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yesterday during my 6th period Intro to Woodworking class, my Sawstop made a special save. The class is made up of all different ability levels, including 2 students with special needs. normally they have an aide that comes to class and helps monitor what is being done and helps assist me watch out for their safety. yesterday, however, one of the students was out sick, and the aide was not there either. in the middle of class, as i was helping another student set up a router table, i heard a big BOOM and saw that the table saw blade was not there anymore. The student with special needs attempted to use the saw without any supervision, used poor technique which resulted in the blade accidentally came in contact with his finger. The injury only required minimal first aide (band aide) but without a doubt, if we hadn't had Sawstop he would have had a much more severe accident.

I have no interest in this matter other than the safety of my students, but i feel compelled to share the story of how Sawstop does have its place in this world. i know it can be a polarizing subject, but i hope everyone can appreciate that a special student can go home with all his fingers, primarily because of a Sawstop saw.
 

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Luck kid!
Back in 68 when I was 21 and though I knew everything I almost lost my thumb on a table saw. I was luck, I just lost some flesh in the middle of my thumb, no bone loss, I only have a small scar now.
Now when I'm in my shop I live with that thought when I'm using any power tool. Frighting to think what a saw blade can do.
I'm glad that kid is ok, Nice to have what it takes to keep them and you safe Tooch.

http://www.sawstop.com/why-sawstop/accident-victims
 

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Thank god the kid is okay - however I can't help but think there is a bigger issue here. What if this kid would have been around a lathe or jointer etc. with this same lack of supervision? I'm not faulting you, Tooch, but you should raise this issue with others at this school and come up with a better solution to prevent potential future injuries when short handed.
 

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Glad the kid is ok, but still trying to figure out how the kid was able to use the saw at all. I'd be worried the school administrators won't view the outcome as ok, but rather treat the incident as if a sawstop wasn't being used.
 

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That is why I bought one. My young son is in the garage every time he hears tools running and I would not take the chance of him losing any part of his body to the table saw.

Thanks for sharing. Great saw too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great to hear from so many on this topic.

RandyATX and BigBlockyeti there definitely is a bigger issue here… however, (whether we think that it is right or wrong) School law says students must be placed in their "Least Restrictive Environment." This means Mainstreaming students into as many classes as possible, including wood shop. The student is fairly high-functioning, so Administrators see no problem with him taking electives like art or wood shop.

Paxorion I already had to fill out a testimonial… in order for Sawstop to replace the cartridge free of charge, you must "report the finger save" and mail in the broken brake. the 15 minutes spent filling out the form and $7 in postage sure beats paying $100 for a new one!
 

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Say what you want about those saws but if I was a school having one of those in shop class would be the only option. As sue happy as people are today that thing would pay for itself 100 times over with the first lawsuit. Same goes with a professional shop. One workman comp claim will pay for 10 of those saws.
 

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So glad a disaster was averted. Sawstop makes sense, especially for a shop class. I bet you've reevaluated your procedures concerning special needs. Perhaps on days they have no aide, they go to a study hall for your period?
 

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A great story, I do agree in that the sawstop does have a place in this world more so when you have a large population use, great to hear it saved a finger.
 
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