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SAWSTOP lovers and haters must see this - alternative to SAWSTOP

by ChuckM
posted 01-16-2011 02:30 AM


37 replies so far

View bigike's profile

bigike

4057 posts in 4301 days


#1 posted 01-16-2011 02:42 AM

I bet this thing when someone picks up the pat. and sells it, it will cost about as much as a new saw. I hope it’s like $300 and under that would be cool. Thanks for the post.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 4735 days


#2 posted 01-16-2011 02:52 AM

Very interesting. With that there isn’t a safety reason to get a new saw…

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5777 posts in 4244 days


#3 posted 01-16-2011 03:22 AM

I bet Gass will be filing a lawsuit against this soon…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/daves-workshop

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 4072 days


#4 posted 01-16-2011 03:47 AM

I have a feeling it will cost around $1,000-$1500

View tswoodwizard's profile

tswoodwizard

104 posts in 3703 days


#5 posted 01-16-2011 03:50 AM

One comment about this bigike and then I’ll shut up and listen. While it’s true that safety will always be the most importent tool in the shop, there’s another factor that we all seem to be forgetting especially when it comes to flesh detectors. The more we depend on automatic safety devices to save us, the more imminent danger awareness we lose. What I mean to say is that if we train ourselves over time and the use of these devices to automaticly feel safe when walking into a dangerous invirenment the more insensitive we “and our children” will become to real danger. Don’t get me wrong though, I certainly don’t advicate intentional ingury in order to achieve a cautious mindset, but over the years I’ve noticed that when I walk into and use someone elses shop thats equiped in a different way than mine ,there is a lot more opportunity for injury. I realy feel that we are in a way, “dumbing ourselves down” every time we make our surroundings a little safer.

-- Tim B. Sweely Elizabeth, Illinois, [email protected] -------- My potential is limited only by my emagination.

View SouthpawCA's profile

SouthpawCA

277 posts in 4245 days


#6 posted 01-16-2011 04:08 AM

I kinda agree with tswoodwizard. You still need to be aware. And why don’t they ever use their fingers in these demos?

-- Don

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 4735 days


#7 posted 01-16-2011 04:08 AM

Tim I aggree with that to a point but I believe the more available safety features a dangerous piece of equipment has, the better it is to have them installed. Woodworking is a dangerous occupation or hobby (depending on ones own circumstances) and most people who have done it for more than a little while are aware of the danger and accept the consequneces of that danager. I think these upgrades to safety equipment are great for beginner, but those that have been doing it a while might not be too quick to have them installed.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View ChuckM's profile

ChuckM

661 posts in 4679 days


#8 posted 01-16-2011 04:08 AM

WE don’t know if any tablesaw makers will take up this new technology offer and we don’t know how much it will cost as an add-on item for existing tablesaws. But the prices of SAWSTOP would be a good reference and that’s, if the add-on kit is not competitive, it will not survive. If I were to pay $1500 for the improvement to my tablesaw as someone suggested, I wouldn`t consider it because a new SAWSTOP would just cost me $2500 or so (and that`s a much better saw than the one I have). As far as I know, in addition to SAWSTOP and Whirlwind, there`s a third finger-saving technology in the development phase. There`s no denying that at certain point future tablesaws will be equipped with some kind of such technology (just like ABS and SCS (stability system, or even all-wheel (in the case of all Volvo cars)). My hope is more and more such technologies will be developed so consumers will benefit from the competition. Hey, SAWSTOP (contractor) may be retailed for just $2,000 or less in a few years down the road if Delta, Rigid, etc. offer their versions of `SAWSTOP.`

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 4735 days


#9 posted 01-16-2011 04:10 AM

” And why don’t they ever use their fingers in these demos?”

I have always wondered that same thing. If the inventor is so sure of his/her device, why not let it all on the line.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Bill St.Pierre's profile

Bill St.Pierre

24 posts in 3786 days


#10 posted 01-16-2011 04:13 AM

It’s true,I have a saw stop in my shop.It is by far the best table saw I have ever used.But,If you have more than one saw in your shop like I do you better not forget what saw your working with.I do feel myself putting my fingers a little closer to the blade than I use to thinking everything will be fine and then I look down and relize I’m working with my Delta saw.

