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Forum topic by pete57 posted 10-08-2011 10:14 AM 3290 views 1 time favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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134 posts in 3410 days

10-08-2011 10:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saws

The first saw I ever used was an old Rockwell/Delta Unisaw. It was a real 3hp saw and it kind of frighten me. That was the best part!! I was told that if you want to work with wood and use machines you had to be safe or body parts would come up missing and them you would be talking at the Pearly Gates soon after. Never drink and work with wood, never. Never have children in the shop period. Put a light in the ceiling that is run by a switch so someone could make you aware of their presents without being surprised. This brings me to the part that is saying it is Ok to be unsafe and stupid in the workshop.

I have no problem with innovation and progress, but I am not going to purchase a saw that stops and tears a blade all to hell in the blink of an eye and then you have to buy a new blade and component to start the saw back up. My good friend has a Saw Stop contractor saw. It just shut down on its own the other day and he is out a brand new Frued Blade ($116.00) and the component. He has to by a new one and send the other one off to determine if it was his fault or a bad cell. They will never agree to a bad part and so he may get a new component, but they will never give him a new blade. I will agree that the technology be used in schools and places like that, but not down my throat.

I feel that the industry is headed to a no choice on what ever brand saw you buy. They will all have this technology which will drive woodworking machines up and who can afford a $3,500.00 saw (Powermatic 2000) when the time comes? If this component becomes law on tablesaws, how will it affect home shop guys and beginners when minimum wage has not gone up? Everything is going up except money coming in from day to day working???

-- Humble Wood Servant

47 replies so far

View pariswoodworking's profile


386 posts in 2484 days

#1 posted 10-08-2011 12:06 PM

I don’t think they should make it a law for that vere reason. Tablesaw makers such as Powermatic, Delta, Craftsman, Jet, ect. should start making saws with that saftey feature on it but should also keep making the regular, cheaper saws too. That saftey feature is really good, but there are still a few bugs in it that need to be fixed.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View knotscott's profile


8014 posts in 3374 days

#2 posted 10-08-2011 12:41 PM

Unfortunately communism is alive and well in the US, and people don’t even realize when they’re legislating in favor of it.

Life is hazardous to your health, and people do stupid things…how do we regulate that?

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View mmax's profile


179 posts in 3454 days

#3 posted 10-08-2011 01:11 PM

As stated by Will Rogers:

“You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense into people”

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3072 days

#4 posted 10-08-2011 02:00 PM

Have two Unisaw’s in the school shop: A 2001 model with a 50” Biesmeyer, and a 1964 Unisaw with the standard unisaw fence. The old ‘64 motor finally shot craps this week. It had been overheating and shutting down of late, but it finally cashed it in. The trunion has been cracked and repaired a couple of times, and the arbor bearing has been replaced at least twice in the last 11 years. The ol’ girl will most likely get a new home, because when I mentioned it to my Assistant Principal (an old shop teacher), he said he wanted two bids: one to repair the motor and get the ol’ girl up to snuff… and one for the Saw Stop PCS with the 52” fence system.

He and I have talked about this day for several years, knowing that the ol’ girl would need some major corrective surgery pretty darn soon. He has told me that he didn’t think the Administration nor the School Board would have any major hiccups about purchasing the Saw Stop. There are some things about the saw that do worry me. The chance for a “defective trigger” that may smash into the saw blade and trash it. But that is a risk I get to live with. The bigger danger is, of course, the “intentional” trigger, but I think we have that one covered.

You see… My school has security cameras set up just about every where execpt the classrooms (the teachers unions aren’t crazy about cameras in the classroom) and the bathrooms/lockerooms (obvious reasons). However, we do have them in the shop, because access to the amount and value of equipment and tools dictates that. Any triggering incident can be observed on the security cameras, and the intent of the operator can be evaluated.

That said, I have seen a live demo of the Saw Stop at a trade show. It is pretty impressively loud. Just like when a band saw blade breaks… everyone within earshop will know about it.

The plan would/will be to use the 2001 model Unisaw for dado’s and as a secondary saw, and the Saw Stop as the primary ripping/panel crosscutting station. I have plenty of room, so that is not a major issue.

As the Principal said, after watching the Saw Stop demo on Time Warp, “I don’t see how the School District can NOT afford to purchase this at this time.”

Like many on this forum, I don’t necessarily agree with the politics involved with the merchandising of the Saw Stop. That said, however, the idea, and its implementation, is very solid. No complaint here. It is simply too bad that the other saw makers, who have manufactured great equipment in the past, have not figured out a way to develop some sort of safety device that performs adequately.

The last seven words in any organization: “We’ve never done it that way before!”

View pete57's profile


134 posts in 3410 days

#5 posted 10-09-2011 02:07 PM

Man this is weird!! Someone agreed with me on this issue. I have a delta contractor saw with the original round bar fence system. Made in America. 24 years old. It is time to replace it soon but it will be used as a panel saw. It has given me many years of joy. I told my beautiful graceful loving and caring and generous, best friend in the world mistress honey bunny wife that it is time to get the new saw. I have given up on looking for a Powermatic 66 and will go with the PM 2000? Thanks everyone.

-- Humble Wood Servant

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2771 days

#6 posted 10-12-2011 06:30 PM

I agree that purchasing a Saw Stop is a personal choice, and it shouldn’t be mandated. But I also wish more companies had saws with sawstop like technology so it would bring the cost down. I think the reason that sawstops are so expensive is because they can be. In a recent article it in Fine WW they said it would cost $50 to add to a saw. I would love to have a new delta unisaw that had a “sawstop” option for $200 or so.

