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Saw Stop rears it's ugly head

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 06-15-2011 06:51 PM 3892 views 0 times favorited 110 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

2879 posts in 1939 days


06-15-2011 06:51 PM

I guess you have heard the latest by now. The consumer safety council has been contacted by Saw Stop to have their invention mandated on the entire saw industry. The Saw Stop was demoed to the director of the consumer safety council and she was impressed; impressed enough to launch an investigation into safety and the consumer. Steve Gass, inventor of Saw Stop has teamed up with a big law firm to force the issue. If it works, he stands to make millions on license fees and royalities. There goes our freedom of choice. This mandatory use of Saw Stop technology stands a good chance of becoming law because non-saw users always are thinking that safety should be forced down other people’s throats whether they like it or not. People who don’t like guns want to prohibit guns for everyone else. Now it’s the same with power saws. Whenever it’s a question of safety, most will vote in favor of safety even without knowing what the safety is for. The word “safety” is a positive buzz word regardless of what needs safety. I am not opposed to the Saw Stop. In fact I think it should be mandated into school wood shops and work places like cabinet shops, but not on the general public. This is the first new technology to address safety and I think other equal or better safety options will be available in the future. If the power tool industry shares the blame for the lack of safety it’s because they may be dragging their feet. maybe this Saw Stop business will boot the industry into high gear to find new safety technology. If they don’t, Saw Stop will become a monopoly and that will cost the consumer plenty. You can go to the following link for the story as it now stands:
www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127780027
Opps! I didn’t realize this topic was already covered.


110 replies so far

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reggiek

2240 posts in 1966 days


#1 posted 06-15-2011 07:03 PM

Interesting info….I like the idea of extra safety…in fact I probably would have purchased a Saw Stop if it have been available when I needed to upgrade. As for mandating this…I find that appalling….the law does not exist to make one person wealthy….I appreciate the inventor’s iniative….and he should be compensated for his excellent safety innovation but not by law…it should be a matter for the consumer to decide…..if we want additional safety we can spend for the extra – but we should still have the choice of the cost of a non Saw Stop equiped saw as they have been available and in use for years – the Saw Stop innovation adds too much to the cost…and that is without including the cost to replace the mechanism when it is triggered (I don’t foresee the law helping us out in that regard).......I too believe that the government is over reaching it’s authority when it starts forcing manufacturers to use a certain method of design.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1389 days


#2 posted 06-15-2011 07:23 PM

I’ve been arguing in a similar thread. I’m interested to see where the American Medical Association will fall on this one. I bet they’ll be a powerful lobby force on Gass’s side, a force that the Gov’t is used to agreeing with. Too bad.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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crank49

3466 posts in 1667 days


#3 posted 06-15-2011 07:42 PM

Any company wanting to profit from government “over reaching” it’s authority certainly has the right administration in charge to do just that. . . for now.

I’d give Mr. Gass a little less than two more years to ram this down our throats. Then he better be ready to compete in a free market.

I won’t deny that he has an inovative product. As an engineer I can see exactly how it works and really appreciate how he realized he could capture the energy of the spinning blade and use it to retract the blade. Pretty sharp thinking, in my opinion. But, to take any product, good or bad, and force it on a free people is just simply not consistant with the way things are, or at least used to, be done in this country.

Edison invented the electric light bulb. Good idea. Did the government force everyone to only use Edison bulbs? No. Edison also thought all electric distribution systems should be providing DC current. Bad idea. DC can’t be stepped up to high voltage with transformers; a feature of Westinghouse’s developement of AC power and what makes long range transmission lines possible. Good thing the government did not force us to only use Edison’s products or we would have never gotten past the battery powered light or households would have to each have their own generator sets.

The government’s job in regard to wood working tools is to gurantee free markets, fair trade, regulate safety when it’s in the public’s best interest. There is no reason or justification for the government requiring everyone to use only one specific manufacturer’s products. To do so would likely kill any chance of other inovations that might be developed over time to compete with Mr Gass’s design. If an idea works and people can afford and justify it’s cost, it will capture the market on it’s own; and thats the way it should be.

