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SawStop doesn't detect when I touch lightly on the blade?

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Forum topic by ppg677 posted 04-23-2017 01:26 AM 2302 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ppg677

134 posts in 695 days


04-23-2017 01:26 AM

I just got my SawStop PCS. First, amazing attention to detail in both the product and the assembly instructions.

With the saw off, when it detects your finger the lights flash red. I am surprised that merely touching the blade with light pressure doesn’t cause it to start blinking red. Only when I press down harder does it blink. I took a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6W3SrTpiIU

Is this working as intended? I tried two different blades. Same thing.


28 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#1 posted 04-23-2017 04:06 AM

I’ve always been concerned about the SawStop concept. You are sacrificing your safety to technology. Will it work as expected? Do I need to slap a wienie weekly, and pay the $180+ repair bill.?

I know I have to respect my blade, because it will not yield. What if I thought it would yield, like a SawStop, and it didn’t?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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ppg677

134 posts in 695 days


#2 posted 04-23-2017 04:11 AM

I prefer to buy a car with airbags. I don’t drive more recklessly because my car has airbags.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

921 posts in 1950 days


#3 posted 04-23-2017 04:17 AM



I ve always been concerned about the SawStop concept. You are sacrificing your safety to technology. Will it work as expected? Do I need to slap a wienie weekly, and pay the $180+ repair bill.?

I know I have to respect my blade, because it will not yield. What if I thought it would yield, like a SawStop, and it didn t?

- RichTaylor

That seems like a silly argument. What are you doing where you expect the blade to yield? It’s a safety feature for accidents.

Sorry OP, I have no idea.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#4 posted 04-23-2017 04:27 AM


That seems like a silly argument. What are you doing where you expect the blade to yield? It s a safety feature for accidents.

Sorry OP, I have no idea.

- JADobson

You misunderstood. I said my blade would not yield — and I know that. Therefore I respect it. My point was the failure of a system, like the SawStop. What if I trusted it, and it failed?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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JADobson

921 posts in 1950 days


#5 posted 04-23-2017 04:40 AM

But what possible situation would there be where you would need to trust it? I’m sure every SS owner still treats their blade like it could hurt them. Even though the safety feature exists no one wants to actually use it. It’s just for accidents which, if they happened on any other saw, could be catastrophic.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1564 posts in 3082 days


#6 posted 04-23-2017 05:04 AM

To the op, you should call saw stop. I have a pcs and I have touched the blade several times , when it is not moving, obviously, and it doesn’t matter if I gaze it or touch it with more force, I always get the blinking red light. Natural moisture on human skin provides the transfer of the signal, is it possible your hands were extra dry or you had some glue on the point of contact on your fingers? Just theorizing why your reaction is different from mine and other experiences I have heard about.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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clin

751 posts in 835 days


#7 posted 04-23-2017 05:18 AM


You misunderstood. I said my blade would not yield — and I know that. Therefore I respect it. My point was the failure of a system, like the SawStop. What if I trusted it, and it failed?

- RichTaylor

What misunderstanding, you specifically said this “You are sacrificing your safety to technology. “

Just as ppg677 said, you are not less safe having a safety feature. And, as with air bags, with a SawStop you are not less safe if it doesn’t work, than if you didn’t have it at all. Though just like air bags, you want to make sure all your safety features are functioning properly. After all, that’s one of the reason people buy SawStop saws.

Having a SawStop, I can assure you, I do not even think about the safety feature while using the saw. I do not take additional risks. Even if I were to factor that in while using it, the expense of a replacement cartridge and blade is reason enough not get sloppy.

To the OP, I think the problem may be the blade. It doesn’t look like a SawStop blade. While it could be a reflection of the red insert, It looks like a red Fraud or Diablo blade. The red paint doesn’t conduct electricity.

As a general rule, you don’t use coated blades with a SawStop. Though check with them for details. I do use some red Fraud blades, but I remove the paint around the arbor hole so the large washers, that go on each side of the blade, make contact with metal on the blade and not paint.

It’s probably not so much that you are pushing on the blade to get it to blink, as much as when you push, your finger flattens out and make a much better contact (more surface area). Though pushing could also make some sort of change at the blade to arbor contact point.

But the issue isn’t really the connection from you finger to the blade, rather the blade to the arbor. Since, it appears you are touching the bare blade tooth. Though I think even some blades have clear coating. So perhaps there is something coating the blade tooth that is insulating it. This of course would only apply if this were a brand spanking new blade, since any cutting would quickly wear off a coating on the blade tooth.

If nothing else, put the SawStop blade on (if that’s not what you are using) and redo your test. If it works as expected, then you have probably shown that it is the blade and almost certainly a coating on the blade that is the issue.

-- Clin

View marc_rosen's profile

marc_rosen

127 posts in 3020 days


#8 posted 04-23-2017 11:42 AM

Hey ppg677,
I have an ICS and have passively tested the system by touching the blade many times. On the rare occasions where the red light does not go on I’ll wet my finger and touch it again and the light goes on immediately. Have you tried other parts of your hand lightly as well or do you just push harder.

Clin’s comment about pushing harder is on the same track, you are making better contact. Still it could be your blade; I’m not a blade expert but yours looks as if it has a paint coating and this could affect its conduction though the arbor.
There is a chance your saw may not be as sensitive as others but my thinking is if you changed your blades you’d see different results. Please follow up your post if you see better results with the stock or bare blades.
.
. .Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

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Redoak49

2904 posts in 1827 days


#9 posted 04-23-2017 11:51 AM

Call SawStop…

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4762 posts in 2332 days


#10 posted 04-23-2017 12:03 PM

I have one and it detects even the slightest touch,. Kind of echoing a couple of things already said: call Sawstop, they have set a new standard in customer service and will be helpful. That said, I’m betting it’s the coated blade causing the apparent reduced sensitivity. Try it with one that’s not coated and see what happens (maybe the blade that came with the saw).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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ppg677

134 posts in 695 days


#11 posted 04-23-2017 12:26 PM

I got the same result with the factory blade. I will call SawStop.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7661 posts in 2753 days


#12 posted 04-23-2017 02:33 PM

  • The blade you show in the video, is in dire need of cleaning, IMO. Does, or can, that buildup act like an insulator?...Might be worth testing with a multi-meter.
  • Another question to consider is, just how calloused are each woodworkers hands? I would think that callused hands would be more resistant to electrical conduction… How much more, who knows.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

134 posts in 695 days


#13 posted 04-23-2017 02:38 PM

I think it is working as intended. A slight lick of the fingertip makes the detection immediate with a light touch.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3391 posts in 3735 days


#14 posted 04-23-2017 08:41 PM

I use Frued blades pretty exclusively and I’ve also tested with my finger touching the blade. I’ve never had a blade touch not end in a red light.

My only problem with my saw stop is that it doesn’t get used enough. Of course, I would have the same issue with any table saw I suppose.

For the OP – I would call SS just to talk to them about the issue. They’ve always been very good about answering all my questions when they come up.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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johnstoneb

2641 posts in 2011 days


#15 posted 04-23-2017 08:49 PM

I just tried mine a little bit ago. The light didn’t come on until I licked my finger. My hands were extremely dry when I first tried it ans had to push a little harder to get it to come on. As soon as my finger was damp it came on with a very lite touch

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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