-- Bill [email protected] Woodworking.com

View tswoodwizard's profile

tswoodwizard

104 posts in 3703 days


#11 posted 01-16-2011 04:18 AM

Good rebuttal brianinpa, I agree with your point entirely.

-- Tim B. Sweely Elizabeth, Illinois, [email protected] -------- My potential is limited only by my emagination.

View semi75's profile

semi75

78 posts in 3912 days


#12 posted 01-16-2011 04:19 AM

Interesting but let’s face it, it is still a guard and will be off the saw quite a bit.

View tswoodwizard's profile

tswoodwizard

104 posts in 3703 days


#13 posted 01-16-2011 04:26 AM

By the way guys, this is a good toppic to hit the insurance companies about,I.E.- discounts for installing safty equipment.

-- Tim B. Sweely Elizabeth, Illinois, [email protected] -------- My potential is limited only by my emagination.

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 4735 days


#14 posted 01-16-2011 04:31 AM

Well there you had to go and throw that out. I don’t ever see me getting a discount then.

I went to high school and learned how to use a table saw before all these gaurds were required. When I got my old Craftsman, it didn’t come with a guard: I guess the previous owner didn’t use it either. I am too stuck in my ways to run out and install a guard, but I accept the consequence of the dagerous environment I work in as a hobby.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View tswoodwizard's profile

tswoodwizard

104 posts in 3703 days


#15 posted 01-16-2011 04:37 AM

Maybe-so CessnaPilotBarry, but what about when you fly through the B.T. and you loose all of your insteraments, will you be able to fly by the seat of your pants? I guess thats my philosophical question,but I do apreciate your input.

-- Tim B. Sweely Elizabeth, Illinois, [email protected] -------- My potential is limited only by my emagination.

View IrreverentJack's profile

IrreverentJack

728 posts in 3855 days


#16 posted 01-16-2011 04:46 AM

Brian and Don, maybe you missed this.

View ChuckM's profile

ChuckM

661 posts in 4679 days


#17 posted 01-16-2011 04:47 AM

Real finger used – this is Steve Gass`s own finger in the trial.

I don`t understand why repeatedly people ask why a real finger is not used.

http://www.snotr.com/video/2393

By the way, many users of sawstop used their very own fingers when the system was triggered!

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View closetguy's profile

closetguy

744 posts in 4904 days


#18 posted 01-16-2011 04:51 AM

Looks like it works well as long as you are cross cutting 2×4s and don’t need to follow a cut line. I agree with CessnaPilotBarry’s comment.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

View Jurin's profile

Jurin

6 posts in 3705 days


#19 posted 01-16-2011 04:52 AM

Brianinpa,check this out Gass is putting his Finger in there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTUOhYcw4ZY

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1812 posts in 4735 days


#20 posted 01-16-2011 04:56 AM

I never saw the Time Warp footage or the show that this was on. I have been to a WoodCraft store during demo days and watch them try to sacrifice a hot dog, but never a real finger.

Thanks!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View ChuckM's profile

ChuckM

661 posts in 4679 days


#21 posted 01-16-2011 05:17 AM

Skepticism about a new technology is natural and should be welcome because it invites thorough examination at different angles. When the SAWSTOP was first demonstrated, some argued or suspected that in real life, it wouldn`t work because the hot dog was pushed not in a very fast mode into the spinning blade. Then it was suggested the inventor was too afraid to use his own finger, etc. etc. I am posting this whirlwind link just for information. Whether it will pass more stringent tests or receive the endorsement of any tablesaw makers is unknown. But I hope the quest for such technology will continue – at least for those of us who want it. Some regardless of what or price will not adopt the new safety feature even if made available and that`s their decisions (many people living in the farm communities still drive without their seat belts on). But I`d like to point out that at the place where I work and come across woodworkers who injured themselves on the tablesaw were experienced woodworkers – not beginners. The chances of serious accidents happening are not necessarily higher among beginners and I haven`t seen any statistics or research that says so. We should keep an open mind about the tech even if we alone don`t need it or want it.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Russ's profile

Russ

357 posts in 4089 days


#22 posted 01-16-2011 06:43 AM

Let’s remember that in the Ryobi lawsuit the guard was removed. If the safety device can be removed then it’s worthless. Also what we learned from the Ryobi suit was in experience with tools is often an issue. These safety measures are helpful but as stated in here they are not a guarantee of safety.