Thanks for listening, I’ll get off my stump now and get back to work.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2914 days


#4 posted 06-15-2011 07:57 PM

Without coming down for or against Sawstop, my question is this:

Has the government ever mandated a safety technology to which one company alone holds the patent?

I’d be surprised if they have, and I’ll be surprised if they do it now. What they MAY do is eventually mandate some sort of blade-stopping feature, but it won’t be a specific enough requirement to force the use of Sawstop technology. Instead, we’ll see the big manufacturers coming up with some of their own alternatives. Just my prediction.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View wildbill001's profile

wildbill001

99 posts in 1338 days


#5 posted 06-15-2011 08:00 PM

Just watch. IF this happens, what ya wanna bet that down the road if a Saw-stop should fail to function properly and injury results, that the legal community will be told to “go fly a kite”? As in, you can’t sue the gov’t.

OR maybe just the opposite will happen. Accident results, class action law-suit and no more saw-stop.

Jeesh, can’t win one way or the other. Oh, wait. I can my “vote” with my wallet…

Bill

-- "You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back" -- Unknown

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1679 days


#6 posted 06-15-2011 08:10 PM

Since Saw Stop was invented Mr. Gass has been pushing for this to come about in the industry. Like any good lawyer Mr. Gass knows he just needs to find the right buttons to push, and knows its only a matter of time to take effect. By building his own line, he has set the example and is pushing to get it done before others can get a foot in the door. When Mr. Gass gets this accomplished I imagine it will only be a matter of time before we see Band Saw Stop and Router Stop as well. Mind you I’m all for safety and agree that there are some cheap made tools that need to be removed from the market, but at what cost for the little guy to deal with.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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helluvawreck

15965 posts in 1562 days


#7 posted 06-15-2011 08:18 PM

Well, our debt is around 14-1/2 trillion, give or take a couple hundred billion. It’s obviously not going to get cut by any politicians that I’m aware of. What little they cut a while back was eaten up by unexpected expenses and that took ‘em how many weeks of quibbling? You might as well say that every new regulation that causes the government to take on something new will be done with borrowed money. Our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are already in hopeless debt – even those that aren’t born yet. The Federal Reserve is holding the interest rates at practically zero but they can’t do this for long because all of the people who are buying our debt are getting fed up with our stupidity. In order to entice enough people to buy our debt the FED will have to allow interest rates to start climbing and when that happens Americans are going to have hell to pay because interest on debt will be one of the biggest things on the budget. The American people had better get a grip on themselves and their politicians and stop demanding that the government taking care of their every need from cradle to grave including a lot of things they don’t need or even want.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2879 posts in 1939 days


#8 posted 06-15-2011 08:59 PM

Although Saw Stop is a great idea, the thing that bothers me about devices like this is: the public, without paying attention to good safety habits, may become too comfortable around power tools knowing that a Saw Stop device will save them. When they disregard good safety practice, that’s when some other tool, like a miter saw will injure them. A healthy respect for all power tools is necessary as the first defense against injury. I think you will be seeing a lot more innovative safety devices hitting the market soon; I know! I’m working on it right now.
The positives of the Saw Stop are obvious, but there are too many negatives about this system. 1st is the cost, 2nd is the necessity to buy a new cartridge and 3rd is the necessity to buy a new blade every time the device trips. Saw Stop has a long way to go before it can be considered a perfect safety device.

