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USA today article on saw safety

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Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 02-02-2011 03:24 PM 2005 views 1 time favorited 59 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2188 days


02-02-2011 03:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tablesaw

I’m the one who started this post and I think it’s run it’s course. Maybe we should just let it rest for now as I think it’s been exhausted. Get back to blogging about wood and woodworking. So, I recommend that this posting be read only for now. Everyone, thanks for you input and ideas. It will be interesting to see what does develop over time.

Boy, I don’t wnat to start another sawstop and finger cutting argument. I just saw this article in USA Today and though some might be interested.

Article on Saw safety in USA Today

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.


59 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1819 days


#1 posted 02-02-2011 03:30 PM

I saw that too, and wonder if Glass is really interested in saw safety – or cashing in on his patents.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1602 posts in 2042 days


#2 posted 02-02-2011 03:30 PM

Well, it only took them until the 3rd paragraph to invoke the “c” word (children).

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2188 days


#3 posted 02-02-2011 03:33 PM

Think about it though. I’ve seen the cabinet saw. It looks like a good machine. Don’t you wish you had one, just in case? I know I do every time my old Delta winds up and looks like it could bite me.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View terry603's profile

terry603

319 posts in 1664 days


#4 posted 02-02-2011 03:35 PM

yup,,fear invoking artical ,,for the non users to feel good about their efforts to keep us all safe. looks like they just changed the word guns to saw.

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1602 posts in 2042 days


#5 posted 02-02-2011 03:36 PM

I do have one. But I can still think Gass is a creep for the way he tried to get his system mandated. What I don’t understand is this: big corporations steal patents from small inventors all the time; why not this time?

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View ChrisForthofer's profile

ChrisForthofer

150 posts in 1818 days


#6 posted 02-02-2011 03:47 PM

For once I would like to see one of these articles where Gass wasnt interviewed and quoted extensively. It just comes off as what I believe it truly is, stirring up public outrage so he can cash in on his patents. Before I get jumped for being a saw stop hater let me point out that ANYTHING dangerous could be made safer with a little tinkering. Why not mandate full roll cages for all vehicles, how many lives would that save? I am tired of this guys fear-mongering to get his technology mandated into use. If he truly “built a better mousetrap” why arent manufacturers lining up to use it? (besides the obvious tinfoil hat, black helicopter conspiracy theories)

Chris.

-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View Hoakie's profile

Hoakie

306 posts in 2787 days


#7 posted 02-02-2011 03:59 PM

I feel it should be a case where if he forces Government mandates, his patent rights should be prematurely forfeited. Especially since he is just interested in keeping people from losing digits…correct?

Don’t get me wrong I would love to have one but can’t fit it into my budget. I know I am “gambling” by using a TS without this technology, but I don’t have much of choice right now so I use every other safety precautions available.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

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JJohnston

1602 posts in 2042 days


#8 posted 02-02-2011 04:05 PM

“I feel it should be a case where if he forces Government mandates, his patent rights should be prematurely forfeited. Especially since he is just interested in keeping people from losing digits…correct?”

Ha! That’ll be the day (although I agree).

Does anybody remember Mercedes-Benz’ commercials from way back when? One of their selling points is that they actually do this – they let other car manufacturers use their safety patents for free. In their commercials, they would say something like, “You may not have a Mercedes, but chances are, you have Mercedes technology no matter what car you drive.”

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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Hoakie

306 posts in 2787 days


#9 posted 02-02-2011 04:07 PM

Yeah I know it will never happen and it would have serious implications on the entire patent system and entrepreneurial system….but wishful thinking never hurts :)

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1825 days


#10 posted 02-02-2011 04:21 PM

The first line in this article starts, “As pressure to address debilitating table-saw injuries builds,”.

Where is this pressure coming from? I don’t think it is coming from the woodworking or carpentry communities. It’s coming from “do-gooders” that have probably never used a table saw in their lives.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

323 posts in 1671 days


#11 posted 02-02-2011 04:25 PM

I like these 2 parts

“Some say its numerous patents make it impossible for sawmakers to develop their own versions.”

...

“Stuart Singer, a lawyer working on the cases at Boies Schiller & Flexner, says the power-tool industry “with millions of dollars in resources” should have made safer saws if Gass could “with things bought at RadioShack.”“

Well, it appears to me that the patents are preventing them from doing something similar without lining their competition’s (Sawstop brand) pockets. Kind of seems like Sawstop gets a large and unfair market advantage.

It’s like when Microsoft had code built into Windows that pre-loads part of internet explorer into memory as part of Windows startup just to make internet explorer seemingly load faster than any of their competitors when you click on it. Netscape sued Microsoft for anticompetitive conduct and won because it’s an unfair advantage.