-- Russ

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 4022 days


#23 posted 01-16-2011 09:44 AM

Competition in the “tablesaw safety mechanism” market is a good thing. At the very least, it will help bring down the cost of the technologies – Sawstop is obviously profiting from being first to market – they don’t HAVE to charge as much of a premium for the safety tech as they are currently I’ll bet.

If this Whirlwind passes the tests and makes it to market, that’s great. My feeling based on the limited videos and descriptions is that the technology won’t be quite as effective as Sawstop’s. But if it’s cheaper, at least it will provide an intermediate option for folks (spouses?) wanting such a device in their saw.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 4195 days


#24 posted 01-16-2011 03:27 PM

I’m glad to see that someone else is developing an alternative to the saw stop. Competition is good for the consumer and hopefully will reduce the cost and eliminate the monopoly that saw-stop appears to have at the present time on this technology. Only to reiterate whats been said by others, dont rely solely on technology to keep yourself safe because complacency will set in and then Murphy’s law will eventually come into play. There is no substitute for caution, common sense and a complete understanding of the physics that come into play when operating your equipment.

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

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Brad_Nailor

2545 posts in 4969 days


#25 posted 01-16-2011 03:56 PM

Oh no…not this discussion again…

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View iamwelty's profile

iamwelty

265 posts in 4128 days


#26 posted 01-16-2011 04:38 PM

What impresses me it the fact that it seems like it doesn’t trash the blade or the mechanism after it fires… Am I right? If that is true, I think this is an interesting and positive step forward.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View ChuckM's profile

ChuckM

661 posts in 4679 days


#27 posted 01-16-2011 06:19 PM

Iam: Based on the info. on the site and the prototype demonstrated, nothing is damaged when the brake system is activated and the saw can be restarted quickly. Perhaps the “brake pad (?)” would need to be replaced after certain # times of use or readjusted (when the pad thickness is reduced). As someone has pointed out, this system is not as advanced as the SAWSTOP but it’s still better than what non-SAWSTOP tablesaws can offer. I am also interested in its improved dust collection feature and would consider such system an improvement between current tablesaws and the SAWSTOPs.

If anyone has updated info. on the third system that has been under development (the saw blade/riving knife part is pushed down below the table surface as soon as the blade is contact with flesh), please share it with us.

SAWSTOP may consider to buy out the Whirlwind if it becomes a serious challenge and no saw makers come forward to work with Whirlwind. Of course, SAWSTOP is not going to offer an “intermediate” system based on Whirlwind but simply put it in a vault….That is a faster and cheaper way to protect its interest from a tactical point of view… the way that some of the tablesaw makers should have taken when they were approached on the SAWSTOP technology.

Delta is now sold to a Taiwanese company and the SAWSTOP is made in Taiwan. Don’t know if or how that may change the future design or development of the Unisaw 2 or 3 years from now. As a user, I welcome fair competition, innovation and product safety enhancements.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View jmichaeldesign's profile

jmichaeldesign

66 posts in 3795 days


#28 posted 01-16-2011 06:31 PM

It looks like it just turns the saw off, using the workpiece as the brake. I honestly think it looks like a huge piece of junk that would constantly get in my way. It could work if you have a saw dedicated to ripping or cutting down sheet goods, which many commercial shops do. Most accidents happen in places like that anyway where one guy just rips lumber all day long.

View steliart's profile

steliart

2895 posts in 3700 days


#29 posted 01-16-2011 07:49 PM

This Whirlwind proves that things are moving into the direction of a non optional saw stopping mechanism on the TS. In couple of years most big manufacturers will have an emergency stopping system on there TS. Especially here in Europe where things on sefaty are different than in the US I believe that an emergency stop mechanism will be enforst easily. Just imagine that we cannot use a stack dado blade here because our TS arbors are short by european law, so removing the guard is less likely, so this Whirlwind has a good chance if it makes the market.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 4049 days


#30 posted 01-16-2011 10:57 PM

Consider me on board. Several things I like about this technology:

