 days

#8 posted 06-24-2007 05:33 PM

Tom, you paint an interesting scenario. I hadn’t taken the saw stop technology in that direction but I can see how it could go that way.

Pretty quick the saw decides whether a cut is safe, not the operator. Too much load, too wet, too dry, too much pinch, wrong feed rate. But if we only had that magical saw, just think how safe we would all be. If only one finger is saved it’s surely worth inconveniencing the entire rest of the wood working population, right?

That seems to be a common mantra with fear based control.

Keep in mind that when a machine makes a decision for you, it is actually a group of software programmers tucked away in some closet who wrote the code 3 to 5 years ago (had to have time to get through testing and certification) making the decisions. And the decisions they coded up were probably decided on by some committee or special interest group that believes they know better than you how you should operate your equipment. Hey, you trust a bunch of geek boys and suits to know better than you how to run your life right ? right ??

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4073 days

#9 posted 06-24-2007 06:56 PM

its the music…play the video without the music and you cut your sales in half…well of course I am kidding…they are clearly marketing to the insurance concerned business owner…it is a convincing argument but common sense is the most important.

I think the “shop rules” of Gravedigger (by the way do you drive a huge truck over top old cars on weekends?) are great rules…already in my “young” woodworking hobby my wife has come out to see how I am doing and I have jumped a few times…she has learned to stand way back until I am done what I am doing…but i think after reading everyone’s comments I need to re-iterate those rules…

Good dialog…stay safe…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4020 days

#10 posted 06-24-2007 07:50 PM

<chuckle> Everybody asks me that! No, it’s actually my old callsign that I was given back in 1976. They got it from an old movie called “Cotton Comes to Harlem”, and it sorta stuck. Kinda strange for a pharmacist, though…

My wife STILL forgets the rules from time to time, so an occasional “re-inservicing” isn’t a bad idea.

Another thing I do when someone is helping me with something power tool-related is to completely walk through the procedure before starting the process. This includes the sequence of events, expected flow of the work, where to put the processed wood, et. cetera. I make sure to include where to stand, not stand, and other safety-related items. One of our best surgeons used this technique before starting any procedure that might get hairy, and bad situations went much smoother when everyone knew what to expect.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4173 days

#11 posted 06-25-2007 12:39 AM

I know we have at least one LJ member who owns one of these. I’d be interested in hearing from him or any others who have purchased one.

Is this apparently good safety feature worth the extra the saw cost? Has it any drawbacks as a result of this feature (ie. did the engineering that incorporated this feature impinge on any other performance aspects of the saw)?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4019 days

#12 posted 06-25-2007 01:26 AM

Lots of good comments everyone. There is never a single time I turn on my table saw when I don’t think of my fingers and making safety a priority. I have seen what can happen to others who don’t take safety seriously. If I had other people in my shop using these tools I would consider the extra safety equipment for there benefit. As for me I make more than plenty of push sticks and keep them all over so they are always handy and I keep safety in the front of my mind.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4243 days

#13 posted 06-25-2007 04:03 AM

Hey I’ll cut a finger off every once in a while just to remind all you guys to be safe. How’s that Mark? Thats my job in life is to make sure you’re all safe, and if it takes a finger or two every six months or so, well I’m all for it…. LOL Thanks for reminding everyone what a doof I am….LOL. Just kidding bro. you betcha, be careful. You know I was just thinking about when I used to build. We’d be putting on the roof and just about done and almost to the last nail I would clobber my thumb, with one of those estwings with the meat tenderizer on the head. Ouch I say. It never failed. Recently I had an exray of my left hand for carpul tunnel surgery and the guy that took the xray asked me, “How many times have you broke your left thumb, and how did you do it.” He said it was the sorriest looking hunk of bone he had ever seen. You’re right, what a doof. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4093 days

#14 posted 06-25-2007 04:42 AM

Dano just got himself hurt on his router table. : ^ (

Thought the folks following this thread would want to console him.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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