This Sawstop situation is similar in that I’m sure if Netscape payed “royalties” to Microsoft they could have gotten their software incorporated into the Window startup as well.

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

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RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1934 days


#12 posted 02-02-2011 04:40 PM

I’m all for progress and new technologies and the Saw Stop looks to be a fine product that can save some people injuries but I don’t want the government telling me what to buy. Where’s the safety device for the skill saw, chain saw, router, saber saw..etc etc. Common sense, situational awareness and knowledge of the equipment your operating is essential to the operators safety. In the case of shop classes that I took there was always a discussion regarding safety at the beginning of every days class. For every safety feature that’s invented there will always be those that figure a way around it and then when they get injured there will be those that blame the manufacturer because they should be idiot proof. We just have smarter idiots!

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2188 days


#13 posted 02-02-2011 05:19 PM

I’ve been called a liberal. Actually I’m a moderate but that’s neither here for there… But our Country runs on capitalism. If sawstop was awarded a patent, not easy to do btw and costly, for a number of innovations it means that after exhaustive research and cost the US government decided that he had a device that was new and had potential for use. If it at all infringed on other people’s ideas then it wouldn’t have been awarded. They are very, very strict on that and thousands of potential patents get refused each year for this reason.

And let’s face it. Someone said it’s made from parts you could get from Radioshack. Well so is a communications satellite. Things are made from parts. To say that anyone could have thought of this device is foolish. If I said 10 years ago that we should make a saw that distinguishes between a finger and a piece of wood and snaps a blade down into the saw at lightning speed so that you don’t even get a cut, you probably would have said, “and what alien technology do you have access to?”.

So, the govt. says you’re an innovative entrepreneur. Like all other companies the patent says that he deserves royalties for the use of his invention. Our capitalist system says that he can sell his saw, his invention or license it to others. So, why do people think that he should give it away just because you want it? If the government mandates more safety for table saws then the other companies can do it any way they want to. If they can’t invent a way like sawstop did they can license his. The family of the intermittent wiper on cars is getting royalties for that invention to this day. It is the American way. And the government mandates other items for general public safety. We have seatbelts. What seems more dangerous, a car without seatbelts or a hooked wiring blade moving at thousands or rpms that you put your fingers within 6 inches of regularly?

In my opinion:
The government is right in looking into possible upgrading of such a dangerous item.
Saw companies have the right to invent and patent their own solutions.
Sawstop has a legal patent for a very innovative device that they deserve to use as they please. If other saw companies can’t find a solution, sawstop even has the right to keep it only for their own saws and outsell all others.

People will buy it. Let’s face it. If you could, you’d have one wouldn’t you? If not it’s probably just because on some principle. But if it came with all saws right now you wouldn’t be complaining that you had it on your saw; That you’d rather take a chance at losing a few fingers? For those people who want to have fun wondering if they’ll have all their fingers in a few years remember, it has a switch to turn it off too.

I have a nephew who’s recently gotten into the woodworking habit thanks to doing a couple of projects in my shop. He’s got a good job, home and is configuring a shop in his cellar as we speak. I introduced him to the sawstop and told him if I could do it again I’d get one. He’s taking delivery today on the 3hp cabinet sawstop. I’m so glad he did. He’s 27 years old and I’m confident he has a much better chance of staying whole than a counterpart who chooses another brand. And the first time he nicks his finger and the sawstop slams into the table (if it happens) I’ll shudder to think what might have happened if I had guided him otherwise. To me, this is a no-brainer.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1665 days


#14 posted 02-02-2011 06:00 PM

The first guy who lost his fingers and Gass used in his lawsuit example, had bypassed the built-in safety features of the saw he was using (took off splitter and guard). That guy won his lawsuit against the company for not having SS technology.

Now what happens when a guy buys a SS, turns it to ”bypass” mode (bypassing the built-in safety features) and proceeds to cut his fingers off? NOW it’s the consumer’s fault but not in the earlier case? Yeah, right.

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

View Wolffarmer's profile

Wolffarmer

393 posts in 1989 days


#15 posted 02-02-2011 06:42 PM

They say the technology is “Affordable”. Affordable is like nailing jelly to a wall. It looks like the SS system costs at least an extra $200. That would double the price of some saws. Then when it fires off there goes some more $. So you end up with older saws being ran longer, more home made saws, even more unsafe methods of cutting wood being used, people giving up and buying crap from some big box store. $200 bucks added to a high end saw is not hard for a person to pay.

Real question is, Just how far does society need to go to save us from our selves.

just my ramblings

Randy

-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

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