1) It can be retrofitted to any table saw
2) Braking is non-destructive to the blade and doesn’t require a new brake before being put back into use
3) The brake is triggered before your finger comes in contact with the blade, so you don’t even get a scratch
4) The blade guard box is well lit, making it much easier to set up a cut with the guard in place (my current guard is smoky plastic, so it is almost impossible to use effectively)
5) It doesn’t rely on a splitter to mount, so you can have it “floating” for non-through cuts (this is why I don’t ever keep my overhead guard in place—it is just too much of a PITA to keep putting it on and taking it off)
6) They already address the “thin cut” issue and offer a quick work-around for those needing to rip thin strips
7) The mounting arm for the non-splitter mount seems very solid and offers the additional benefit of overhead dust collection that would typically be another $300 on most saws
8) Did I mention that it could be retrofitted to any saw???

What I don’t like:

1) If it is set up for thicker cuts, you could easily fit your finger under the guard an into the blade without triggering the break (this seems even more possible for cuts with the blade tilted)
2) WOW, that is ugly!!!! :) Not that it is a huge deal, but when a manufacturer pick this tech up, I hope they get some guys to make it a little more streamlined

From a basic electronics standpoint, it seems as if it uses motor breaking to speed the blade’s stopping, so I don’t think it relies on break pads. I could certainly be wrong, but it sounds like motor breaking to me, which would be very nice that it completely avoids “wear” parts to put a safety mechanism in place. I REALLY like the Sawstop technology, but I don’t like the idea of accidentally blowing a break cartridge and replacing a blade if I run wood through that is not quite dry enough. The Whirlwind certainly seems to be a good idea for stopping that from ruining your day in the shop.

Sure, the price will be an important factor in whether this will make sense for the average woodworker looking to either upgrade their current saw with accessories or whether to buy a whole new saw, but this is a fantastic step in the right direction in terms of making older saws safer. Those who make the argument that adding automatic safety features encourages complacency and bad technique do indeed make a trivial point, but with so many individuals using table saws who have not had proper training, or who just have bad technique, the availability of a table saw “air bag” makes a lot of sense. I have never gotten cut with a power tool (lots of times with hand tools), but I have had a pretty scary incident when a panel I was cross cutting kicked back and hit me in my gut. It wasn’t a through cut, so I couldn’t have used a guard with a splitter, so an overhead guard with built-in anti-kick back would have saved me a nice bruise and some frayed nerves. I would say that I have pretty good technique, and am always cognizant of the dangers of the tools I am using, but I know that I can make mistakes, no matter how keenly aware I am of the operations I am performing. I am human, and I know it! Obviously there are some folks out there who think they will never make a mistake on the table saw, and for your sake, I certainly hope you are right! I hope I never make a mistake while driving, but I sure as heck wear my seat belt every time I get in the car.

The only reason I have considering replacing my Craftsman contractor saw is for safety reasons. If this widget is reasonably priced, I would buy one in a heartbeat.

-- David from Indiana --

View DavidWW's profile

DavidWW

7 posts in 4075 days


#31 posted 01-16-2011 11:42 PM

My original design goal was to develop a user-controlled and multi-tiered hazard-avoidance system approach with a suitable balance of end-user cost vs. safety features benefit for the various table saw stakeholders ranging from the machinery manufacturers and retailers to the wide spectrum of table saw operators from the novice to the most advanced users. I hope also to curtail some of the table saw litigation that we see by establishing identifiable responsibility for most table saw related injuries. To that end I now have five operational prototypes with additional models under development. This particular table saw hazard avoidance concept is designed to offer hazard protection through a series of FIVE simple steps:

First, the operator must easily and conveniently make personal safety-related decisions prior to operation of the saw, by first choosing to use or to override or totally remove the hazard avoidance system with the use of a supervisory keyed switch.

Second, if the saw is operated in safe-mode, the operator must quickly and simply depress a button to arm the brake and acknowledge that safety checks have been completed before each and every start of the machine, on it will not start.

Third, through electronic flesh-sensing, an extra margin of safety is provided the saw operator by non-destructive blade braking if the operator’s hands enter the “danger zone” which should always be avoided.

Fourth, each emergency braking event serves as a learning experience and a warning to novice saw operators that they have crossed into dangerous proximity of the saw blade and must rethink their operating practices to insure their personal safety.