As for the accidental break, I’ve read several posts where people had misfires, sent the break in and sawstop confirmed and refunded the cost of the break and blade. I don’t know how common that is but it does happen.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#7 posted 10-12-2011 07:12 PM

These discussions are driving me nuts.
BRAKE is a devise that stops something.
BREAK is what you take when you are tired, or what happens to glass when you drop it.

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3072 days

#8 posted 11-23-2011 04:52 PM

The Saw Stop arrived and the dealer did the set up last Tuesday.

It is really a decent tool. I was really surprised at the precision of the set up (after I pulled out my mag base dial indicator and did a couple of spot checks). The blade was less than .002 with both the miter slots and the rip fence, and the fence was parallel with the miter slots. The table top was flat and the extensions were nearly perfect dead flush.

An item I am already trying to figure out how to do: The blade guard has a dust collection port on it, but I am not sure I want to put the overarm hanger on the saw for the dust collection tube necessary to make it effective.

BTW, the 2001 model unisaw is now on a portable base and it is still a joy to use. My Principal says I need to get the old equipment disposed of via Craigslist or Ebay. I’ll let everyone know the links and the dates when they go on sale. The old unisaw is still a great tool, minus the motor.

View calicant's profile


30 posts in 2407 days

#9 posted 11-23-2011 06:33 PM

First they have to convince you that you are the hot dog. Then they show you how safe you will be if you got shoved (slowly) into the blade.

I also thought the hot dogs were fed slowly – until I saw this video

Skip forward to 6 minutes to avoid a lot of sales banter

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117091 posts in 3576 days

#10 posted 11-23-2011 06:47 PM

I”m a SS fan even though I don’t own one. I would rather see a saw blade destroyed than a persons hand. I don’t know if they will make it a law to have SS type brakes on all saws but if they do we won’t have a choice weather we want to be safe or not. I guess they had these kind of debates before air bags and seat belts in cars were man dated too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3072 days

#11 posted 11-23-2011 07:01 PM

cr1: I agree with you… to a point: that point is for you, it is a hobby; for me, it is a profession. For you, it is in your own shop; for me, it is in a shop owned by the district and there, the people who pay taxes in that district.

My bosses, and the lawyers, lawfirms, and insurance companies that direct me/us, say, at present, that purchasing a Saw Stop is the prudent thing to possess and use.

But there are other factors, and therefore, facts that support them, that make this purchase equally improbable in this day and age. The mere fact that my program, at a public school, no less, has not been mothballed, or worse, sold off, simply at the demise of an expensive power tool in this day and age is a positive. The fact that the District said buy the Saw Stop, instead of insisting on fixing the “Old Girl,” (a mere $2999 for the Saw Stop!) is also testament to the support that my district has in my program and in me.

You can do whatever you wish in your shop and that really doesn’t have any bearing on me or my situation and that is great. You can have your opinion and, like the previous sentence, that is also fine with me. This is, afterall, America!

However, the special interests that have taken control of our country and dictate what lights we can buy to seat belts and airbags in our cars to crib railing ballister spacings to the very device used to pop the top on that can of beer you have in your shop have dictated that this is the item that will be in the best interest of the people who use it and therefore, own it.

You probably have complete control of who gets to use your equipment in your shop. That is a luxury I don’t have. You can pick who gets to use your equipment and who gets to use it; I don’t always and can’t always.

Now at home in my own shop… well… that… is a different story, entirely!

View omextreme's profile


49 posts in 2376 days

#12 posted 11-23-2011 07:39 PM

Ill throw in my opinion here. I just bought a sawstop, for me I make a living off of my fingers not in the woodworking industry but without all 10 I would be out a career. So for me it was a “why the heck not” reason. I agree that this technology should not be forced on anyone and I “probably” will never need it but to me the off chance the unit fires once a year and eats $200 is worth it. Plus my neighbors are idiots with power tools and always want to use my saw so…..

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#13 posted 11-23-2011 08:11 PM

cr1, why don’t you design us a blade stop that uses a brake like a lawnmower uses. That could sit behind the blade and be attached to the arbor. We need a triggering device that would trip the brake. It works on lawn mowers so why no table saws? We need someone out there to design a device so there is some competition. We also need something that doesn’t destroy half the machine and cause all this grief. Some thing that doesn’t shut you down for a month

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3072 days

#14 posted 11-23-2011 08:27 PM

cr!: you sound really jaded about this issue… or you have already started drinking those beers you mentioned earlier! Teaching people how to safely use woodworking equipment IS part of the profession I am in; therefore, for me, it IS a profession; MY profession.

I am not sure how you, or anyone else, can make the diabolical assumption that simply because there is an additional safety item installed on any item, that “there’ll be people who don’t have a lifetime of safe work habits around machinery.”

That is like saying that seatbelts and airbags will eliminate traffic fatalities; therefore all drivers will no longer be safe. We know that seatbelts and airbags help save lives.

Same goes for motorcycle helmets, and I live in an “no helmet required” State!

I make my kids wear safety glasses; not because it is the law (in my State, anyway!), but because it is that ounce of protection against the pound of cure.

The purchase of the Saw Stop… or dust collection… or the Binks Spray Booth… or water based lacquers… or ANY other proven advancement that also increases safety and decreases the normal day to day hazards that are inevitable in the woodshop are welcomed.

After 24 years, I’ve got a pretty good handle on my profession and the safety technologies available to me. I’ll take advantage of them when I can.

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2419 days

#15 posted 11-23-2011 08:46 PM

@Grandpa: The main problem I see with designing a new one, is that the original patent application is usually made as broad as possible and any device that does effectively the same thing but functions differently, or by a different mechanism would still be patent infringement.

Whoever attempts to jump into this arena will certainly look forward to years of patent litigation regardless of whether they have a new and novel device or not. It’s dissappointing because we could all benefit from innovation in our industry.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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