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SawStop trigger on brain fart.

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Forum topic by clin posted 06-25-2016 02:04 AM 872 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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clin

510 posts in 456 days


06-25-2016 02:04 AM

I can confirm that a SawStop will trigger on brain farts.

Short version, don’t try to cut through miter gauge with a metal fence.

I rarely use a miter gauge, preferring a crosscut sled 99% of the time. But recently I had been using a miter gauge with a sacrificial fence. Went to do something today with my Osborne EB3 miter gauge (has a metal fence). Decided it would support the wood better if I moved it to the miter slot on the other side.

Of course, you can’t just do that, as it puts the fence right in front of the blade. So I think the combination of being used to a sled, and recently using a miter gauge with sacrificial fence lead to said brain fart.,

When it happen, it was not very dramatic. Just a bit of a pop. It took me several seconds to even figure out what had happened. I knew something had happened, as in “Where the heck did my blade go.” Then it was , “Aha, I just trigger the brake.”

Looking at the wood, couldn’t figure out why it would have done it, Getting ready to take a photo of the setup, and that’s when I realize I was attempting to cut through the miter gauge fence.

I had a spare brake, so was up and running soon enough. Took a bit of doing to work the, now fused, brake cartridge and saw blade off.

So time to order another spare, and get a new combo blade.

While I didn’t save my fingers, it’s interesting to have triggered it, and now have first hand experience with a SawStop brake activating.

-- Clin


13 replies so far

View Makai's profile

Makai

19 posts in 2013 days


#1 posted 06-25-2016 02:50 PM

The fence on the E3 is aluminum, so cutting aluminum triggers the SawStop blade retract, I did not know that.

Thanks.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1937 posts in 1448 days


#2 posted 06-25-2016 03:05 PM

Yes it does…and I have had one brain farther with a Incra SE 1000…..the blade and brake are mounted on the wall near my saw so I see it and remind myself.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1131 posts in 172 days


#3 posted 06-25-2016 03:11 PM

how much do them extra brakes cost ??

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1140 days


#4 posted 06-25-2016 03:20 PM

As I understand it it’s not the aluminum that triggers the brake but the electrical impulses from your hand traveling though the aluminum that the brake sees. There is really no way for the circuits sensing the electric impulse from your body to tell the difference between a finger and a piece of metal held by a finger. The hot dog works the same way as I understand it and you have to hold onto the dog while cutting to set off the brake.

Regardless they let you bypass the brake sensor for cutting highly conductive materials like metal and very wet wood or some pressure treated lumber that can be conductive but that doesn’t really help mistakes like this. I did the same thing on my saw a few years ago and have a nice saw cut about 1” deep on my miter extension to remind me how easy it is to get into a rhythm with a saw and not think though where the blade is going.

So which would be worse destroying a Osborn or Incra miter gauge or a brake plus saw blade? I’m assuming you didn’t do anymore than nick the gauge?

View clin's profile

clin

510 posts in 456 days


#5 posted 06-25-2016 03:54 PM



how much do them extra brakes cost ??

- GR8HUNTER

$70 and of course the blade is trashed, so you have to factor that into the cost. Assuming a medium quality blade, you’re looking at another $70 for that give or take.


So which would be worse destroying a Osborn or Incra miter gauge or a brake plus saw blade? I m assuming you didn t do anymore than nick the gauge?

- Richard H

Miter gauge just has a small nick that will have no effect on it. Had it not tripped, I probably would have cut clean through that fence, and half way up. Whether it would have ruined the miter gauge I don’t know. But I’d say the brake cartridge plus blade are similar in cost to the Osborne EB3 miter gauge.

While it’s no fun to waste money on a mistake, I’d still rather do this once in a while, than to lose a finger. We all damage tools from time to time. Or waste expensive wood by making a mistakes. This just goes into that category.

If nothing else, this reminds me that mistakes can be made. While this was not one that put me in danger, I still put something into the saw blade that I had no intention of doing. Miter gauge this time, could be a thumb next time.


The fence on the E3 is aluminum, so cutting aluminum triggers the SawStop blade retract, I did not know that.

Thanks.

- Makai

To be clear, having the blade simply hit a piece of metal doesn’t trigger the brake. For example, you can typically cut right through a nail or staple in a board. But if you are also touching that nail, or I believe if that nail is also touching the metal top of the saw, it will trigger.

The brake clearly reacts to an electrical change caused by touching it. It’s is not as simple as closing a circuit, though I don’t know that that isn’t part of it. I know that if you cut metal and you are touching that metal, it will trigger. I believe if you cut metal, and that metal is also touching the table saw top or other metal of the saw, it will trigger.

-- Clin

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

780 posts in 1962 days


#6 posted 06-26-2016 08:54 AM

Always good to see this sort of post as a reminder of what could be. Glad you were not hurt – other than the cost of the new blade and brake, of course.