Fifth, if the blade-enclosure hazard avoidance system is used, the dangerous, long-feared, and unpredictable table saw “kick-back” phenomenon is virtually eliminated. No, I mean REALLY!

Each time the saw is stopped, either through a normal stop or a flesh sensing emergency stop, the saw will revert to the amber light safe condition and the saw is basically locked off. The emergency flesh sensing stop is completely non-destructive. Neither the blade, nor the circuitry, nor the saw are damaged during the stop and the operator may simply correct the dangerous condition, rearm the flesh sensing brake circuit and resume sawing. “Think safety twice, cut once.”

Best regards,

David

View ChuckM's profile

ChuckM

661 posts in 4679 days


#32 posted 01-17-2011 12:12 AM

Thanks David from Whirlwind for coming on here, giving us more insider 411 on what is no doubt an interesting thread, judging from the number of visits we have had. I wish success to your venture and I hope this time, someone in the saw industry has the business smarts to talk to you to explore your idea further. We can’t convince someone who think he or she is invincible to use your invention, if marketed, or, for that matter, that of SAWSTOP, but he or she is in the minority. Judging from the money woodworkers in general spend on safety-related products (push sticks, gloves, earmuffs, masks, dust collection etc.), not to speak of the success of SAWSTOP itself, I am sure reasonably-priced safety inventions will be welcome by most of us who aren’t asking for perfect solutions (they don’t exist and those who demand perfection shouldn’t be doing woodworking for a living or as a hobby anyway).

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View iamwelty's profile

iamwelty

265 posts in 4128 days


#33 posted 01-17-2011 12:54 AM

Thanks Dave,
Great incites… Keep us posted on developements… any idea if/when it’s scheduled to be made public?

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 4049 days


#34 posted 01-17-2011 01:39 AM

I’ll second the question—when will these be available? It seems the overhead version could fit virtually any table saw in existence.

-- David from Indiana --

View DavidWW's profile

DavidWW

7 posts in 4075 days


#35 posted 04-02-2011 03:43 AM

I apologize for the long delay in posting here, folks. Good things are happening for Whirlwind and my patents are moving along quickly thru the too long involved USPTO process, but that USPTO too long story is another whole topic. (Before I forget, please note that I always use my own fingers in my demonstrations of table saw flesh sensing (;-o)! We have had tens of thousands of website visits from maybe 50 countries and the most heartfelt and wonderful words of encouragement. Several manufacturers are ready to negotiate, but we must have our patents before we can offer anything tangible to the users or the industry without total chaos. Meanwhile we (I) have more projects going in the lab/shop here and indeed I hope we can soon offer through established manufacturers a reasonably low cost table saw hazard avoidance system to the majority of users who might wish to own such.

Interestingly, I was invited and made a presentation on Whirlwind flesh-sensing safety to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington Dc on March 1, 2011 during a two day public forum on table saw safety. We met the SawStop folks who also presented, the Power Tool Institute lawyers, the CPSC staff and dozens of people interested in this safety topic. The 10 amputations/day in the US alone continue in spite of the efforts to improve table saw safety awareness and CPSC is hoping to achieve measurable improvement.

I do not wish to engage in debates here or elsewhere about the monetary value of somebody else’ stupidity vs my expert knowledge about these tools. But I started in machine woodworking at age 11 and I’m now an uninjured old man, I think because I am a very lucky expert. I also do not hope to reap some vast fortune through a pipe-dream of patent windfall, but let me just say that I agree with my “competitor” Sawstop’s new slogan: NOT IF, WHEN. We should try to introduce simple modern technology to these machines for the benefit of all stakeholders including the manufacturers, distributors, retailers, insurers, employers, educators, and all table saw users from the novice to the most experienced.

Best regards to all!

David Butler

View tommyt654's profile

tommyt654

122 posts in 4461 days


#36 posted 04-02-2011 04:42 AM

Beating this thing to a pulp aren’t ya’ll. I bet this has been posted 3-4 times in as many months,just let Sawslop kill itself, it will in time, no one likes to be bullied and while this is a great idea we have already heard from the inventor here, just let it go and move on please. This only lends to the corporate sawslop moles that permeate all the woodworking sites now.

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

864 posts in 3680 days


#37 posted 04-02-2011 05:42 PM

Not Going to work

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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