SawStop the makers of the nifty device that instantaneously stops a table saw blade when it contacts human skin has filed a petition (CP 03-2) with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to mandate that all table saws with blades 12" or under be outfitted with the technology.
I've seen the news reports about that technology a while back, and it looks impressive. I understand that you can do that with torque monitoring, etc., but it does sound less practical that keeping your hands away from the blade.
And sure enough, a congressman or senator who doesn't know anything about table saws will introduce that legislation. The end result will only be that table saws will be a$$-loads more expensive.
Granted, I'm all in favor of shop safety. But miracle technology can't replace the brain and senses of the human woodworker.
EDIT: Shiester Alert! The saw blade in the picture on their website is set WAY TOO HIGH for the thickness of material they're cutting. I wonder if the system will work when the blade is properly set up.
Well... It will be interesting to see how far this outfit gets. I watched the demo but can't really see how torque monitoring can tell the difference between the plywood and the hotdog, that is if they are indeed cutting plywood and the hotdog at the same time. Seems to me the harder plywood would be taking most of the torque and the softer hotdog would be over looked.
From what I understand, its not torque that its monitoring. The system puts a small charge on the blade and then monitors the electrical properties of the blade. If you put your finger on the blade, you changes those properties (ie : resistance), and the contraption engages.
Ah, but that is the problem, they want people to not have a choice in the matter. If people could choose, a lot would depend upon the price tag to have it, which would help bring that part of it down. If people can't choose, then there is no reason to bring the cost down, and if you've got the patent, then there is no competition to bring the price down.
From what I've seen, "Sawstop" is a great innovation. Do I want it?..No. In the old oilfield, we would say they are trying to make table saws "worm proof." A worm is a newbie. I've got enough sense to keep my hands away from a razor-sharp blade that's spinning like a top.
Will they succeed with their petition?...maybe. Remember, the central government knows what's good for woodworkers, more than woodworkers do. They have a high calling to protect us from ourselves. Course, we have to do our part by providing the tax dollars needed to enact the legislation.
If it is approved, I think I will get that ultimate Delta left-tilt, 3hp cabinet saw with the Biesemeyer 52" fence and table extension before they can phase in the newer, more expensive Sawstop versions.
That'll show 'em.
"The man who never made a mistake, never made anything."
>Ah, but that is the problem, they want people to not have a
>choice in the matter. If people could choose, a lot would
>depend upon the price tag to have it, which would help bring
>that part of it down. If people can't choose, then there is
>no reason to bring the cost down, and if you've got the
>patent, then there is no competition to bring the price