From your description, I doubt you would qualify, but this is from the Sawstop website (I have added the hyperlink):

”You may be eligible for a free cartridge. If you send us your activated cartridge, along with this completed questionnaire, and we determine through our diagnostic processes that contact with skin triggered the activation, we’ll send you a new cartridge free of charge. ”

Either way, they might be interested getting the data from the brake.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

643 posts in 2273 days


#7 posted 06-26-2016 12:21 PM

Glad the education came on something that was not your finger. I still don’t trust these things.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3123 days


#8 posted 06-26-2016 12:53 PM

Been there … done that.

I have an aluminum Mule fence that I used for years with an Incra miter gauge on my Jet.

When the SawStop came into my shop, out of habit I used the Incra/Mule combination … until one day I forgot to tighten the T-bolts on the Mule, and it ‘kissed’ the blade … BANG!

The Mule is sitting in a cabinet somewhere in the shop, and I used MDF sacrificial fences on the Incra.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View USAwoodArt's profile

USAwoodArt

243 posts in 402 days


#9 posted 06-26-2016 04:02 PM



Always good to see this sort of post as a reminder of what could be. Glad you were not hurt – other than the cost of the new blade and brake, of course.

From your description, I doubt you would qualify, but this is from the Sawstop website (I have added the hyperlink):

”You may be eligible for a free cartridge. If you send us your activated cartridge, along with this completed questionnaire, and we determine through our diagnostic processes that contact with skin triggered the activation, we’ll send you a new cartridge free of charge. ”

Either way, they might be interested getting the data from the brake.

- Tootles


I had a cartridge trigger when cutting a new and dry piece of 3/4 Baltic birch ply. Finger no where near the blade. I called SawStop and after the conversation I completed their questionnaire and mailed them the triggered cartridge. After several weeks I was told they would send me a new cartridge…never received it even after a few follow up calls inquiring about when it would come…I got nothing but the run around and never received a replacement cartridge.
Saw Stop customer service dropped way down several notches in my opinion because of this.

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

View USAwoodArt's profile

USAwoodArt

243 posts in 402 days


#10 posted 06-26-2016 04:04 PM


Always good to see this sort of post as a reminder of what could be. Glad you were not hurt – other than the cost of the new blade and brake, of course.

From your description, I doubt you would qualify, but this is from the Sawstop website (I have added the hyperlink):

”You may be eligible for a free cartridge. If you send us your activated cartridge, along with this completed questionnaire, and we determine through our diagnostic processes that contact with skin triggered the activation, we’ll send you a new cartridge free of charge. ”

Either way, they might be interested getting the data from the brake.

- Tootles

I had a cartridge trigger when cutting a new and dry piece of 3/4 Baltic birch ply. Finger no where near the blade. I called SawStop and after the conversation I completed their questionnaire and mailed them the triggered cartridge. After several weeks of their evaluation I was told they would send me a new cartridge…NEVER received it even after a few follow up calls inquiring about when it would come…I got nothing but the run around and never received a replacement cartridge.
Saw Stop customer service dropped way down several notches in my opinion because of this.

- theSoutherner


-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3123 days


#11 posted 06-26-2016 04:37 PM

FWIW … a buddy of mine was ripping cedar for birdhouses when BANG!.

He saw a tiny red mark on his thumb, but didn’t think he had touched the blade.

The shop where we bought our saws told him to do the questionnaire and send the blade in.

SawStop examined it, said they found flesh on the blade, and sent him a replacement blade and cartridge.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View clin's profile

clin

510 posts in 456 days


#12 posted 06-26-2016 08:05 PM



FWIW … a buddy of mine was ripping cedar for birdhouses when BANG!.

He saw a tiny red mark on his thumb, but didn t think he had touched the blade.

The shop where we bought our saws told him to do the questionnaire and send the blade in.

SawStop examined it, said they found flesh on the blade, and sent him a replacement blade and cartridge.

- TheDane

I knew they replaced cartridges when triggered on a finger contact (says that right in the manual), but didn’t know they would replace a blade.

In my case, no reason whatsoever that they should replace mine. My mistake 100%. Saw did exactly what it was supposed to do.

If I ever do trigger it on a finger strike, I’ll feel like I won the lottery. At least I would know I made a good call getting the SawStop. However, I will always try my best to avoid it. I view the brake like I do air bags in my car. It’s just there IF I ever need it. Not an excuse to drive or operate a saw less safely.

-- Clin

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

694 posts in 1443 days


#13 posted 06-27-2016 01:44 PM

Well at least you know it’s working…best not to ever have to find out, but it did what its supposed to do.

-- Nick, "Choking to death on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover." - JG

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