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View mindbender29's profile

Special needs son and woodworking.

by mindbender29
posted 08-20-2017 03:07 PM


22 replies so far

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

4084 posts in 2067 days


#1 posted 08-20-2017 04:28 PM

I have a Grizzly and am very satisfied with it. As it relates to your son, I am not sure on which side of the “spectrum” he is. Does he have seizure, learning difficulty, behavior issues? Those conditions can greatly change the decision making as to limitations in using certain tools. I’ve been working with developmentally disabled for 36 years now and you would be surprised how capable some of these folks can be. If there are learning issues, the a routine is very important. If you want to discuss this in private, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 681 days


#2 posted 08-20-2017 04:54 PM

The clear answer to me is safety. You know your child better than anyone and since you’re asking this question at all, that tells me that you do have a concern for his safety. Sawstop without a question.

View mindbender29's profile

mindbender29

7 posts in 579 days


#3 posted 08-20-2017 05:12 PM

He is mentally around 8 years old. He does not have behavior issues and has a very kind heart. He will listen to what he is told to do and was in the wood shop at school with no issues for 2 years.

Yes, you are correct that I question safety. But I would be considering it if it is him or just me. My thing is also the quality of the product we would be getting as well. I can’t afford to buy it twice. Lets say that I knew for sure the Saw Stop hybrid was not nearly as good as the Powermatic but the Saw Stop has the safety feature. I would buy the Powermatic and just pull the breaker when I was done to avoid the wild hair situation. I will not let him use the table saw regardless of what one I buy for us to use . A sander or those type tools he can use but I will under no circumstances use the table saw.

I just hate all the add ons to the Sawstop and I wonder to start off with is it a good quality saw when I will not be able to afford the upgrades on the fence and the cast iron top. I also hate every time I go into a Woodcraft or my local dealer they won’t even talk to you about other brands they push the Saw Stop so hard. I get it won’t cut your fingers off and that is a great thing. But that does not mean it is the only option people have as well. I am not a wealthy man so I am trying to figure it all out. Grizzly looks nice but the whole ship it back to them when there is an issue get me. Also the agents I have talked to have terrible attitudes. If I lived there then sure I would look at them but I am in SC and that is a long drive!

View jmalcolm001's profile

jmalcolm001

19 posts in 1050 days


#4 posted 08-20-2017 05:55 PM

Food for thought. Since you say that you won’t let your son use the table saw, safety for him shouldn’t be a significant consideration in deciding what saw to buy. Therefore, the safety issue concerns your use. You need to decide whether your safety practices ensure that you don’t need the safety features of a SS, or perhaps you think your fingers are less valuable than your son’s!! Consider also, since your son has already had a taste of the forbidden fruit of using a table saw at school, how difficult will it be for him to accept that he can’t use your saw? If your main concern with him using a table saw is that he might cut himself, perhaps the purchase of a SS would alleviate that concern enough to allow him to use the saw. All things to consider.

BTW, I don’t own a SawStop, but wish I did!!

-- Jerry

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6090 posts in 2565 days


#5 posted 08-20-2017 07:33 PM

Let take a moment to say, You Sir are an outstanding father. Going to the lengths you are for your son is wonderful and very worthy of praise. I have no doubt of the personal rewards you will receive for your efforts. My respect and compliments to you.

View mindbender29's profile

mindbender29

7 posts in 579 days


#6 posted 08-20-2017 07:41 PM

I think both our fingers are valuable! Trying to figure out the true quality of the SS without all the add on that they sell compared to the others. Then figure out is the safety feature worth it vs pulling the breaker. I still don’t think I want him using a SS. They are not 100%. So may pull the breaker anyway just in case.

Thank you Burly. I believe God intrusted me with 3 boys and I fail all the time but I am trying to do all I can to give my oldest a rewarding life. He will always be with us at home. If I don’t do for him then it won’t happen.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3842 posts in 2288 days


#7 posted 08-20-2017 08:27 PM

Sounds like you do not want a Sawstop…OK. I do not understand the add-on issue as you can buy it with nothing else but the base unit.