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SCOTSMAN

5439 posts in 2281 days


#9 posted 06-15-2011 09:13 PM

I have always asked the question sawstop aside , why not use three phase motors utilizing two of the phases, and when an accident is about to occur instead of explosive devices being used rendering the saw useless till repaired at great cost and of course inconvenience damage etc. Why not set a device to recognize the fingers being close or almost touching ,but not touching the blade .Then using a laser device coupled to a switch very near the blade, then one of the phazes could be set in motion to repel the other phase i.e. on forward and the other set into reverse renderring the saw imediately stopped with no forward or rear motion.Three phase motors have had this ability to stop them selves dead in milliseconds using one phase against the other for years then when a few minutes owing to a time switch delay was passed the saw could be reset to work once more without inconvenience cost or harm to the user owner. Hust a thought. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1389 days


#10 posted 06-15-2011 09:20 PM

If powermatic comes out with a 3+hp table with saw stopping feature that salvages the blade and charges $1000 over their current top 1 ph model, I will buy one. Nothing against improved safety; something against tinkering with the free market.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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SCOTSMAN

5439 posts in 2281 days


#11 posted 06-15-2011 09:31 PM

Bertha you make a decent valid point.The destruction, and cost, and inconvenience, of saw stop as I understand it, will force other manufacturers to reproduce it more cheaply, or make a better alternative. This type of technology good as it is is not ideal because of these three features.Lets keep our eyes on this ball and see whaere it goes something will happen as sawstop has changed the way we view saws from now on and only for the better my genuine opinion Alistair and kind regards

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View crank49's profile

crank49

3466 posts in 1667 days


#12 posted 06-15-2011 10:22 PM

The mechanical beauty of the the Saw Stop design is that it uses the inertia of the blade itself to stop the blade. The blade digging into the honeycomb aluminum stop block imparts a huge force into the block. Much more energy than the motor could produce; even if way over loaded in reverse. Then that energy is re-directed to snatching the blade below the table, while at the same time which releases the tension on the motor drive belts. This way the brake doesn’t have to stop the inertia of the motor, just the blade. Re-directing the energy like this is what lets this thing work without destroying itself. Kinda like a bullet glancing off a steel plate instead of driving directly into it. The stop block is destroyed but the blade is usually not, but it should be professionally inspected before reuse. the motor and arbor are able to survive the process as well.

The other attemps to stop a saw blade with brakes, motor locks, power phase reversal, as far as I know, all allow the blade to make several revolutions after the brake is engaged. In other words, they all kill the weiner if it’s allowed to contact the blade before activation.

Since Gass is a patent lawyer I doubt he would leave the patent open in a way that allows other manufacturers to use the energy re-directing trick to stop the blade; without paying him royalties anyway.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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SCOTSMAN

5439 posts in 2281 days


#13 posted 06-15-2011 10:35 PM

MY idea was really originally although I wandered off alittle was to stop the saw before your fingers hit the blade by using alaser operated switch may thats just me dreaming again still I see no reason whay it could not be done.How about a loud warning signal verbal or otherwise when your fingers became dangerously close thet should work if you decide to ignore it then it’s your own stupidity that will lose you fingers.I know I have taken stuopid chances when tired this might just be the thing to make you rethink your ideas.I guess naively that the idea is to save limbs as oposed to making dollars maybe thets another dream from me .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1679 days


#14 posted 06-16-2011 12:10 AM

Alistair, have you heard about the Whirlwind?
http://www.whirlwindtool.com/
To me this is a more practical safety device.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View pierce85's profile

pierce85

508 posts in 1258 days


#15 posted 06-16-2011 12:14 AM

Hey CessnaPilotBarry, I’m interested but with the impending doom of SawStop legislation, I fear the government would impound that wonderful machine of yours and send me to a work camp in Iowa. I could handle Minnesota or even North Dakota but not Iowa. For the love of God… not Iowa!

Of course, if you’re willing to part with it at a significant discount, say a couple of Benjamins and a box of donuts, I could pick it up as early as tomorrow. I’m only a hop, skip, and jump away from you. we’ll have to meet at an undisclosed location, in a dark alley, wearing overcoats and sporting Bob Villa facial hair but that’s a given, right? How does downtown Hartford sound to you? Okay, okay, Stamford then.

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