ping Morris - somebody stole your idea!


I remember a few months ago that Morris posted a link to a site offering his newly-licensed, Made In USA circular saw cut-off guide. For one thing, the "new item" link at saw-jaw.com doesn't work any more - is your cutoff guide still being produced? Anyway, I was browsing Lee Valley's website tonight, and saw (no pun intended) this wonderful new item - looks familiar! http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pS802&catQ&ap=1 Of course the idea of a right-angle circular saw guide is not new; probably many of us already have something equivalent to this in our shops. But this commercial version seems pretty similar to the one licensed by Morris. Is this OK because it's made in Canada, or is it different enough because it doesn't start with a triangular "speed-square"? Thoughts? Andy
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Now what is amazing for me is that someone would buy or sell this. Years ago we used to make these out of damaged framing squares.
We just screwed a piece of wood onto the square with a couple of sheetrock screws to bring it back into 90 degrees, just as you see in the picture.
I remember telling the junior woodknots "go get a saw and your training wheels so you can start doing the buildup". All 90 degree cuts, so this was a perfect gizmo.
I always figure if I saw it out in the field everyone knew about it.
Robert
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Andy (in snipped-for-privacy@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com) said:
| I remember a few months ago that Morris posted a link to a site | offering his newly-licensed, Made In USA circular saw cut-off guide. | For one thing, the "new item" link at saw-jaw.com doesn't work any | more - is your cutoff guide still being produced? Anyway, I was | browsing Lee Valley's website tonight, and saw (no pun intended) | this wonderful new item - looks familiar! | http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pS802&catQ&ap=1 | Of course the idea of a right-angle circular saw guide is not new; | probably many of us already have something equivalent to this in our | shops. But this commercial version seems pretty similar to the one | licensed by Morris. Is this OK because it's made in Canada, or is | it different enough because it doesn't start with a triangular | "speed-square"? | Thoughts? | Andy
The licensee had an initial batch made of the things made up, and being a prudent, thrifty kind of guy, went with a soft aluminum that if dropped on a concrete floor, would bend. Rather than beef up the product he decided to abandon it. When I asked how use of a tougher alloy would affect the production cost, he answered that he didn't know.
I was aware that he sent samples to Lee Valley, Woodcraft Supply, and at least a few other places. I half-expected that at least one of the samples might motivate a competitive offering - that's just how the world works. I'd expect that producers of the knock-offs would say that it was something they'd already been working on.
According to the licensee, none of these were ever sold; and that as far as he's concerned: "It's a dead product."
There was never any real obstacle to competition. If the product was going to succeed, it would have been because it was the "real deal" and the obviously right product to buy; and as things developed, that wasn't the case.
My 30-year old original (that I'd called a Saw Square) was made of tougher stuff. It's been much used and abused and is still square and undamaged.
The Lee Valley version is a disappointment. The design doesn't provide for built-in alignment of the fence; and looks more like an attempt to produce a competitive product by drilling two holes in an existing product. I'd have expected better.
Andy, if it didn't come from Canada, it'd've come from China. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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For the benefit of anyone who missed the earlier discussion of the device, you can see the web page at http://www.iedu.com/ssq /, with line drawings that actually pre-dated digital cameras.
There's a more recent photo of one of the original (25+ years old) squares at
http://www.iedu.com/ssq/ssq_photo1.jpg . The notch in the fence was made by a 1/4" straight router bit. That information and a minimal amount of thought should lead to insight as to why the "web" between the arms of the square more or less doubled its usefulness - something that the non-woodworking types could never pick up on.
If anyone finds the design interesting, now would be the time to snarf the images, because they'll disappear from my server sometime in the week ahead. It's time for me to put this piece of my woodworking life behind me and move on...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris, your solution was much more elegant and professional looking than anything we ever did. Downright impressive.
Our was a lot more primitive... say like... ummmm the Lee Valley jig for instance. I don't remember what they used to call the small versions of the framing squares, but that sure looks like what they have. A square, screwed to a piece of wood. The "guide" was the edge of the square, and that was it.
Comparing yours to that is like comparing a racehorse to a mule.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (in snipped-for-privacy@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com) said:
| Comparing yours to that is like comparing a racehorse to a mule.
Thanks. The only difference is that I thought about the problem longer before committing resources than they did. I started in '72 or '73 and their intro, according to my server log, wasn't until:
lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:01 -0600] "GET /ssq HTTP/1.0" 302 301 lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:01 -0600] "GET /ssq/ HTTP/1.0" 200 4128 lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET /ssq/outline300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 3162 lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET /ssq/place300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 4171 lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET /ssq/measure300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 6639 lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET /ssq/cut300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 9920
They fixed the materials problem but screwed up on the design. I'd have been a lot more comfortable if they'd found a way to _improve_ the design.
I've been so impressed by so many of the LV / Veritas products that I feel like they've let us all down - and that bothers me more than that they decided to make their own.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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said:

Hi Morris -
Just a quick note to say that this product did not come from either Lee Valley, or Veritas.... nor did our R&D guys have anything to with it. As a matter of fact - they'll be seeing it for the first time when the catalogue mails.
It's an old technique - and one many people have been using for ages. We actually carried a Japanese version for a number of years, and it used a 1/4" square sacrificial stick along with a an adjustable fence (to handle a number of angles). Like winding sticks - most people build their own...I've done so myself many times.
I can understand you'd like to see your version in production, as it is an elegant design - but I want to be very clear that we do not produce products based on other people's designs - to suggest otherwise is inaccurate.
Rob Lee Lee Valley
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Robin Lee (in zXlQf.4981$ snipped-for-privacy@news20.bellglobal.com) said:
| said: || ||| Comparing yours to that is like comparing a racehorse to a mule. || || Thanks. The only difference is that I thought about the problem || longer before committing resources than they did. I started in '72 || or '73 and their intro, according to my server log, wasn't until: || || lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:01 -0600] "GET /ssq || HTTP/1.0" 302 301 || lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:01 -0600] "GET /ssq/ || HTTP/1.0" 200 4128 || lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET || /ssq/outline300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 3162 || lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET || /ssq/place300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 4171 || lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET || /ssq/measure300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 6639 || lvott201.leevalley.com - - [12/Dec/2005:07:30:02 -0600] "GET || /ssq/cut300.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 9920 || || They fixed the materials problem but screwed up on the design. I'd || have been a lot more comfortable if they'd found a way to _improve_ || the design. || || I've been so impressed by so many of the LV / Veritas products || that I feel like they've let us all down - and that bothers me || more than that they decided to make their own. | | Just a quick note to say that this product did not come from either | Lee Valley, or Veritas.... nor did our R&D guys have anything to | with it. As a matter of fact - they'll be seeing it for the first | time when the catalogue mails. | | It's an old technique - and one many people have been using for | ages. We actually carried a Japanese version for a number of years, | and it used a 1/4" square sacrificial stick along with a an | adjustable fence (to handle a number of angles). Like winding | sticks - most people build their own...I've done so myself many | times. | | I can understand you'd like to see your version in production, as | it is an elegant design - but I want to be very clear that we do | not produce products based on other people's designs - to suggest | otherwise is inaccurate.
Good. I'm certain you've already read my earlier comments on this - the addition of a bit of "web" between the two arms will allow very much safer use with a router; and a "lip" for attaching the fence makes 90-degree alignment automatic (darned-near unavoidable).
People here on r.w have already educated me that the idea isn't new; and that doesn't bother me overmuch. My intent was to make a useful tool available - and I'd like to encourage you to maximize that utility. I do, after all, look to Lee Valley to be a producer of absolutely top-quality tools. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Agh! Thanks for bringing up bad memories of Polaroids and developing snafus.

Okay, I haven't eaten and maybe my brain ran out of blood sugar, but what does the web do for the router? I was thinking maybe the curve would act as an adjustable trammel or something, but there're no markings and the fence would get in the way.

It's still a service that you're providing. A valuable one. Is it really necessary to pull the plug? It seems to be breathing on its own...
R
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RicodJour (in snipped-for-privacy@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com) said:
| Okay, I haven't eaten and maybe my brain ran out of blood sugar, but | what does the web do for the router? I was thinking maybe the curve | would act as an adjustable trammel or something, but there're no | markings and the fence would get in the way.
If you're using both hands to control the router, it's a good out-of-the-way place for clamps.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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