Instead of a table saw, he might like making things on a scroll saw…safer, cheaper and lots of different things to make.

View mindbender29's profile

mindbender29

7 posts in 579 days


#8 posted 08-20-2017 08:39 PM

I do want one just a lot of money for stamped steel wings and one year warranty. In school he made bookshelfs and he wants to keep making those.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1425 posts in 1523 days


#9 posted 08-20-2017 09:18 PM

I don’t know what you mean in terms of add-ons. I did a lot of research on the SawStop before buying my new table saw. The only real variations in terms of what you buy could be the fence, as it’s different between the models but the only other things you can add are the slider extension, overhead dust collection and the type of roller stand.

As far as I remember, there was nothing that could be added to make the build more stout or a better saw. In terms of quality, even though I did not buy the SawStop, the build was actually top notch and the castings are heavier than the other brands because of the amount of force that is exerted when braking a moving blade. It has to be overbuilt for that reason.

One thing I would recommend, on any of your tools, rather than pulling breakers is to use keyed switches for everything. Even something as simple as the kind that you have to insert a plastic tab. As he needs it, insert it and let him use the tool and when you’re done, pull the tabs and put them up where he won’t find them or even lock them in a drawer.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2691 posts in 3221 days


#10 posted 08-20-2017 09:21 PM



Sounds like you do not want a Sawstop…OK. I do not understand the add-on issue as you can buy it with nothing else but the base unit.

Instead of a table saw, he might like making things on a scroll saw…safer, cheaper and lots of different things to make.

- Redoak49


I agree 100% the safest tool in my shop is my scroll saw. One can cut their finger a little but that is it. There are many many things to make using a scroll saw. Check out some scroll saw forums.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View TaySC's profile

TaySC

270 posts in 632 days


#11 posted 08-20-2017 09:39 PM

I assume by add-on that he means all the upgrades you can select in the various steps of the build your saw.

Step 1 (for instance ), he can get the base contractor saw starting at $1,599 (already over his limit once you add delivery and taxes I believe)

Step 2 is where you select the fence…. he can get the 30” standard for no extra money, but the 36” or 52” adds $200 or $300 respectively.

Step 3 is mobility. If you are fine without the mobile base there is no additional fee here, but if you want either mobile base it adds either $160 or $199 depending on which you chose.

Step 4 is the dust collection, cast iron wings, sliding crosscut table or dust port adapter. All are options that obviously cost more.

Step 5 is add on like blades, zero clearance insert and extra brakes. Again, none are required at the time of purchase.

So you could get the $1,599 contractor saw on stand and only have to pay whatever shipping and taxes are required. If you want to add some things to it, however, that same saw with add-on can easily get up to $2,500 or so.

View TravisH's profile (online now)

TravisH

651 posts in 2234 days


#12 posted 08-21-2017 04:29 AM

My youngest brother is special needs and he still lives with my parents (39 years) and can understand your situation. Growing up with him and even now a lot of strange things/accidents occurred over the years.

I don’t have a Saw Stop, don’t like some of the dealings, etc. but bottom line it is solid saw (based on reviews and the limited opportunity I got to use one) and will make a difference if contact is made.

I personally would look at it from a different scenario. Stuff happens and even if unlikely the one thing I would keep asking myself is…. losing a finger or two will it impact us being able to work in the shop building things he wants? Would he want to continue to build things if you had lost a finger or would it scare him away from something he enjoys?

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1425 posts in 1523 days


#13 posted 08-21-2017 04:59 PM



I assume by add-on that he means all the upgrades you can select in the various steps of the build your saw.

Step 1 (for instance ), he can get the base contractor saw starting at $1,599 (already over his limit once you add delivery and taxes I believe)

Step 2 is where you select the fence…. he can get the 30” standard for no extra money, but the 36” or 52” adds $200 or $300 respectively.

Step 3 is mobility. If you are fine without the mobile base there is no additional fee here, but if you want either mobile base it adds either $160 or $199 depending on which you chose.

Step 4 is the dust collection, cast iron wings, sliding crosscut table or dust port adapter. All are options that obviously cost more.

