Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Safety

I was perusing the /woodworking thread on reddit last night and there was question posted about Sawstops table saws.  The very first poster was the same old tired crap about there's no way it's fast enough to stop an injury.  Or that it promotes unsafe practices.  Or that it won't make popcorn.  Or whatever.

Holy crap.  It's like wearing a seat belt, only better.  Here's a link to a video that doesn't just show a hot dog sliding through, the guy actually slams it on the blade. 

These things are the best money I have ever spent on any tool anywhere.  Not only are they a really fine tablesaw, the knowledge that the electronics have my back for that split second when I do make a mistake, or don't anticipate something, is invaluable.  Because I'm telling you, no matter how long you've been running a table saw, or how safe your practices are, you cannot anticipate everything that might happen.  I still use every safety precaution I would even if it weren't a SawStop.  I've never tripped it.

I do still have my Jet cabinet saw.  I have kept it because it has a sliding table and a 6ft fence.  It's the panel ripping saw.  I need the sliding table for squaring up out of square baltic birch, which I seem to get frequently.  But there are NO cuts made on it where your hands are closer than at least a foot from the blade.  Whenever I figure out how to mount the sliding table on a sawstop it's out of here.  Terrifies me every time I turn on the switch.  It got me once, pretty minor, but did leave a nail kind of odd on a middle finger.  Got my son pretty good, to the tune of 5k to fix his index finger.  It is still completely functional, could have been much worse.  That's when I bought the saws.

I know not everybody can spend a couple of grand on a saw.  But this technology was available to all the saw mfgs and they turned it down.  I have seen flame wars on the net about how the guy who invented it is a dick, wanted too big of royalties, all kinds of excuses.  All of that does not matter.  It works.  It does save horrendous injuries.

Be safe out there.  Use push sticks.  Actually use Grrrippers.   They blow push sticks out of the water. I have actually stopped the blade with one of these when a piece tried to get away from me.   Be aware when you run your tools.  Don't let what just may be a hobby destroy your life. 

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