Step 5 is add on like blades, zero clearance insert and extra brakes. Again, none are required at the time of purchase.

So you could get the $1,599 contractor saw on stand and only have to pay whatever shipping and taxes are required. If you want to add some things to it, however, that same saw with add-on can easily get up to $2,500 or so.

- TaySC

I actually mentioned those things. Those are add ons that you pretty much would have to buy for any saw. There is nothing in the base model that makes it inferior if you don’t buy the extras.

Any other saw, you decide from 30-50 inch fence, mobile base (third party), etc.

Actually, most don’t even have an option for an overhead dust collection and the standard dust collection on most tablesaws are not that good. My main point was that there was nothing in the add-ons that you need to buy to make it an equal or better saw to match up with the other top brands.

View mindbender29's profile

mindbender29

7 posts in 579 days


#14 posted 08-21-2017 05:06 PM

Thank you for all the responses to this question. I had to work 3rd shift last night and it is a very physical job and I get wiped out. It is hard to work 3rd shift one day a week it completely throws me off my schedule. I am not sure what I am going to do at this point. I want to be able to let him build the things he wants and we looked at a scroll saw today. I sold my Excalibur scroll saw 2.5 years ago but again that is when I thought I would be taking away time from the boys. Anyway, I also thinking to buy a cheaper saw like the Dewalt just to make a few book shelves that he wants to make and make sure he is going to want to stick with it. That way I only invest a few hundred and have a portable saw as well. But if he decides not to stick with it I am not out $1,599 plus tax.

View JakeG's profile

JakeG

17 posts in 607 days


#15 posted 08-21-2017 07:20 PM

You’re looking at the SS hybrid, right? You’re not interested in the jobsite saw? Or the Bosch Reaxx?

If safety is your concern, then you should get a Sawstop. I would if I could afford one.

I think that you will be able to get close to 80% of your money back on the saw stop if you take excellent care of it and decide to sell it. I also kind of doubt that you would ever want to sell it. The only people I’ve ever heard complain about the Sawstop were grumpy old contractors who didn’t like using the push stick.

My son is only 17 months old, but I would love to do woodworking with him some day. I don’t think that I could do it with my current table saw (Delta 34-410). IF (god forbid) he had a preventable injury, I would think about how much that $1599 saw cost.
How many hours would it take to earn it?
How much does a permanent injury cost?

Damn, now I want to go buy one right now!

My dad actually lent me his table saw, and I thought about it in that moment. I knew I could never lend my son my table saw unless it had some countermeasures.

If you’re going to get a half measure, then get a track saw. At least then you have a pro-quality tool, instead of a throw away saw. They also seem to be very safe!

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

14267 posts in 4396 days


#16 posted 08-21-2017 07:25 PM

Would hand tools be an option?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View fivecodys's profile

fivecodys

1375 posts in 1935 days


#17 posted 08-22-2017 11:18 PM

I have to agree with a previous poster that you are an amazing father!

You stated that your son is functioning at about the level of an 8 year old. Last Christmas I decided to have my two 8 year old nephews, my 8 year old grandson, and my 6 year old granddaughter come out into the shop with me and each make a Christmas ornament for their tree. (My granddaughter is visually impaired)
At no point would I have ever consider letting them use the table saw. They are good kids but they are still kids.
The scroll saw was the tool I felt the most comfortable letting them use. Very low risk for serious injury and I could really be “hands on” with them.


I made it a point to have all my other machines unplugged and put away so that there was no temptation for them.

Maybe you can rebuild your shop based the scroll saw and various hand tools?
Just a thought.

Either way you go, I commend your efforts!

Best wishes,

-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

View clin's profile

clin

1013 posts in 1295 days


#18 posted 08-23-2017 01:43 AM

I am a SawStop owner and they are great table saws. But obviously it’s a choice like any other. You’re not going to be the worlds worst dad if you don’t get one.

One other point about SawStops. In addition to the braking feature, they also have really thought out how the riving knife and splitter/guard work (at least for the PCS model). As a result, these items are easy to use, easy to swap. So there is no excuse for not using them. That adds a lot of practical safety. I don’t have experience with other saws, so I’m not saying SawStop is better than other makes, but it an aspect to consider.

I also cast a vote for a keyed switch. And no matter how well behaved, a childlike mentality cannot be trusted. Especially when they have an interest. Temptation to use the tool, just this once without dad, is something that can happen.

Something else to consider is whether you need a table saw at all. Some people really enjoy using hand tools. People made all sorts of things before table saws were invented. Of course I have no idea what your son’s abilities are, so this is just an idea.

A good workbench and vise, a few good hand planes, some chisels, and saws and you can do just about anything. Sure it’s more work, but it might be more satisfying. And a lot harder to cut a finger off. Though I always seem to injure myself more with hand tools (small cuts, nothing big).

If this sounds at all interesting, I suggest you check out Paul Seller’s YouTube videos. Even if you don’t want to do it this way, it’s entertaining.

https://www.youtube.com/user/PaulSellersWoodwork

And, I too applaud you for working with your son and more so given the extra challenges you have. I look forward to seeing his first project post here on LJ.

-- Clin

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3089 posts in 2472 days


#19 posted 08-23-2017 02:59 AM

Look at the SS contractor’s model. It is around $1,500 will probably do everything you need it to do.
I have one it is a very well built saw does everything I need it to do. You need the safety.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View JohnJenkins's profile

JohnJenkins

12 posts in 965 days


#20 posted 08-23-2017 07:29 PM

Congrats on your son’s woodworking enthusiasm!

In the last year, I’ve bought a SS PCS31230 and a Powermatic PM1500 band saw. The Saw Stop installation was incredibly well documented and as a result went perfectly. The machine itself has been great. Well made and finished out very nicely.

The PM1500 was a different story. The packaging was inadequate. I am surprised that all the parts arrived and that it wasn’t damaged. Installation is pretty simple for a bandsaw so no problems until I discovered a manufactoring defect in the upper guides. PM service was pleasant and seemed to want to help but really didn’t have a clue. After two fruitless calls, I decided to take care of it myself with a visit to a machine shop. Now the band saw runs fine. I expected better finish out on such a high cost machine. It isn’t horrible but more comparable to my Grizzy jointer than the Saw Stop.

In a couple years after I get the poor initial impression out of my system, I suppose I’ll be OK with my PM experience. But as a result of my experiences, I’d go with the SS. It’s a great tool and the safety factor is just icing on the cake.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2154 posts in 2927 days


#21 posted 08-24-2017 09:57 AM


Look at the SS contractor s model. It is around $1,500 will probably do everything you need it to do.
I have one it is a very well built saw does everything I need it to do. You need the safety.

- johnstoneb

I Agree with this comment 100% regarding the need for safety.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View mindbender29's profile

mindbender29

7 posts in 579 days


#22 posted 09-01-2017 11:35 AM

I am very sorry for not responding to you folks in a timely manner. In the past 9 weeks I left my stable job in order to help my dad with his window cleaning business that has been around since 1992. He is 72 now and having health issues and needed help. Due to his health issues he has lost some clients so I needed to make extra money in order to be able to support my family and help him so I took a job at a large company (I won’t mention the name) unloading planes. I was getting up doing that at 2a.m in the morning till time to go to wash windows with dad. Long story short I started having terrible pain in my neck and shoulder culminating in major pain in my neck and shoulder as I have been working. I have no insurance so a cash trip for an Xray revealed a blown out disk in my neck and then a trip to the surgeon that had rebuilt my shoulder after a wreck 20 years ago to find out there was not a lot to be done short of crazy expense. So I ended up having to move on from unloading planes and leave my dad with the business. My middle son will be out of school soon and he will be able to step in and work with my dad and help him so it will all work out.

As for me I am doing better since not moving the neck and shoulder in the same motion over and over and over all day so these are great things. I took a job last week down the road from my house at a local restaurant that we clean the windows for. I explained my situation to the owner that I have known for years and he needed a bus boy and worked out the money end of things with me. I am about to turn 40 years old in a few weeks and I am a now a professional bus boy!! I will not get all super spiritual here but I am a Christian and I have strong believes. But I will only say I am happy with all this change. I am not making tons of money to say the least but I have a great schedule, I actually enjoy my job because I get to meet new people and make there time at the restaurant pleasant. I am not making tons of money but it is enough to pay the bills. I am also now at the very bottom and I have the world opened up to me as far as what to do next. The owner is very open to working with me since he has been having issues with help and he knows the situation with my son. I would not have put myself in this situation but God did and I am seeing some great things coming from it.

Now with all that being said I went to a local custom door maker and talked to him about his scraps. He has been loading me up with tons of free wood. He throws away dumpsters full of oak, walnut and other woods that are cut offs. I have been getting tons of pieces some up to 3 feet long by 8 inches wide. Due to the situation at work I was not going to spend the money to buy a bunch of tools but with some side work and some sales on Craigs list I was able to come up with money to make sure I can still fund my sons work like I promised him all those years ago. I was very happy the other day to go out and do some side work with him and earn some money staining a cabinet for someone when I was off. I see the value in how all this is turning out. I hesitated to still think about spending money but like someone told me “You are investing in your son”. I think there is wisdom in that and since I will not be taking out of the family budget or saving for any tools I will move forward with getting him up and running.

As you guys know I was looking to buy a table saw but since I am getting all these cut offs and I am where I am with life I am thinking a small cheap table saw to be able to cut off the bad parts of the wood I am getting and a quality scroll saw is the trick. I know the market is flooded with scroll saw work and it is an easy thing to do and with CNC machines. Is there a market for a young disabled guy trying to keep busy? I was going to make book cases and bigger things but I think I have changed my mind. I think if I start a FB page and simply tell my sons story and why we are doing what we are doing then he can make small projects and sell them. If we make large things he is limited to local sales but if we do small things then he can mail projects to people. Now there is no fantasy here on my part that we will make tons of money. The point is if we are getting free wood and can make small items that sell for $5-$50 lets say then there is almost all profit in this for us since we are not paying for material. My wife’s family is huge and loves social media so she will handle that end of it.

We can do a DBA under my name and money that comes in will simply go to fund more projects. As long as I can keep him, let him see that people are liking what he is doing then he will be great. He has no concept of money except that it lets him buy things he wants. So if having a little business that is a DBA under my name lets me take care of any expense, fund more projects and keeps me and him working on things together then I think it is a great thing. A few years ago we had a slab leak and one bedroom never got flooring put back down so it is just plain concrete. So we have a bedroom that can be made into a work room with a scroll saw, table and shop vac system for dust collection and work bench. He also did some clay work in art class so I will make him a table in there that he can work on things on his own with his mom when I am not here. We can have a great little makers area to build things during the winter and be ready for spring craft shows that come around in our area. In the mean time we can put stuff on the FB page and see what is selling and what things are not.

I will buy a small Dewalt table saw to do the cutting I need. I have a miter saw station set up already that will remain. I have some small things I will buy but the main thing I need is a scroll saw. Now I am very familiar with this since it used to be my hobby but I will ask advice of those that may have more experience in the past few years. I always loved Excalibur saws over the three Dewalts I have owned but since they are gone I need some wisdom. This time I want to go with a Hawk or a Hegner even tho it will eat up more of my budget. Since we will be using this saw to make small things to sell I want to have a quality saw to eliminate the issues that are found in some of the other brands. I am open to what one out of those you guys would go with so I can decide and place an order. I also would love any recommendations to a niche maybe you see we could get into that would help us fund things faster. Any suggestions on this would be helpful.

So the questions I would love to have your opinion on.

1. Is there a place in the market for what I am trying to do?
2. Is there a story to be told that makes this more valuable than just buying something that was made on a CNC machine or in China at Walmart?
3. What small projects could we work on to find a niche?

Thank you so much for all the responses and again I am sorry for taking so long to get back on here but I have had a lot on my plate with this injury and work deal.

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